When our friends at Tom Bihn sent us the Synapse 19 Backpack to review, they were also kind enough to send us several Tom Bihn travel accessories to test. One of the items was the RFID Blocking Passport Pouch.
While technology makes our lives easier nowadays, there is always the chance that it can be used by individuals that want to take advantage of it and those using it. As of 2006, the U.S. government required all new passports to be outfitted with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips. While these chips store information that allows for better screening of travelers it also opens up the possibility that technology savvy criminals/terrorists can remotely steal your information and use it to their benefit. RFID chips are also in mobile phones and in some credit/debit cards, which means that your financial information is at risk too.
The RFID Blocking Passport Pouch allows the user to rest easy whenever traveling with small items that use RFIDs to store sensitive information. The outer fabric is lightweight tough Dyneema, the world’s strongest fabric, which is 15 times stronger than steel. It is waterproof, heat resistant, UV resistant, and it floats!
The inside fabric is polyester coated aluminum. The concept used in the pouch is essentially that used in Faraday cages. The aluminum mesh causes the RFID signal(s) within the pouch to distribute throughout the mesh and prevents it from escaping from the pouch’s interior. Faraday cages block a wider variety and much stronger signals, but they also require an electrical charge. The pouch doesn’t need electricity to block RFID signals and when I tested it, it even blocked cellular telephone calls.
A great feature of the pouch is the extremely long and adjustable lanyard that comes with it. I use a pouch to hide my passport, wallet, money, etc. when I travel overseas, but I personally sewed them into the inside waistbands of the pants I take with me into the field. The lanyard for the RFID Blocking Pouch was specifically designed to fit around your neck and around your waist, so not only do I not have to alter any new pairs of pants I get, but I now have a pouch that protects me from the cleverest of criminals. All I have to do is remember to take my cell phone out if I’m expecting a call…
Please Note: This product was sent to me as a promotional item and these are my own views and opinions.