Chain Wallets, also commonly referred to as Biker Wallets, are a subtype of wallet that includes any wallet that includes metal, or sometimes leather chains, that attaches to your wallet. The unique chain provides many advantages (which we’ll discuss more later), including added security and an easier way to access your wallet at a moment’s notice. The video below is a great starting point when discovering more regarding Chain or Biker wallets explained by a long-life Biker himself. It’s a great watch and super eyeopening when it comes to this interesting subculture.
I’ve browsed through other so-called ‘best chain wallet’ lists on the internet and found the caliber of choice to be sub-par at best. The recommended wallets were all simply bad quality, to say the least with the only criteria for the recommendation being the fact they had a chain. My article will be slightly different, each wallet will include a chain, but I’ve also considered other facts including the quality, craftsmanship, and functionality of the wallet itself.
History of the Chain Wallet
The history of the chain wallet stems from Biker Culture that first became prominent in the 1950s Biker scene. Born out of necessity, the wallet chain was originally seen as a functional accessory, as opposed to a fashion statement, as it provided a safe and secure way to secure your wallet to yourself when riding a motorbike. I’d imagine it wasn’t uncommon for Bikers to commonly lose their wallets when riding spawning the development of an easy and affordable way to prevent this from occurring. It wasn’t until years later, that the wallet chain started to become synonyms with the overall fashion and aesthetics of Biker culture, in which non-bikers started to adopt the chain regardless of its functional use.
Since then, the Chain wallet has been in and out of fashion also becoming part of the 1980s Punk aesthetic movement and the rock and metal scene popularised by bands such as Poison and Aerosmith among other big bands of that era.
The Popularity of Chain Wallets
Chain Wallets have fallen out of popularity in recent years. The last time they were popular was probably in the mid-2000s where brands such as Linkin Park popularised them in their punk/rock aesthetic. But since then, their popularity has dwindled quite significantly as new fashion paved the way for a different style that didn’t fit the punk/rock movement. You only need to look at the Google Trends chart below to see the volume of people looking to purchase a chain wallet peaked in 2007 and has been in a steady downtrend ever since.
The reasons why the popularity of chain wallets has diminished are open to debate. I’d most likely put it down to the dwindling popularity of subcultures that used the chain wallet as part of their fashion. Other reasons include the evolution and innovation of new types of wallets including metal or minimalist wallets where chains don’t work as effectively in these types of wallets. Overall, as fashion trends change, I’m sure the Chain Wallet is due for a revival in the coming years. It has a cool and distinctive look while providing effective functionality not offered by many other wallets on the market today.
The Advantages of Chain Wallets
Along with being seen as a statement piece, the Chain Wallet is also highly functional for a number of reasons that we’ll discuss below:
Prevent thief by Pickpockets: One of the most overlooked reasons for purchasing a Chain Wallet. Wallets are the most common target for pickpockets, so having them permanently attached to your body with a chain completely eliminates the possibility of getting robbed. This is especially true if you’re traveling abroad, where pickpockets are more likely to target tourists who may be carrying large amounts of cash around.
Reduce the chances of losing your wallet: Going back to basics, with the original purpose of the Chain wallet during the rise of Biker culture. As we said, Bikers used chains to prevent potential loss when riding long distances and the security it provides hasn’t changed regardless of whether you’re a Biker or not. The chain wallet is the original wallet security measure before the rise of Smart or GPS Tracking Wallets.
Easier access to your wallet: Chain Wallets also provide an easier way to access your wallet. Instead of fumbling about trying to access your wallet, you can easily and swiftly access your wallet by pulling on the chain. A small benefit but one that you can quickly become adjust to and never want to go back.
A statement piece in fashion: Finally, this isn’t much of an advantage and more of a personal choice of fashion. Chain Wallets are a signature fashion accessory in many subcultures readily used by the likes of Bikers, Punks, and Goths. If you’re looking to slowly ease your way into one of these groups and chain wallet might be an easy way to ease in without fully committing.
JooJoob’s Chain Wallets
With a long history in leathercraft going back nearly 50 years JooJoobs is a fantastic handcrafted leathercraft brand from Thailand. They excel in using a fantastic array of premium materials including full-grain leathers with a fantastic vintage look and feel to them. One of JooJoob’s bestsellers is their array of Chain wallets that come in a variety of different designs to suit your individual needs. JooJoob also offers a great array of customization or personalization options (an additional $8.00), that includes a monogram of your choice.
The chain itself is a classic full metal one and is of fantastic quality. Measuring 20 inches (although you can request a smaller size) the chain perfectly matches the quality of each and every wallet. At the end of each chain is a leather ‘dongle’ (as I’ve named it), which acts as a way to attach the chain to your belt or other items. This uses a sturdy snap culture system. Probably one of the better chains on the market, highly durable and very premium in quality.
Starting at a price tag of $59.99 and ranging up to $119.99, JooJoob’s offer a great price range for people on a variety of budgets along with providing the best choice in different wallet designs whether or not you’re looking for a chain wallet that’s more minimalist in size or larger in capacity. Overall, I have very negative to say about the range of chain wallets offered by JooJoobs. The quality is fantastic, the designs are innovative and functional and the prices are affordable. We’ve reviewed a few of JooJoob’s wallets in the past so if you need more information check out our full review here. Otherwise, visit their official website using the link below.
Mr. Lentz Biker Wallet
Mr. Lentz is most famous for their way of fantastically unique handcrafted wallets that have a very cowboy Western appearance to them. I reviewed quite a few of Mr. Lentz’s wallets in the past and I’ve never been disappointed with the quality they provide. One of the unique aspects of Mr. Lentz’s wallets is the fact they sell a huge variety of different biker wallets or as we referring to them in this article chain wallets.
In terms of employer t of chain wallets distal ends of his fantastic array distinctive functional and highly unique wallets. This customization also extends to the variety of different chains you can choose from. In total, you can choose between 5 different chains with any wallet each with a different look, and length.
My favorite biker wallet from Mr. Lentz is their standard long wallet. This wallet and every other wallet in the Mr. Lentz range is made from full-grain leather completely handcrafted in the United States of America. The wallet due to its larger size is highly functional and has a range of features for fantastic storage capabilities of bills and your credit and debit cards.
Starting at a price tag of xxx dollars and ranging up to a maximum of xxx dollars the Mr. Lentz wallet range isn’t cheap but is definitely worth the money if you’re looking for a fantastic chain wallet that excels in both functionality build quality and durability. You can check out the other reviews we’ve done on Mr. Lentz wallets or visit their official website using the link below.
Off White Chain Wallets
Off White is actually a designer clothing brand with an eclectic array of different appeal to purchase. Unlike more traditional designer brands such as the likes of Gucci or Louis Vuitton, off-white provides a more minimalist design philosophy in the majority of their goods. This is very much seen in their Off White chain wallet, a hybrid between a minimalist card holder and zip wallet.
Like with any designer brand quality craftsmanship is of the utmost importance. Off why do a fantastic job this in my opinion with exemplary quality and the use of premium materials such as full-grain leather in the wallet designs. In terms of design, the wallet is in a classic zipper wallet style. This means externally the wallet has no means of storage but internally will it has great capacity with 4 individual card slots and the internal cavity space used the storage of cash and any other small item that could fit in a wallet of this size.
Overall the off-white wallet is a wonderful little zipper wallet that also incorporates a chain. The quality is fantastic and I’m a big fan of their air quote range which puts random self-explanatory quotes on the front in a phone and touching cheek kind of way. As you’d imagine designer wallets on cheap the off-white chain wallet will set you back £220 around $250. Out of most people’s budgets but a great choice if you’re looking for well-respected brand quality and the all-important chain. For more information on the off-white chain wallet visit their official website using the link below.
Anvil Customs Wallets
I couldn’t include a few examples of biker wallets on this list. After all, biker wallets or what popularized the chain in the first place, and many people reading this article might be interested in some of what the crazy biker wallet designs have to offer.
The first thing you’ll note when browsing through any anvil customs wallet is the range of highly stylized designs on each and every wallet. Biker culture likes to incorporate many different symbols into their designs. If you think about the stereotypical biker aesthetic, then you probably have a larger, hairy male with tattoos in full biker gear in mind. This isn’t exactly wrong but many different designs incorporating symbols such as skulls, snakes, fire, and guns into their wallet designs.
If this is the type of look you’re typing to go for, Avil Customs does a great job of providing this exact look and feel with many of these symbols being engraved onto the surface of each of their chain wallets. Designs of surprisingly intricate and provide an incredible amount of detail and artistic prowess. Not only this but each wallet is made to excellent quality, being made from a hardy and durable full-grain leather and a chain that has the quality you’d expect from any Biker Wallet.
In terms of functionality most, of the wallets offered by Anvil Customs are larger in size. The picture above is an exception to this and a room of a cardholder style. This is generally because Biker Wallets usually incorporate lavish designs and traditionally Biker wallets have always been long in style providing great storage of cash, cards, and other items. Overall, I was highly pressed with the range and quality the Anvil Custom’s wallets had to offer. They no way cheap, starting at xxx and ranging up to xxx, but the perfect example of traditional Biker Wallets on the market. For more information on Anvil Customs range check out their official website using the link below.
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