Durable Men's Wallet

I've got a detailed request. After years of getting annoyed by having wallets give up the ghost way too quickly, I'm realizing that buying one is definitely a question of being pound-wise, not penny-wise.


I've been researching online what are the most durable materials out there that lend themselves to being made into wallets.

I have found the following materials as possibilities:

  1. carbon fiber
  2. Mylar
  3. rubber
  4. thick, strong, and pliant leather
  5. fine stainless steel mesh
  6. duct tape
  7. eel skin
  8. ballistic nylon
  9. seatbelt material
  10. Tyvek
  11. sailcloth
  12. stingray
  13. Kevlar
  14. fire hose canvas
  15. fiberglass

I have eliminated already the following materials for a wallet for different reasons:

  1. carbon fiber - I found no good designs online.
  2. Mylar - Camet brand does not have enough pockets.
  3. rubber - by Splaff, seems to be roomy, even with only 4 slots. Material, however, may make it hard to extract papers from it. It is not-absorbent and will probably make my leg sweat.
  4. fine stainless steel mesh - suffers from metal fatigue.
  5. duct tape - looks way too tacky and unprofessional.
  6. seatbelt material - too thick, not enough pockets, stuff in your wallet might fall out cause it's very slippery.
  7. Tyvek - the models don't have enough pockets. It's way too slick to keep important stuff from falling out.
  8. sailcloth - the best brand, Ragged Edge, does not show enough pockets. It appears to not be very pliant a material.
  9. stingray - The insides are still regular leather , the issue all along
  10. fiberglass - It doesn't seem to be on the market.

That leaves the following materials as possible choices:

  1. thick, strong and pliant leather by the Saddleback Leather Company (medium size), nice, manly looking wallet - $45
  2. eel skin - they are thin, very strong and can have enough pockets and an ID place, kinda chintzy looking for my taste - for about $50
  3. ballistic nylon - by TUMI. Does have leather linings and outside, but seems "really" tough leather. With flip ID, very handsome - $70
  4. Kevlar - one by Oakley: has an annoying change pocket and adolescent Velcro closer, but aside from that seems okay - $20
  5. fire hose canvas - Duluth Trading Company: there is no ID, but it looks really strong and lots of space there - $40.

I'd love to get people's feedback. I am trying to find a wallet that will last me a good decade.

By thintieguy from Los Angeles

February 2, 20100 found this helpful

You want a wallet to last 10 years? Your expectations may be too high. My husband gets wallets for his birthday or Christmas and one lasts at least 3 years for him, if not longer. Not too bad for an average wallet. If you use an item daily it will wear out. I've had several women's wallets for more than 5 years. I change them because I get bored with them. I wouldn't want one for 10 years.

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February 7, 20100 found this helpful

Eel skin is thin, looks better after it is in use, and is very strong. Eel skin wallets are rumored to cause ATM cards to stop working. It's not the skin. It's the magnet in the closure that causes the problem. No matter what you choose, and in particular if it is made of a thin material, you should consider avoiding magnets.

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February 8, 20100 found this helpful

In the meantime, try the local thrift shop. You can keep replacing your wallet for a couple of dollars at a time.

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February 8, 20100 found this helpful

I have had two wallets that lasted ten years. The first one was stolen along with my purse at age ten but I firmly believe I would still have it otherwise. The second one is ten now and has many more years to go. Both wallets were the same design. They are leather and do not fold. They have a zipper that closes the contents inside. Nothing gets lost. I bought both in the handbag department of a good department store. The last one cost ten dollars but that was ten years ago so i am sure they are a little more now. I swear by this kind of wallet. I think the fact that they do not fold and have a zipper to keep them in place makes them wear longer.

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Anonymous Flag
February 8, 20100 found this helpful

Leather, Leather, Leather ;-)

I have two zipper types. One holds checks, two check registers, receipts, ID, debits cards, paper money, a couple of pictures and a pen (no it is not huge - it's just slightly larger and about three or four times as thick as a standard checkbook). The other is a small pouch that I keep lots of change in.

Both are almost two decades old and still look nearly brand new even with all the abuse they've received over the years including being shoved in to a crowded purse, dropped, fluids spilled on them, etc.

I don't remember what I paid for them but I do remember thinking when I bought them that they were really reasonable prices. Have become so attached to them (sort of like shoes that have become best friends ;-) that I would be really sad if either were lost or stolen.

I agree with Ann Parker about the zipper type holding up better than the tri-folds.

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February 8, 20100 found this helpful

I have had the same leather wallet for likely 25 years. It does look worn, but it is not worn out, except for the plastic insert in the ID window, which I threw out long ago. Mine is regular standard wallet.

If your leather wallet gets in contact with grease or water of something like that, it may not last. Mine is carried in my purse -- and I have worn out many purses, but the wallet is just fine. It is a unisex wallet.

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February 25, 20100 found this helpful

Look at Duluth Trading Company's catalog or website for leather wallets. I do think leather is best for durabllity.

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