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Top 5 Wallets for Men
For guys, the need to carry currency around has been an ongoing necessity for hundreds of years.
I remember walking about in one of the Mozart Museums in Austria a few years back and seeing the Composer’s own personal wallet encased in glass.
Aside from contemplating the irony that an Artist who spent much of his adult life broke still found it necessary to carry a wallet, this piece of history also brought to mind how long the man’s wallet has been a part of human life.
And yet it is amazing how little the design has changed over the last hundred years especially!
Now mind you, Mozart’s wallet really looked more like purse so in some respects I suppose we have made progress.
However, whether we’re talking bi-fold, tri-fold, or even different materials, essentially the male wallet is a square. And it tends to get filled up beyond capacity to the point where if worn for long periods of time proves downright uncomfortable.
It’s not as if there is no sufficient supply. Supply is plentiful but aside from material options, the formats are more or less the same for the traditional male wallet, which is unfortunate.
We live with these items on a day to day basis. They should be designed to force us to keep only what we need on hand (vs. everything we may ever need). They should also be shaped to slip into our front or back pockets easily all the while storing the basic necessities in as compact a fashion as possible.
What astounds me is how few wallets today actually do this well.
As such, I researched the market and surveyed a number of the available male wallet products on offer and put together a list of what I consider to be the Top 5 Wallets for Men.
The key criteria applied...
All the products assessed had to meet the following criteria in order to be considered in the Top 5:
- The cost should not exceed $50. If you are paying more than this for a simple wallet design you are either incredibly rich or incredibly irresponsible with the money that you put in it (or both). Next!
- Unique and inspiring design. The thing should be aesthetically pleasing to look at but should also be slim and well thought out.
- Utility. The design has to bring forward an inspired approach to an old problem. How do I carry my cash and cards without wearing a hole in my jeans?
- Comfort. We have enough problems to deal with in our day to day lives. We don’t need to actually pay for a product that is going to be a pain in the a - -.
The Original Taxi Wallet
The Taxi Wallet has been around for a number of years and since that time we have seen a good deal of other competitors copying the design (which I suppose is a sign of flattery). This wallet tips the scales at the higher end of our budget (and our attempts to be frugal). The product measures a slim 3.5"W x 4"H x .5"D and offers two currency pockets along with an interior security pocket to hold a drivers license and credit cards. Like it or not pennies, nickels and dimes are still part of our lives and the Taxi Wallet assists by delivering a gusseted snap pouch. The design is clean and easy to manage in front or rear pant pockets. We’d like to see the cost come down however!
The Rogue Wallet
Offered by Orvis, this wallet measures a slim 1/4 inches in thickness and unlike the Taxi, offers a special curved shape intended mainly to fit in a guy’s front pant pocket. Now there are pros and cons to this. The design does potentially limit storage capacity depending on your personal needs so some consumers might prefer a little more room with the added flexibility of storing the wallet either in front or back. On the other hand if this fits your style you are relieving yourself of the potential back pain that comes with storing a wallet in your back pocket over extended periods of time. There is also the issue of security. If you live or work in an area with high pedestrian crime you may wish to get used to the idea of keeping your wallet in your front pant pocket on a permanent basis! The Rogue comes in olive/brown and measures 5": x 3" W when folded.
The Razor Wallet
While not sharing the unique custom shape-to-fit design of the Rogue, the Razor Wallet is also designed to be razor thin while fitting comfortably in a front pant pocket. The wallet is offered in sleek fine Italian leather exterior and there is a innovative cash clamp that allows for quick and easy access to your bills. From a design perspective the Razor goes a step further by providing you with an easy ID viewing slot and 3 pockets for cards. They go even further with the personal touch by offering engraving options. Colors come in black and cognac brown at 4.25"L x 2.75"W x .25"D in overall size
There are two notable designs for men offered by WalletBe. One is the Original Front Pocket Wallet and the other the Outer ID Wallet (same design but with the outer ID option included). The Company prides itself on their offering of "high quality yet inexpensive men’s wallets that are functional as well as fashionable". Based on the two designs surveyed here it appears they meet the criteria! Both wallets include a unique fold design for easy access as well as straps enabling quick grabs for cash. The Original Front Pocket is their most popular holding up to 10 credit cards (that protect magnetic strips) and an easy-access inner I.D. sleeve. An inner elastic pouch holds receipts, business cards, etc., with a handy elastic band to hold cash in place. Also, The Men's Original Front Pocket Wallet contains no metal so this ultra thin handmade wallet can remain in your pocket as you pass through airport metal detectors. It is made of durable glove-tanned leather and measures at 4" x 2-5/8"
Vans Core Basics Wallet
The Vans brand has been around for decades. We know them primarily for their footwear however even as a teenager I remember the beauty of their basic cotton wallet design. Since that time they have expanded on their offering with some very edgy graphics and formats. However for those of us looking for a simple, straightforward design that works well, is comfortable and affordable, look no further than the Core Basics Wallet. The Core Basics line offers simple solid colors with durable construction. On the inside is provided more card slots and storage compartments than most of us really ever need. Unlike the other wallet options that made my Top 5 these are made of quality 100% cotton canvas (which means you can actually wash these!). Color offerings are red, black and blue
Now I’m sure there will be more than one of you who might take issue with this list. I would just say look at the criteria used. If you want something made of ultra high end materials or a product that fits every thing you could possibly carry with you, this is not your list.
However, if you’re tired of overpaying for a wallet that feels like a rock in your pocket. If you’re sick of shoveling around endlessly through one too many compartments, filing past an array of endless business cards, receipts, stamps, etc. just to get to the basics. Do yourself a favor.
Simplify your life!
Scale back and throw the rest of those extraneous business cards and receipts in a drawer at home. Consider one of the wallets on offer in this list and you’ll be amazed at how the day to day just got that much more bearable!
About the Author
Ramin Streets is Owner & President of Monk Pak Designs, a personal accessory label which designs and produces custom packs including the Monk Pak Arm Wallet, the Eye Pak (for eyewear) and the Pup Pak (for dog walking).