• The Best Wallet Ever

    by  • 2013/04/04 • Hardware, Review, Thoughts • 21 Comments

    I have always had a bad relationship with wallets. It was just one more thing I had to carry because there was no way to keep IDs and money organized in my pocket on its own. After one of my wallets wore to the point of me actually throwing it away, I decided I’d try to make the most efficient wallet ever. Not with leather or Duct Tape, but with something that could do the job of holding my cards/cash together without getting in the way of me trying to get things in and out of it.
    I started with a rubber band (in a cross shape) holding my cards together. Thus was born the band wallet v0.1, at least for me, I didn’t know about the money band until writing this article. This worked pretty well but every 3-4 weeks I’d have to replace the rubber band because it would wear out and break. No big deal because rubber bands cost almost nothing.
    The breakage wasn’t a big deal but I decided there had to be something stronger, something that would last longer. I found hair ties (the cloth bands with a fixed metal clasp) to not break like rubber bands and could typically last 4-6 months. This was a huge step in the right direction and the cloth band was easier to move out of the way than rubber. (band wallet v0.3)
    bandwallet-v.01
    I used this wallet for 2+ years. It was great and I told everyone about it. I had convinced a couple friends to also use it as a wallet and after about 3 months of my friend using it he made an additional tweak to the design by putting the band over two corners which helped in getting cards in and out. He also used a thick rubber band instead of a hair tie or thin rubber band which let the wallet last for 6+ months. (band wallet v0.5)
    bandwallet-v.05
    The latest incarnation of the band wallet takes another step forward for efficiency and also another step for longevity. It was discovered, by another friend, that not all rubber bands are created equal. Produce rubber bands are made out of a more durable rubber and are the perfect size for holding cards. The band wallet has now reached version 1.0 thanks to some crowd sourcing and design tweaking. It also has gone from something that I’d have to replace 1-2 times a year (and possibly pay for) to something that, so far, hasn’t been replaced once and hasn’t cost me an extra penny. The single wrap around the cards also helps with getting cards/cash in and out.
    Best Wallet Ever!
    So what do I put in my band wallet? Here’s the quick breakdown because I have found this combination to be very efficient for everything I need.

    bandwallet-v1.0-alt

    *I love Whitelines paper because it works well when photographing and emailing the pages. In my wallet I carry 5-10 sheets of squared paper cut to roughly card size. I use this for ideas and notes I want to write down when I’m out and also use it for business cards if someone needs my email/number. I also carry one full size A5 sheet of paper (folded) for notes that won’t fit. I highly recommend carrying paper around if you often get ideas that need pictures or diagrams instead of just text.

    About

    Avid learner with a passion for technology and people. He is always trying new things or taking something apart to make it better.

    http://1n73r.net

    • dante

      I got rid of my traditional wallet about 4 years ago. I end up using the as seen on TV SlimClip. You can grab ione on Amazon for like 3 or 4 bucks. The basic idea is money clip on one side and credit card clip on the other. If you have an extra broccoli band I would like to give your wallet a try.

      • http://1n73r.net Justin Garrison

        I think Chris W uses the slimclip too. It seems pretty functional but for some reason I’ve never liked any clips. I already promised my extra broccoli band to someone else but I do have a spare thick rubber band (v.5) that I’ll bring for you tomorrow.

    • SaRa

      Great Review thanks!! I also used a lot different variations of rubber wallets.
      For travelling and ocassions which need “real” wallets is use the mighty wallet.
      Check it out: http://www.mightywallets.com/

      • http://1n73r.net Justin Garrison

        I kinda like the idea of having a wallet to travel with. I don’t know why because I don’t feel like my current wallet is insecure but for the occasion I need to carry more than just cards and a little cash it could be helpful.

    • Chris

      I have found that wrapping the cards in a piece of scrap leather (same width as a card, about 3x the height, so it wraps around the stack with a little overlap) helps keep things neat, and it’s easier to slide out the top and bottom card. I have to replace the leather about every two or three years.

      • http://1n73r.net Justin Garrison

        I’m not sure I understand the real benefit besides looking nicer and maybe stopping someone from seeing my cards (although they would still see the wallet)
        Plus I’d have to find/buy scrap leather. Is that something people usually have lying around?

    • http://twitter.com/harrisment Harris M Falk
    • http://www.facebook.com/louchuck Andrew Louchuck

      I lost my wallet in February 2012 out of pure necessity I used a rubber band to hold my cards until I bought a new wallet. I never ended up buying that new wallet and have fallen in love with my rubber band wallet. Great article, great to know I’m not the only one!

    • black930

      i’ve used 1cm (or any width) wide ring of rubber cut from bicycle tube forever. you are basically 25 years behind me.

      • http://dantecordova.tumblr.com/ Hater McHaterson

        I like that idea. can you post a pic.

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    • Geoff

      What size rubber band do you suggest? A link to a box of a similar rubber band on Amazon would be helpful.

      • http://1n73r.net Justin Garrison

        The best rubber bands I’ve only ever found in the grocery store holding broccoli together. I’m not sure what size/type they are.

        • http://twitter.com/kenStaude Ken Staude

          Also ones used to hold together asparagus, probably the same ones!

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    • Deborah – Class 535 SE

      Men – You need a little PURSE!! I’m kidding. I just came up with an idea though as I was typing this. What if you had a manly looking (maybe black leather) pocket that hung from your belt. It wouldn’t look fanny pack like. It would hang flat at your side. It would be relatively small, just a little larger than a pocket, so that it would hold all your cards and money. Hum? Actually, cut the straps off of a woman’s very small over the shoulder pouch like coin purse that snaps. Then snap it over your belt – Wahla!!

    • J

      Crazy thing is it seems no one makes the right size rubber band. Any advise? I thought the Broccoli wad was a joke IMHO.