If you’ve been toting around the same beat-up bifold for years and feel like it’s time to upgrade, you might be wondering if there are any alternatives to the traditional leather wallet. There are tons of options that are slimmer and more durable — chief among them, the metal wallet. A metal men’s wallet will be made from lightweight yet durable metals or alloys such as steel, aluminum or titanium.
Metal wallets will often have an elastic band between two plates of metal, allowing you to slide in your essential cards and keep them protected. Because the cards are back to back, instead of divided by slot, these metal wallets cut down on bulkiness. And since metal wallets are made from a durable, inflexible material, they won’t sag and warp in the same way leather will. The elastic straps can often be used to store folded-up bills, too.
There are a few factors to consider before buying a metal wallet. Because they store your cards in a stack, it may be difficult to access certain cards. If you’re someone who frequently cycles through different cards, a metal wallet may not be the most convenient option. But if you typically reach for just your debit card and a transit pass throughout the day, for example, a metal wallet might be the right option for you.
Because of the materials used, metal wallets typically provide RFID protection. But sources like Slate and NPR note that while it’s theoretically possible that someone could skim your data remotely, the likelihood is negligible. Sure, maybe the technology will get more advanced and these digital thieves really will start stealing people’s stuff through their pockets. But it makes more sense to focus on crimes that are actually happening, and to protect your identity by taking steps such as securing your online information. That said, plenty of theft happens when people physically get their hands on someone else’s cards. These metal wallets are secure enough to ensure your cards and cash won’t slip out, but easy enough to access that you won’t hold up the line at the corner store. Plus, the slim design means you can comfortably keep your wallet in your front pocket, which is much more secure than the back.
These wallets provide durability and physical protection for your cards, and they’re typically very slim and minimal, so they won’t bulk up your pockets. Plus, a lot of them are just plain cool-looking. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best metal wallets to buy online.
1. The Ridge Aluminum Wallet
Could it have been anyone else? Ridge wallets have practically defined this category, but they actually have quite a bit of variation in price and style. Most of the choice comes down to material, with wallets made from materials like titanium and carbon fiber. The most affordable pick is aluminum, like this option below. It has a thumb slot for accessing your cards, and the reverse of the wallet has a band that holds folded bills. It’s designed to hold up to 12 cards, too.
2. Ekster Aluminum Cardholder
This cardholder from Ekster has one of the most unique designs we’ve ever seen. There’s a cardholder attached to the body of the wallet that makes it easy to stash your most-used cards, and the elastic band can also be used for cash. The most innovative feature is the quick-release latch that pops your cards out of the top, fanning them out for easy access. The wallet comes in a range of different colors, too.
3. Nite Ize – Financial Tool
This ultra-sleek option from Nite Ize is a lot more functional than your average wallet. It has a built-in bottle opener, as well as standard and metric wrenches. There are even rulers for making quick measurements. The clip on the outside is ideal for carrying cash, while the middle slot is designed for carrying cards.
4. Trayvax Original 2.0 Metal Wallet
If you’re looking for something tactical-inspired, this unique wallet from Trayvax has a paracord for easy carrying. The back of the wallet has a money clip as well for storing cash, and the clip doubles as a bottle opener. To access your cards, you simply unlatch the cord on one end and slide your card out. You can also store your cards on the exterior of the wallet.
5. Slimtech Aluminum Wallet
If you’re looking for something super minimal, consider this option from Slimtech. It’s made from durable and lightweight aluminum, and the slot is designed to be able to hold up to 10 cards. There’s also a clip for holding bills on the outside of the wallet. The wallet is available in black or silver.
6. The Ridge Topographic Wallet
BEST LIMITED EDITION
If you’re looking for a statement-making yet minimalist option, this limited-edition pick from Ridge features a black and white topographic design. There are also printed coordinates on the wallet (if you’re wondering where they lead, it’s the summit of the iconic Half Dome in Yosemite). The wallet has an expandable strap for carrying cash. The wallet is made from aluminum.
7. Samsonite Aluminium RFID Wallet
This wallet from Samsonite isn’t the sexiest or most exciting, but it is secure. The clamshell design completely protects your cards, and there are seven different slots for storing IDs and debit cards. It is somewhat bulkier than some of the other options, but at less than an inch thick, it’s not so unwieldy that it couldn’t be kept in a pocket.
8. The Ultrathin Carbon Fiber Money Clip Wallet
Carbon fiber technically isn’t a metal, but its unique properties mean that it actually surpasses metal in terms of durability. This wallet from Hammacher Schlemmer features a carbon fiber exterior and a leather interior, and the outside of the wallet has a quick-access card slot for your most-used cards. There’s also a metal clip on the inside that holds your cash.
9. FIDELO Minimalist Wallets Card Wallet
Similar to the Ekster, the Fidelo wallet features a sliding trigger on the bottom that releases your cards, fanning them out for quicker and easier access. Two cash straps are included to carry bills on the outside of the wallet. The metal wallet even comes with its own leather carrying pouch, for a little extra protection.