Why The ‘Band Wallet’ Is The Best Wallet Ever

Why The ‘Band Wallet’ Is The Best Wallet Ever

I have always had a bad relationship with wallets. It was just one more thing I had to carry because there was no way to keep IDs and money organised in my pocket on its own. After one of my wallets wore to the point of me actually throwing it away, I decided I’d try to make the most efficient wallet ever.

Not with leather or duct tape, but with something that could do the job of holding my cards/cash together without getting in the way of me trying to get things in and out of it.

I started with a rubber band (in a cross shape) holding my cards together. Thus was born the band wallet v0.1, at least for me, I didn’t know about the money band until writing this article. This worked pretty well but every 3-4 weeks I’d have to replace the rubber band because it would wear out and break. No big deal because rubber bands cost almost nothing.

The breakage wasn’t a big deal but I decided there had to be something stronger, something that would last longer. I found hair ties (the cloth bands with a fixed metal clasp) didn’t break like rubber bands and could typically last 4-6 months. This was a huge step in the right direction and the cloth band was easier to move out of the way than rubber.


I used this wallet for 2+ years. It was great and I told everyone about it. I had convinced a couple of friends to also use it as a wallet and after about three months of my friend using it he made an additional tweak to the design by putting the band over two corners which helped in getting cards in and out. He also used a thick rubber band instead of a hair tie or thin rubber band which let the wallet last for 6+ months. [clear]


The latest incarnation of the band wallet takes another step forward for efficiency and also another step for longevity. It was discovered, by another friend, that not all rubber bands are created equal. Rubber bands used to wrap produce are made out of a more durable rubber and are the perfect size for holding cards. The band wallet has now reached version 1.0 thanks to some crowd sourcing and design tweaking. It also has gone from something that I’d have to replace 1-2 times a year (and possibly pay for) to something that, so far, hasn’t been replaced once and hasn’t cost me an extra penny. The single wrap around the cards also helps with getting cards/cash in and out. [clear]


So what do I put in my band wallet? Here’s the quick breakdown because I have found this combination to be very efficient for everything I need.



*I love Whitelines paper because it works well when photographing and emailing the pages. In my wallet I carry 5-10 sheets of squared paper cut to roughly card size. I use this for ideas and notes I want to write down when I’m out and also use it for business cards if someone needs my email/number. I also carry one full size A5 sheet of paper (folded) for notes that won’t fit. I highly recommend carrying paper around if you often get ideas that need pictures or diagrams instead of just text.

The Best Wallet Ever [1N73R.NET]

Justin Garrison has an insatiable desire to learn new things and to make myself and the technology around him more effective and more efficient. He’s an automation advocate, Linux enthusiast, and all around stand-up guy (both character and desk). Follow him on Twitter @rothgar.


  • How do you get your cards / money out if they’re all compressed together?Are you bending your cards, or do you have to take the whole band off each time?

    F.or example, i couldn’t just slide my cardboard bus pass in and out because the corners would get caught on the numbers of my plastic EFTPOS card, bending it So as to be useless in the machine on the bus..

  • Tried something like this once a few years back and it was terrible. Magnetic strips on cards wear out extremely fast because of the extra friction from not being in an enclosed housing – cards in the band rub against each other every time the stack is bumped, something that doesn’t happen in a wallet. Corners and edges on the cards also fray much faster, and whatever card is on the top or bottom of the stack cops the worst of it.

    Absolutely not worth it, in my experience. There are much better solutions available.

  • Surely everything in this ‘wallet’ would dog-ear and get filthy in days. I like simplicity, but not at the expense of practicality.

    ..and who carries a lock-pick set as part of their ‘must have’ list?

  • this has the exact same problems as a ‘money clip’ wallet, namely that your cards are exposed and will deteriorate very quickly over time, but without any of the perceived benefits, namely appearing swag or baller.

    i used to use a money clip and my drivers licence became so dog eared and bent up that it started getting refused as ID

  • Once you take a lockpick out of that set, it’s permanently loose. So you risk losing it – which means buying another set every time you need to pick a lock. Like a Swiss Army Knife that loses blades: potentially useful but the upkeep is a pain.
    Now if you started with an aluminium, RFID-proof block, and placed the lockpick tools in that, we’d be off to a better start. Make it slightly hollow, hold cards on the bottom and cash on top – only the cash gets wear & tear.
    You can even add a mirror [or change the material to clear plastic].

      • Yep, just buy me a CNC milling machine and a 4mm thick piece of aluminium. I’ll mill a 3mm deep cavity, round the edges a bit and buff it to a high polish. Throw in a rubber band and done.
        Heck – buy me the CNC and I’ll make you one for free.

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