When you walk out the door in the morning, there’s one item that you probably don’t leave without: your wallet. Your wallet is the bread and butter of your everyday carry collection. So having a stylish, high-quality leather wallet that fits into your lifestyle is a necessity for every man. But with the wide array of wallets to choose from, how do you decide what the best wallet for your lifestyle is?
Some people have very strong opinions about bifold vs trifold wallets. But then there are alternative options, like cardholders or checkbook wallets, to consider.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of each choice to help you determine the absolute best wallet for your unique style and needs.
Bifold vs Trifold Wallets: What are the Pros and Cons?
Traditional wallets come in one of two varieties: bifold and trifold. Bifold wallets have one fold and two flaps, while trifold wallets have two folds and three sections.
For years, many men could only decide between bifold vs trifold wallets. Other options simply weren’t available in local stores. Today, there are numerous options available. But traditional bifold and trifold wallets remain popular.
One reason for this continued popularity is that minimalist styles like cardholders often only hold cards and IDs. Bifold and trifold wallets, on the other hand, provide room for cash, which can be important to have on hand for emergencies. And if you’re the type of dad who likes having cute 3x5 pictures of your kids on hand, there’s no better place than in a bifold or trifold wallet.
Traditional wallets also have a timeless appeal. It can be comforting to know that the leather wallet you carry looks the same as the wallet carried by your father or grandfather. That aesthetic appeal is one of the main reasons men may gravitate toward bifold wallets over trifold wallets or vice versa. If you associate a certain wallet style with a person you loved or admired, it’s natural to want that same wallet style for yourself.
But, preferred styles aside, there are pros and cons to bifold and trifold wallets.
The biggest benefit bifold wallets have over trifold wallets is their slim design. You’re only dealing with one fold and two sections of leather, which leads most bifold wallets to be slimmer than their trifold counterparts. This makes them well-suited for people who like carrying their wallets in their pants but prefer the look of traditional-style wallets or need to have a supply of emergency cash on hand.
Bifold wallets are also a great choice for the first wallet for kids or teenagers. This age group often enjoys having traditional-looking wallets. But they rarely have as many cards to carry at a time as their adult counterparts. In fact, children are more likely to enjoy the space for cash offered by a bifold wallet than the space for cards, filling their wallets with birthday and allowance money.
Trifold wallets tend to be thicker than bifold wallets, which can make them uncomfortable to carry in your pockets throughout the day — especially if you spend large periods of your day seated. But the draw to these wallets comes in the extra space they provide. The extra wallet flap allows trifold wallet users to carry more cards than bifold or cardholder users.
For some people, this extra real estate is worth the added bulk. Trifold wallets may have space for gift cards, membership cards, and business cards. They're great for people who like to be prepared for every eventuality. And if you prefer stowing your wallet in a bag or you throw them in cargo pockets, the extra size may be a non-problem.
Cardholders vs Traditional Wallets: What’s the Difference?
The rise of technologies like credit cards and digital wallets has allowed many people to choose to simplify what they carry on a daily basis. After all, nearly two-thirds of shoppers carry less than $50 in cash at any given time, and nearly 30% choose not to carry cash at all.
Cardholders are a response to the desire for a more minimalist wallet design. They have little, if any, room to carry cash, and are instead designed to hold your basics: your ID, credit card, and debit card, along with one or two additional cards.
Card wallets are ideal for people who keep their wallets in their pockets at all times. Sitting on an overly-thick wallet can lead to discomfort in the short term. In the long-term, it can lead to a condition called piriformis syndrome — also known as “fat wallet syndrome.” This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling throughout the sciatic area. In contrast, cardholders are often slim enough to slide into front pockets, ensuring they don’t impact the way you sit.
Minimalism is the other main draw to cardholders. Having less space forces you to decide on the most important cards to keep on hand. When it comes time to pay for an item or find your ID, you don't waste time flipping through a bulky wallet. Everything you need is at your fingertips, ready to be located with ease.
Beyond Cardholders vs Bifold vs Trifold Wallets: Unique Wallet Types to Know
The cardholder vs bifold vs trifold wallet debate doesn’t even touch on the array of wallet types available to today's savvy shoppers. Long wallets and checkbook wallets are there for people who have specific everyday carry needs.
If you enjoy a minimalist vibe but don’t want to cut down on the cards or cash you’re carrying each day, you may enjoy a long wallet. These unique wallets are designed to carry unfolded cash and numerous cards. Although too large to be carried in most jeans pockets, they fit easily into a bag or hoodie pocket.
Alternatively, the long wallets sold by Popov Leather come with a detachable brass chain and belt loop so you can keep your wallet by your side throughout the day.
Checkbook wallets are elongated wallets that have room not only for cash and cards, but also for your checkbook and pen.
If you work as a contractor or an accountant, or your job necessitates a careful paper trail of everything you purchase, a checkbook wallet eliminates the headache of having to hunt down a checkbook and pen every time you need to make a transaction.
Choosing the Best Leather Wallet for Your Lifestyle
At the end of the day, the best leather wallet for you comes down to your personal preferences and your unique lifestyle. Your career, your hobbies, and even your dressing style can impact the right wallet for you.
If you’re on your feet throughout the day, working on different job sites in a pair of cargo pants, a traditional bifold or trifold wallet may be a good choice. Being able to keep some cash on hand can be helpful if you wind up in an unfamiliar town or need your truck towed out of the woods.
On the other hand, if your day involves long periods of time sitting at a desk, and you rarely venture from your home or office, a minimalist-style cardholder may be more comfortable than a traditional wallet style.
When choosing the right leather wallet for yourself, think about:
- How many cards you use on a regular basis
- How much (if any) cash you prefer to have on hand
- Whether you would like to have your checkbook on you at all times
- Whether you plan to carry your wallet in your pocket or in a bag
More important than the debate of cardholders vs bifold vs trifold wallets is the understanding that your wallet should be built to stand the test of time. Choosing a high-quality leather wallet ensures a sleek, timeless style rugged enough to stand up to whatever life throws your way.
Shop Quality, Handcrafted Leather Wallets Today
The most important choice you can make when selecting a leather wallet is not whether it’s a cardholder vs bifold vs trifold wallet, but whether your wallet has the durability and security you need. Popov Leather prides itself on offering a variety of high-quality leather wallets in beautiful hues. Each wallet is crafted with care. Supple Horween leather — complete with that all-natural leather smell — is hand-stitched with durable tiger leather and burnished on the edges to create an end product that looks amazing and is guaranteed to stand up to life’s rigors.