Today I’m going to help you find the best tactical wallet for you. I’ve been carrying around a tactical wallet for years and will never go back to a traditional billfold.
But the number of new models hitting the market today is overwhelming.
So I spend hours researching all the current tactical wallets on the market and weeded out the great from the mediocre.
Here are all the topics I’ll be covering in today’s tactical wallet buyers guide:
- Evolution From Billfold To Tactical Wallets
- What Is A Tactical Wallet Anyway?
- How To Slim Down Your Wallet
- Best Men’s Tactical Wallet Features
- 9 Best Tactical Wallets On The Market Today
Evolution From Billfold To Tactical Wallets
Everyday Carry items, are a list of things that you can find in your pockets any day of the week.
- Going to the office
- A quick trip to the grocery store
- Heading out on vacation
EDC items are the items we won’t leave the house without. And for many, this list starts with a wallet.
Your wallet contains many of the most critical pieces of information in your life.
Sure, it’s quickly giving way to our smartphones. But I’d challenge you to get through a week without relying on at least one item from your wallet.
Drivers license, insurance information, credit and debit cards, even cash.
My gym doesn’t have a smartphone app – so I’ve got a card to scan for the door there as well!
So, is it any wonder that wallets have been an EDC mainstay for well over 100 years?
In this time, they’ve gone from thick billfolds to slim money clips and back again.
We all remember the Seinfeld episode about George’s enormous wallet. One with every card, receipt, and a scrap of paper turning it into a lump several inches thick. Making it hard for him to sit properly.
As the world digitizes, many are choosing to slim down their wallets. And carry only the most important items.
Leading the charge are a new class of Men’s Tactical Wallets!
What Is A Tactical Wallet Anyway?
So let’s talk about what sets a tactical wallet apart from other billfolds. It starts with the idea of only carrying the mission-critical items.
No extra business cards or punch cards from the coffee shop that closed last year. No store loyalty cards or stacks of receipts you’ll never need.
By only carrying the absolute necessities, you can get rid of the bulging wallet. Instead, swapping for a trim, organized version that doesn’t take up as much space.
A men’s tactical wallet that doesn’t take forever to sort through, and won’t weigh you down.
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How To Slim Down Your Tactical Minimalist Wallet
The first step is to empty your wallet and assess everything inside and put them into 3 piles.
Things that you use on a daily basis (cash, primary credit card, keycards) go in one pile.
Things you might only need occasionally but are critical, go in another pile.
Such as your Drivers License, Insurance Cards, Backup Credit Cards, etc.
Finally, things you only need a couple of times a year and aren’t a gamechanger if you don’t carry, go in a third.
The rest (receipts, business cards, store loyalty cards, etc.) can be set aside. You can either store it at home, in the glove box, or put it in the trash.
Can You Digitize?
Now, go through your piles one at a time. Can you find digital versions of any of the items?
My state allows me to display my vehicle insurance on a cell phone. So I can remove the vehicle insurance from the pile.
Same for my health insurance and medical information.
But I choose to keep that card in case of an accident where I’m unable to open the digital version.
All my store loyalty cards also accept my phone number for access. So those were all relegated to the desk drawer at home.
You may be able to store some information as digital picture and keep on your phone as well. This is especially if you only use it infrequently.
Each item you can replace with a digital version reduces the bulk of your wallet. It makes for a lighter EDC load, but it’s up to you which things you can part with.
No matter what I remove, there’s a photo of my wife and our first dog that, despite having the digital version on my phone, I can’t bring myself to remove from my wallet after all these years.
Best Tactical Wallet Features
Like all pieces of EDC gear, it pays to look for a high-quality tactical wallet with the features you need.
Remember, this is one of those places where a few extra features turn an item from a single-use to a multitool. But only if it holds up to daily use!
If you’ve been carrying a full trifold wallet with photo slots for years, it’ll be a big change to move to a cardholder-style tactical wallet.
There are several types of men’s tactical wallets.
Some do better at holding a minimal load while others easily manage cash and other bulky paper items.
Think about what you need to carry and pick a wallet that can accommodate that.
As I mentioned, a tactical wallet is a simple place to add a few features you don’t normally associate with a wallet.
- Extra paracord?
- A range of wrench sizes?
- An emergency saw blade?
- RFID blocking panels?
These are all features of wallets we’ll discuss later in the article.
If you’ve got a particular set of tools that you’d like to carry as part of your EDC, maybe this is the place to add them.
Since the wallet is an EDC item, you need to consider comfort, especially if you carry it in your back pocket!
A wallet with hard edges and sharp corners might dig into your pockets (or your backside).
Over time, this can cause some real damage or discomfort.
Look for smooth designs that slip easily into your pocket and don’t get hung up.
Materials & Construction
Since your wallet will see tons of use, it’s worth looking for one made with top quality, durable materials and featuring clean, well-executed construction.
A wallet that’s slowly coming apart at the seams isn’t secure enough to hold the vital items you carry every day.
Of course, price is a motivating factor in any purchase.
There is a wide range of price points in the tactical wallet market and you can find one that fits your budget.
It wouldn’t be wise to spend all your money on a tactical wallet only to have none to store inside it!
9 Best Tactical Wallets On The Market Today
1. Gerber GDC Money Clip
If you’re embracing the tactical minimalist wallet, a tactical money clip is the smallest package you can find.
Gerber’s Money Clip features:
- A strong steel clip sized to hold 4 credit cards and about 4 folded bills (you can likely get a few more, but it’ll be tight).
- And a textured composite front plate for grip.
However, secreted in a locking sheath within the front plate is a 1.75” fixed blade knife.
It’s easy to deploy due to its ring grip. And the knife is a great backup blade without adding another separate item to your pockets!
- Very minimalist design
- Hidden blade
- Solid, secure hold for ~4 cards and cash
- The knife grip is small, so not suitable for primary use
- Expensive for a money clip
2. Dango T01 Tactical Wallet
With a solid CNC aluminum frame and top grain leather, the Dango T01 is a stylish take on a tactical wallet. And it’s capable of carrying up to 12 cards and folded cash.
But don’t let the fashionable cover fool you. The T01 has lots of technical features hidden below the surface, including:
- RFID blocking
- saw blade
- knife blade
- paracord tensioner
- 10/15mm hex keys
- smartphone stand
- nail puller
- and ruler
And the multitool card is removable to make the Dango T01 safe for TSA security checkpoints.
It truly is an upgrade to a tactical minimalist wallet!
- True multitool – in removable card form
- Solid build and materials
- RFID blocking
- A little bulky for some tastes
3. QUIQLITE TAQ Tactical Minimalist Wallet
- Integrated LED flashlight
- Secure snap closure
- Integrated toolset
4. Extremus Tactical Wallet, Carbon Fiber Wallet
- Minimalist design
- Holds up to 15 cards, plus cash
- Very lightweight thanks to carbon fiber
- Hard to remove a single card
5. ENIGMA Dapper Tactical Wallets Leather Bifold
- Lightweight design
- Expandable pocket for up to 12 cards
- RFID blocking
- A little bulky
6. Maxpedition Spartan Wallet
If you’re looking for a tactical minimalist wallet that still sports the individual card slots and bill compartment of a traditional wallet, the Maxpedition Spartan is a good option.
It features a huge array of pockets for such a small wallet. And it has at least 6 card slots and several other compartments.
It’s also a larger shape than other men’s tactical wallets. This may make it easier to find in a pocket or use if you’re wearing gloves.
I’m not a huge fan of velcro closure wallets. But they ARE more secure. And the outside-facing ID sleeve allows you to show your driver’s license without opening it.
- Lots of pockets make an easy transition from traditional billfold
- Large size can be used with gloves
- ID sleeve on the outside
- Might be difficult to fit in small pockets
- Thicker than other tactical wallets
- Some have reported colors, not as advertised
7. Spec. Ops T.H.E. Wallet
Spec Ops has come up with a unique take on the tactical wallet with their T.H.E (“Tactical Holds Everything”) wallet.
It features a multi-fold design that rolls up when stowed.
It’s large enough to carry a passport. But still feels more compact than other equivalents (in the travel wallet lineup).
You can even thread it with paracord for a neck carry but is also made for both pocket and belt carry.
It’s well built and carries a lifetime warranty, so you know it’s built to last!
- Can carry three ways (pocket, neck, belt)
- Very durable construction
- Two ID sleeves
- Quiet “SharkBite” closure system
- Large for a pocket carry
8. Trayvax Original 2.0
The Trayvax Original 2.0 is an interesting design. It laces together two plates (one aluminum, one stainless steel), with mil-spec paracord and sandwiching up to 15 cards inside.
A quick flip of the secure clasp and the paracord loosens, allowing you to slip out the cards you need.
On the back, a strong stainless steel money clip holds up to 20 bills, which is HUGE capacity for a tactical wallet.
The aluminum and steel construction means the Original will block RFID chip skimming technology. Thus, keeping your digital cards more secure than ever.
They weren’t kidding around with their initial offering.
It even has finger grips along one edge, a subtle reminder that it’s hefty enough to add some weight to a punch if needed.
- Huge capacity
- Great materials
- Paracord can be replaced if it wears
- Tactical minimalist wallet
- The card access mechanism is slow when the cord is new and stiff
- Can get bulky if filled to capacity
9. Pelican Sport Wallet
Pelican has branched out from secure cases to include cell phone cases and wallets.
They have a long experience making excellent waterproof, shockproof, dustproof cases for electronics and firearms.
I have several of both.
Pelican’s waterproof wallet is a compact clamshell design. And it comes with a hard case featuring internal pockets for cards, cash, ID, keys, and other small items.
Like most Pelican cases, it floats and is completely leakproof.
Due to the rigid design, it has a fixed volume. This means it’s hard to stuff a couple of extra things inside. AND it’s always a little bulky in your pocket compared to other wallets of the same capacity.
But it’s some of the best protection from the elements you can find in a wallet!
- Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, crushproof
- Bulky in pocket
One of the most commonly used pieces of your EDC kit, a wallet is a key piece of equipment for nearly every situation.
If you take the time to strip down your wallet to the essentials, you’ll end up with a far more organized, easier to use, smaller, and lighter bit of gear in your pocket.
A tactical wallet can even supply you with some much-needed survival equipment.
These prove it’s not just a fashionable way to carry your cash around!
first appeared first on Skilled Survival.