Wanted: Indestructable wallet.
September 5, 2011 11:37 AM   Subscribe

I need a new wallet. I love myself the looks of the Muji aluminum card case. It's also the perfect size, but I'm worried about its durability.

How does this little buddy hold up in a back pocket?

I'm not as concerned with skuffing and appearance, as I am functionality. I'm more concerned with warping and the friction clasp not working.

Ideal wallet only needs to hold 4 plastic cards, 6 paper cards, and usually no more than 6 US sized bills.

I destroy cloth wallets, and they have a tendency to destroy my plastic cards, and would much rather move to a purchase-once-never-again rigid metal item. Any suggestions if the muji doesn't hold up? Thanks!
posted by furnace.heart to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I've used a Muji card case for years - and sometimes use it as wallet only when I don't want to haul a whole purse along. It's pretty soft metal and has certainly gotten a bit dinged over the years. I don't think you'll fit as much in one as you're describing - I can usually fit a bit less - 3 plastic cards, half a dozen business cards and one or two bills so it's good stop-gap on occasion but I wouldn't find it workable full time myself.
posted by leslies at 11:40 AM on September 5, 2011

I have this—I use it as a card case. It would be fine in a back pocket if I never sat down—the hinge would get pranged and the edges would dig into my butt.

I've heard people speak favorably of the Jimi wallet but I've never used one (check out some of the other hard-shell wallets on that page, too).
posted by adamrice at 11:45 AM on September 5, 2011

I used to use an Umbra, which I liked a lot. It held up nice and it was cool looking.

But it didn't hold cash well (or at all), and I got tired of having loose cash everywhere, so I recently switched to the Mighty Wallet and I'm obsessed with. It's made of paper, but it's basically indestructible.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:46 AM on September 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

What leslies said: I just tested mine, which normally holds bizcards, and its capacity is 6 plastic cards, at a bit of a squeeze.
posted by holgate at 11:47 AM on September 5, 2011

I have the double-sided card case, which I'm not sure you can get any more. My 1990 vintage single case (like the thin case you linked to) became too bent to stay shut and/or hold more than about three business cards. My current double case — about 10mm thick — has withstood rough handling well, as the clasps aren't part of the lids. Sadly, even it can't hold more than about three credit cards and a few business cards
posted by scruss at 11:49 AM on September 5, 2011

Also I wouldn't put the Muji case in my back pocket. I currently use a Chester Mox leather angle wallet, and it has the kind of capacity you're after.
posted by holgate at 11:52 AM on September 5, 2011

I am a lady and use an aluminum card-case just like that in my purse, so that I can pull out all my vital stuff in a hurry if I need to. It also slipped pretty easily into a pocket if I just didn't feel like lugging around a purse. It currently holds my drivers license, 3 credit cards, my (laminated paper) insurance card, and a $20 bill. I don't think I can cram anything else in there. The latch is generally pretty good; every now and then (maybe 5 times since I bought it), it gets a bit loose, so I just bend it back into place. I used to worry about it snapping off from bending too much, but eh, I've had it about 4 years, and it only cost $5, so it's not a big deal. In summary: cheap, lightweight, fits well in a pocket, and pretty durable, but it won't hold a ton of stuff. But again, $5.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:17 PM on September 5, 2011

I have had two Umbras. I only changed because, after 5 years, the old one got a bit grungy, but it was still fine in other ways.
posted by Danf at 12:22 PM on September 5, 2011

I use a card case like that as my primary wallet—but I use a stainless-steel one, not an aluminum one. Mine has held up quite well. I have a friend who has an aluminum one, which he actually uses for cards, and it's become a bit bent out of shape over time.
posted by limeonaire at 12:29 PM on September 5, 2011

Oh, right—if you want to put actual paper money in it, though, that might not work. Mine holds six plastic cards, and that's about it.
posted by limeonaire at 12:31 PM on September 5, 2011

Had that very same one, tried it. The tab jabs you and bends so it falls open the whole time. When you do eventually leave it in your back pocket and sit on it, it'll bend in two, forming a card-snapping fulcrum. And it wasn't big enough.
posted by cromagnon at 12:34 PM on September 5, 2011

Have a friend that left the Muji in his luggage, and it ended up getting nicely dented. Nice case, but I don't think it is designed for much abuse.
posted by backwards guitar at 12:36 PM on September 5, 2011

I recently switched to the Mighty Wallet and I'm obsessed with. It's made of paper, but it's basically indestructible

You're right about the indestructible part, but that's because that ain't paper, it's Tyvek. I haven't tried the wallet myself, but that does seem like an ideal material for making an ultra- thin/light/durable wallet.

Wallet-wise, I personally went with the Saddleback narrow wallet (leather) and am pretty happy with it.
posted by madmethods at 12:43 PM on September 5, 2011

I've not used the wallet in question but wanted to comment on the Jimi Wallet: I have one that has pretty much self destructed on me in the course of a year. Maybe I was a bit too rough on it?
posted by sciencegeek at 2:12 PM on September 5, 2011

I've been using a Mighty Wallet for about 6 months now and I love it. Mine has help up incredibly well, and it's super slim so I don't even feel it when I sit.
posted by sramsey at 2:14 PM on September 5, 2011

Well, ballistic nylon is lighter and has fewer pointy bits. Mine's several years old and looks brand new.
posted by so at 4:08 PM on September 5, 2011

Just to throw in another thin and hard to destroy wallet idea, I got a Chrome bags wallet for my destructo-boyfriend, and he likes it a lot. It's made out of the truck tarp they use to like their bags.
posted by bibliogrrl at 5:31 PM on September 5, 2011

just as a contrasting data point: my husband tried the mighty wallet (very up his alley nerd-and-uniqueness-wise also and fedex-y, our local big business) and i don't know if his pants pocket is some ninth circle of fiery destruction or what but it fell apart faster than any other wallet he's ever owned, including like those cheap nylon kiddie velcro ones that fray immediately. it sort of matted into lumpiness and then just disintegrated. and no, he didn't get it wet. ymmv.
posted by ifjuly at 4:49 AM on September 6, 2011

posted by jefftang at 11:39 AM on September 6, 2011

You're right about the indestructible part, but that's because that ain't paper, it's Tyvek. I haven't tried the wallet myself, but that does seem like an ideal material for making an ultra- thin/light/durable wallet.

The only problem I've had with this style is that there is barely any friction between the wallet and cards, so they can pretty easily dump out all over if you hold it wrong.
posted by smackfu at 12:33 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I used a Jimi for a year or so. It held up quite well, but I found it too fat for my back pocket and held a bit too little. I'm now using a small binder clip in my front pocket. It's cheap and durable, but doesn't really fulfill the organize-and-protect-the-contents function of a wallet.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 12:57 PM on September 6, 2011

-1 for the Jimi. I used one for about a year, after I read about it in an AskMe post. I was really excited about it, but the plastic money clip failed first (after about nine months), and the rest of the plastic parts gave up the ghost a few months later, and it became useless. Now I use an Umbra, which is metal and seems to be holding up fine, just not a fan of having to dump out all my cards and rifle thru them to find the one I want.
posted by Spyder's Game at 1:12 PM on September 6, 2011

My Mighty Wallet held up for years, but for the last two it looked like it was just about to fall apart. I made a new one out of a FedEx envelope (there're a number of tutorials; just google) and the new one has the added bonus of being covered in doodles by my more artistic friends!
posted by Jonathan Harford at 1:48 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I haven't purchased or even seen this one in person, but it is on my list of possibles for next wallet purchase: the Nooka which is silicone and looks reasonably sized.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:44 PM on September 16, 2011

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