How much should I worry about a snap closure for a bag/purse?
May 14, 2019 10:42 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a largish bag that can be carried as a shoulder bag (at my waist/hips, not next to my chest) or as a cross-body. I've found one I like but it has a snap closure, visible for example in the 4th and 5th pictures here.

I've always been wary of snap closures for fear of theft and/or having my belongings spill out by accident, but there are four snaps on this thing and maybe I am being overly cautious. I live in a small city and am not often on subways or in other really crowded conditions. I do travel, occasionally to larger cities (Paris/London/NY size), and would like to be able to use the bag while on these trips. There is a zipped inner pocket that I wouldn't mind using for wallet/phone while traveling, since that's not that frequent, but that would be a pain for regular use.

This seller also has bags with zipper or flap closures (or both) but I think I like this one best. Am I crazy to worry about the closure? Or would it work/be useful/still look good to ask her to put a small flap across the middle? It seems from her etsy page that she may do some customization.
posted by 2 cats in the yard to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, that bag is excellent and a great price. I carry a big bag and seldom zip it. Once in a while, it falls over, usually in the car, and stuff falls out. I still seldom bother to zip it.
posted by theora55 at 10:59 AM on May 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

If the snaps were all physical snaps, I'd say go for it, but two are magnetic and yes those are very easy for a wayward hand to reach into. Pickpockets don't know that you keep the real valuables in an inner zipped pocket, they're gonna rifle through what they can find because that's what pickpockets do.

If you're like me, the one day you don't put your cell phone in your interior zippered pocket because you rushed out of the house is the day you are pickpocketed and get your phone stolen.

If the seller can customize, perhaps ask if all the snaps can be made into physical snaps, or even two more added for extra security. The middle looks vulnerable. If it had a zipper closure, I'd be in line to buy it yesterday.
posted by juniperesque at 11:04 AM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Looking at the bag, the placement of those two middle snaps being magnetic, even with the side snaps being hard snaps, would make this a definite no for me because that's almost as bad as just having the bag be open-top. It's convenient access not just for you, but yeah, for pickpockets too. If all four snaps were hard snaps, it'd be a little better, but not as good as a zipper closure.

I don't think you're being overly cautious, but I also wouldn't feel comfortable using that bag period if I was carrying *anything* hard to replace in it (like wallet keys phone). YMMV.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 11:19 AM on May 14, 2019

Thx for the answers so far. The other ones I'm considering are her Daniel (zipper and flap) Kylie (flap), or Renee (zipper) bags.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 11:23 AM on May 14, 2019

I wouldn't want to go to Paris with a bag like that. The Metro is fairly pickpockety.
posted by praemunire at 11:37 AM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

The item page says it's made to order. It may be worth asking if they can add a zip or just replace the magnetic buttons with hard snaps.
posted by tavegyl at 12:25 PM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Cute bags!

It depends on your personal risk tolerance, but for my own peace of mind I wouldn't want to take a bag with an opening like that to a large city. I have a bag with a flap, which I leave flapping around in my small/medium city and then reverse the bag to put the flap against my body when I travel to bigger cities.

Also, if you do go somewhere that has really intense pickpocketing (like some cities in Italy) you might want to bring something that is not canvas as it sounds like cutting the strap or slashing the bottom of bags is a thing now too. But I think the material would be fine in a lot of other big cities as long as you are mindful about carrying the bag to the front of your body.
posted by past unusual at 12:53 PM on May 14, 2019

I contacted the seller and she said she would add a zipper closure - at no extra charge. The snaps will still be there too. It seemed likely that she's had this request before. Thanks for telling me I wasn't crazy and for the suggestion to just ask.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 12:24 AM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

One more update: I ordered the bag last week and it arrived yesterday. It has a slight chemical odor that will dissipate in a couple of days but otherwise it's really nice. The inner snaps were removed and though the outer snaps remain they are too far apart to be really useful, but the zipper is well-done and makes the bag just about perfect. Just mentioning this for future reference in case someone else stumbles on this post and also likes the bag.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 6:02 PM on June 4, 2019

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