In the past three years, the wallet industry has morphed from your “father’s fat wallets” to slim wallets–and we are glad! Perhaps our digital world has prompted the change. We now have a need for carrying options along with style. Here are our top ten recommendations for your wallet upgrade.
Is there anything more classic – more American – than a broken-in leather baseball glove? Anything more evocative of summer afternoons as a kid? Probably not. That’s what makes Fielder’s Choice wallets so awesome. They’re all made from vintage baseball gloves, refashioned into something useful for the everyday.
Right now, Fielder’s Choice has 2 collections available right now – their Classics line and their limited edition 2019 Lowman collection. The Classics line includes a Billfold, a Card Case, Money Clip, and Money Clip Card Case. Each is made from a combination of Espresso Dublin, Full Grain, US-sourced steerhide plus the original leather from a vintage glove. Each has its own unique look and sheen, thanks to the original glove’s own character. Originals markings and text from the glove remain.
The Lowman Collection consists of only 125 pieces, each crafted from gloves straight from the collection of Brett Lowman – America’s foremost collector of vintage baseball gloves. They also use some full grain leather in the construction, but all outwardly visible pieces are handcut from some of Lowman’s expansive collection. FC chooses each glove carefully, by hand, for its unique look and character. After sewing, Fielder’s Choice finishes each wallet with their logo stamped in gold leaf.
Who is Rogue Industries? Despite the similar-sounding name, they aren’t the same guys who make all that awesome fitness gear. But they are a company that puts a lot of craftsmanship into crafting the best front pocket wallet out there, right here in the USA. We thought we’d check them out.
The Rogue Industries Front Pocket Wallet uses a revolutionary idea; it’s cut in the shape of a front pocket, allowing it to fit in a pocket comfortably while maintaining a slim yet spacious design. There are 3 card slots, an ID pocket, a stash pocket, and a full section for banknotes, so it can comfortably 6 cards and a wad of cash. There’s also RFID-blocking for security against digital pickpockets and identity thieves. The wallet is built from top-grain leather in Lewiston, Maine, with all the quality and durability you’ve come to expect from American-made products.
The pocket-shape is really nifty, and one of those ideas you’re surprised no one came up with before. We can only imagine it’s great to have in your pocket, without all the bulk. It comes in a variety of different configurations and designs, all made to the standards of quality and workmanship. There’s even a stainless steel/leather hybrid option for those who go hard on their gear.
Minimalist and utility wallets are meant for slimming down the load in your pocket as well as being built to handle any trip you might throw at it. And these days, they’re also asked to provide a layer of protection from potential cyber thieves. The Trayvax Original 2.0 does all three. Cut from a single piece of anodized aircraft-grade aluminum and laced with MilSpec Paracord and heat-resistant straps, the Trayvax Original holds anywhere from 3-14 cards in the metal sleeve and 1-5 bills behind the strap. If you’d like to carry more, however, there is the option for an extended strap that you can purchase separately. A cutout on the front makes showing your ID easy. Trayvax also throws in a few handy features to keep the wallet versatile, with a bottle opener cut in for handily popping open drinks, and of course, RFID protection to keep your personal info safe from any electronic pickpocketing.
Put that all together, and you have a sleek, slim, versatile tactical wallet, meant to be kept in your front pocket, that will hold up to anything and look cool in the process. Trayvax wallets are all made in the USA and backed by their lifetime warranty, as well, making them solid options for your EDC Kit.
Traditionalists just don’t seem to get it. But a trusty wallet is so much more than a leather accessory to carry your money and credit cards in. It’s a tool, a vital part of your everyday kit. Something you entrust with some of your most valuable and important belongings. This is why for some of us, even hard-sided wallets like the Flipside 4 are worth carrying around in our back pockets.
The Flipside 4 is, they tell us, “the result of extensive observation and customer feedback.” Flipside took what worked on previous models and ditched the rest, leaving a more streamlined but functional and durable piece of everyday carry gear.
That means a crush-resistant, structurally-reinforced composite body; two RFID-blocking card slots reinforced with aircraft-grade aluminum alloy; a flip-over design that combines the best of both a regular wallet and a money clip; a scratch-resistant, grippy texture, and twice as much grip for holding your cards in place than previous Flipside models.
It looks more like a Pelican case at first glance than a wallet. But if you absolutely, positively have to keep your ID, credit cards and cash totally safe and secure whatever obstacles life throws your way, few other wallets – of any style – can really compete.
Choose from 6 sweet colors.
We’ve definitely seen our fair share of minimalist wallets, and it feels like we see newer, simpler ones all the time. But the Decadent Minimalist DM1 really takes the cake. It’s literally just a single piece of metal – aluminum, nickel or titanium, CNC-machined – with zero moving parts, straps, hinges, screws or magnets. Just a one-sided frame.
Just slide your cards right in, and they’ll click securely into place The DM1 can hold 4, 8 or 12 cards, and they’re super easy to access and slide in and out. It’ll even work with only one card. It’s that simple. The Aluminum version comes in scratch-resistant, Type III anodized Black and Gunmetal finishes, and a whole assortment of Type II anodized finishes.
So if you’re looking for the absolute simplest, rock-hard minimalist wallet, this is it. The aluminum version is pretty dang cheap, but the titanium version can be a bit more expensive. Decadent? Not really. Minimalist? You bet. Oh, and it’s made right here in the USA.\
Losing your wallet sucks. Even if you’re not in the habit, but have merely misplaced it once or twice, losing your wallet is an easy way to put a damper on your day. Or week, or month. That’s why Ekster Ultra Slim Trackable Wallets look like such a good idea.
Ekster Smart Wallets are made of premium, top-grain leathers from Germany and the Netherlands. Our choice, the Parliament, is a classy bi-fold offering room for up to 9 cards and several cash bills. There is the (newly) obligatory RFID protection, to keep your identity and financial information safe.
But the real reason you’re looking at one of these is the tracking ability. The Ekster comes with a solar-powered tracker card, powered by TrackR technology, that lets you know where your wallet is at all times. It connects via Bluetooth 4.0 to your phone, and is compatible with both iOS 7 and Android 4.3 and up, with a range of up to 100 feet.
The tracker can remind you, on your phone, where the last place you saw your wallet or put it down was. If it’s nearby but you can’t find it, the two-way ringer will help alert you to its location. And should you have trouble finding it, the wallet will automatically alert you whenever one of the 5 million other TrackR users walks within range. And as it is solar-powered, the battery only needs about 3 hours of light to last an entire month. Easy to charge, easy to use.
Ekster makes several different, attractive wallets to choose from: The Parliament we’ve highlighted here, the minimalist Senate cardholder, even an iPhone case. All of them come with both regular and TrackR versions. If you’re forgetful and losing your wallet is a habit, these might just be the minimalist wallet you’re looking for.
We spent quite a bit of time on here detailing our favorite minimalist wallets, but soon enough – even they might be going out of style, thanks to the new Fuze Card, a Smart Credit Card and Wallet system that consolidates your entire wallet down to one piece of plastic.
Using cutting-edge EMV technology, the Fuze Card is capable of holding the info for up to 30 of your credit, debit, loyalty, and membership cards on a single, encrypted, and secure chip. Just use the built-in E-paper display and button to choose which card you’d like to use. At .003 inches, it’s just as slim as a regular piece of plastic and has a rechargeable battery lasting up to 30 days on a single charge. Just use it as a credit card anywhere you go – a restaurant, shopping, out for a drink; you can even use it in your ATM for some quick cash, and with all contactless payment systems.
An easy-to-use app allows you to connect to your card using your smartphone, changing settings, and accessing card info. You can choose a single preferred card for it to default to when Bluetooth and Wifi are out of range. There’s even location tracking, that sends notifications to your phone if you’ve forgotten your Fuze Card somewhere or it’s been stolen.
The Fuze Card looks like a convenient and easy-to-use alternative to traditional wallets and credit cards…but we don’t expect it to be making them obsolete anytime soon.
If you think his decades-old wallet might need replacing, grab the Bellroy Hide and Seek – a traditional bi-fold with a slim, low profile. Bellroy made the Hide and Seek with premium, vegetable-tanned leather, and gives it a 3-year warranty to cover anything that might happen to it (during normal everyday wear and tear).
It’s got 4 quick access card slots, a hidden bill slot to keep cash safe and out of sight, and a protected section for business and credit cards – all the while being slim and trim enough to fit in your front or back pocket, and carry 5-12 cards without any excess bulk.
The Hide and Seek comes in both Black and Java brown, and there’s also the option for RFID protection. It’s a fantastic choice for a wallet with a classic, sophisticated aesthetic – but without the bulk.
We’ve seen quite a few minimalist wallets here at Gear for Life. But we’ve rarely if ever, seen anything as simple and minimal as the Cardamon Wallet 1. Designed by a former Arc’teryx designer, the Cardamon took three years to create and perfect; they wasted no effort and ignored no detail in getting it right.
The result of those three years is an incredibly simple, streamlined rendition of the billfold, cut from a single piece of fabric. Using a single piece of fabric allows for minimal stitching, fewer moving parts, and as little bulk as possible; it’s ultra-slim and unobtrusive but has enough room for 8 cards and a few bills.
The special fabric the wallet’s creators settled on is Meridian Shell, an ultra-dense, 300D nylon-polyester, weave that is waterproof, stainproof and extremely tough, and abrasion-resistant, developed solely for this wallet by Cardamon. They’ve backed it up with a Lifetime Warranty, too.
So if you’d like an extremely minimalist wallet with its own unique taste, the Cardamon Wallet is a solid, stylish choice.
When it comes to your wallet, smaller and thinner is paramount. With the new Fantom wallets, you get those features plus. These wallets are more pocket friendly; lighter weight; free of extraneous pockets, pouches, and material; and much more trendy/handsome than your classic leather billfold. Sometimes when you select a slimline, minimalist wallet, you have difficulty accessing the contents. Well, it looks like the folks behind the Fantom wallet have figured out a way to circumvent that problem.
The Fantom features a clever eject lever built into it that fans your cards out with just a flick. That means you can grab the exact one you want without any fuss. That same lever also functions as the lid to the optional coin compartment. The Fantom also offers RFID protection while your cards are securely stashed inside, has an external money clip for your cash, and comes in a variety of colors and materials (including aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber). This clever minimalist wallet comes in three sizes (for 7, 10, or 13 cards) and starts at $60.
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