If you’re looking for an ultra-thin wallet that will also carry cash under an outside money clip or money strap, this post is for you.
There isn’t a wallet on this list that’s much thicker than 0.30”. One of them, in fact, is only the thickness of 4 credit cards stacked together. Yeah, that’s thin.
This table shows the wallets that I’ll be discussing in this post and the thinness of each.
|How thin is it?
These are all card holder wallets, so the more cards and cash you put in them, the thicker they get. There is no magic here. If you want to keep them thin, you’ll have to re-evaluate how much you really need to carry.
Minimalist wallets demand a minimalist philosophy. Are you ready to trim the fat and curb the excess? Alrighty, then. Let’s take a close look at these razor-thin, money clip wallets one by one.
The Ridge slim card holder
The Ridge is a solidly built money clip wallet that’s thin in size with a fatter price.
The Ridge is one of two superstars on this list. It sprang out of a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 by a father and son team. Since then, it has become the designer brand to have in a minimalist card holder wallet. When completely empty, it measures just 0.27” thick.
It’s a “sandwich-type” wallet with two exterior plates made of aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber. Stout elastic straps bind these plates together and securely hold up to 12 cards between them. When you’re ready to use a card, just push them all out with the C-shaped thumb notch and choose the one you want.
But I ask you: Do you really need to carry so many cards that they double the thickness of your wallet? I vote no. The Ridge works much better with 5 or 6 cards. That leaves plenty of room for 2 or 3 cash bills folded over twice and placed under the outside money clip.
The Ridge comes with either a money clip or a money band. I personally prefer the band because it doesn’t catch in my pocket as easily as the clip. The Ridge isn’t cheap, but it’s built to last and has a lifetime warranty.
Ekster Senate wallet
Of all the wallets I’ve tested, the Ekster Senate continues to be one of my perennial favorites.
- With the outer leather pocket cover removed, the Ekster Senate is one of the thinnest wallets out there
- The push-button “pop-up” card ejection system is first-rate
- Ekster uses top-grain European-sourced leather
This is the other superstar. I’ve been carrying the Ekster Senate wallet for a year and I love the way the high-quality leather feels inside my front pocket.
Unlike the Ridge and the other wallets on this list, the Ekster doesn’t expand as you add cards. A rigid RFID-protected aluminum enclosure holds a maximum of 6 cards and that’s it. The unique pop-up mechanism ejects them into a perfect fan with the push of a button.
The quick access pop-up feature makes it super easy to quickly choose the card I want in the checkout aisle. When I’m done, I just push the cards back in with one finger and I’m on my way lickety split. If I need cash, an elastic money strap securely holds a few $20 bills folded over twice.
Out of the box, the Ekster measures a relatively plump 0.50” thick. But you can slim it down to just over 0.30” by removing the outer leather pocket and integrated money band. This leaves only the thin aluminum enclosure (wrapped in one piece of beautiful leather). Slide on the extra money band that Ekster provides and you’re ready to compete with the thinnest wallets out there.
Big Skinny thin wallet
At only 4 mm thin out of the box, this is a great choice for someone who prefers a leather wallet.
- Strong magnetic clip can hold more than 20 folded bank notes
- 3 card pockets plus ID pocket can hold up to 12 plastic cards
For a thin minimalist wallet, the Big Skinny is a contrarian because it is made entirely from top-grain leather with a microfiber lining. There is no metal (and therefore no RFID protection) inside this wallet. And that’s okay. Owners love the leather quality and admire the perfect stitching that holds it all together.
The money clip is also metal-free and holds cash tightly with a magnet. Does the magnet demagnetize the strips of your cards? The answer is no, according to all of the owner reviews I have read. Another feature I like is the handy outside ID pocket for you driver’s license. Inside, there is room for up to 12 plastic cards.
It’s almost hard to believe that the Big Skinny is only 4 mm thin when empty. That’s just the thickness of 5 credit cards! The leather has rounded corners which makes it easy to get it in and out of your pocket.
The main drawback of using leather rather than metal is that cards can bend a little inside the Big Skinny. Some owners also found it a little cumbersome to get their cards in and out.
I-CLIP thin wallet
This super thin wallet has a money clip outside but it is hidden by a full-grain leather cover.
For utter simplicity, the I-CLIP blows the competition away with a thin money clip made entirely from one piece of plastic. (Ugh! Did I just say plastic?) I admit that I was equally aghast at first. But the I-CLIP uses is a high-performance composite called Robutense and the entire wallet is designed and made in Germany. It’s tough stuff.
It has a metallic finish that looks like brushed aluminum and weighs an impossibly light 0.5 ounces. Even with 6 cards in it and two $20 bills under the money clip, it feels like it practically floats in the palm of my hand. I’ve been carrying mine everywhere I go for the past month and I love the way it just takes a swipe up with my thumb to choose the card I want.
Euros, British Pounds, and USD notes all fit cleanly under the money clip. The I-CLIP polishes off its design with a full-grain leather cover that folds over and hides the money clip. Rounded corners all the way around make it easy to slide the I-CLIP in and out of your pocket. Life in plastic? It’s fantastic.
KORE Slim wallet
Another thin wallet for leather lovers that features a removable carbon fiber money clip.
I must admit that the KORE Slim wallet just drifted onto my radar screen. Made by the same company that makes Kore gun belts, this wallet gets rave reviews for its full-grain leather and its extra-wide money clip that holds 10 bills folded in half.
But the Kore Slim doesn’t have just any money clip. This money clip slides out of the wallet so you can use it separately. And the money clip is made of military-grade carbon fiber. How cool is that!
The Kore Men’s Slim will hold up to 8 cards that you can easily remove with the Smart Pull Tab. Just one tug on this strap and all your cards are pulled partway out, front and center.
When completely empty, the Kore Slim wallet is competitively thin at just 1/8th of an inch. And that includes an RFID blocking lining. The physical laws of the universe apply here, so the more cards you put in it, the thicker it will get. (Just for reference, 8 typical credit cards stacked together equal about .25”.)
Other wallets on this list can swing towards both men and women, but this thin money clip wallet will appeal mainly to guys.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use a money clip?
For most external money clips and money bands (like the Ekster Senate), fold your cash bills over twice. This reduces each bill to just 25% of its original size. For internal money clips (like the Serman Brands Slim Bifold), you just insert your bills full length under the clip. When you close the wallet, the bills naturally fold in half.
Is a money clip better than a wallet?
If you just want to carry cash, a money clip like the Travelambo money clip is all you need. But most of us carry credit cards, too. So a better choice would be a card holder wallet (like the Ridge) that incorporates a money clip. For the best of both worlds, the Kore Slim card holder wallet has a removable money clip you can carry separately.
Are you looking for more minimalist wallets? Check out my post Best Minimalist Wallets for Men in 2020.