Need a new Wallet.
August 31, 2018 9:39 PM   Subscribe

Mine has finally disintegrated. Last time I looked, you loaded up your entire life into this giant hip-dislocation-device, and then sat on it. What products are better than this?

Today, I witnessed 3 radically different card/cash wrangling solutions. The watch/phone system won't work where I live and play. So I need actual plastic cards over the next few years. I'd like to carry 1/2 dozen credit/debit cards, some loyalty/club cards, and my driver's licence. What cool changes to wallet technology I investigate?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (32 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I hate having bulky things in my pockets so I want my wallet to be as thin as possible. I've had a Big Skinny Super Skinny bifold wallet for about 7 years and it still looks exactly the same as when I got it. I have about 8-10 cards in it including my driver's license and a few bills, and it's about a quarter inch thick.
posted by zsazsa at 10:05 PM on August 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

Big Skinny wallets. They're amazingly low profile and durable. My boyfriend likes this particularly slim one, but there are lots of options.
posted by rachaelfaith at 10:06 PM on August 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

The biggest change I’ve seen is carrying less. Even if you can’t use Apple Pay, you don’t have to carry all those loyalty cards, and the ones you really need can be condensed onto a single laminated card. Most days I get by with my drivers license and one credit card.

Out of two dozen(!) credit cards you can probably select the two you use the most and put those, DL, and your loyalty card of cards in a slim wallet.
posted by a halcyon day at 10:07 PM on August 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

Two popular wallet sources recommended here on AskMe (especially for a lot of cards) are Allett and Big Skinny.

One thing to consider, if your old wallet was pretty old, is getting a wallet with RFID blocking technology (although whether or not it's worth is a different question; fwiw, I have a wallet that has it).
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:07 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have you considered just *not carrying* all that stuff?

My wallet situation radically improved when I just started carrying my driver's license, one credit card, one debit card, health insurance card, work id, and metro card. A hundred bucks in 20s if I anticipate being somewhere where I need cash.

If I need something else (loyalty cards, carshare card) I have to plan for it, and honestly that's a good thing in my case.

My billfold is maybe a centimeter thick, a little tooled leather thing I got in Mexico. I haven't really seen a better wallet.

[on preview, a halcyon day has it]
posted by aspersioncast at 10:09 PM on August 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

I’m done with wallets! I agree with the others:
License and a couple cards slide in my phone case (amazon:’Dockem’). Cash folded in pocket. Everything else I use to carry gets photographed. If I need a special card that day..hello replaces one of the others.

Sorry. On re-reading I see this won’t work for you.
posted by artdrectr at 11:46 PM on August 31, 2018

My wallet contents are similar to yours and I swear by this fancy newfangled solution.
posted by Tiny Bungalow at 1:28 AM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Bellroy does this perfectly.
posted by mdonley at 3:21 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm on my second Bellroy - the first lasted several years but the card pockets eventually became stretched and the cards would slide out. Totally pleased, will probably buy a 3rd when the time comes. I have the "slim sleeve," which holds probably about 10 different cards in a slim way.
posted by Mid at 4:17 AM on September 1, 2018

A number of years ago I bought this wallet from Hyperlite Mountain Gear on a whim, and it works great. It holds all my cards (as my life has become more complicated I've had to double up some of the card pockets because now I've got a bunch of work-related cards as well as my personal ones) plus some cash, a band-aid, a few stamps, and the odd business card or receipt. I think I've got my DL, three health insurance cards, three credit cards, one loyalty card, a gas card, and a couple of membership cards in there. It's still admirably thin and while I do keep it in my bag much of the time because I am just that obsessive about having extraneous stuff in my pockets, when I do have it in my pants it's not particularly noticeable.

The key is to occasionally weed out anything in it that's not needed. Don't just let it grow bigger and bigger. Those old receipts, biz cards from people you don't actually care about, memberships to places you never go anymore… you can do without that stuff. In fact, mine's due for another winnowing right about now, so thanks for the reminder!
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:37 AM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

There are a lot of options for slim wallets, so I'm just going to talk about systems. At some point 10+ years ago I switched to carrying a slim card wallet plus a money clip in my front pockets, wallet in one pocket, money clip in other. I've been through a couple of wallets and two money clips and wouldn't go back to the large hip dislocation device. With most/all loyalty cards moving to phones, the plastic I do carry never amounts to more than five cards: driver's license, credit card, debit card, insurance card, transit card. As "Anticipation" mentioned in comment above mine, you do have to get in the habit of ditching receipts and business cards at the end of the day. If you rarely/never use cash, you could ditch the money clip, too and just carry a folded bill or two.
posted by kovacs at 6:19 AM on September 1, 2018

I finally moved into this Vaultskin recently and I'm pretty happy with it... but it hasn't been that easy for me to slim down the quantity of cards I carry. I'm currently at 10 cards of various thicknesses, plus some cash, occasional gift cards & receipts. This thing is maxed out, but that's on me. I do feel it's a better value than anything I found in the Bellroy / Distil Union product lines, while still being a very well-made leather product.
posted by Bron at 6:20 AM on September 1, 2018

Less is more. I carry this slim front pocket ID wallet and I’ll never carry an asspocket wallet again.
posted by gnutron at 6:20 AM on September 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I got my husband a "front pocket wallet" or "front pocket money clip" for Christmas some years ago and it remains the best gift I've ever gotten him.

Something you might consider with all the loyalty cards, if you can't use your phone (or phone number, which is my husband's solution, he won't use a card he's required to carry), is a second front pocket or clearance-bin wallet or punch holes in all of them and put them on a binder ring, and that lives in your car or with your reusable shopping bags. But phone number is the way to go there whenever humanly possible. Get a google voice number if you don't want to give your real one.

(This year, I'm going to fix his keys.)
posted by Lyn Never at 7:57 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

nthing Big Skinny. Combine it with one of those stick-on phone wallets if you need to offload.
posted by holgate at 8:48 AM on September 1, 2018

Yeah, if you can slim down enough you can potentially move your wallet to a front pocket. (It doesn't have to specifically be a front pocket wallet.) I am in the habit of doing this because the back pockets of my work pants frequently have giant holes in them or get torn off entirely.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:11 AM on September 1, 2018

Best answer: ylt: "Have I mentioned how much I love my wallet?"
bf: "Yes. Yes you have. Many many times."
ylt: "OK good, because I LOVE THIS WALLET."
posted by yeahlikethat at 9:36 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also consider getting two wallets: Something slim for daily carry (cash, drivers license, work etc ID, most frequently used credit card, insurance), and a bigger one that mostly stays in your bag or car or desk for all the other cards that don't get used on a daily basis.
posted by yeahlikethat at 9:44 AM on September 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have a slimfold micro wallet. Right now it’s holding 9 plastic cards of varying thickness, 3 paper business cards, a trifold 20-stamp sheet of stamps, 2 tiny paper squares of notes, and 6 dollar bills. It’s barely thicker than my phone in a bumper case, and I carry it in my front pocket.
posted by expialidocious at 9:52 AM on September 1, 2018

When my wallet died, I stacked all my cards into a half inch thick brick with a broccoli band binding. I folded paper money twice and tucked it under the band.

The rubber broccoli band absorbs oils from your hands and eventually dies. Now I use a washable fabric covered hair scrunchy, which has a much longer life.

It's a front pocket carry item. Frequently used cards migrate to the outer two surfaces. I've never played 20 card pickup, but I have to shuffle them from time to time to find rarely used ones.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:53 AM on September 1, 2018

I'm on my second Bellroy - the first lasted several years but the card pockets eventually became stretched and the cards would slide out. Totally pleased, will probably buy a 3rd when the time comes.

Yeah, I love the concept of my Bellroy (an older version of the Note Sleeve) but the pockets do stretch out and the leather hasn't really worn well. I don't like anything else better, mind you, so I'll probably just buy another one when the time comes, but it's not a slam dunk.
posted by fedward at 12:04 PM on September 1, 2018

Bellroy does this perfectly.

I wouldn't quite go so far as "perfect," but I have a Bellroy wallet and really like it. For those who care about how things feel, they use a very nice quality of thin leather with a buttery smooth texture. I keep around 6 cards in mine and leave more seldom-used cards (eg, Costco and library cards) in the glovebox, but it has the room to hold more than that if you needed.

When it wears out, I'll probably get another.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:03 PM on September 1, 2018

I’m going to recommend a nice leather card case. It will only hold about six or seven cards and no cash, but you will likely realize that you don’t need more than that. All I have in mine is my debit card, credit card, drivers license, healthcare card, and transit card. I don’t carry cash that often and when I do I can keep it in my front pocket. And you probably don’t need all of those loyalty cards on your person at all times. I switched to this great one from Saddleback Leather six or seven years ago and will use it for the rest of my life.
posted by fso at 5:30 PM on September 1, 2018

Response by poster: Hey all. Thanks for the answers. I have a beast of a schedule right now, and will go though this thread thoroughly later on this evening, or tomorrow.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:49 PM on September 1, 2018

Taxi Wallet for now and for ever.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:36 PM on September 1, 2018

Luckily for you, there are a gazillion slim wallet options these days. I carry the Machine Era Ti5.
posted by Quiscale at 8:11 PM on September 1, 2018

It's pricey, but I love my Decadent Minimalist. It holds every card I need and it's durable. It's the only wallet I've ever been happy with.

I had something similar to the ROCO listed above. The band broke after about a year and I didn't like that it was three pieces. And the plates were too thick.
posted by donpardo at 8:14 PM on September 1, 2018

I’ve been using this Radix One for several years and absolutely love it.
posted by The Deej at 9:00 PM on September 1, 2018

Response by poster: You guys rock. So many cool wallets. I wanted them all.

Halcyonday wins the prize for the biggest mental-lifting job, by interpreting 1/2 dozen, as two dozen; and still valiantly trying to solve the problem of carrying 24 credit cards, like an insane person.

I ordered the wallet that "Yeahlikethat" recommended, just now. It'll arrive at my work on Tuesday, so thanks so much for that.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:08 AM on September 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I freely admit it was a parsing error on my part, and definitely thought "that's like a full inch of credit cards, this person's insane!"
posted by a halcyon day at 1:40 PM on September 3, 2018

Response by poster: Oh, I'm insane, all right. Just not in that way.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:08 PM on September 3, 2018

I've been very happy with my minimalist solution from Elephant Wallet. It has the added bonus that you can purchase from Etsy rather than Amazon if that appeals to you.
posted by Cogito at 12:02 PM on September 9, 2018

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