Clever Travel Companion Review

Clever Travel Companion: The best backpacking gear out there

When I was getting ready for my big trip across Africa, I bought a lot of backpacking gear. Most of it I threw away or it broke somewhere along the way. That’s why I’m weirdly obsessed with my tank from Clever Travel Companion. It’s one of the few items that actually immensely helped me during my trip and is still in perfect condition today.

[Admin Note: Since writing this post, I’ve bought the Clever Travel Companion black leggings too. They’re awesome, but before ordering them check out my review… especially regarding sizing! ]

What is the Clever Travel Companion?

The Clever Travel Companion was started by some pretty cool travelers. They basically created these items as an answer to the problems they were facing on the road.  (And on a random note, their customer service is awesome! I’ve had to email them a few times, and I feel like we’re basically friends now because of how quick and friendly they are). 


Clever offers secret pockets on your clothes. The passport size pockets are perfect for hiding your credit cards, cash, and of course your passport.

They offer a variety of different tank tops, t-shirts, underwear, and long john’s that come in both men and women styles. Each one varies in color, design, and number of pockets.
Clever Travel Companion 3

How Does It Work?

It’s pretty simple.

All you have to do is put your passport, cash, and credit cards into one of the secret pockets and zip up. You can also choose to squeeze your phone in, although it may look a little bulky.

After that, you can either wear it as is or layer it by adding a longer pair of pants, another shirt, or a sweat shirt over it. That will conceal the pocket all together.

All your valuables are now completely out of reach and invisible to pick-pocketers. More than that, if you are held up and forced to hand over your purse or backpack, you have all the important stuff still on you. Unlike money belts which every robber knows to grab, the Clever Traveling Companion is completely invisible to the outside eye.

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This not only saves you money, but keeps you safe. Because if someone does force you to hand over your wallet, you don’t have to fight over it. You know that there isn’t much in there anyways since most of it is in your hidden pocket. That means you can focus on what really matters which is getting out of the situation and to somewhere safe, fast!

How I Used It:

I have the woman’s black tank top with one pocket, and I used it all throughout my seven month backpacking journey in Africa.

It was by far the most useful, helpful, and best thing I took with me.

I wore the tank top whenever I was on a long bus ride, going through immigration, or in a city or area known for theft. Personally, I didn’t like having the zipper show, so I always wore another shirt or top over my tank top.

The best part of the tank top was the security and confidence it gave me. I loved walking around knowing that my money was safe. Let’s face it, no one has cash to spare especially backpackers on a low budget.

I also loved how safe it kept me. For example, one common form of robbery (all throughout the world, not just Africa) happens when taxi drivers take their clients to an unknown destination, steal their wallets, and then desert them in the middle of no where.

Even if that happened to me I would still be okay. The driver could take my purse which I used only to carry enough cash for getting around, and leave me, but once he left, I still had my identification and enough money to get another way home or good hotel.

I also used this tank top a lot when I was in the hostels. Sometimes there weren’t locks or safes available which created a problem when I wanted to go swimming or somewhere else without my valuables. When that happened, I kept my valuables in the pocket, and then folded up the tank top and mixed it in with the rest of my clothing. That way if someone did go through my bag (because honestly, sometimes the worst thieves of all are other backpackers), they wouldn’t see anything. No one would think to steal a basic black tank top, underwear, or whatever Clever Travel Companion item you bring.

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My tank top also came in handy when I went out for a run, to a music festival, or anywhere else when I needed a little bit of cash, but didn’t want to have a purse.

Clever Travel Companion 2

Top 5 Benefits

1. Saves you money. You will never again be at the mercy of skilled pick-pocketers.

2. Saves you time. If your passport or credit cards go missing, you’ll be spending the next few hours and days at the embassy and calling your bank.

3. Keeps you safe. If your valuables are stolen through petty theft or being held up, you become very dependent on whoever is willing to help you. That is a very vulnerable position. However, if your bag is stolen, and you have a couple hundreds in your pocket, you can find a good driver, a good hotel, and anything else you need.

4. Peace of mind. Both men and women will love this, however, as a girl traveling solo this is especially great. I felt much more relaxed about traveling by myself knowing that I was secure.

5. Keeps you happy. Getting robbed is a really bad feeling that can negatively taint your view of an entire country and your vacation. Don’t let that happen. Keep your experiences positive and upbeat by taking away all the unpleasant possibilities.

Other helpful information:

Good Quality.

After my backpacking trip, I had to throw out most of my clothes. They were worn out, falling apart, and just utterly gross. Most of my shoes didn’t even make it half way. Yet my tank top survived. It’s still in perfect condition today.

Sizes Run Big.

If you are debating about which size to get, I recommend going with the smaller one. In the video above, I’m wearing a size small, but could easily wear the XS. Same goes for my friend, Ansh who is standing beside me. He is wearing an XL, but could probably fit in a size large too. The clothes seem to have a bit of stretch in them so if you are looking for a tighter fit, a size smaller should fit well.

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Order More Than One:

If you’ve backpacked before then you know that doing laundry can sometimes be an interesting endeavor. During my trip, I did mine in the sink, in the shower, and even in a lake. (I even met a traveler who once did his in the toilet). With that being said, because I only took 1 tank top with me, it got a little bit smelly at times when I couldn’t find proper laundry facilities.

So for my next trip, I’ll take my black tank top again, but I will also buy another tank top or t-shirt to go with it. This time I’ll get one with the pockets on the side. That will give me two pockets and let me have different options for what to wear over it. I’ll also order one pair of the underwear which is even more concealing and lets me wear any kind of top.

Clever Travel Companion 4

What Do Others Say?

I’m not the first one to fall in love with this travel essential. This is what others had to say:

“…no safer place to keep a credit card.”
 -Lonely Planet Blog

“pick-pocket proof”

“will fool thieves around the world”
 -Trend Hunter

“a smart and sneaky hiding place”
 – LA Times

Where to get Clever Travel Companion?

If you want to get Clever Travel Companion for yourself, then click here or go to

Remember, that a 15% off coupon for Clever Travel Companion comes with your purchase of Backpacking Africa for Beginners Complete Edition.  

Val Bowden
Val Bowden took off on the adventure of a lifetime in 2013 when she backpacked from Cape Town to Cairo solo using only public transportation. Since then her love of the African continent has continued to grow. She currently lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and is the author of Backpacking Africa for Beginners E-book.