Who makes the world’s best wallet?

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/13/who-makes-the-worlds-best-w.html

My vote goes to Umbra’s Bungee Wallet – choice of colors, window or solid metal. Holds a huge load of plastic without putting a permanent dent in your butt. The colors are handy if you have more than one (secondary for things like membership cards or whatever) and the window if you want a picture for any reason. Metal is a pretty good shield if you’re worried about drive-by snooping of your ID.

And they’re cheap – like $10, plus or minus. Umbra lists them as stocking stuffers, and I can’t disagree. I handed a bunch out to one son’s college buddies when he graduated for the support they’d given him that day (keeping his crazy mother from ruining the occasion. No greater love hath college friends …)

I mean, those are nice and all, but I want a billfold (I need to keep receipts, and I go to a lot of cash-only joints).


And where do the coins go? I’d love to find a simple billfold-style wallet with a decent size coin purse.


Wallets, like music and cars are a very personal choice. There is no universal best of any of these. We can’t even agree that carrying a wallet in a butt pocket is an abomination.


I love my Braithwaite Orpheus wallet (found via boingboing!), but it looks like the company doesn’t exist anymore.

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I use the Crabby Wallet (mine is elastic, but they also have ones in leather and canvas). It’s a minimalist wallet, but I’m able to carry about 6-7 cards easily plus some tri-folded bills and receipts in the little pocket on the side.

I have a separate dollar-store plastic coin purse like this one (ugly, but everyone who sees it asks where they can get one).

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Some day…

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I swapped to a multi sleeve money clip style from Fossil about 15 years ago and I’ve stuck with one version or another since. My current one:

The only issue I have with the final two he ended on is what happens when those mechanisms/elastic band break? Even if the stitching comes apart on my current Fossil one, I can re-stitch it. Additionally, the key holder wallet isn’t as adaptive given many vehicles are switching to fobs or spring loaded keys now a days.

I assume that it comes with $100 inside?


This article should be titled “Who makes the world’s best wallet for people who never drive, never use cash, and never have a medical emergency”.

In my wallet I carry:
Driving - license, registration, insurance card, auto club card, insurance card for my wife’s car
Medical - med insurance card, pharmacy insurance card, emergency notification and allergies/illnesses card
Shopping - one general credit card, two gas credit cards
Library card
15-20 bills in the billfold
Receipts I need to keep in the billfold until I get home

So that makes twelve cards plus paperwork, don’t think these cute minimalist wallets have a chance. Not to mention the hassle of “ejecting” all my cards to get at the one I need, and the fact that my one photo ID is not visible without removing it.

IMO the world’s best wallet is the Red Oxx Rigger -

Three separate card stashes plus a huge billfold, and a zipper pocket for coins and spare keys. With all that on board it measures 28mm thick, and that works for me just fine.

The Rigger wallet will easily carry six quarters, two dimes, four nickels and eight pennies in its zipper pocket. That’ll make exact change to any amount, twice.

But what I do is keep one of these in the armrest of my car, about half full:

Every time I know I’m going to be buying something with cash I grab 3x25c, 1x10c, 2x5c, 4x1c, and I never wind up carrying home extra change at the end of the day. It’s been at least three years since I’ve had to lug a bag of change to the bank.


I picked up a leather Delvey wallet at Harrod’s on my honeymoon in London. I eventually switched to the carbon fibre version since I usually bike everywhere. This thing is indestructible. With two pockets, you keep your cards to a minimum and the money clip is easy access for your cash.


Keeps a decent amount of change (which I avoid), carries a couple of credit cards, though I carry only two and business cards. Has a coin-subsiture in 1 € size for shopping cards. Can hold a 50 € note.

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  1. The majority of people keep those things in their car (save the driver’s license), I am not sure the reasoning to carry your registration around with you. Insurance cards are also available digitally through most carriers for users of smart phones.
  2. Medical and insurance cards are also available digitally, however it is certainly feasible to have a single card with pertinent medical information if needed.
  3. Why would you need two gas cards? I am not really sure I get that…I don;t even have 1 gas card any longer having switched to a credit card that gives me far more bonuses on gas purchases.
  4. Why carry a library card around? Again, leave this in the car, or at home and grab it when you need it. I don;t think most people stop at the library on a whim.
  5. Cash can easily be folded and put into a pocket. 15-20 different bills is a lot of cash to carry around, especially in the age of smart phones where many purchases can be made with apps and plastic is readily accepted almost everywhere.
  6. Many places offer to email receipts, I actually prefer to shop at stores that do this, as I am not fond of thermographic paper and the concerns on it being carcinogenic.

I linked my current small form wallet above. one one side I carry my driver’s licence, medical card, prescription card, and grocery store reward card. Other side I carry 6 other cards (HSA card, 2 bank debit cards, 1 daily use credit card, and 1 emergency credit card), Any time I have cash, there is a money clip for small amounts.

If this is your current life, there are better options to set you free…

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That rules me out then! Still using my 2008 vintage flip phone.

Of course, I do save some space by not carrying debit cards as I prefer the better fraud and loss protection on my credit card.

You may be right about using the credit card for gas though. Been carrying the gas cards for years, force of habit.

(Edit) I’m not sure I would leave my registration and auto insurance cards in the car. Why give a car thief my home address??

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I have a soft leather wallet much like this, with press-snaps, not as bulky, except the edges are bound in a simple leather-crafty way.

The visible outermost pocket is for coins, folded notes and has a divider to keep the few frequent-use cards (tram, bank, student, coffeeshop). The inner pocket for other useful things, medical card, library, other library, some other membership, a bandaid, hairtie. What more could you need?

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This is probably depending on the country, too, but here we go.
I live in Germany, which is still cash crazy. There are many, many premises that are cash only, including cafés, restaurants, kiosks, corner stores, etc. Nonetheless, I managed to slim down.

  • Driving license: It’s in the car. We only have one. Should I ever have to drive without having my license on me in an emergency, I will simply do that. The fee for that is 10 €.

  • Med insurance. Here I “cheat”. Since I need to get a prescription every quarter, I do that on the first day or so. For the rare cases I visit another doctor, I get a reservation anyway and have time to pack the card. Emergencies? Fuck this, I’m in Germany, no hospital will turn me away. No allergies. No other cards needed.

  • One debit card, one credit card

  • Library card? Don’t currently own one, but it would be in the key cabinet.

  • ID card. Germans are required to own a valid one or a valid passport, but we don’t have to carry it. Many still do. I don’t. But I’m also old enough to make carding superfluous. I know my ID number, though, in case police ever has to check me out.

  • Gas card: Again, in the car. It’s PIN protected an works only on three stations anyway.

So all I carry are two cards, a few bank notes, some coins, which I sepdn as fast as I can, a fresnel loupe, and two, three calling cards.


I’m a fan of minimal wallets. I’ll be keeping mine for a looong time, though I have a larger wallet for international travel.

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Because one is linked to a certain brand or company card, only to be used for gas. And the other is the one that gives points for purchases.