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Best wallet 2020: for carrying your coins, cash and credit cards

TechRadar logo TechRadar 1/8/2020 Spencer Hart
The best wallet © Provided by TechRadar The best wallet

A leather wallet is basically a mandatory purchase as well as a valued life tool, one that you use every single day to carry round your most personal and private data, not to mention your credit cards, cash and coins.

However, a wallet isn't just a utility item – guys can differentiate themselves by choosing a stylish wallet that says something about their personality. Prioritising an item that is less essential than shoes and shirts sends a strong message about your individuality, along with your approach to style.

To give you an overview of everything from billfolds to standout designer card holders, below is our list of the best wallets you can find right now.

Important things to consider when buying a wallet

While wallets are not the most complicated of tools, there are certain criteria that we looked at when evaluating each one. 

Out-and-out style and aesthetic, while not the most important factor, is a serious consideration. After all, you don't want to go on a date to Bibendum in a tailored suit and John Lobbs only to whip out a tatty piece of cowhide, do you?

If you have chosen the type of wallet you like, you’ll already be aware of how you use your wallet, but it’s also important to think about how your choice will fit with your style and image. 

And while we're talking about suits, size and compactness is another factor that needs to be evaluated for similar reasons. If you're going out for a night on the town, then a full-sized wallet might not be the best option. Instead, a smaller, streamlined, card-focused affair might be a better choice.

Of course, these options come in different sizes too, with different features and number of card slots, for example. So, it might be worth seeing how many cards you actually use and measuring your most-worn item’s pockets. 

Finally, there is material and colour to consider. A caviar leather finish or rugged nylon are super hard-wearing, but fine-grained calf leather might look smarter at first (but wear less well over time). If you’re a banker, you might not want a camo print or rainbow printed cardholder, whereas it would be a great look in a more relaxed workplace. Basically, you do you, but pick something that makes you feel confident whipping out your wallet in daily life, as it speaks volumes about you.

Of course, there's a multitude of other features to consider.

  • How many cards do you need to carry? Most wallets range from two card slots, up to eight
  • Do you carry cash around? You'll need a cash and coin compartment, preferably zipped
  • And finally, there are features that go above and beyond the call of a standard currency carrier - so, for example, if you're scared of identity theft you might want a wallet with RFID-blocking security tech

What wallet will be best for you will be determined by your intended usage and personal taste, so kick back, relax and take a browse through this selection of the best wallets available.

Types of Wallet

Your wallet may be a practical item for keeping your cash safe, but it also says a lot about your style and as you use it every day, it’s worth taking some trouble to invest in the right type. This will mostly come down to your lifestyle – you don’t want to use a rugged nylon wallet if you predominantly wear expensive suits – but also how much stuff you carry about. Here’s a quick rundown. 

a close up of a speaker: (Image credit: Mr Porter) © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. (Image credit: Mr Porter)

Bifold

Lots of men favour a bifold wallet as it has plenty of room for cards, notes and sometimes spare change (if it has a zipped section inside). It’s worth looking to see how each one is laid out, as designs differ. The benefit is that it keeps all your stuff (aside from a phone and keys) in one place, but they can feel too bulky for some. 

a close up of a device: (Image credit: Mr Porter) © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. (Image credit: Mr Porter)

Card holder

If you pretty much pay for everything by card or contactless payment on your phone, you won’t need a bifold wallet. Card holders are some of the slimmest and most minimal offerings for carrying money and you can always stuff a £10 note in one of the slots for emergencies.

a close up of a device: (Image credit: Mr Porter) © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. (Image credit: Mr Porter)

Coin wallets / Zip Wallets

For stylish eccentrics, coin cases are ideal. Tactile and compact, they’re great to keep in a coat pocket or bag. Yes, they are a little bulky, but they are also really useful for keeping loose change in one place so you’ll never have to beg for change for the car park again.

Do you need an RFID Blocking wallet?

You might keep an extra eye on your wallet in dodgy areas, but its cybercriminals who are the biggest threat. These days, criminals use tech to pickpocket by accessing your contactless payment cards using radio frequency identification, or RFID. 

The good news is that some wallets come with RFID blocking tech (and you can buy a card to keep in your wallet if not). 

Some people think this isn’t necessary, as criminals need to get very close to your card, or steal your wallet to make use of RFID, while others say hackers are getting increasingly sophisticated and we should be protecting our contactless cards, which have chips in them without an off switch – enabling them to be accessed in a split second. 

So, while the jury is out, having the blocking tech built into your wallet is no bad thing and adds an extra layer of protection without taking up any room, so you can’t lose!

Best wallet brands

Montblanc 

makes sophisticated wallets from the finest leather. A subtle designer choice, those in the know will be impressed by the little mountain logo, while you know you have a quality wallet that will never embarrass you in important company. 

Aspinal of London

makes luxury wallets that don’t cost the earth. The British company is known for its quality leather goods and wide choice of colours and styles, so there’s definitely something for everyone. The best bit is that they look much more expensive than they are. Card holders start at just £40 and they can be personalised too.

Mulberry 

is another highly covetable British brand. You won’t find one for less than £100, but they are available in a number of simple styles to suit your lifestyle as well as a rainbow of colours, from the most vibrant to neutral. The brand doesn’t rely on a big logo, making this a discrete designer choice, but its quality speaks volumes.

Herschel 

is a great choice for people who work in more casual environments or want a practical and rugged wallet. They tend not to be the smartest or poshest, but come in leather plus canvas, as well as every colour and print you can think of. You can have a lot of fun for less than £30so you might just fancy using one at the weekend.

Paul Smith 

is known for his signature stripes and love of colour, so it makes sense that wallets by the iconic British brand can be vibrant and super stripy, as well as black or brown with a fun but subtle stripy trim. Of course, the luxury fashion house uses the best materials, so it’s not just the pattern doing the talking.

The best wallets for men

a close up of a device: Best wallet: Tom Ford Full-Grain Leather Bifold Cardholder © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Tom Ford Full-Grain Leather Bifold Cardholder

1. Tom Ford Full-Grain Leather Bifold Cardholder

For a more refined taste

High quality
Elegant yet masculine design
Great brand
Comparatively pricey

If you’re willing to put aside a bit more cash for your next wallet or cardholder, then this leather bifold cardholder from Tom Ford is a top option. The fine stitching, well-proportioned font and a colour that looks sort of like ‘cement black’ all combine to make a high quality accessory.

While it’s not the cheapest item on the list, the full-grain leather will ensure long-term durability. It also comes with six slots for your cards, two of which have thoughtfully-designed thumb cutouts to make it easier to draw out as you’re making a payment.

a close up of a speaker: Best wallet: Montblanc Extreme Business Card Holder © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Montblanc Extreme Business Card Holder

2. Montblanc Extreme Business Card Holder

It’s all in the visuals

Slick design
Great for business trips
On the showy side

There are card holders, and then there’s the ‘extreme business’ card holder from Montblanc. Whether this relates to a better way to store cards, or is just a clever branding exercise from Montblanc’s product team, we’ll never quite know. What’s certain, however, is that this is a very good-looking accessory.

The quality leather has been worked for an eye-catching woven carbon look and is a great accessory to carry while you’re travelling for work. It comes with cotton lining and a range of card slots and compartments to store all of your valuables.

a close up of a black device: Best wallet: Aspinal of London Billfold leather wallet © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Aspinal of London Billfold leather wallet

3. Aspinal of London Billfold leather wallet

A beautiful wallet from a brand with exceptional heritage

Classic leather
Heritage brand
Too large for some

One look at this bifold wallet and you’ll be very keen to start enjoying its charms for yourself. Central to the appeal is its classic, timeless design, fashioned from pure Italian calf leather. It’s gorgeous to look at but undeniably practical into the bargain. Opened up, you get the option of eight card slots, two long pockets for all of your notes.

Best wallet: Nodus Compact Coin © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Nodus Compact Coin

4. Nodus Compact Coin

Essentially, it's the TARDIS of luxury, leather wallets

Very small
Lots of space

Finding the perfect wallet is all about striking the balance between size and space, leather-goods maker Nodus think they've found that ideal balance. This is the Compact Coin.

This new wallet doesn't have a large footprint, but still manages to pack a lot in. How much exactly? The Compact Coin has space for 15 credit cards (yes, 15!), there's a coin pouch, dedicated compartment for folded notes and receipts, and, on top of all of that, a key pocket.

a close up of a rug: Best wallet: Barbour Grain Billfold Wallet, Dark Brown © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Barbour Grain Billfold Wallet, Dark Brown

5. Barbour Grain Billfold Wallet, Dark Brown

Perfect when paired with a vintage wax jacket

Gorgeous brown or black leather
Perfect when paired with a Barbour wax
Not the smartest

Step into the sumptuous world of Barbour with this hand-crafted full grain leather wallet, that comes in fetching brown, or black if you want to remain low-key. It sports that classic bifold design that’s been around forever, but there are some neat variations on the theme. 

Inside, you’ll find a signature tartan lining, no less than eight card slots, plus two more for other slimline bits and bobs along with a separate note compartment. Icing on the cake comes from the embossed vintage branding.

a close up of a device: Best wallet: Il Bussetto Polished-Leather Billfold Wallet © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Il Bussetto Polished-Leather Billfold Wallet

6. Il Bussetto Polished-Leather Billfold Wallet

Form and function harmonised

Practical, modest design
Tan and beige match
May scuff faster than black

Although there is a vast selection of black wallets to choose from, there’s a lot to be said for switching to tan. This tan-and-beige, polished-leather billfold wallet from Il Bussetto is certainly a good style choice but also doesn’t sacrifice function – it’s got eight card slots, two bill sleeves and receipt pockets as well.

It also appears that the brand hasn’t made too many compromises on quality to keep the price reasonable. The only major consideration for you will probably be how easily tan and beige will integrate into your wardrobe.

a close up of a device: Best wallet: John Lewis Pebble Grain Leather Card Holder © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: John Lewis Pebble Grain Leather Card Holder

7. John Lewis Pebble Grain Leather Card Holder

This affordable card holder is a bargain

Affordable
Real leather
ID slot
No luxury brand

Crafted from a combination of both textured pebble grain and nappa leathers, this John Lewis & Partners card holder is a smart choice for transporting essentials discretely and in style.

Complete with three card slots to one side and a transparent ID slot to the other.

a close up of a device: Best wallet: Jekyll & Hide Wallet © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Jekyll & Hide Wallet

8. Jekyll & Hide Wallet

A simple classic from this South African brand

RFID lining
Coin pouch

You get the choice of a coffee or black finish from this simple-but-effective 12cm x 9cm x 3cm design from the Jekyll & Hide stable. The full-grain leather finish promises hard-wearing performance while the RFID lining is designed to protect bank cards and passports from identity theft. 

Storage is plentiful, with no less than four card slots, two slip pockets and a handy little coin pouch that can be secured thanks to a studded closure. There’s space for notes plus a zipped compartment and the whole package comes in a cool gift box.

Best wallet: Georg Jensen Rohner Wallet © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Georg Jensen Rohner Wallet

9. Georg Jensen Rohner Wallet

The stylish and affordable wallet has plenty of space

Grey colour
Simple design
Affordable
Grey not for everyone

Since 1904, Georg Jensen has been driven by designs that combine functionality and beauty; quality craftsmanship and timeless aesthetics. This wallet is a perfect example of that.

Each item is created from leather with a stylish grey finish to create shade and shadows.

a close up of a computer: Best wallet: Launer Premium Leather Card Case © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Launer Premium Leather Card Case

10. Launer Premium Leather Card Case

Luxury leather card case from Royal Warrant holders

'In the know' brand
Royal Warrant holders
Only space for 6 cards

If you're looking for a understated but still truly luxurious, how about this card case from Launer, who includes Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as customers. 

This Launer credit card case is made from premium calf leather, allowing for a soft touch but long-lasting finish. It can hold six cards with room for notes when folded. This case would be an excellent gift for a loved one or a useful piece for yourself.

If you prefer something a little more colourful, Launer's newest collection feature bright interiors.

a close up of a device: Best wallet: Herschel Supply Co. Unisex Wallet © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Herschel Supply Co. Unisex Wallet

11. Herschel Supply Co. Unisex Wallet

A casual wallet you can hand wash

RFID security blocking
Hand-washable

Wallets can get grubby pretty quickly, so this hand-washable Herschel Supply Co. Unisex Wallet is a great option if you like things squeaky clean. What’s more, it has the benefit of an RFID blocking design that can fend off card skimming attempts and inside there’s a sensible selection of card slots and a pocket for loose change. 

There are six different shades to choose from and we love that signature red and white striped interior flourish too. Meanwhile, the one-size-fits-all design makes it a perfect gift option.

Best wallet: Comme Des Garçons Zip-Around Leather Wallet © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Best wallet: Comme Des Garçons Zip-Around Leather Wallet

12. Comme Des Garçons Zip-Around Leather Wallet

Bridge the divide between smart and casual

Zip security
Simple design
Great brand

Store your cards and cash in this zipped wallet from Comme Des Garçons. Crafted from textured grain leather, it's smart yet casual aesthetic will go with most outfits. The major positive here is that the zip-up bifold design will keep the contents secure.

Unzipping the wallet will reveal three card slots, a coin compartment and space for cash and receipts.

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