The Best Bifold Wallets
[Buyers Guide 2021]
When it comes to finding the perfect wallet it’s hard to ignore the huge and eclectic range of Bi-Fold Wallets. Bifold wallets are considered the staple of the wallet world. I guarantee if you ask 100 men what type of wallet they carry, 90% of them will say bifolds. As there’s a reason for this – bifolds just work. They’re a simple concept that does a great job of both easy storage and access, in a convenient manner.
This article is going to look into our top picks for the best Bifolds on the market today (updated for 2021). As the most popular wallet type on the market there are thousands of choices available when it comes to bifolds, some good, and some not so good. Having individually reviewed thousands of wallets over the years we feel we finally have enough information to provide an impartial and honest opinion on our favorite bi-fold wallets.
A History of Bifold Wallets
The History of the Bifold wallet can be traced back to the early 20th century. Although examples pre-date this, the bi-fold as we know it today, with modern card slots, was only standardized in the 1950s. The main players in developing wallets were Rolfs/Amity Wallets, a company that dominated the wallet space for nearly a century and perfected the modern-day bifold being some of the first companies to standardize what would become what we come to know as a bifold wallet. Below is one of the early patents from Rolf’s wallets in 1933 that showcased what they called at the time a Billfold Wallet.
Today Bifolds remains one of the most common wallets people carry with them on a daily basis. Trends are changing, the increasing popularity of slim or minimalist wallets is slowing changing the wallet industry as more people become less dependent on physical cash or cards and more on technology.
Pros & Cons of Bifold Wallets
Before you set your hearts on a bifold wallet take some time to consider whether they’re the right type of wallet for you. Before are
An amazing array of materials: Thanks to the standard design elements of a bifold it makes them very easy to be made from a wide variety of different materials ranging from leather, nylon, plastic, or even paper. This means depending on your individual needs you can find a better wallet that’s better suited for you. Need a wallet with added durability? Then you can find it. Need waterproof/resistant properties? They exist.
Wide Price Variations: As the top choice for most men, bifolds come in a wide variety of different price ranges. In fact, Bifolds take the top spots for both the most expensive wallet in the world and the cheapest. Because of this, you should have no issue finding a bifold wallet that meetings your own budget. If you are having trouble you can always check out our wallet reviews for all wallets on a budget here.
Cheap and terrible wallets are common: With the popularity of bifolds so high, it has paved the way for many ‘fake’ or terrible brands popping up on the market. It pays to do your research as many of these wallets cost way too much money for what you get. The quality is usually poor, and these brands prey and those who don’t know leather quality grades to sell something for more than it’s actually worth.
Commonly larger in size: Due to the design of bifold wallets, they generally tend to be larger in size. Minimalist options definitely do exist but Bifolds are more commonly popular among those who want larger capacities for cash and cards. Our top picks for minimalist wallets can be found here.
How this Article is Structured…
We’ve divided this article into 4 separate bi-fold categories each with our top picks. The first, looks at our favorite affordable wallets. These wallets can in at a low price tag around the $20.00 mark.
The second, looks at bifolds with unique materials. Although traditionally made from leather, over the years many brands have developed unique wallets with materials that excel in many different areas.
The third, looks at traditional leather wallets. These are our top picks for bifolds that have the best quality using only luxury leather and craftsmanship. Finally, the fourth and final category looks at bifolds with unique functionality. These are wallets that innovative and provide much more functionality than just cash and card storage.
The fourth and final section looks at the best bifold wallets with features not normally found in wallets. Innovative wallets that take functionality and design to the next level.
For Bifolds on a Budget
We’ve divided this article into 4 separate bi-fold categories each with our top picks. First, look at our favorite affordable wallets. These wallets can in at a low price tag around the $20.00 – $30.00 mark. The second looks at bifolds with unique materials. Although traditionally made from leather, over the years many brands have developed uniquely.
Big Skinny Bifolds
Big Skinny provides some of the cheapest, yet smallest wallets on the market today. Their brand is built on the idea that big bulky wallets can cause health concerns especially when you’re back and spine are concerned. Because of this, Big Skinny Wallet’s are designed with thinness in mind and made from materials that are both durable and flexible (the common material choice is Nylon).
Starting at a price tag as low as $15.00 and with over 30 different bi-fold style wallets to choose from, I believe that as a budget option Big Skinny provides a great way to balance quality with affordability. Discover the full range of wallets from Big Skinny by clicking the link below.
5.11 Status Bifold
5.11 Tactical are a true American brand that creates gear that is made to combat and deal with anything you throw at it whether it be extreme weather or sports. This is exactly the reason 5.11 Tactical formed a decade-long relationship with the FBI trading academy which goes to show the tactical nature and quality you can get fron the brand. The 5.11 Status Bifold Wallet is no different a hosts a simple design made for the purposes of durability and ease of use.
Its material choice plays into this being made from a strong nylon webbing material. This is tough and highly durable, can withstand water, and can easily be cleaned without ruining the wallet. Other features include a handy ID Card slot and a branded loop panel on the front for applying your own choice of patch. At only $29.99 the 5.11 Status Bifold is a great choice for budget orientated folks or tactical lovers alike.
Herschel Roy Wallet
Herschel is probably one of the most famous brands on this list. They provide a wide array of apparel products and are situated in many currencies across the world. Although they don’t specialize in just wallets they do produce a fantastic array of wallets ranging from simple bifolds (like we’ll discuss here) to more interesting zip or coin pocket wallets (we have an article specifically on Herschel wallets here).
The best bi-fold from the Herschel range is probably the Roy Wallet. Made from an attractive and durable canvas material the best thing is the array of cool designs that it comes in with a vast choice to suit your individual needs. Along with this the wallets have a great capacity for cash and cards and come in at the cheap price tag of only $20.00. For more information on the Herschel Roy Wallet read our full review here, or visit their website using the link below.
As mentioned previously bifolds are extremely versatile in the fact they can basically be made out of any material. This, along with their popularity, mean’s there’s a huge choice of the market today for innovative bi-fold wallets with materials you’ve probably never heard of before. This section is going to look at our best bi-fold choices for wallets made from unique and distinctive materials.
Another brand that first found fame through Kickstarter, Pioneer Wallets, produces a unique array of wallets made from distinctive materials including 10XD and 3PN. These odd-sounding materials aren’t as intimidating as they sound each with unique properties with distinctive results. 10XD, for example, is made from a custom blend of the world’s strongest fibers and nylon. It results in an extremely strong ripstop fabric, smooth texture, and immense durability.
Not only do Pioneer wallets excel with their choice of materials, but with the actual designs including notable examples such as the Flowfold Division, and Ion wallets. These all have fantastic functionality with great storage for cash, cards, and other items. Starting at $49.00 and ranging up to $85.00 (for their most expensive Divison Billfold), think the Pioneer range is a great choice, with unique materials, and wonderful designs.
What makes Hawbuck different is a combination of 3 things. First of all, every wallet in their collection is made from a material known as Dyneema. This incredibly strong, and durable material not only looks and feels fantastic but is likely to last a lifetime thanks to its amazing properties. Secondly, thanks to its material, Dyneema is very easy to print on. This has given Hawbuck the opportunity to print a range of different designs and patterns on each bifold wallet. Hawbuck even works closely with many amazing and acclaimed designs to really bring a unique offering not seen in other brands.
Hawbuck’s Lean Wallet is probably the best bi-fold wallet in their range. With an ultra-thin and compact size (coming in at 2.8″ x 7.75″) and weighing only 5 grams, the wallet offers a card capacity of between to 4 – 5 cards, with alternative options for larger banknotes currencies that might be a little large for the standard versions full-width cash slot. Starting at only $30.00 as well, Hawkbuck is also very affordable and a great all-around bifold pick.
Oliver Co. Wallets
Oliver Company is a new brand that I first discovered when researching my article on vegan leather wallets. If you’re looking for a wallet from a company that aims to help make a difference and tackle the issue revolving around sustainability and the environment then Oliver Company might be right for you. Their vegan leathers are something to be admired with their signature leather being made from bio-materials especially Apple Leather which is made from leftover pomace and peel and bound with synthetic material for strength.
Not only this but the bi-fold wallets made from this material are also incredibly attractive and function (not to mention affordable). My top pick is their Compat Wallet, which is elegant in a design highly functional for cash and card storage and comes in a nice, but small, array of color options (including black, blue, and brown). I really have no complaints regarding Oliver Co, and they are by far my best pick for a more sustainable bi-fold wallet option on the market today.
Quality Leather Bifolds
I personally believe that there’s nothing more satisfying than a good old leather bi-fold wallet. Leather wallets themselves go back centuries and there’s a reason why the vast majority of wallets you see on the market are made from it. That being said, not all leathers are created equally. Understanding the different types of leather grades is important when it comes to choosing a leather bifold of quality (read our article on leather grades). This section is looking at wallets that are made from the highest quality leathers including full-grain and top grain leathers.
Ashland Leather creates a huge variety of traditional vintage-style wallets for you to choose from. What makes them stand out is they use one of the most premium leathers in the world, Chromexcel Leather, from famed tannery Horween. Horween themselves were founded in 1904 and combined with Ahsland’s wonderful craftsmanship creates a perfect balance of style, tradition, and quality.
You also aren’t limited in choice when it comes to an Ashland Bifold Wallet. My personal favorite is their ‘Tony the Ant’ Wallet. Its clean design and perfectly separated card slots allow for easy access and fantastic storage. It also has a full-width slot at the back for a huge number of banknotes or other paper items. With bifolds starting at $85.00 and ranging up to $275.00, the Ashland range of wallets exudes quality and perfect for those looking for quality leather above all else.
As a British brand with true British values Wingback is another wallet manufacturer that has some amazing choices when it comes to leather bifolds. All Wingback wallets are made to order and made by quality craftsmen. This is clearly shown by the range of choice when it comes to not only choosing the type of bifold you want but also its color, types of leathers, stitching, or even a unique monogram (custom engravings).
The wallet of my choice from Wingback would be their latest bi-fold offering – The Winston Wallet. This super clean, and traditional bi-fold has amazing versatility with easy storage of cash and cards. Where it stands out, comes from the fact the wallet also doubles as a travel wallet allowing you to store a standard-sized passport within the cash slot. This does prevent the wallet from being folded, but it’s a clever way to combine two types of wallets together. Wingback wallets aren’t cheap, with the Winston coming in at close to $100.00.
Popov Leather might just take the top spot for being the most popular handcrafted leather brand on the market today. Popov stand-out from the crowd thanks to their real rustic and traditional approach to leathercraft. Along with having every item being handmade they also use some of the highest quality leathers in the market including the likes of that Horween Full-Grain Leather we previously talked about.
The choice of wallets from Popov are large ranging from traditional bifolds through to chain or even passport wallets. Their traditional Bifold is super simple, sleek, and all about the generous leather that is a guarantee to develop a wonderful patina over time. The wallet starts at a price tag of $99.00, is available in 4 classy colors, and can also be customed with a monogram (extra $9.00). For more information on Popov and their range of wallets check them out below.
Sometimes you need that little something extra when it comes to a wallet. A feature or function that isn’t typically found in other wallets whether that be additional storage for odd items such as keys. Perhaps you want a hidden lot, or a wallet infused with technology. This section looks at our best bifold wallets for exactly this. Discover a range of wallets that have innovative to include a wide range of feature’s not commonly found in bifold wallets.
Ekster Modular Wallet
Ekster is best known for its range of pop-up wallets first popularised and funded on Kickstarter. But most people don’t know the hidden gem that is the Ekster Modular Wallet. This innovative wallet is a combination of a bi-fold, magnetic wallet and what is commonly referred to as a Passcase wallet.
What this all means, in reality, is the Modular Wallet is a 2 in 1 wallet, where inside the classic bifold design is another smaller more minimalist card holder style wallet that can be attached and detached at will. This is thanks to the magnet we mentioned and provides a highly versatile wallet by which you can swap out choose between the two wallets at will and based on your needs of the day. Its quality is great, the design is beautiful with a vintage look, and at a price tag of $89.00, it’s a great choice of wallet.
Bellroy Note Sleeve
The Bellroy Note Sleeve might be the most famous wallet on this list. Bellroy themselves are one of the most famous wallet brands of recent years has been one of the first brands ever to innovate beyond the norm in the wallet industry creating a wide variety of wallets at decent prices. One of their most popular wallets to this day is the Bellroy Note Sleeve, a modern-day evolution of the traditional bi-fold wallet.
On the surface, the Note Sleeve looks like a normal boring bi-fold, but Bellroy has cleverly integrated a number of features including the likes of hidden slots, RFID, and even a magnetic closure mechanism. Not only that by Bellroy wallets aren’t boring, with the wallet being available in a huge variety of different colors and designs. Starting at a price of around $70.00 the Bellroy is a great all-around wallet that is sure to be a top pick for any bifold lover.
Innway Accent Wallet
I’m probably cheating a little here. Although the Innway Accent is more of a pop-up wallet than a bi-fold, its design does incorporate bi-fold elements. The reason I’ve chosen to include the Innway Accent is it’s probably the best example of a smart wallet on the market today. First founded through Kickstarter, the Accent Wallet incorporates not only smart features including GPS Tracking but also uses the growing popularity of the cascading card mechanism (which is probably the easiest and most intuitive way to access credit/debit cards), and a creative fold method for storing cash.
Starting at a price tag of $99.00, the Innway Accent is priced fairly especially when compared to other smart wallets on the market. It has an attractive design, great smart features, and enough storage for all your needs. Although this isn’t precisely a ‘true’ bifold wallet I believe it should be considered as your next wallet.
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