Tactical wallets are one of the most interesting new additions to the world of accessories. This article answers all of the questions about them.
What is a tactical wallet?
A tactical wallet has features that are designed for a specific purpose and have extra functionality. A slight change in the wallet’s design, storage capacity, or even dimensions, can a wallet a tactical one. Adding some sort of tactical feature to the wallet will also make it tactical. The most common features like this are a bottle opener, a multitool, hidden pockets, an attachment point, a tracking device, etc.
Everything you need to know about tactical wallets
Tactical wallets are somewhat different from traditional wallets. The differences can be noticed in their design, their size, and their features. These are the things you should know about tactical wallets.
What makes a wallet tactical?
One of the main things differentiating tactical wallets from traditional ones is that they come with one or many extra functionalities.
Traditional wallets can hold your cards, cash, and maybe a couple of other things. Compared to this, tactical wallets can offer a lot more than this and they are made with specific functions in mind. These functions can be found in the wallet’s design, materials, and features.
The thing that makes tactical wallets unique is that they are tailored to the specific needs of consumers. For example, someone might need a wallet that can withstand extreme conditions, so a traditional wallet won’t do any good here. The right choice would be to go for a tactical wallet made out of a stronger material such as aluminum or titanium.
In short, a wallet is tactical when it offers some sort of extra functionality to its owner, whether it is a good material, a smart design, or any other sort of feature.
What is a tactical feature?
Tactical features come in many forms and usually refer to some part of the wallet which is made with a specific purpose in mind.
A tactical feature could be the wallet’s design itself. Some minimalist wallets come with a fast card access mechanism as part of their design. This type of feature can save you a lot of time when you need to get to a specific card.
RFID blocking is a very common feature that tactical wallets offer. This function helps to protect your cards from information theft. While on this subject, some tactical wallets have better water protection than others, which is another thing that can be considered a tactical feature.
When something is tactical it means that it has a specific purpose to give you some sort of advantage, so a tactical feature is specifically designed to give your wallet extra functionality.
Are there different types of tactical wallets?
If you take a look at all the tactical wallets currently available, you will notice that there are many things that make one tactical wallet different from another.
The most noticeable differences between some tactical wallets are:
- the material used to make the wallet
- the design of the wallet
- the features that the wallet comes with
- the available storage capacity
- the dimensions of the wallet
Is a tactical wallet better than a traditional wallet?
To be honest, the answer to this question is pretty subjective and it really depends on the type of lifestyle you have, as well as your personal preferences.
If your traditional wallet has enough space and offers you everything you need from it, then maybe a traditional wallet is better for you.
On the other hand, if you want your wallet to bring something extra to the table, or satisfy a specific need from your lifestyle, then a tactical wallet would be a better choice for you.
Are tactical wallets expensive?
At first, you might think that these sleek and feature-packed modern wallets are crazy expensive, but this isn’t the case. Believe it or not, you can find a decent tactical wallet for under $20.
On the other hand, some tactical wallets can cost more than $100, and there are even some that exceed $200. Keep in mind that the price is proportioned to the expenses needed to make the wallet. So in truth, if you pay as much as this for a tactical wallet, you will have a better quality one with more features and a longer lifespan.
Tactical wallet features
Usually, when people talk about tactical wallets they tend to emphasize the features that make that wallet tactical and better. There are multiple aspects in which a wallet can be made tactical.
Making even a small tweak in a wallet’s design can make it tactical. This is something that is even noticeable in some everyday wallets that have a separate ID window which gives them a tactical edge.
Some interesting tactical designs are:
- a rearrangement of the wallet’s pockets so that they can fit more cards in a way that doesn’t make the wallet bulky
- making the design inverted to allow for easier card access
- adding hidden pockets
- adding extra pockets for SIM cards
Most tactical wallets are smaller and thinner than traditional leather wallets. There are two ways a wallet can be tactical because of its dimensions:
- if a wallet has smaller dimensions it can fit basically anywhere
- if the wallet is thin, it will be lightweight and easy to carry around
Storage capacity refers to the number of cards and cash bills you can carry in your wallet, as well as any other things you might be able to place in it.
Tactical wallets are made to hold as few as 5 cards or as many as 15 cards at once. When a wallet is designed to hold a smaller number of cards, its tactical advantage is that you can truly go minimal with it. This type of design promotes the minimalist lifestyle by limiting the available space you have for cards. The same thing goes for cash bills and coins.
Additionally, some manufacturers go for bigger storage capacity options. Basically, they offer a wallet that can hold a lot of cards and cash bills, while still delivering some extra tactical features. See my guide on the best minimalist wallets with the biggest card capacity, as well as my guide on the best minimalist wallets for carrying cash, if you want to get the best of both worlds.
Metal wallets are tactical because they are very durable and long-lasting, and this is all thanks to the material which is used to make them.
On the other hand, leather wallets are more flexible when it comes to style and design, since leather is easier to handle and customize.
Apart from the things I mentioned above, there are about a dozen other features that make a wallet tactical.
Money clips and money bands
A large number of tactical wallets today have incorporated money clips or money bands instead of making a separate pocket for cash bills.
The money clip is usually placed on the exterior of the wallet and can most frequently be seen on wallets that are made from metal. Some money clips are strong enough to hold a larger number of cash bills, but you will never be able to carry more of them with this type of mechanism than you would in a traditional pocket.
This is also the case for a money band. The money band on the wallet is usually strapped to one of the plates of the metal wallet. In my opinion, a money band is more secure than a money clip.
RFID blocking seems to be a feature that more and more minimalist tactical wallets incorporate in their design. The main purpose of it is to protect the information on your payment and ID cards.
Some wallets have special patented innovations that make their wallet design unique. It could be anything from a thumb-push access mechanism for your cards, to something like a special design that fits your front pocket perfectly.
Some tactical wallets offer beautiful designs in different colors. Most commonly, these are tactical wallets that are made out of leather. You can find tactical wallets in almost any color, with different prints, even some that have hand stitching on them.
There are even some metal wallets that make different patterns and designs for their plates. The best types are those that have the option to change the current plates they have for others, which allows you to change up your wallet design whenever you want to.
There are some tactical wallets that are even made to hold a multitool. The best-known wallets of this type are the ones that Dango makes.
Dango has designed multitools with a lot of different functions that can be incorporated into the wallet itself.
Some wallets don’t have water protection at all, so if one does have decent water protection, it’s a big plus.
Most open-frame wallets and leather wallets don’t offer good water protection, which is something you should consider if your cards and cash safety are important to you.
Bottle openers are a common tactical feature that can be found in some minimalist wallets. It’s always good to have one at hand for a happy occasion.
A hanging ring is usually located on the top part of the wallet and gives you the option to put a tether or lanyard on it. This is a great tactical feature for those of you who have a physically active lifestyle. Attaching your wallet to your bag will ensure that you never lose it when you are on a run, climbing, or simply exercising, and it’s also a great safety feature as well.
You can get a tactical wallet that has a tracking device. I’m immediately sold on this one, since I tend to always forget where I place my wallet.
How to choose the right tactical wallet for yourself?
Choosing the perfect tactical wallet for yourself isn’t as easy as you might think. There are so many things that you need to consider that it can even get a little bit overwhelming. These are the steps you can take to make this whole thing a little bit easier.
Take a look at your lifestyle
What type of tactical wallet is best for you largely depends on the type of lifestyle you have.
For instance, if your job requires you to carry a lot of cards and cash bills, you can’t really choose a minimalist wallet with a small storage capacity. Compared to this, someone who uses just 2 cards daily, won’t fully utilize a large storage capacity wallet.
The available tactical features also play a big role here. Some wallets have features specifically tailored for travelers that won’t be all that useful for someone else. Defining the types of features you would use and don’t really need is an essential step to choosing the perfect tactical wallet.
Decide how much storage space you need
The main purpose of your wallet is to hold your cards and cash bills, so it is very important to take your time and go through this step.
First, it’s important to declutter and slim down the contents of your wallet to the bare essentials. You don’t want to plan for a cluttered wallet in the future, and it’s best to start by limiting the items you carry only to the ones that are critical.
Then, see how many cards you use regularly and define how many card slots you want from your wallet.
The last step is to calculate the number of cash bills you tend to carry so that you can determine what type of wallet is best for you. This is important because if you don’t carry that much cash, you can get a wallet with a money clip or cash band. On the other hand, this won’t do you much good if you carry a bunch of cash bills with you.
Choose which style you want
The wallet that you pick should be one that has a color and style that would go well with your wardrobe.
If you usually wear formal and casual clothes, most leather and tactical wallets would suit you well. I would suggest checking out a couple of designs and colors and comparing them, then just picking the one that you like the best.
Define a price range
Not everyone wants to spend over $100 on a wallet. Defining your budget is one of the most important steps to choosing the right wallet for yourself.
Pick your perfect wallet
After going through the steps mentioned above, you will have a list of the most important characteristics that your new wallet should possess. This will make it very easy to search for tactical wallets that fall within this category. All that is left is to choose the one that fits your criteria the best and make it your own.
Are tactical wallets popular?
The popularity of tactical wallets seems to be rising every day as more and more people choose to get this type of wallet instead of another traditional one.
Why do people like tactical wallets?
Tactical wallets offer a wide range of features that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you. A bottle opener or a glass breaker is always a good tool to have on hand. Some special multitools could even be lifesavers for campers and people who like outdoor sports.
The main reason why people like these wallets so much is because they make their life easier. Whether it is by limiting the storage and allowing people to declutter, or by having a specific feature that makes a certain everyday activity easier, tactical wallet’s are always made to be helpful.
Should you get a tactical wallet?
In my opinion, it’s always good to try something new and interesting, and getting a tactical wallet is one of those new things.
There are so many reasons that make getting this type of wallet a good decision, that I don’t know where to begin. Tactical wallets are stylish and offer a wide range of colors and designs. They are very compact and don’t weigh that much even after being stuffed with everything you need. Most of them use premium materials, so they are durable and have a long lifespan. The best thing is, that they offer different features that make them unique and helpful.
So unless you are keen on using a traditional wallet, I would definitely suggest you get a tactical one next.
Types of people that would find tactical wallets most useful
In order to determine whether a tactical wallet is useful to someone, it is important to see how the features of that wallet will help make this person’s day easier. Here are a couple of examples of how some features of a tactical wallet would perfectly fit a certain type of person.
Someone who travels a lot
Some leather tactical wallets are specifically designed to offer features that are useful to people who travel a lot. Such features include an extra slot for SIM cards, a coin pocket, a hidden cash bill compartment, and even a pocket that can hold your passport. These types of wallets usually have a large storage capacity, since travelers need to have a lot of cash bills at hand.
Entrepreneurs and businesspeople will enjoy using leather tactical wallets that have enough space for their cards and cash bills. There are many wallets like this, that also have an elegant design and come in neutral colors.
Another type of wallet that would be useful to this group is a tactical wallet that is specifically designed to hold only cards. This would make a perfect secondary wallet for people who carry a lot of business and other similar cards.
Tactical minimalist wallets are very popular today. True minimalists go for a wallet that can hold the bare minimum. Space for just a couple of cards and cash bills is more than enough in this instance.
Campers and outdoorsy people
This is where tactical wallets truly shine with all of their features. Campers seem to really enjoy tactical wallets that have a wide range of features available. The perfect wallet in this case would be one that offers a good multitool that can be used for cutting, breaking, and similar activities.
People who work in extreme conditions
The last group of people on this list are those that work in harsh conditions. Most traditional wallets would have trouble surviving in certain environments, so it’s good to find one that is made out of stronger materials that can withstand such conditions.
Best tactical wallets
Some of the best tactical wallets available today are:
- Dango D01 Dapper
- Dango A10 Adapt Bifold
- Ridge Carbon Fiber
- Ekster Parliament
- Dango T01 Tactical Bifold
- Secrid Slimwallet
See my guide on the best tactical wallets to find out more.