Slim wallet to hold +/- 16 cards and US cash.
April 6, 2021 8:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm in need of a new wallet. I'm not, realistically, going to be able to carry fewer than about 16 cards and some bills. I'd like something relatively small to put in a front pants pocket. A search for "slim" wallets (or similar) reveals wallets designed for people who carry like fewer than 6 cards, which is not me. What do you recommend?
posted by gauche to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Realistically, you're going to have to use search terms other than "slim". There's no way to make 16 cards slim. That's a shit load of cards. Honestly, even a regular-sized wallet might not even hold that much. You're going to need a specialized card case.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:40 AM on April 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

16 cards?! Have you considered carrying TWO wallets instead? :)

I've owned a dozen different "slim" wallets (I am in process of setting up my review blog) and I honestly can't think of a single one that can hold 16. Supposedly Ridge Wallet is capable of holding 12, but you'd be stretching the elastic quite a bit.

Double-checked... Max is 12. Trayvax's design is similar to the Ridge wallet with also a 12 card limit.

Any higher, and you're looking at a small clutch, not a front-carry wallet.
posted by kschang at 8:41 AM on April 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

One card is 0.76mm thick; 16 cards is ~12mm thick, or about half an inch. That's without any dividers between the cards or room for cash.

SlimFold Wallets may work for you, they have a model that puts the cards in two stacks and holds up to 20.

There are other "thin wallet" companies. Expect to pay a premium.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:47 AM on April 6, 2021

Bellroy is pretty good for this, but I don’t know if they have anything with that high capacity. I’m on my second Note Sleeve, which they describe as holding “4-11+” cards. The advantage of the design is that you put your less frequently accessed cards in one pocket with a pull tab and don’t have leather separating each one. The disadvantage is that you’re not comfortably going to get more than about 12 cards in the thing even if you carefully pack it. I think I currently have eleven regular thickness plastic cards plus a couple slim things like health insurance in mine. I have room for a few days worth of credit card receipts too. More stuff than that would require putting cards in the bill slot.
posted by fedward at 8:50 AM on April 6, 2021

For that many cards + cash + "slim" I would just use a bulldog clip and forget trying to enclose them in something.
posted by niicholas at 8:54 AM on April 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

The Lux Original from Allett is thin and holds 24 cards; it does that by being twice as high as a standard wallet. I have their Sport, which is slim but still carries 10 cards, 5 in each slot. You could then put another few in the bill section, but it would be tough to get 16. (If you only need the information on some cards, such as store loyalty cards or a library card, there are apps for that. Obviously won't work with chipped cards or a driver's license.)
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:01 AM on April 6, 2021 [5 favorites]

Bellroy Card Pocket holds 4-15+ cards, but you need to tri-fold your bills.
posted by kschang at 9:11 AM on April 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend the Mighty Wallet. It's made from Tyvek, which is a much thinner material than faux or real leather.

16 cards is a lot though. The best way to make your wallet pocketable will be to slim that down somehow.
posted by andythebean at 9:13 AM on April 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

I use the Finn wallet by Waterfield designs. I fit 11 cards in there now, but I believe it’s rated for up to 20. Not much by way of organization though. It’s been sturdy for the past 4+ years I’ve had it, and it’s sized and shaped to fit well in a front pocket.
posted by bxvr at 9:20 AM on April 6, 2021

I did the two wallet trick: one for occasional cards and one for more regularly used cards and money. One in each pocket and you're done.

The card-only wallet was a Wally micro, which is about as minimal a wallet as you can have, though since it's doubled leather I'm sure there are fractionally thinner ones. You can also resort to an elastic band or hairband. The other one basically held my licence, notes and three cards, and with that requirement there's more of an assortment available.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 9:21 AM on April 6, 2021

I got my husband the "Aviator" wallet that can hold up to 20 cards and has a money clip for cash. It is super light weight!
posted by ellerhodes at 9:23 AM on April 6, 2021

I have a Bellroy wallet that I really like, but 16 cards would definitely exceed its capacity. However, if they have other models that hold more, I would recommend looking at their offerings -- the leather on this wallet is the nicest of any wallet I've ever owned.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:25 AM on April 6, 2021

I use a rubberband around my cards and cash folded once in the same pocket
posted by AugustWest at 9:42 AM on April 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

The Mighty Wallet suggested by andythebeam is just right for me, except that Tyvek wears out pretty fast. So I got some thin leather, cut it and glued together into the same shape, and it's perfect. Fwiw I used ShoeGoo glue and the wallet has held together for several years, far longer than its several Tyvek predecessors lasted.
posted by anadem at 9:56 AM on April 6, 2021

I carry a lot of cards and Metafilter directed me to the Big Skinny bifold with horizontal pockets, which has worked well for me.
posted by AzraelBrown at 10:03 AM on April 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

A standard cigarette case holds 16 cards (8 each side) and several US dollars folded in half. It's not really what I'd call slim, but it's got a cool factor that might balance it out for you. Hard side metal, you can't sit on it, but it'd be fine in your front pocket.

I've been using cigarette cases as my wallet for most of my adult life. I've gone through I think 3 and I've gotten them all from Kyle Designs. (They also have ones with designs, or you can get it engraved. Neat!)
posted by phunniemee at 10:12 AM on April 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

I was able to slim my wallet down by moving some of the cards I used less often to Google Pay on my phone, which is now available most places. (Even if they don't explicitly say so, it's basically anywhere you can tap a card.) Not sure if that applies to you, but at 16 cards it's something I'd at least think about.
posted by Polycarp at 10:52 AM on April 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

I've been using my poor man's money clip, a large-ish binder clip, to hold about 15 cards and some folding money. For at least five years now. Works great, if pretty low class looking.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:53 AM on April 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

I've been using the Allet original leather wallet for several years. I also carry numerous cards (just counted, and I have 17) and the side-by-side pockets of the Allet give a lower profile than other wallets.
posted by zombiedance at 11:10 AM on April 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Plus one for Allett. Slim wallets that hold a ridiculous amount. I've had leather and non-leather -- the latter is even slimmer, but leather doesn't add too much bulk.
posted by rdn at 11:32 AM on April 6, 2021

Buffway Slim Minimalistic Wallet is $10-$15. It doesn't last forever, but it's slim with a TON of space. It will go as slim as what you put in it. I keep 11 cards in it and some cash very comfortably, and there's room for more. I like that it has the window for and ID, and the easy reach spot for my common-use credit card.
posted by bbqturtle at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2021

I carry the Fidelo Minimalist wallet:

It is essentially two pieces of carbon fiber the same size as a credit card with a sturdy elastic band that goes around it. You can carry some bills if you fold them twice, but I just carry a separate metal money clip for bills like this one:

Both the Fidelo and the money clip with the bills fit comfortably into my front pants pocket.
posted by statusquoante at 12:01 PM on April 6, 2021

I would definitely get the big skinny linked above. It can easily hold 16 cards (I would recommend looking at all these cards, but I digress). I easily pull out my wallet 1,000 times a year and am just replacing it after 3+ years, which beats every other wallet I've owned by 2 years.
posted by sandmanwv at 2:01 PM on April 6, 2021

Why not just a basic myog from tyvek or dcf?
posted by turkeyphant at 5:48 PM on April 6, 2021

Ok. Outside the box suggestion, and one I'm happy to talk about on Metafilter since my friends are tired of hearing me talk about it.

Your post is me a few years ago. I desperately wanted a slim wallet but with a ton of cards. And cash. I looked at tons of high quality wallets (including MeFi recommendations) which cost serious money, bought a few and returned them. And then, in the depths of despair, I found this on ebay.

It's not leather but it feels surprisingly good on the outside and very nice on the inside. It comes in multiple colours on the inside lining. And it's dirt cheap. I bought them for $6 US, and it looks like they raised the price to $8. Do a Google Reverse Image Search and you may be able to save a couple bucks, but this seller linked is legit. And yes, I meant to say 'them', not 'one'.

The first time I bought one, it lasted around 3 years of daily use. I bought 4 more, and I'm currently still on the first of those four. I decided this was my new forever wallet and I wanted to buy extra. Then it disappeared off ebay and I was despondent. Time passed, and it came back, so I bought 20 more. I figure using rough math that they'll make it through the rest of my life, and I'll have enough to give my kids when it is time for their first wallet.

I'm currently holding 3 credit cards, 3 IDs, 10 other random cards, and a couple business cards, plus (canadian) cash. I discarded the money clip, and I put my cash under the little flap. My technique requires you to fold the cash around 2/3rds up the bill - it looks a bit odd, but you get used to it very fast.

As you can tell, I can't recommend this enough. Buy one - it's a small investment - and it'll be the best $8 you've ever spent. And then please MeMail me and tell me how much you love it, so I will have an excuse to talk about it again.
posted by evadery at 7:28 PM on April 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

I've been using a TGT wallet for something like 10 years. It's very high quality and after daily use of pulling cards in/out I can't really see any wear. It's made it through the washing machine a handful of times too.

Granted, I don't carry this many cards at a time. I think it'll probably accommodate your number though you'll definitely be stretching the elastic a bit. You can carry a few bills in the small envelope, but it's not going to work well if you regularly carry a good amount of cash. Not sure if it'll work for you, but I've been very happy with mine and will get another if mine ever breaks.
posted by owls at 8:14 PM on April 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm a fan of Big Skinny wallets; mine is this one. I haven't needed to put 16 cards in it, but it definitely has the capacity for it, so long as you are okay with some of them being slightly harder to get at (they'll be in the two large inner pockets all together instead of in individual pockets). It still has easy access individual pockets for 5 cards, which works well enough for me.
posted by Aleyn at 10:47 PM on April 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

« Older Help Me Get Unstuck in the Job Hunt   |   What are some of the lowest ABV cocktails one can... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.