Wallets

Wallets keep our cards, IDs, cash, and other paper documents organized and nearby. The wallet itself might not be as important as what’s inside it, but it serves a critical purpose to protect these essential assets from damage and loss.

Right off the bat, there's a number of problems with carrying a big, traditional wallet. Because they're so big, you're probably keeping it in your rear pocket, where it's more likely to fall out. Even if you're lucky enough to avoid that nightmare, by sitting on your wallet, you're risking a needless potential spine injury. It's best to carry your wallet in your front pocket if you can, for your spine and security's sake.

I know some of you just hate the feeling of too much stuff in your pockets (although if you're on this site, maybe your definition of too much stuff is different than others). This is where minimalist wallets come in. By design, they fit better in your pocket and can even be a little restrictive at times, encouraging you to be more considered in what you actually keep in them. Traditional wallets with a ton of card slots make it so easy to overstuff them with cards you'll probably never use while you're out.

Wallets made from leather tend to be thicker, especially if they layer pieces of leather to create individual card slots, as all that material adds up. Leather does stretch a tiny bit, but not much. As a result, your wallet takes up a fixed amount of space in your pocket. If you carry only a few cards, you might end up with “wasted” or unused space in your wallet. If you carry lots, you might (irreversibly) stretch your wallet out or find storing and retrieving tight-fitting cards to be a hassle.

If your top priority is having the slimmest, most compact wallet possible, look into elastic wallets.


8 EDC Wallets Made from Unique Materials

Move over, leather. While it's the classic material of choice for an everyday carry wallet, that doesn't always mean it's the best. And because a wallet can be so simple just by its design, what it's made of plays a huge role in how effective it is for EDC. In this guide, we're highlighting 8 minimalist wallets cut from a different cloth. They're made using the go-to materials in other demanding applications—from firefighting to military body armor—so you know they're up to the task of carrying your cards and cash.

Slim Wallets Cut from a Different Cloth

Bellroy Notebook Cover

Ever find that your pocket notebook gets torn to shreds before you can even fill it up? It happens more than it should, but the solution is pretty simple. Consider slipping your notebook into a leather cover, like this one from Bellroy. In addition to protecting a passport or pocket notebook, the cover also features card slots to replace your wallet for an even slimmer pocket carry.

The Notebook Cover is as slim as they come, yet full of thoughtful storage slots. In addition to your preferred 3.5” x 5.5” notebook, the Bellroy Notebook Cover has room for your daily essentials. Two card slots can hold 4-6 of your most-used cards or some folded up cash, allowing you to leave your wallet at home. There's even a place for a pocket pen to clip into the spine where the cover naturally folds. It's actually really easy to open and close, thanks to hidden magnets that snap the cover in place. The magnetic closure system won't wear out over time either, unlike snaps and elastic bands you'd find on other covers.

Instead of a standalone notebook cover, consider this all-in-one replacement from Bellroy. Your pockets will thank you. Grab one on Amazon at the link below, or check it out in five color options of top-grain leather at Bellroy's site.

Buy on Amazon

Distil Union Wally Agent

Simpler is better, especially when it comes to your wallet (and what's inside). A good minimalist wallet helps you pare down what you carry to just the essentials. But a great one does it seamlessly, while being even easier to use in the process. Distil Union's EDC wallets accomplish this through their easy access pull-tabs, which fan out your cards instantly. Their latest wallet, the Wally Agent, offers that same functionality in a higher capacity, travel-friendly bifold design.

The Wally Agent isn't Distil Union's first bifold, but it's their most refined yet. Compared to their original Wally Bifold, the Agent adds much-welcomed internal slots for up to 4 frequently used cards. Its dedicated cash compartment accommodates flat bills and various currencies, so you won't have to switch wallets when traveling. Lastly, it improves upon its signature pull-tab design by orienting your cards vertically to minimize the the wallet's footprint. It also routes the cards towards the middle of the wallet, ensuring a more secure carry. But the best part of the original Wally hasn't changed—you can still get instant, organized access to up to 8 of your cards with a simple pull of the ribbon on both sides of the wallet.

The Wally Agent is crafted slim from premium, full-grain leather to fit your front pocket. You can enlist the Agent for your everyday carry in your choice of three colors at the link below.

Buy on Amazon

Grovemade Compact Bifold Wallet

"The Grovemade Compact Bifold Wallet doesn’t have the word compact in its name for nothing. This slim wallet foregoes the flat storage of cash, instead requiring you to fold bills in half before inserting behind the card slots. As a result though it boasts a profile 30% smaller than traditional wallets by hugging the more closely hugging the contours of the cards stored inside. Each is also made from start to finish in Oregon of vegetable-tanned leather by Grovemade and Yonezawa Leather for the sewing, and..." (via GearHungry)

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Cardamon Wallet

"It’s significantly thinner than leather, not to mention more durable. The Cardamon Wallet is a particularly solid option if you can’t stand Tyvek wallets despite thinness being a priority. Each one is made of a single sheet of aeronautical grade thermo-plastic urethane composite called MeridianShell that’s thermo-formed and welded into shape, foregoing the need for visible stitches. Despite it’s minimalistic design the Cardamon fits up to eight cards — four per side — as well as full-sized banknotes, making it front-pocket useable without compromising on your carry..." (via GearHungry)

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Nodus Compact Wallet

While they're perfectly designed for slipping into your front pocket, the thing with cardholders is they can often be too restricting. You can slip four, maybe six cards into it, and that's that. But what about the rest of your cards, and cash, or even a spare key? Nodus's Compact Wallet has you covered — it crams the capacity of a billfold (and then some) into a super slim profile worthy of your front pocket.

The Compact packs one of the best features for any EDC wallet—quick access—but doesn't stop at just one or two frequently used cards. Its outer pull tab lets you cascade out up to 8 cards for nimble access and easy organization with full RFID blocking protection. On the other side, you'll find two more quick-access slots for your go-to cards at the register. With the right card configuration, you'll have both privacy and contactless entry/payment options all in the same wallet.

A central pocket accommodates everything else, from cash to business cards. And in that main compartment, there's a smaller slot for a spare key to use as either a backup option or for a minimalist carry.

The Compact Wallet (along with Nodus's other offerings, the Hifold Wallet and Compact 4 Card Wallet) comes in new leathers for the season. Nodus uses full-grain, veg-tan Italian leather that's been sustainably and ethically sourced.

Best of all, Nodus is offering 25% off the wallets and the option to donate that 25% to disaster relief charity ShelterBox if you choose to pay full price. Check out the Compact Wallet and more Nodus wallets at their shop below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Nodus.

Rugged Material Front Pocket Wallet

For most of you, there's no better place to carry your wallet than in your front pocket. It's more secure and better for your back. But we all know pocket space is hard to come by. That's why Rugged Material optimized their most minimal wallet specifically for the front pocket. Their Front Pocket Wallet now comes complete with RFID protection, high capacity, and premium leather, all in a slim profile.

The Front Pocket Wallet manages to both up its card capacity and trim down bulk at the same time thanks to its clever offset cardslot layout. Instead of having cards, cash, and layers of leather stacked directly on top of each other, this design has cutaway slots (reducing the amount of leather used) on opposite ends (letting cards fit better and pack down more efficiently). This all works together to let the wallet compress down at a slight angle, leaving enough space for folded bills in its central pocket. At just 0.1875” thin when empty, it can still accommodate up to 10 cards and 10 bills in all.

Your cards are RFID-protected on both sides of the wallet as well, thanks to the CRYPTALLOY shielding foil used on this new version of the Front Pocket Wallet. And true to their name, Rugged Material uses high quality Horween Chromexcel leather for longevity, luxurious handfeel, and a rewarding patina over time.

The wallet's made in the USA (from leathers out of Chicago), finished with silver branding, and backed with a lifetime guarantee. If you've been meaning to make the switch to a front pocket wallet, don't sit this one out. You can grab Rugged Material's newest wallet in Brown, Black, or Burgundy Chromexcel leather for your everyday carry at the link below.

Buy on Amazon

This is a sponsored post presented by Rugged Material.

Deuce Wallet

Cash shouldn't have to be a deal breaker when choosing a minimalist wallet. Sure, lots of designs claim to accommodate cash. But in real world use they often fall short, leaving you fumbling your change when you're in a rush at the register. The new Deuce wallet, now on Kickstarter, bucks the trend with a unique design that combines the cash storage of a billfold with the minimalism of a cardholder.

Unlike other wallets where carrying cash is an afterthought, the Deuce Wallet features designated cash flaps to conveniently carry bills. Your cards fit both in the wallet itself and in its removable minimalist card holder. For days when you don't carry cash, you can keep things simple by separating the billfold portion and leaving it at home. Not to say the billfold section is too bulky to EDC, though. By reducing the number of leather folds in its design, the Deuce remains slim and light. It does all this while keeping your information safe with its built-in RFID protection.

Whether you're carrying cards, cash, or both, your wallet doesn't have to be a compromise with the Deuce. Get one for your EDC on Kickstarter at the link below in your choice of color and leather options.

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Trayvax "Stealth Black" Element Wallet

Handcrafted, leather, and metal. A powerful combination that—when done right—results in quality products that can last a lifetime. For a wallet, that's pretty important, since you probably use yours all the time. Trayvax have been making quality wallets (that a lot of our readers were excited about) since their crowdfunding days, but now they're back making one of their best wallets even better.

The best features from the original Element are here to stay, of course. That includes top-grain oil-tanned leather, type II mil-spec paracord, and a raw tumbled stainless steel, assembled and handcrafted in the USA. You can fit 3-10 cards and 1-5 bills in the wallet, and carry it well thanks to its compact profile and sturdy lanyard attachment point.

The new Stealth Black Element wallet takes on the same silhouette as the original design, but improves on it in every way. For starters, it's lighter, thanks to its new single-plate construction. This design allows for a new, enhanced money clip and an easier-to-use bottle opener. The "Black Edition" Elements also feature a new melonite finish for increased durability. Best of all, you get a lifetime warranty with the Element, so if somehow you manage to break yours, Trayvax will stand behind their product.

It may look discreet and minimal, but the the Stealth Black Element means business with its build quality. Available now direct from Trayvax at the link below.

Buy ($84.99)

This is a sponsored post presented by Trayvax.

Dash Access Bifold Wallet

There's no shortage of great minimalist wallets for your everyday carry, in no small part due to Dash's offerings. While they're definitely compact and affordable, none of the wallets in their lineup offered both RFID protection and a no-fuss way to carry cash, until now. Enter the Access Bifold, Dash's newest wallet on Kickstarter. It's designed to protect your cards' sensitive information and easily hold your cash without the pocket bulge thanks to its thin profile.

Opening the Dash, you’re greeted with two easy access flaps for cards and cash. Say goodbye to bulky, triple-folded bills messing up your minimalist ways—the Dash fits cash folded in half. There’s also a third slot for any extra cards or IDs that are too essential to leave at home.

If you have a most used card, you can store it in the quickdraw pocket on the front of the wallet. On the quickdraw pocket, there's a slot cutout that reduces weight and lets slide out your card with a push of the thumb so it's readily available when you need it. All this in a form factor that will protect your cards from any prying ne’er-do-wells.

The Dash Access also has a build quality to match its tough RFID protection. It’s made of a durable microfiber canvas that's more weather-resistant than real leather, so you can keep your eco-friendly conscious clear.

The Kickstarter campaign is already funded and promises to bring this sleek wallet to backers by June of 2017. If you’re looking for a new wallet or want to upgrade your current one, check out the Dash Access Bifold via the link below.

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10 Orange Everyday Carry Essentials for High Visibility

It's Halloween season again, and oddly enough, it's an appropriate time to rethink your EDC. You've got your knives and lighters for making jack-o-lanterns and flashlights to keep little ones safe on their neighborhood routes. Maybe you won't go so far as repurposing your go-bag into trick-or-treating candy storage (though I can't blame you: candy just tastes better when it's free), but there's good reason to get your EDC in the Halloween spirit with some new orange gear.

Now, you don’t have to use Halloween as an excuse to pocket orange gear. Adding that color to your carry has year-round benefits as well. Orange is typically used in the outdoors and zombie apocalypse survival situations for its strikingly high visibility. Compared to the usual black finishes, orange makes your gear easier to find whether you've dropped it in the woods or it's sitting at the darkest bottom corner of a loaded bag. We featured 13 other hi-vis tools last year, but we've updated the guide this time around with newer gear with the latest features.

Here are our picks for hi-vis orange gear to carry this year.

Capsule Accomplice and Diplomat Review

Review

Slim is in. And for a lot of you, a minimalist wallet is a great asset to your everyday carry. But here's the thing: sometimes, you just need to carry more than your ultra slim wallet can handle.

That doesn't mean you'll need to give up on compact wallets entirely, though. Considering how popular EDC zip pouches are, and the inevitable times when you'll wish you had an easier way to carry loose odds and ends, a zip wallet—when done right—makes a lot of sense for everyday carry.

Capsule, known for their well-executed Minimalist Wallet and its signature Cash Strap, launched two new zippered wallets on Kickstarter recently: the Accomplice and the Diplomat. And they are thin. 

Today, I'll give you my hands-on impressions of the wallets so you can decide for yourself if a zip wallet design is what your EDC's been missing.

Magpul DAKA Essential Wallet

When you carry a traditional (and possibly bulky) wallet, it's tempting to load it up with more than what you need. Having extra card slots makes it all too easy. So if you're having trouble paring down your cards and cash, try carrying a wallet that encourages you to do it. True to its name, the Magpul DAKA Essential Wallet helps you carry just the essentials thanks to its lean, considered design.

It has room for up to six cards and some emergency cash in its slim and lightweight polymer fabric frame. At just 3mm thin when empty, it's a wallet that stays discreet and low profile in your pocket. With its rounded corners and smooth edges, slipping it in and out of your pocket is a breeze as well.

Magpul designed this polymer wallet to stand up to both hard use and the elements like they did with their popular phone cases and EDC pouches in the DAKA line. The technical fabric itself has water-resistant properties, keeping your essentials dry from most everything short of immersing it in water. And if it does get wet, the polymer also boasts an anti-slip texture to keep it in place.

Unclutter your wallet carry with a switch to the Magpul DAKA Essential wallet to bring just the essentials every day.

Buy on Amazon

Or visit Magpul for more color options.

What's the Best Material for an EDC Wallet?

In the everyday carry scene, you hear the phrase “form follows function” thrown around a lot. But one part of the equation doesn't get the attention it deserves, especially when it comes to wallets: materials.

If you think about wallets as much as I do (and I hope you don't, because that would be kinda sad), you'd realize the material of choice becomes a huge factor in shaping the design of the wallet.

Traditionally, most wallets are made of leather. The growing popularity of minimalist EDC wallets gave rise to non-leather options like elastic wallets and even metal ones. Of course, other types of wallets exist: duct tape, Tyvek (like those crazy durable envelopes), sailcloth, and firehose, just to name a few.

Leather, elastic, and metal are the big three wallet materials I'm going to look at today and want to hear your opinion about. Ultimately, this will all help you narrow your search for the perfect wallet to slip into your front pocket.

CRATE Modular Wallet

With most minimalist wallets, what you see is what you get. You choose your favorite material, then you get to fit in a set number of bills and cards. While this is convenient if you don't carry a lot of either, it doesn't leave you many options for expansion or customization.

If you need the latter, then the CRATE modular wallet could be the one you need. It features the light weight and small footprint that makes minimalist wallets ideal for everyday carry, but builds on its design by allowing modular components.

The secret is in its 5-in-1 plate design. In its most minimal layout, the CRATE uses a single plate and an elastic band to carry up to 2 cards and cash. Using all its plates, however, lets you pack up to 8 cards, bills, coins and small accessories, and even a special multitool called the K-Tool. You can use as many or as few plates as needed, saving you the trouble of switching to bigger wallets to accommodate more.

The CRATE comes in titanium, carbon fiber, or aluminum, which lets you match it with your EDC's aesthetic without weighing you down. It's thoughtfully sized for ease of carry even in its full configuration. So why should you still limit yourself to a regular minimalist wallet? Head to the Kickstarter at the link below and back a CRATE in the material and options of your choice.

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Silent Pocket Secure Simple Wallet

If security is a concern, your criteria for the perfect everyday carry wallet shouldn't stop at RFID shielding alone. One simple precaution to keep your wallet in the right hands is by slipping it in your front pocket. That's not so easy to do when you're working with a bulky bifold. Silent Pocket's Simple Wallet fits the bill here, providing complete protection against unwanted RFID and NFC skimming without the bulk.

Its stripped down layout features 4 card slots and a central pocket for once-folded bills. On one side of the wallet, you'll find the usual staggered horizontal slot layout for quick visual ID of your cards. Turn it over to find two more card slots with unique angular cutouts. This thoughtful geometry makes it easier on your thumbs to pinch and pull out your more frequently used cards. The card slots are conveniently sized so they're not overly snug, and lined with Silent Pocket's proprietary shielding fabrics to keep your information RFID and NFC secure.

As if that wasn't enough to keep your essentials off the grid, Silent Pocket takes an understated yet luxurious approach to styling the wallet. It's made slim from a supple, matte black napa leather with a tumbled finish for comfortable handling in and out of the pocket. Details like blacked-out stitching, black liners, and debossed branding round it all out.

You can pick one up to slip into your front pocket at the link below, and check out more of Silent Pocket's Faraday cage leather goods at their site.

Buy on Amazon