Wallets are one of the most useful accessories a man or woman can carry. We use them for a wealth of important activities and they provide a safe and secure home for our cash, identification cards, passports and lots of other handy essential items such as our travel passes and club cards for our favorite weekend activities.
We can find wallets in a vast array of designs, styles, and materials such as useful waterproof nylon ones if we’re getting down and dirty with extreme sports, in beautiful vegetable dyed soft leather as a real style statement, or as designs such as uber-modern super slim styles or an old faithful bi-fold type.
There’s an option for everyone to grab as we rush through the door to begin our ever-increasing busy days! As the wallet experts, we’re giving our take on the most popular and best wallet options of all the different types...
First, here’s a quick list of the best wallet options. Not including the variety of materials they can be made out of.
21 Different Types of Wallets
Here’s a quick list of the types of wallets available, then we’ll go on to talk about the most popular ones you might want to consider getting.
Credit Card Wallet
Cell Phone Wallet
ID Card Wallet
Denim Style Wallet
Money Clip Wallet
Coin Pocket Wallet
Wallet Designs have Evolved
Although our modern wallets have become a necessity for keeping our items stashed away safely and securely, it’s interesting to know that they began their lives and evolved many centuries ago from really simple designs.
Wallets have become more and more developed and integrated into our modern lives and as our needs have changed and our societies have become more and more sophisticated, wallets have grown with every generation.
Along with a change in our needs, the wallet has changed too. There are huge new improvements in the styles and choices in our wallets which are in keeping with busy modern man’s - and women’s requirements.
The basic idea of having an accessory to carry important items and currency dates back to ancient times.
Today, there’s a number of different styles to choose from, which differ in design, and all have their own unique features - which can be suitable for the many different ways we live our life.
You can choose your wallet (or wallets) specifically based around your own needs and to compliment your lifestyle. They all differ in their fundamental design and have their own unique features that set them apart. With the plentiful choices available, men can choose a wallet based on their needs and lifestyle.
So let’s start by taking a look at one of the most traditional and still popular wallets, the Bi-fold.
The Bif-fold is a really simple design and is sometimes referred to as a billfold.
The name bi-fold comes from the basic design. It folds down the middle once over, folding any paper currency within the wallet, in half.
This modern wallet has humble beginnings that date back to the late 1600s. Shortly after the introduction of paper currency in 1690, a basic version of the bifold was created and contained only a small pocket for identification in addition to the main currency pocket.
This was refined in the 1950s after credit cards were popularized. This version is the one most men are familiar with. It contains numerous card slots on either side. Since its infancy, it has become a standard across the world.
The Most Popular Wallet
The faithful bi-fold wallet is one of the most commonly used wallets in the world and is the most traditional and well-known style. It’s also referred to as a billfold. They have one main pocket to store your paper cash and many slots to keep your bank and other cards safe and secure.
Some designs also include additional ways to store photos, important documents, and even loose coins. The name bi-fold comes from the design. This traditional style wallet folds once down the middle, which results in your paper currency being folded in half.
Bi-folds are generally made from leather and are also often available in other synthetic materials such as nylon and other varieties that protect the contents from the elements and also offer more security in terms of RIFD protection.
As bi-folds have such a large and versatile storage capacity, they have often become well known for becoming overstuffed and turn into a black hole of random items, so in order to avoid this issue, make sure you organize your wallet carefully and regularly clear it out, getting rid of old or unnecessary items.
This will also help your wallet remain thinner and not bulk-out so much in your pockets, which can leave you more vulnerable to theft.
The tri-fold wallet is a variant on the traditional bi-fold and can accommodate a lot of essentials in one space. A tri-fold wallet is rectangular in shape, similar to a bi-fold but its primary difference is that it contains two flaps which fold over. Each of these sections makes up approx a 1/3rd of the whole wallet length.
Similar to the bi-fold, it also has one open pocket for keeping paper cash and also contains many other slots for your bank, travel and other cards such as ID card, debit, business or credit types. There are usually around 10 or so slots in your tri-fold. It also contains receipt pockets to store away important store receipts you need to keep.
A tri-fold wallet will have much more space than a bi-fold, which could also mean you are likely to cram your tri-fold full of everyday stuff that will result in it being overstuffed and once again, more susceptible to theft by highlighting it in your pockets due to its size and being more obviously in view and as a likely target for thieves.
The Credit Card Holder
A credit cardholder has become a more popular choice with many modern men, given how banking technology has continued to develop and become more sophisticated, so the use of paper money is becoming less and less important to us.
Retailers are more and more likely in our more digitally connected age to have options of paying by card rather than in person with bulky and outdated paper currency and modern men are looking at downsizing their wallet needs in order to maximize on this more up to date method of paying for the things they need.
Some people are looking to avoid paper money completely, so a credit card holder style wallet may be a useful choice to keep payment cards secure and easy to handle.
Typically made from leather, they are about the same size dimensions as a credit card and contain no room for loose cash whatsoever. One of the more popular designs of these wallets is to have a single pocket with multiple card slots on either side. This creates enough room to carry an identification card and a couple of credit cards.
Credit cardholders work really well if you are looking to minimize the carry of your bulky tri or bi-folds with their general bulk and are a really sleek option for today’s modern man as they literally only have enough slots in them to hold a small number of cards and designed to take up very little room which makes them practically undetectable in terms of potential theft threats.
Given their small and compact size, they will fit practically anywhere, from your front pocket or even your shirt pocket. Some bi-fold wallets also contact a separate credit card holder inside for when you only need a minimum carry or don’t need all the other usual items in your wallet such as ID cards or paper money.
Another popular design is referred to as a band wallet or sandwich wallet. These are created by two pieces of heavy material, usually plastic or metal which is held together by a thick elastic band. The credit cards fit between the two rigid pieces, which is how your cards are kept secure. This style of wallet can hinder the adaptability of the cards you can keep in it and in many cases, these wallets are known for scratching up your cell phone if kept in the same pocket. Many people often prefer this option over the more usual, standard designed credit cardholders due to the unique design aesthetic.
The Money Clip
It is often believed that pharaohs of ancient Egypt used money clips which were often decorated with precious jewels and made out of solid gold. Historically, as paper money was the main form of currency, they have been well used throughout the ages.
It’s often believed that the more wealthy of ancient and more recent modern history utilized the money clip. The more modern alternatives became popular and evolved around the same time as bi-folds. The new designs are much lighter and made of less extravagant materials than their more historic counterparts.
A money clip could be thought of as the opposite of a credit cardholder, as they are simply for keeping your paper currency secure and are a good option if you really only want to make transactions with cash. However, you can, of course, combine them with another style of wallet for adaptability.
This style of cash clip is essentially a clipped fastener made out of pliable metal or plastic that is able to safely secure a wad of currency notes. Some clips will include spring or hinges which means you can increase the capacity of paper notes your clip holds without a need for a larger clip.
The main purpose of a money clip is to keep cash organized. It helps avoid having any loose paper in the pocket and helps prevent the bulk that comes with a standard bi-fold.
Of course, it is easy to see that keeping cash visibly on show in your pockets like this is not the best option if security is an issue for you.
They just don’t have the same protection that an enclosed style wallet has. Your notes are also liable to become damaged or creased if your pocket where you keep your clip is not properly secured.
Unsurprisingly waving a wad of notes around when you are making purchases is also not a great idea if you don’t wish to be a prime easy target for theft.
Money clips are often seen as a sign of wealth and style. So there are many options available when it comes to the look of your clip. They can be made from many different kinds of high-quality metals and feature custom monogramming or a high-end design for an added touch of luxury.
The Minimalist Wallet
Minimalist wallets combine all the best features of money clips and credit card holders into a really useful modern take on our most necessary accessory! Our more modern way of scaling back how we manage our days and also how we purchase means this stylish and sleeker wallet is the choice for today’s busy men. Men are combining their day jobs, childcare, trips to the grocery store, alongside keeping up with their outdoor activities with their buddies during the weekends and this minimalist wallet is the perfect wallet choice.
These much slimmer and versatile wallets are quickly growing in popularity due to the way we roll on a daily basis, such as contactless payments which allow purchases quickly and conveniently on a series of debit or credit cards.
Having a really slim wallet that is easy to put in your front pocket, without the need for carrying around wads of outdated cash or to keep safe and securely without the bulk of traditional wallets such as bi or tr fold, make this versatile design a perfect much lighter carry.
Carrying essentials and eliminating bulk is the main aim of this newer wallet design. Most minimalist wallets are really compact, although also have hidden compartments which allow the owner to still carry important ID and travel documents, while also enabling the owner to keep their wallet concealed in a pocket without becoming a magnet for thieves.
Due to the fast decline in paper currency, the minimalist wallet has been more and more available as brands are keeping up with the latest trends. It’s now also possible to pay wirelessly through RFID technology which an even better reason to swap out a tired old Tri or Bifold for its newer and more relevant counterpart.
Cell Phone Case Wallet
Given the explosion or the last decade in the ownership of mobile phones, cell phone cases have become a popular way of keeping cash, credit cards and other important ID documents such as your driver’s license safe and secure.
Similar in idea to minimalist options, cell phone case wallets cut down bulk by providing cash and card storage to another important accessory, your phone case.
When men leave the house, it’s always a trio of items they grab: the wallet, cell phone, and keys. By coupling the wallet and cell phone, there’s less to keep track of and less to carry around.
Available for a variety of phones, these wallets attach like a normal cell phone case. They’re typically made of hard plastic or silicone to retain the case’s protective qualities. Some feature a simple pocket for cards while others have hinged openings.
Either way, these wallets drastically limits what a man can carry. This is great for those that only want to carry essentials. Just don't lose it!
Cell phone wallets are relatively new and have only been around for a short time, as older flip types didn’t have cases as such, so there weren’t too many wallet options for the older kind of flip phones. Phone wallets were only made for the last decade to keep your sleek and slim smartphones safe.
RFID Protected Wallet
RFID is an advanced digital method that enables users to make secure payments without having to swipe. Radio-frequency identification payment technology was first adopted in the late 1990s but has since become widespread all across the world.
Wireless technology has unfortunately paved the way for thieves who are becoming more and more clever at modern methods of stealing your finances, and shockingly, your identity too.
Unfortunately, thieves can easily gain access to your most sensitive banking information, including account details, and even steal a person’s identity by simply passing over the card. RFID skimming is a modern form of pickpocketing that’s virtually undetectable.
A thief simply had to pass by you and you could be looking at a whole world of pain in having your cards perhaps cloned, your money being stolen, and problems with your credit.
These wallets have fine mesh made of either copper or steel woven into the fabric of the wallet. This creates an electromagnetic shield around the card. Essentially, they block the signal of any would-be thieves and prevent access to valuable information.
A travel Wallet is perfect for those of you who are seasoned travelers, maybe travel internationally for work or anyone who wishes to keep their travel documents safe and secure in one place
These tall but slim accessories are perfect for keeping all your boarding cards, passports, credit cards, a pen, your important cash currency, driver’s license, credit cards and more ready to hand for the busy traveler.
Travel wallets often come with a stylish magnetic button to keep your documents safe and keep everything you need for travel organized neatly in one place.
These types of wallets often come complete with a zip closure and a leather-trimmed zip pull. Zippers are an extra safe touch to limit the chances of your important items such as cash, cards and driver’s license, from falling out or getting lost.
A zippered wallet looks stylish, has a compact design and will allow you to make sure everything from your frequently used credit card, gym membership card and cash on hand and insight.
The inner pocket usually contains a space for banknotes and is essentially a compact and slim fully functioning wallet. Sometimes these kinds of accessories are known as Wallet with Zip Pocket.
Zippered wallets are particularly favored by women because of their unique and stylish look. Zipper wallets can be made in many stunning designs, shapes, sizes and a fabulous array of colors to compliment your own unique style.
There is a raft of wallets available, but we encourage you to try a few out that takes your fancy and see which one - or which ones suit you best. Check out our range of hand made leather wallets or our nylon collections. We have a wallet suitable for everyone in our store! We hope this guide has been useful.