Forgo the bulk and up your EDC game with the best minimalist wallets available.
Here’s a hard truth: we don’t see baggy jeans coming back any time soon. And these fitted pants we’re wearing now just don’t have room for the bulky wallets that we grew up with. Slim and sleek, minimalist wallets are a great solution to this issue.
A slim wallet forces you to decide what you really need and leave the unnecessary at home. Minimalist wallets pare things down to the basic necessities. Most can hold three to five credit cards, your ID, and some cash.
Despite this simplicity, companies have found ways to make their slim wallets stand above the crowd. Features like tough materials, stylish design, and RFID blocking helped us in our search for the following standouts.
The list below represents our favorites in terms of features, style, and durability. We’ll keep updating it as we continue to test our products. And if you have a favorite that we didn’t include, let us know in the comments.
Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys, or jump to the category that you’re looking for:
- Best Overall
- Best Leather Minimalist Wallet
- Best Budget
- Best Storage
- Best Metal Slim Wallet
- Best of the Rest
The Best Minimalist Wallets of 2021
Best Overall: Ridge Wallet
For everything you need and nothing you don’t, the Ridge Wallet ($75) is the perfect choice. Anodized plates form the body and hold the device together. This basically makes the whole setup drop-proof.
It holds up to five cards and sports an expandible tray for easy access. RFID blocking keeps your accounts safe, and a burly money clip keeps your cash organized.
We love this wallet for its sleek design and ease of use. It’s clean, practical, and practically bomb-proof. It’s one of the pricier items on this list, but you definitely get what you pay for.
The only real ding we’ve found is that keys can scratch the metal surface if you keep them in the same pocket. If you’re not into the well-used look, keep your keys and wallet separate.
- Material: Anodized aluminum
- Room for five cards
- Effective RFID blocking
- Keeping your keys in the same pocket will scratch the surface
Best Leather Minimalist Wallet: Tanner Goods Journeyman Wallet
While it’s on the pricier end, the Journeyman Wallet ($75) from Tanner Goods is a master class in quality. It’s made from vegetable-tanned Meridian English bridle leather, a leather known for its distinct patina.
Over time, the leather’s color changes as the wallet breaks in. What you’re left with is a wallet that not only stands up to the test of time but also looks better as it ages.
One of our staff bought a Journeyman wallet six years ago. Over that time, the exterior color deepened to a rich, deep brown while the interior kept the original tan color. It has the look and feel of a well-broken-in baseball mitt.
The durability has held up as well. The wallet is still firm with zero fraying on any of the seams. Some scratching has developed over the years, but the stitching is still as bright as it was on the day of purchase. The only issue that we’ve found is that the center pocket for cash is a bit tight.
- Material: Leather
- Evolving look
- Hard to access bills in center pocket
Best Budget: Buffway Slim Wallet
Buffway’s Slim wallet ($12) comes in a variety of styles. The leather outer sports a variety of textures including suede, cross-patterned, and carbon fiber-style texturing. The cards are easily accessible, thanks to the finger hole. This lets you push your card up from the bottom rather than pulling it up from the top.
You can carry seven cards plus an ID card, and any cash you have can fold into the main body. The RFID blocking keeps your accounts from getting hacked, and the profile is slim and flat.
As a bonus, Buffway offers a no-questions-asked warranty for the first year. This is great if you stretch out the cardholders or if you habitually lose your wallet.
- Material: Leather
- Room for eight cards
- Effective RFID blocking
- Overstuffing card slots can stretch them out
- Allows cards to fall out when they’re not crammed in
Best Storage: RUNBOX Slim Wallet
A touch thicker than some wallets on this list, the RUNBOX Slim Wallet ($29) is a great choice for people who don’t want to give up the bifold feel.
This wallet can hold up to 10 cards and up to 20 bills. This is due to the metal ring on the interior, which holds the cash between the wallet halves. This feature also makes cash much easier to access than non-folding wallets. You can also carry receipts and notes in the ring.
If you’re looking for a minimalist wallet that you can use more like a regular wallet, this is the one. It’s also a great transitional wallet for people who want to lose bulk but still want to carry as much as possible.
- Material: Leather
- Stores 10 cards
- RFID blocking
- Space for 20 bills
- Easy access to cash
- Bigger than most slim wallets
Best Metal Slim Wallet: BLOMUS Stainless Steel Business Card Holder
Just about as simple as it comes, the BLOMUS Slim Wallet ($20) looks similar to a Zippo lighter. Designed for use as a business card holder, it also works great as a wallet.
The snap-shut lid prevents your cards from sliding out. The metal exterior is solid and sturdy, so dropping it won’t be an issue at all. We love this wallet for its sleek and simple design, as well as its ability to hold seven to eight cards at once.
There’s no separation inside the case, so you’ll have to take the cards out and rifle a bit to find the one you’re looking for. And if you tend to carry cash, you’re going to sacrifice some card space.
- Material: Stainless steel
- Simple look
- Full closure
- Attracts a lot of fingerprints
- Hinge loosens over time
Best of the Rest
One of our favorite slim wallets in terms of style, the Bellroy Micro Sleeve Wallet ($65) is a great showcase of simplicity in engineering.
This leather wallet can hold four cards (six with a little effort), It has a slot for folded bills in the middle section, which opens with a pinch on either side. This feature allows you to access the bills easily, even when the wallet’s exterior is packed with cards.
It’s a small detail, but much appreciated. Center storage for bills can make them difficult to retrieve, and this simple tweak solves that issue.
The price is steeper than many you’ll see on this list, but the premium hide leather will last a lifetime. Plus, the vegetable dye gives it a vintage look over time. After a few years of use, this bad boy can look like a family heirloom.
- Material: Leather
- Easy access to bills
- No RFID blocking
Fossil has an eye for great design, and its Magnetic Card Case Wallet ($34) is a great example of this eye. This slim wallet can hold three cards on one side and a magnetic money clip on the other side. The leather comes in four styles (polished or unpolished black or brown), and it blocks RFID signals.
The two slots can hold two cards plus an ID, maybe three cards if you cram them in there. However, that brings up the danger of stretching the card slots out. If the card slots stretch out, your cards may slide out if the slots aren’t fully loaded.
The magnetic clip can hold around 10 bills, but the magnets won’t hold if you carry much more than that. It’s a great choice if you only carry a few cards. If you’re looking to carry more, read on.
- Material: Leather
- Very slim
- Magnetic money clip
- Minimal card slots
When it comes to style, it’s hard to beat Pendleton’s Slim Wallet ($32). The leather body features Pendleton’s signature wool on the exterior. This not only gives it a soft feel but also gives the wallet a unique look.
The wallet itself is simple, with four credit card slots for card and cash storage and no RFID blocking. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another wallet that will put out Big Lebowski sweater vibes like this will. It’ll really tie your EDC together.
- Material: Wool and leather
- Soft wool face
- No RFID blocking
For a bit of style on a budget, the Charlie RFID ($21) case from Herschel is a solid choice. The polyester wallet comes in a variety of colors (we’re partial to Night Camo).
It has four card slots and bill storage in the interior. It’s a bit tight — the cards and bills can be difficult to retrieve, especially before you wear it in a bit. But the RFID blocking is a huge plus in our book. Also, the four card slots can hold six to eight cards, which is great if you want to keep your punch cards handy for that free sandwich.
The polyester can start to fray over time, but at this price, you can always snag a new one.
- Material: Polyester
- RFID blocking
- Hard to access cards and bills
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Minimalistic Wallet
Analyze How Much You Can Carry
Every wallet will be different. Some have more card slots, some have more space for cash, and some will have clips. The key here is to find out what you absolutely need to carry with you.
The first thing most people need is a driver’s license. After that, a debit card and a credit card are both good ideas. After that, some cash might be handy, so bring along a few 20s just to be safe. Because most slim men’s wallets have at least four card slots, that leaves you one free.
Some of our testers tend to use this card as an interchangeable slot. If you’re going to Costco, bring your membership card. Target, your Target credit card. Use that utility pocket however you like. This should keep you ready for any contingency.
Part of figuring out what you need is deciding what you don’t need. Yes, you’ll have to go all Marie Kondo here. Be ruthless with what you choose to discard. You will likely always need the big three: a driver’s license or ID, a credit card, and a debit card.
If you carry cash, you’ll need room for a few bills. For most people, three card slots are plenty and leave room for the occasional key card for people who have to pass security clearances. Everything else you keep in a big, bulky wallet is nonessential.
Pictures? They’re all in your phone. Receipts? Leave them at home until you actually need them. Those punch cards that’ll get you a free burrito after your eighth purchase? Stash them in your center console. Business cards? They’ll be safer in a business card case.
That should take care of all the unnecessary things you keep in your wallet. The remainder should fit just fine in a slim wallet.
If you absolutely need to have more than four to six cards in your wallet, you can opt for a bifold mini wallet like the RUNBOX Slim Wallet. These give you more storage in a package that is still compact.
Leather vs. Metal
Both leather and metal have different perks. Leather feels better in hand and doesn’t have any corners that can wear away at your pants over time. Metal is tops in terms of durability as long as the wallet is built well.
A lot of this comes down to style preference. People who prefer a modern, sleek look will likely gravitate more towards the look of the Ridge Wallet or the BLOMUS card case. These cases are generally bombproof, too.
One issue with metal wallets is that they can bend or scratch easily. If you want that sleek look to last, you’re going to have to take care of it. That means keeping it away from keys or other objects that might scratch it.
On the other hand, a well-made wallet crafted from high-quality leather is ideal for people who want a more classic look. With the right leather and construction, leather wallets can last for decades.
Leather wallets are also dynamic in their appearance and feel. The material grows softer and more supple over time, and any scratches or wear marks give the wallet more character.
If you’re considering a leather wallet, try to find one with a good vegetable dye and opt for a lighter color. The leather will darken over time as it is exposed to elements and the oils on your skin. The result is an antique-looking patina that constantly changes and develops over time.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. If your card is equipped with RFID, you can use it to tap or wave your card near a reader to make a purchase. This allows you to make transactions in seconds.
An RFID card never has to leave your hand, so there’s no chance of you forgetting your card in the reader. If you’re not sure whether or not your card is RFID-enabled, look for a symbol that resembles a Wi-Fi symbol turned on its side.
This convenience also makes it possible for a thief to find a way to skim your card with a portable scanner. Many factors make this difficult for potential thieves. These include the necessary closeness and barriers between the card and the reader like a wallet with cash and other cards inside.
While the odds of your cards getting skimmed is unlikely, many wallets offer RFID blocking to completely eliminate any chances of this happening. This is mostly achieved by using materials that block or damp the signal put out from RFID-equipped cards.
When your card is in the wallet, the material blocks the signal. When you take it out to use it, the signal is unfettered.
You can find leather minimalist wallets ranging from $15 to $75. The key difference here is going to be in the build of the wallet and the quality of the leather.
The $15 wallet will likely use a lower-grade leather that will degrade over time. A good $75 wallet will use a higher-end leather that will soften, but not weaken, over time. A well-made leather wallet will not only last longer than a poorly made one with inferior leather, but it will also look better as it ages.
The same is true for other styles. Generally, you pay more for better build quality. That said, there are plenty of cheaper options out there.
In addition to quality, another factor in cost is additional features. A higher-end wallet like the anodized aluminum Ridge Wallet boasts a money clip, RFID blocking, and an expandable tray for easy card access.
The plus side with less expensive wallets is that if you lose or damage it, you can replace it without taking a big hit to your bank account. If you’re just looking for a wallet and don’t want to spend much, a $20 wallet will work. Just don’t expect to get more than a few years of use out of it.
Another reason to get a wallet on the cheaper end is to see if you even like slim wallets. There’s no sense if spending 60 bucks on a slim wallet if there’s a chance it’ll be too small for you. If you’re just trying out your first minimalist wallet, get an inexpensive one as a test run.
Are Minimalist Wallets Good?
If less bulk in your pockets is a priority, minimalist wallets are excellent. They’ll fit in any pocket without unsightly bulges, and they force you to carry only what is absolutely necessary. The fact that they are small in size doesn’t mean they are small in features, either.
Depending on the variety, these wallets can carry eight to 10 cards and a good amount of cash. Plus, they can offer RFID-blocking materials. They come in a wide range of materials and designs, with styles available to suit just about every taste. If you’re looking to pare down your everyday carry setup, a minimalist wallet is a necessity.
Do RFID Wallets Ruin Credit Cards?
RFID wallets do not ruin credit cards. RFID wallets are made with materials that block the RFID signal from credit and debit cards. The card still puts out the signal, but the wallet’s materials prevent the signal from leaving your pocket. This makes it more difficult to skim the card’s information when it is inside the wallet.
Because the wallet’s RFID-blocking technology doesn’t actually affect the card’s ability to put out an RFID signal, it has no impact on the card at all. If you take the card out of the wallet, it will still put out a readable signal.
What Is the Thinnest Wallet?
Traditionally, the thinnest types of wallets are minimalist front-pocket wallets. These wallets usually consist of a pouch with several card slots and either a small space for bills or an attached money clip.
Two of the thinnest wallets we’ve seen are the ultra-slim offerings from European company DUN and American company SlimFold. Both are 5 mm thick, but they also have enough room for a few credit cards and some bills. At this point, it looks like 5 mm is the minimum for a wallet that has more functionality than a rubber band holding your stuff together.
Keep in mind that these measurements are for empty wallets. Any cards, bills, or coins will make the wallets thicker.
Have a favorite minimalistic wallet? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll check it out for future updates to this article.