Stolen bags never again with CabinR

Doug Bardwell
5 min readMar 14, 2018

While you sleep on an overnight flight, train or bus ride, thieves have hours to rifle through bags stored under your seat or in an overhead. Numerous thefts even occur in the couple minutes it takes to go to the restroom. Until now. If they open your CabinR protected bag or backpack, they’ll be shocked to discover, and you’ll be awakened by a 95-decibel alarm that they can’t shut off.

CabinR bags are cool even without the security blanket

CabinR messenger bag

CabinR bags are available in two models — the Discovery backpack and the Vista messenger bag. I’ve been using the messenger bag recently and there are many features to love.

The exterior is made of 300D polyester, soft but water-repellant fabric with very durable metal buckles. The shoulder strap is hidable if you want to carry it like a briefcase.

Also, built into the comfortable should strap is a magnetic backing to hold your earbuds, should you need to remove them temporarily.

There’s also a convenient elastic strap to slip your glasses or sunglasses into.

A large zippered pocket on the back holds tickets or reading material. It’s not quite large enough to zip with an 8–1/2 x 11” magazine inserted, but it’s fine if you leave it open. I often stick my extra large power pack here.

The smaller zippered pocket on the front flap will hold your cell phone for quick access.

You can also keep your phone charged with a portable power pack (not included) and run your charging cable out through a small charging port in the side of the bag. You are limited to a small power pack in this pouch, about the size of an iPhone.

Inside the bag, you’ll keep your gear sorted with numerous pockets and dividers. A strap holds keys and keeps them from disappearing under all your other gear.

A padded pocket can supposely hold up to a 15” laptop and a zippered pocket is great for passports or other private documents. I use a 13" laptop and it fits easily, but I imagine a full 15" woud be very snug.

The interior is also large enough to store a DSLR, a camcorder, my Light L16, a portable tripod, and tons of batteries, media, and accessories.

A blanket of protection with CabinR

The first of its kind, CabinR bags are protected by a thin blanket embedded with sensors that detect motion and set off a loud alarm that can only be silenced by a paired RFID card or your secret pushbutton combination.

The blanket is snapped to the opening flap of your bag, but can be removed and used in another bag if you choose.

There are two modes of protection, selectable by push button. One will monitor the slightest movement and set off an alarm (green mode.) The other (blue mode) will disregard momentary movements (like a bouncy bus ride or air turbulence) but will only go off when the blanket placement is disrupted.

The security blanket is designed in compliance with FCC and FAA rules, so the technology can be safely utilized during travel.

The blanket can also be used totally by itself. It has its own USB powered internal battery that will last 20 days, so you could protect even your laptop, camera and tablet in a library by just draping it over your items while you run to the restroom. Anyone who tries to grab anything under the blanket will surely raise the ire of the librarian as they break the silence barrier. And, you’ll be alerted before they ever reach the door.

Two notes:

When I first received the bag, I was overwhelmed with the instructions to activate and disarm the security blanket, change the security modes, etc. I used the bag for a couple weeks with the blanket removed. Then, I devoted a half-hour of non-distracted time to actually read each page of the small, 14-page user’s manual.

Viola. Nothing to it. I just needed to experiment with each instruction and it is now second nature to set the alarm. I know, nobody likes to read instruction manuals, but this is actually well written and makes sense when you pay attention.

Secondly, I was concerned about what would happen if I lost the RFID card that disarmed the blanket. Luckily, CabinR anticipated my concern. They supply three RFID cards, so chances of losing all three are remote.

Then, there’s always the special pushbutton combination you set yourself, that you can use instead of the card. Finally, if you lose all three and need more, you can return the blanket to the company and they’ll reset the RFID combination and resend you new cards. Genius!

Check out their different colors and models at

Disclosure: CabinR sent us a sample messenger bag to evaluate for this review.

Originally published at Doug Bardwell.



Doug Bardwell

Writer & photographer in print & online. For more travel inspiration, see our former travel e-zine: