Wallet alternatives

I’ve had a traditional wallet ever since I’ve had cash and a bank card to tote around. I’m increasingly tire of sticking the wallet in my front pocket (yes, I carry my wallet in my front pocket) along with all the other things I carry when I go out on a walk.

Over the years my cellphones have become smaller and sleeker, but my wallet has stayed the same unforgiving size. Since I have the the storage space I keep things in it that I don’t really need. So, I decided to look for some alternatives to the traditional bifold that I currently use. Here are the most intriguing items I came across:

  • SlimSlimmy: (Pictured) Made out of leather it looks quite traditional, but the size is anything but.
  • Jimi: Much less conventional looking. It is made from 100% recycled materials and the description states that it “is perfect for snowboarding, cycling, loitering, hiking, traveling, trampolining, nightclubbing, base jumping and line dancing.” Wow, quite versatile for you extreme sport types and uh, line dancers.
  • The Original Taxi Wallet: This one seems a bit too feminine for me, but I guess I could go for the black or brown one. It is made from Italian calfskin leather, which doesn’t really make a difference to me either way.
  • Slimmy: From the makers of the SlimSlimmy, the Slimmy is a bit less slim and looks like the wallet alternative I may settle on.
  • ALL-ETT Billfold: Proclaims to be “The thinnest wallet ever made!” It doesn’t look too fashionable, but I don’t really care about that. It is the thinnest.

I can’t recommend one since I have yet to purchase an alternative to my wallet. Is there anyone out there that has any recommendations?

47 Comments for “Wallet alternatives”

  1. posted by Monica Ricci on

    You could always go commando! No wallet at all, instead opting for the old fashioned binder clip method! Not very fashionable but simple as it gets. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. posted by Jeannette on

    It kind of lacks the excess organization that some of these do, but I personally use a very small and very pretty cigarette case. It’s the right size for all my plastics (insurance, drivers liscense, debit card, library card, blockbuster card, a couple of gift and store discount cards, and I can stuff about $100 in $20 bills in there easily too, if I fold it right. It’s smaller, prettier, lighter, and easier to handle than a wallet/billfold. It’s also got the added advantage of being metal, so RFID cards aren’t as easily stolen, and it looks like a cigarette case, so if I lay it on a table, it wont immediatley grow legs and walk off.

    I’ve been doing this for about 5 years now, and I adore my little case.

  3. posted by Bryce on

    I also use a cigarette case repurposed as a wallet. Prior to that, I used a business card holder, but it could only accommodate about 4 cards maximum.

  4. posted by M on

    LOVE the Jimi. Want one for the ski season.

    Other option is to go for the larger wallet/no handbag option. There is a zippered wallet made by Oroton in Australia that will take a skinny phone, and a passport (and yet still remains slimline)and is on my target list.

  5. posted by ar on

    another post on the same subject ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. posted by Ed Eubanks Jr. on

    I came to the same conclusion a while back (after carrying a wallet that doubled as a Palm Zire case– yes, the Zire was in the wallet– in my back pocket for about a year). I came up with this solution from Levenger which has been perfect. Sadly, it is in the close-out sale section there (so I’ve already purchased another for when the current one wears out).
    Levenger’s Moneybiz Clip also seems like a good solution, but my wife didn’t like the look of a plain money-clip.

  7. posted by Melissa on

    what about a money clip? my husband has used a money clip for years as he hates have extra stuff in his pockets- mostly because he also carries a Sidekick and that thing is huge. I think he got his from ebay.

  8. posted by R on

    I use the jimi. I use the hole in it to hook it with a d-ring to my laptop bag. Before I got the jimi, I was using the hipster pda as a wallet.

  9. posted by jon on

    I use a do-it-yourself paper wallet (see http://preview.tinyurl.com/25fc2e ). It’s durable, thin, encourages not carrying too much, and the price is very right.

  10. posted by Jesse on

    I have the ALL-ETT and it’s great. It’s super thin. I sometimes forget it’s even in my pocket – especially this time of year when I wear (somewhat) baggy shorts more often than not…

  11. posted by GTD Wannabe on

    I saw the ALL-ETT billfold and decided to give it a try. I used it out in the real world for 2 days and then went back to my monster wallet. Several reasons: (1) the slots in my wallet actually help me make sure I’m not forgetting a card somewhere – empty slot means I’ve lost a card. (2) the slots also help me be quicker in lines – I know exactly where what card is and can pull it out immediately. With the ALL-ETT, you end up with four stacks of cards. If you use top and bottom as “important” cards, you could technically get to 8 of them quickly. However, I had a hard time actually pulling out just one card – the whole stack would slide out. (3) And worst thing – because it’s made out of some kind of rip cloth sailcloth, it makes NOISE. An annoying kind of noise that reminds me of kids walking in diapers. You know, that sort of plastic swish swish? Annoying.

  12. posted by Raf on

    I use a Fossil Front Pocket Bifold. Only has space for a limited number of cards.

    But as you said, the extra space causes you to carry things you don’t need, why don’t you just go through your wallet regularly to clear out the crap you don’t need?

    I carry:
    -Driver’s License
    -Debit Card
    -One low-credit-limit credit card (I only carry the big stuff when I know I need to make a big purchase in advance)
    -AAA Card
    -NYC Metrocard

  13. posted by Lane on

    I have been carrying the Slim Slimmy for two years now, and it’s incredible. At first, it seemed so tiny, but now I am so used to it, regular men’s wallets look bizarrely huge to me. Also, it fits comfortably in my front pants pocket, so it’s easier to sit down and I don’t look ridiculous with a huge bulge in the back of my pants.

    The Slimmy carries everything that it turns out I ever need: cash, 2 credit cards, driver’s license, ATM card, and health insurance card. If I need a Costco card or library card I have to remember to take them with me that day, but that’s a small price to pay for not carrying them around the other 95% of the time.

  14. posted by amy on

    I use this:
    it’s a “magic” wallet. It’s small and can hold a surprising amount

  15. posted by Marsha on

    For about twenty years, I’ve been using small, woven coin purses as my wallet. They’re colorful, usually sold by nonprofit stores of the self-help craft type or museum shops, and small enough to fit in front or back pockets. Access is through a zipper top (so you have to get used to looking down onto the contents), and the little bag easily grows or shrinks to accommodate as much as you need to put in there. I general carry about half a dozen different plastic cards and a small amount of cash. Because these bags are woven cloth–and not leather–they are remarkably lightweight. They’re durable, too: I’ve gone through one three of them in two decades.

  16. posted by Stimpy on

    Hartmann card case: http://tinyurl.com/39y7wu

    I’ve carried it for at least a couple of years now, and it still looks new… I’m also a front-pocketer, btw.

  17. posted by Steve on

    If you have to carry several credit cards, business cards, shopping discount cards, membership cards, etc, then you need the ALL-ETT wallet. I started using this one a couple of months ago and love it. I carry almost 30 cards and cash and it is still thinner than my old wallet is empty!

  18. posted by Eric on

    I use a cheesy vinyl business card wallet. They cost about two bucks from Staples and last long enough. If you want leather, this is similar:


  19. posted by Josh Young on

    I just got the Smart Money Clip for my birthday. It’s awesome. It holds up to 5 cards on one side and has a money clip on the other. It’s stainless steel and very small (smaller than any leather alternative I’ve ever found. Perfect for the front pocket.

    Here’s the cheapest place I was able to find it:

  20. posted by Stephlys on

    There is a very good discussion on this topic at

  21. posted by puramu on

    I’ve been using the Stelton i:cons card holder for about two years and LOVE IT. It holds about three cards (ultra minimal) but I can barely tell that it’s in my pocket. It’s a little expensive($35US), but well worth it.

  22. posted by Alderete on

    The product photos are, ahem, not exactly PC, but the Big Skinny wallet is what I settled on, after trying out almost a dozen alternatives:


    I have used the Jimi and both sizes of the ALL-ETT, for at least two weeks each. The Jimi is no less bulky than my old wallet, and not flexible. It didn’t work for me. The ALL-ETT is made from parachute material. It’s thin, but it feels insubstantial, and doesn’t look very good either.

    The Big Skinny wallet is made from a microfiber material, that is not as thin as the ALL-ETT, but is stiffer, almost like leather, without being that thick. And it looks very good, once you use a pocket knife to take the Big Skinny logo off the front. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But what really makes it thin is the design, and the philosophy you need to adopt to make it work for you. The ALL-ETT will let you carry around a dozen or more cards, and stay as thin as possible. If you gotta have all those things, then it’s the right product.

    But if you can pare down to 3-5 cards plus a photo ID, they fit nicely into the Big Skinny, and it’s all a very thin package. You could put it in your front or back pocket, no problem.

    I personally carry my driving license in the clear ID pocket, an ATM card and one credit card in the main “easy access” pocket, and my health card and two business cards in the tuck-away pocket. Plus whatever folding money I happen to have in the main currency compartment. It’s thinner than my old leather wallet, which held much the same contents, by about 40%.

    I’ve tried a bunch of alternatives — I have a small collection I’ve been meaning to photograph and post — and I am actually tempted to buy a dozen of the Big Skinnys, so that I can always have a replacement, if it gets lost/stolen or ever wears out.

  23. posted by GrantParish on

    I use the small version of the All-Ett and love it. True, it is plain but wonderfully simple and thin and works great. I like the sailcloth material and would never go back to using a regular bilfold.

  24. posted by Picard102 on

    I’ve always found wallets to be a problem. I’d like something small and slim, but I hate having lose change in my pocket. So I need a wallet with a change compartment, which makes it thicker. Being in Canada with one and two dollar coins I have a lot of change.

  25. posted by Pamela on

    I also use a zippered “coin purse” as my wallet. It fits debit/credit card, license, insurance cards, back-up CC, cash, and some loose change. I keep my cards in the same order so I can easily grab whichever one I need just by counting through the stack. The coinpurse transfers easily from my purse, to pocket, to diaper bag.

    For all those club cards, discount cards, frequent shopper cards, etc., I use another zippered coinpurse stuffed with those and keep it in my car’s glovebox. That way I don’t have to carry them around, but they’re handy whenever we shop at a place that uses them.

  26. posted by Kelly on

    The Jimi wallet is great, and actually comes from one of my favorite shops, Tom Bihn http://www.tombihn.com/. I have two of their bags, and am trying to convince myself that I ‘need’ another.

  27. posted by Anthony on

    I have been using the Slimmy wallet for 3 years now and I do have to say it was a really good decision. I bought mine from http://www.koyono.com when it was on sale and it’s great. Made me really think and filter out what I didn’t need to carry with me all the time. I keep a bit of cash, ID, credit/debit cards and a gift card or two sometimes. After everyday if I have receipts, I take them out and file them away, whereas they used to just live in my wallet until they were unreadable and I’d have to throw them away. It’s also great having it in your front pocket; safer and more comfortable.

    I also keep a separate checkbook wallet that I got as a gift and it holds tons of cards, so I keep any extra cards that I rarely use in there and in the glovebox of my car.

    And the reason I got the Slimmy over the Jimi is that the wallet size is adjustable. I can make it as thick as it can be with whatever I want to take or I can take the bare minimum for say just the evening out with just a credit card, ID and a bit of cash. The Jimi is what it is and you couldn’t just stuff it a bit if you needed to or make it smaller by taking more out. And the SlimSlimmy is just too damn small.

    And after 3 years I think this wallet looks just as good as when i first got it. Great leather quality/workmanship.

  28. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    The Canadian Problem
    Since 1987 our dollar has been a coin. Since 1996 our two dollar denomination has been a coin. (This saves the Canadian government $$ as the coins last longer in circulation that the $1 and $2 bills).
    Most of the wallets that are designed DO NOT have enough space to hold the amount of coins we usually carry. Thus, Canadians are going to have to re-design the wallet. However, some European models work well since they have been designed for the Euro.

  29. posted by Martin on

    I’m very happy with my ALL-ETT, but they’re not for everyone. However, they’re so cheap that it’s worth getting one and if you don’t like it, you can always give it to someone else or to a charity shop / thrift store.

  30. posted by David on

    I use of these in Black from Muji

  31. posted by KB on

    I’ve been using the Colonel Littleton Front Pocket Wallet for years:


    Compact and stylish.

  32. posted by Jen on

    Love, love, love my Jimi wallet. I can clip a house key on the end of the wallet and am good to go. Fits well in a front pocket, too.

  33. posted by john on

    i use the all-ett. ok it is a little freaky looking but it carries a ton of cards in a small space and is durable.

  34. posted by peter on

    I made myself a duct-tape wallet about a year ago, and since then have only used duct-tape wallets, which I make myself every couple of months. I have settled on a wallet slightly larger than a credit card, which stores the 5 cards I have to carry with me all the time, a few notes (no space for coins so I clear change out every night) and a spare car key (having locked my keys in the car a few times). My new wallet is at least 1/4 the size of my old leather wallet

  35. posted by Michael Jansen on

    It’s worth noting to the people complaining about the fabric on the ALL-ETT that they have a new line with a ultra-thin leather material. Check them out on the all-ett site.

    I have an ALL-ETT that I’ve used for a couple years now, and while the material does crinkle a bit when you first get it, once it is broken in, it doesn’t make any noise. The only problem that I have is that I don’t have enough cards to keep in it, sometimes my cards fall out because they are a little too loose. I used to keep extra business cards to keep it tighter (it was still super-thin) but I used them up.

  36. posted by erik on

    I just got the all-ett. It rocks. Very thin and suprisingly durrable.

  37. posted by freecia on

    How about grabbing a tyvek mailer and making one yourself? http://www.instructables.com/i.....DES9J73YS/
    You can also print stuff on it, like pics of the discount barcodes http://ipapercraft.com/credit-card-cash-wallet/

  38. posted by Me on

    The best wallet I have found that is sleek and less than 1/8” thick, and nice looking is the Tumi leather wallet. It is not a billfold, it has a clear compartment on one side for you drivers license, two credit card slots on the other side, and in between, room to store a few bills in an inner compartment. It is also very inexpensive ($35).

  39. posted by karry on

    An Altoids tin works great for me. Forces me to keep everything in order and only carry what is truly needed…

  40. posted by allison on

    I use a small leather “business card case”. It’s Coach, which was a splurge, but it’s quality leather that I hope to use 20 years at least. It just fits cards and cash.

  41. posted by miker on

    I love my taxi wallet. it’s less minimal, but super organized. center card pocket for drivers licence and atm card, and cards I’m given through the day. card slot in coin purse for insurance cards and anything I feel I should have on me but rarely need to get at, first cash slot for ‘today’s allowance’ second for receipts and the rest of the week’s money ($120 taken out on Sunday, must last all the way to the next sunday).

  42. posted by Lori on

    I have used a silver card case bought from Sundance Catalog for several years. It’s small, easy to carry in a front or back pocket, forces you to carry less, and it receives a lot of nice compliments.


  43. posted by Cliff on

    You don’t need a smaller wallet, you need a WALLET SYSTEM. Just like in the house, getting a smaller box doesn’t save you from the clutter of things that don’t fit in the box. So what you should do, is FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT AND WHAT YOU CAN DUMP, and then do so.

    I don’t keep savings cards and membership cards to most services and companies, including airlines or retail. I make them keep my info on their computer. “Do you know your member number?” “No. You can look it up. My name and address are …”

    I have three credit cards, one ATM card, one medical insurance card, and one driver’s license. This goes in a teeny wallet which fits in my back pants pocket or my front shirt or blazer pocket.

    I have a bunch of other cards that I might need, but I certainly don’t carry them around. They go in a bigger wallet which also holds my checkbook and register, a pen, and a notepad.

    I keep cash in a money clip. I always have between $50 and $200 cash on me — less and I go to the ATM and make a withdrawal, more (whee!) and I go make a deposit. Bank transactions are FREE! You still OWN THE MONEY, just not in paper form! I spend my change at every register transaction, such that I never have more than a dollar’s worth in coin. I use a little plastic open-and-close green coin thingie like your grandpa had. I generally keep the quarters out, for laundry and parking meters, and roll them.

    It’s the SYSTEM you need, not the smaller TOY.

  44. posted by Cliff on

    Ooops, mis-spoke. I have three credit cards, but I only CARRY one. So my slim “carrying” wallet (and in fact it’s quite a lot smaller than the slim-slimmy brand thing) holds only: driver’s license, medical insurance ID, ATM card, Visa credit card, period. 1 2 3 4. Plus cash.

  45. posted by ro618ck on


  46. posted by Unclutterer » Archive » Trim your wallet on

    […] I decided to buy a smaller wallet (I went with the Slim Slimmy, by the way), my next step was cleaning out my old, oversized […]

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