The 10 Best RFID Blocking Wallets
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Because most credit cards and driver’s licenses now come with embedded radio frequency identification devices, some sneaky individuals can pick up whatever information the chips are designed to transmit. But you can keep all your cards and IDs safe from high-tech thieves with one of these RFID-blocking wallets, which are available in a variety of designs to suit all tastes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
December 06, 2019:
Maybe you're worried about credit card or identity theft, or maybe you're a government contractor who needs your digital signature secured at all times. Either way, any of these RFID-blocking wallets will help. Models like the Serman Brands Minimalist and Bryker Hyde Executive Bifold are hardly distinguishable from traditional wallets and go great with a majority of outfits. The same can be said for the Access Denied 1301, plus, it's certified to be in compliance with FIPS 201 security standards for government workers. The SlimFold Micro is a similarly constructed bi-fold option, but rather than leather, it uses a thin and resilient woven fabric that has a little bit more casual of an appearance.
Moving away from classic, folding options, The Ridge Minimalist is one of the nicest money clips we've seen, RFID-resistant or not. Of course, such beauty comes at a price, and in this case, that price is nearly 100 bucks. The SWZA Carbon Fiber is actually a fair imitation of it, though, at a fraction of the cost -- and it's lighter and has a higher capacity, too. The Travelambo Money Clip is an excellent choice for your front pocket and is one of the most compact with a built-in clip.
Then there are some rather specialty selections. The Buffway Slim is about as small as they come, with space for just a few cards and a couple bills, so it promises to be the least obtrusive when stashed in your pocket or bag. The Flipside 4 is incredibly rugged, so if you travel a lot and your cards bend or risk breaking, it's worth a look. For similar yet more compact protection, check out the Bryk Stainless Steel, which is quite small and made from durable metal, but also doesn't have a ton of room inside.
Dango D02 Dapper The Dango Dapper is more than just a wallet, it's a fashion statement. It features a baked nickel-plated frame, top grain leather sides, and a high-grip silicone band. It's TSA compliant and also compatible with the brand's matching multitool. The only drawback is that you'll have to remove over $100 from your current wallet in order to buy it. dangoproducts.com
How Does RFID Work?
An RFID reader has two main components: a transceiver to send the radio signal, and an antenna to receive it.
Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) utilizes electromagnetic frequencies to identify tags, which can be attached to or inserted into an item. These tags can contain any kind of unique data that a manufacturer, financial institution, or retail store needs to access when scanning the item. It's very similar to how the barcode system works, but it offers a higher level of security. For this reason, many industries are moving away from using a barcode identification system and focusing on instituting RFID tags instead. These RFID tags can be smaller than a grain of rice and are more resilient to accidental damage.
An RFID reader has two main components: a transceiver to send the radio signal, and an antenna to receive it. When the transceiver sends a radio signal to the tag, the tag activates. The activated tag then sends out all of the information it contains, which the reader picks up via its antenna.
Credit cards use RFID in the form of EMV chips, which are the gold colored, square-shaped chips in many newly issued cards. When a credit card with an EMV chip is inserted into a terminal, a radio transmission takes place in a matter of milliseconds; divulging all the information needed to complete the transaction.
These chip credit cards are more secure than standard magnetic swipe cards. Though the cards offer more protection from credit card theft, there is still the possibility of a thief reading the card with an easily made homemade RFID reader. To prevent this, some people have taken to tactics like wrapping their credit cards in aluminum foil. This may slightly limit the effectiveness of card readers, but does not fully protect credit cards from being scanned and manipulated. The best way to protect RFID chips in credit cards is with a certified RFID-blocking wallet.
How well a wallet is made will largely determine its lifespan. High quality materials are the first place to start. Wallets which contain large amounts of paper or flimsy plastics will have a much shorter lifespan than long-lasting materials such as leather and metal. There are also synthetic wallets which have been specially treated to withstand rigorous use.
Having the ability to hide cards, notes, or bills is great for emergency needs.
Leather has long been considered the choice material for frequent use items such as wallets. Leather will break in over time, conforming to the items it carries most regularly and becoming more comfortable with long-term use.
Metal wallets do not break in, but their durable build means they can withstand much more abuse than other wallets. Typical wear and tear usually includes numerous scratches on the wallet and small dents, which can make it look unappealing.
Size is an important part of a wallet’s makeup as well. If the user carries twelve cards with them at any given time, they need to be sure their protective wallet is large enough to keep up with their needs. Those looking to live the minimalist lifestyle may prefer to carry only the basics on them at any one time and might prefer a smaller RFID blocking wallet. Hidden pockets are also attractive features for many users. Having the ability to hide cards, notes, or bills is great for emergency needs.
Back Safety With Wallets
Back pain is a common problem. The University of Maryland Medical Center estimates that roughly 60-80 percent of the U.S. population lives with lower back pain on a daily basis. The most common form of injury to the lower back is through a back muscle or ligament strain. Sudden twists in the spine, improper lifting of heavy objects, over reaching, and doing repetitive motions for long periods of time are known causes of lower back pain. Living with this chronic back pain can actually do further harm to the spine, as back pain causes people to lose flexibility, muscle strength, and spinal stability.
There is one type of chronic back pain which is completely preventable.
Carrying a wallet of any size in your back pocket can actually cause damage to your sciatic nerve. Sitting at an odd angle for long periods of time, such as while driving or sitting at the office, promotes poor posture and may actually push the spine and hipbone out of alignment. This may provide insight into the large epidemic of males who have sciatic pain.
Symptoms of piriformis often include a burning sensation down the back and into the thigh, calf, and foot, decreased mobility of the hip, a dull ache in the buttock, pain when walking up hills or stairs, and pain which increases after long periods of sitting. Piriformis is largely avoidable; barring any acute cases caused by injury. There are many preventative stretches that can be done on a daily basis to increase mobility and ensure strength in muscles and ligaments. Wallets should be worn on the front of the body, or at least taken out of the hip pocket any time sitting for a long period is necessary.