Leather Wallets: 5 Popular Variations You Should Know About

5 popular variations of leather wallets

Online payment services, like Google Pay and Apple Pay, have increased the need for digital wallets. This has unquestionably shifted attention away from physical wallets with some men arguing that we don’t need them anymore.

However, I beg to differ.

I’ve encountered situations where you want to pay with your app, but it fails to work, leaving you with the card, cash, or check option.

That’s why I believe it’s important to have a physical leather wallet with you every day. This stylish, practical, and elegant accessory:

  • Holds and secures cards, cash, IDs, and checkbooks
  • Lasts longer than its synthetic counterparts and even gets better with age
  • Is easy to clean and maintain; quality Leather Scrub & Balm is all you need
  • Exudes class, luxury, and personality, especially when engraved with your name or initials

Leather wallets come in endless variations, so finding the right leather wallet to suit your needs can be overwhelming. To help you find what works best, I’ll discuss 5 popular variations on the market today:

1 - The Traditional Leather Wallet

First on the list is the timeless and classy Traditional Wallet, also called a billfold or a bi-fold wallet.

The name bi-fold is derived from the wallet’s basic “fold-over” design—as you close it, it folds at the center in half.

The traditional wallet dates back to the late 1600s. Shortly after the introduction of the paper currency in 1690, the first traditional wallet was made. It had a simple design and contained only a small pocket for paper bills and ID cards (then known as calling cards).

Related: Wallet History: How Modern-Day Leather Wallets Came to Be

This design was later refined in the 1950s when credit cards became popular and has remained so to present day. Some models vary slightly in design with added features, such as integrated coin purses and bill compartments.

But a typical traditional wallet contains:

  • An open pocket to store your paper currency
  • Card slots for credit cards and other cards

Popov Leather’s Traditional Black Leather Wallet is built to last. Made with durable full-grain leather, this timeless masterpiece gets better with age and use, giving you a lifetime service, unlike synthetic wallets which will be done within a year or two.

"Used for a little over a year. Best wallet I've ever had. Will definitely outlive me, and I'm only 28."

Joey, United States

The Traditional Leather Wallet has six card slots large enough to fit at least two cards per pocket, so you can secure up to 12 cards at a time. This means you’ll never run out of room.

The bi-fold wallet also has a super slim design. Since it folds just once, it lies relatively flat, giving you a bulk-free pocket experience.

So if you want to sit down and not feel like you have a lump in your back pocket, the Traditional Leather Wallet is the way to go.

Expert Tip: All Popov Leather Wallets come in four colors: the English Tan, Heritage Brown, Natural, and Black. So whether you love a tanned brown or a neutral black, you’ll find a wallet suitable for you.

2 - The Classic Trifold Leather Wallet

In essence, the trifold wallet is a slightly advanced iteration of the bi-fold wallet. It has two flaps that fold over and open into three sections, each one making up a third of the wallet’s full length.

This layout gives the trifold wallet a few benefits over the traditional wallet:

  • You’ll enjoy a greater level of security since it’s designed to shut, with the outer third of the wallet folding in over the others when not in use.
  • It offers more storage space, making it an excellent choice for those who want to carry cash, cards and other items with them at all times.

Popov Leather’s Trifold Wallet is spacious enough to carry everything you need, from notes and IDs to credit cards and coins. The 9.8" wide wallet (when unfolded) can easily hold up to 20 bills and still have extra space for notes and receipts.

"This wallet smells wonderful and is great for easily accessing cash. It holds large-sized Asian bills."

Popov Leather Verified Buyer, Hong Kong

The Trifold Wallet has four card slots and an ID window. Each compartment is wide enough to hold at least two credit cards. This wallet is ideal if you have several credit cards and need to provide different IDs and documents regularly.

Overstuffing the wallet, however, will cause it to bulge, making it a challenge to sit down for long. So ensure you clean out your wallet as often as possible for maximum comfort.

Expert Tip: Protect your privacy with the RFID Blocking Card. Add it to your wallet, and it will prevent data breaches from unauthorized scans within a 2-centimeter radius.

Learn More: The RFID Blocking Card: Here’s What You Need to Know

Traditional Leather Wallet with cash and cards

3 - The Leather Card Holder

The rise of online payment and the corresponding decline of cash has helped usher in a new era of need for the leather card holder—a simple, non-folding wallet with card slots to hold your credit cards, gift cards, debit cards, medical cards, and even your ID.

The Leather Card Holder is for you if you love a minimalist lifestyle. It’s super light, compact, and takes up little space in your pocket. 

This makes it an excellent choice for travel since it can fit anywhere.

Regarded as a sleek wallet for the modern man, the Leather Card Holder has six card slots for your essential cards and one extra pocket for folded cash.

If you’re a big fan of electronic wallets and don’t often carry cash, coupons, membership cards, or receipts, this wallet will help minimize the bulk of having a traditional or trifold wallet while still housing the important cards you need.

Related Article: 3 Times When Carrying a Card Holder Is Better Than a Bulky Wallet

4 - The Money Clip Wallet

A basic money clip wallet has a similar design to a bi-fold wallet, but with a money clip in the center and no bill compartment.

Just as the card holder secures your cards, the money clip wallet keeps cash organized. 

It’s an excellent option if you love making cash transactions and still believe that cash is king.

While most money clip wallets are explicitly designed for cash, some models integrate card slots and essential compartments, which increase the wallet’s flexibility and prevent the bulk of carrying two different wallets.

The Popov Leather Money Clip Wallet is a perfect example of this design. Despite its slim profile, this money clip wallet holds everything you need:

  • It has two outside pockets to access your go-to cards quickly.
  • It has two more card slots on the inside to store extra cards.
  • It has a brass spring bar money clip that secures all your cash.
  • It holds up to eight cards and 10 bills adequately.

Removing money from a money clip wallet is faster and more convenient than it is from a wallet with many compartments. Just ensure you properly secure the clip to avoid damaging or creasing your bills.

5 - The Long Leather Wallet

The long leather wallet, also called the tall wallet, is bigger and longer than other popular leather wallets.

Thanks to its size, this wallet provides a larger capacity for cards and cash, some comfortably holding up to 20 credit cards, which is unheard of in most trifolds and bi-folds.

In the table below, I compare the Long Leather Wallet’s dimensions to those of other popular wallets to help you see the difference.

Popular Wallet Dimensions
Long Leather Wallet 7.5" wide x 3.5" tall x 0.5" thick
Traditional Leather Wallet 4.3" wide x 3.3" tall x 0.5" thick
Trifold Leather Wallet 3.45" wide x 4.25" tall x 0.75" thick
Leather Card Holder 2.8" wide x 3.75" tall x 0.28" thick
Money Clip Wallet 4.3" wide x 2.8" tall x 0.4" thick

The Long Leather Wallet comes with a flat bill section where you can store your paper bills unfolded. With a higher storage capacity, you can stack 10+ bills in the two inner pockets of the wallet without bulking it up.

Long leather wallets have gained massive popularity among men with executive lifestyles because they're large enough to hold their 15+ business cards, credit cards, and even checkbooks.

Lately, however, these wallets have become a staple for women who love the minimalist style but still carry a lot of essentials like gift cards, gym membership cards, and loyalty cards.

Related: 4 Highly Functional Women’s Wallets: Style Meets Function

In addition to its size, the Long Leather Wallet comes with a convenient lever snap chain you can hook to your belt loop or the edge of your purse.

This secures your wallet and prevents it from getting stolen.

You can also use the chain to make a statement or add a touch of personality to your outfit.

Which Leather Wallet Suits You Best?

The best leather wallet for you depends on your needs, tastes, and preferences. If you love a simple and timeless design, you can’t go wrong with the Traditional Leather Wallet. But if you love a minimalist style, the Long Leather Wallet or the Leather Card Holder will be better suited to you.

Regardless of the type that suits you best, it’s worth investing in a quality leather wallet that will stand the test of time, look (and feel) good, and meet your daily demands.

All Popov leather wallets are made using full-grain Horween leather that develops character and leather patina with everyday use. They’re hand-sewn with thick and highly durable Tiger thread, considered by most leather workers as the best and strongest thread in the world. We burnish and polish the wallet edges for a more refined and finished look, giving you a wallet you’ll be proud to carry.

"So happy I chose Popov Leather. My husband absolutely loves his wallet. Thank you all ❤️"

Connie M, United States

For more outstanding options, be sure to check the rest of our exceptional Leather Wallets.

Written by Ryan Popoff

Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Reach out with questions.

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