The best minimalist wallets for men in 2022 are really more like cardholders than conventional wallets. They are thin, slim, and some, like the Ridge, are no larger than a credit card. When you put one of these wallets in your front pocket, you’ll feel like your pocket just got bigger.
The best cardholder wallets all have their imitators, but the ones in this post are the real deal. All of these are the originals that have set the standard for each of their respective designs. They’re not inexpensive, but they are cutting edge.
Here are my 6 favs.
Best overall: Ekster Senate
The Ekster Senate is my personal EDC (every day carry) and the best minimalist wallet I’ve ever owned. Yes, it’s a little larger than the Ridge and Ogon wallets. But it still sits squarely in the minimalist size category with room to spare. It has 3 things going for it that I just love.
- A quick access card ejection system. With the push of a button, a mechanism instantly pushes out up to 6 cards out into a staggered fan. I can complete my transaction faster than just about anyone else at a self-service checkout.
- Sumptuous high-quality leather sewed with color-matched stitching. It feels good in my hand and my pocket. After 6 months, the leather still looks new.
- A solar-powered tracking card. This can help find your wallet in your house or anywhere in the world. It even works in reverse to help you find your phone.
An RFID blocking aluminum case is the foundation of the wallet with a capacity of 6 cards. If you remove the money band and attached leather pocket, you can carry just the leather-wrapped case for a super slim carry. Any way you carry it, the Ekster Senate is a winner.
- excellent card ejection “pop-up” mechanism
- beautiful leather with careful stitching
- RFID protection
- trackable with Ekster solar-powered tracking card
- only holds 6 cards in pop-up card case
LEARN MORE: If you’d like to learn all of the nitty-gritty details about this wallet, check out The Definitive Ekster Wallet Review: Best Pop-up Wallet in 2020? It’s worth a read.
Best metal wallet: The Ridge
The Ridge minimalist carhttps://www.walletsurfer.com/recommends/ridge/d holder wallet is a simple but elegant design. It’s a kind of credit card sandwich that holds up to 12 cards between two rigid plates made from aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber.
Tiny screws secure strong elastic to these plates on 3 sides and the tension of this elastic keeps the cards in place. The screws are known to loosen over time, so Ridge includes a tiny screwdriver in the box to tighten them up.
You load the cards into the wallet via a beveled opening that leaves enough room to insert your fingertips or fingernails to pry open the plates. To extract the cards, use your finger or thumb to push them out from a C-shaped notch on the opposite side. You can flare out the cards by squeezing the side of the wallet with the notch.
It’s a very well made and functional card holder wallet that has established itself as the designer brand to carry.
- made to last
- RFID protection
- minimalist in size
- keeps cards from bending
- aluminum model scratches easily
- extracting cards takes practice
Best carbon fiber: Ogon Carbon Card Clip
The Ogon Carbon Card Clip is advertised as the world’s smallest wallet. Despite it’s name, it’s really not a money clip at all because it holds plastic cards rather than cash. It is made in France with real carbon fiber. The carbon fiber makes this compact wallet five times stronger than steel and much lighter in weight.
I really like the way you can easily push up to 7 cards out with an index finger and then fan them like a deck of cards. It’s much more intuitive than the Ridge for quickly accessing your cards.
The Ogon Carbon Card Clip has an aluminum foil layer inside the carbon fiber that protects your cards from RFID data theft. Inside that is a micro velvet fiber layer that puts a nice, baby-soft surface against your cards.
The only draw back to the design is that there is no place to hold any currency, unless you sandwich it somewhere between your cards. But that’s what you sacrifice when you carry one of the tiniest carbon fiber minimalist wallets out there.
- small and lightweight
- super strong carbon fiber
- RFID protection
- soft velvet layer protects cards
- designed for cards with no dedicated place for cash
Best value: Fidelo Eclipse
When you purchase a Fidelo Eclipse wallet, you’ll feel like you received 3 wallets in one box. It ships with 3 interchangeable faceplates that screw on with the included screwdriver. You can have a carbon fiber wallet today and switch to one of two different aluminum finishes tomorrow.
The Fidelo incorporates a sandwich design like the Ridge, but ejects the cards with a push-from-the-bottom finger slot like the Ogon 3C. You can choose from either a money clip or money band to hold your currency.
With all of this customization, the Fidelo Eclipse has a certain DIY quality to it. And if you lose any of the teensy-weensy screws while you’re tinkering with the faceplates, they include some extras in the box. The wallet blocks RFID frequencies, too, but it will allow the lower frequencies that building access cards and hotel room keys use to pass through.
Fidelo’s credo is “Be minimal, be free,” so you know they take their minimalist wallets seriously. Owners rave about the wallet in online reviews and love the reasonable price point for this convertible wallet.
- hybrid design with interchangeable faceplates
- large thumb slot at bottom
- RFID protection
- excellent value
- lots of tiny screws to lose or loosen
Best magnetic: Pitaka MagEZ Wallet
As the name implies, the minimalist Pitaka MagEZ wallet is held together magnetically. There are no elastic bands or tiny screws. No push button ejection system. Like the Ridge and the Fidelo, it is a familiar sandwich design. But the similarities end there.
Inside the Pitaka MagEZ are modules that hold up to 6 cards. There is a cash money clip module available, but you’ll have to order that directly from ipitaka.com.
Because the module frames take up some extra space, the dimensions of the MagEZ are incrementally larger than some of the others in this post. But it’s still sleek and slim in your front pocket.
As you might have already suspected, Pitaka states upfront that their standard MagEZ wallet is NOT friendly to cards with a magnetic strip.
However, it won’t affect the electronic chip in any of your cards. There is an upgraded model called the MagEZ Wallet UE that has special anti-degaussing properties. This will shield the encoded information on a card’s magnetic strip from being obliterated.
One of the features I really like about this wallet is the ease of extracting the card you want. It’s a one-handed operation that just requires an agile thumb. It’s an eclectic wallet for the independent-minded. It has no imitators.
- no screws to lose or elastic to wear out
- a unique, one-off wallet design
- easy to find the card you want
- magnetic plates demagnetize credit card stripes without purchasing special modules
The Lightest: I-CLIP Card Holder Wallet
It’s almost heretical to think that a wallet designed and made in Germany would be made from plastic. Yet that’s what they did. The folks at I-CLIP developed a high-performance plastic composite called Robutense that makes this wallet as light as a snowflake.
Yet, it can still hold up to 12 cards and several cash bills inside its minimalist frame that is no larger than a credit card. I’ve been carrying this wallet with me for over two weeks and I like it a little more each and every day.
It has a very open design, so you won’t be getting any RFID skimming protection from the I-CLIP cardholder wallet. (However, they sell RFID shields separately. You can also try the Vaultcard.) Simply slide your thumb on the top card and it smoothly slides out the top. Grab the card with your other hand, use it, then slip in back in the I-CLIP effortlessly.
Accessing the cards under the top card is a little trickier, but gets easier with practice. Though it holds 12, it’s much easier to handle with no more than 8 cards. An integral money clip under the full-grain leather cover provides the pressure that holds cash and cards in place. You have to have at least one card in the wallet to hold cash.
- made from high performance plastic composite
- extremely lightweight, just 0.5 ounces
- minimalist in size
- holds up to 12 cards plus cash
- integrated money clip
- no RFID protection
- doesn’t work well with just 1 or 2 cards
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a minimalist wallet?
A minimalist wallet is usually compact, slim, and lightweight. It cuts wasted space down to the bone. It appeals to people who want to un-complicate and declutter their lives by carrying only the barest of essentials. The payoff is a wallet that is easy to carry with little or no front pocket bulge. Example: Ekster Senate
What is a card holder wallet?
A cardholder wallet is designed to hold credit cards and other plastic cards that are the same size. A cardholder wallet often has an ejection system that fans out the cards, such as the Secrid Slim. It’s usually minimalist in size, too, barely larger than the size of the cards it contains.
What is a sandwich-design card holder wallet?
A sandwich-design card holder wallet usually has 2 rigid plates that are bound together by elastic. The plates are often made from aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber. Elastic bands or straps slip over the plates or attach to the plates with screws. Cards are held in between. Example: the Ridge.
Would you like to read a little more about my personal favorite, the Ekster Senate wallet? I wrote a comprehensive review of both the Ekster Senate and Ekster Parliament wallets that will tell you everything you need to know.