Picking a men’s wallet is harder than it seems. There are dozens of models out there; if you have to use an ID pass every time you get in at work, perhaps you might have even heard your coworkers talk about a passcase wallet.
What is a passcase wallet anyway? And do you need one?
To put it simply, a passcase wallet is either a trifold or bifold wallet that has an extra flap with one or two ID windows.
At this moment, you might realize the wallet you have in your pocket is already a passcase. If it isn’t but you’d like one, here’s what you should know about them.
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Types Of Passcase Wallets
There are basically three types of passcase wallets:
- Flip up: Have a flap attached to the wallet; this flap usually has a double ID window, and you can simply flip it over to scan your badge or public transit pass without actually removing it from your wallet.
- Flip outward: It’s similar to the flip-up, but the flap is attached to the side of the wallet. Some wallets even have fixed side window pockets that will require you to open the wallet to access the ID card.
- Removable: Its name is super-intuitive; this type of flap is designed to be completely removed from the wallet. This comes with advantages, as you won’t have to worry about exposing all the items you keep in your wallet. On a downside, it might be hard to shove it back into its slot when you’re done. You might forget to do so, and there are higher chances of losing your ID.
Why Buy a Passcase Wallet?
If you don’t have a passcase wallet already, there are good reasons why you should buy one.
- Durability: Most slim or minimalist wallets have ID windows too, but due to their design, these windows are placed on the outside of the wallet. Because these windows are made from transparent plastic, they might tear, dent, or puncture easily. This isn’t the case of the passcase. By placing the ID window inside the wallet, the plastic is protected by two solid flaps. Hence, it will last longer. At the same time, the passcase flap gives you the possibility to show your ID or use your pass whenever needed without exposing the contents of the wallet. And this takes us to the advantage number two.
- Privacy: Giving you the possibility to pull out the window flap whenever you need it, passcase wallets keep their contents away from the sneaky eyes. You won’t have to expose your credit cards, cash, or the photography of your beloved ones. The other way around, it keeps your identity private when you don’t have to show the ID to anyone but have to pay for goods or services. In any way you look at it, it’s a win-win.
- Convenience: Privacy apart, passcase wallets are also convenient. Such a wallet allows you to show your work badge, driver’s licence or student ID without exposing all the contents of your wallet. Pulling out a flap is often easier than opening a wallet, especially if you’re in a crowded area. At the same time, it won’t expose your embarassing ID photo to people who have no reason of seeing it. Once you’ve scanned your badge or shown your ID to those checking it, getting the window flap back into your wallet is also easy, especially if it is a removable flap.
Types and Styles of Wallets
4 Quick Tips for Choosing a Passcase Wallet
There are a few specific factors to consider when you’re shopping for a passcase wallet. Some regard the wallet as a whole. Others regard only the flap.
If you’ve never owned this type of wallet before, answer the questions below to find out which could be the right product for you.
1. Removable or Fixed Flap?
As mentioned above, there are three types of flaps, two of which are fixed – stitched to the wallet and flipping either upwards or outwards from the side – and removable flaps that are not stitched to the wallet.
The first thing you should decide is what type of flap you want.
- Fixed flaps: Are impossible to lose and keep your ID securely inside the wallet. They are also easy to pull out whenever you have to show your ID or scan a badge/transit pass. However, you might have to open the wallet to put the flap back, and this might expose its contents, such as credit cards or cash.
- Removable flaps: Allow you to pull the flap out and slide it back in without opening the wallet. Like the fixed flaps, it can be pulled out either from the top of the wallet or from its side, so you can find the model that’s more convenient for you. Removable flaps also give you the possibility to trim down your wallet’s bulkiness on those moments when you need a fancier slim wallet instead of a cumbersome bifold. The main drawback is that removable flaps are easier to lose or forget at home, especially if you tend to remove the flap during weekends and put it back in at the beginning of the week. Sliding the flap back into its slot may also be difficult at first, until the leather loosens up a bit. Furthermore, pulling the flap out and sliding it back into its slot frequently may also cause the leather to loosen up a bit too much. While you can shrink a leather wallet if you want to, it’s still better to avoid loosening it too much in the first place.
2. Flip Up or Out?
ID flaps can flip either up or out to the side. Each choice has advantages and drawbacks, and it’s ultimately all reduced to what the flap has on its back.
There are three possibilities:
- The flap has nothing on its back, just a layer of smooth leather. This design is often used when the flap closes with the clear window towards the wallet. In this way, nobody will be able to see your ID when you open the wallet.
- It has a second ID window. It is ideal if you want to carry more than one ID with you. For instance, if you need both your work badge and driver’s licence, a double window passcase could be the right choice for you.
- The flap has card slots on its back. Many manufacturers use the back of the ID flap to place one or two extra card slots. This design maximizes the capacity of your wallet, but it also exposes the cards when you show your ID. Nevertheless, this configuration is great if you want to use the extra space to keep business or supermarket cards.
With this in mind, you should choose a flip up model if there is nothing on the back of the flap or if it has two ID windows. Flip-out models are also available, so it truly is a matter of preference.
However, if you choose to go for a model with extra card slots, a flip-out to the side model is a must. Indeed, flipping the flap up would turn your cards upside down, and they could slip out if the pockets are too loose.
3. What Is Under the Flap?
When the flap is inside your wallet, it will cover something up. That “something” can determine the practicality and convenience of your passcase. Again, there are three possible options:
- There is nothing under the flap: These models only have a smooth layer of leather under the flap. You won’t expose anything when you flip the flap out of the wallet, but this style has a lower capacity.
- There is a coin or key pocket: Perhaps the best passcase model. The coin or key pockets are made of leather and are non-see thru, so you can still keep your stuff private while enjoying greater storage capacity.
- There are more card slots: A very popular option, although not the best you can get. When you flip the flap out, the cards under it will be exposed. Nevertheless, this is a great choice if you want to carry multiple cards and are not concerned about privacy.
4. Does it have RFID protection?
Though not specific to passcase wallets, an additional security measure you might want your passcase to have is RFID protection.
Almost all credit, bank, ID, key, and pass cards operate via radio frequency identification (RFID). Even store or membership cards use this technology.
RFID allows specific readers to access the information stored on your card, but the alarming news is that you don’t have to insert your card into a reader for someone to be able to retrieve your information.
Indeed, anyone with an inexpensive radio frequency scanner can obtain the information from any of your RFID devices from a distance if the radio frequencies can pass through the material of your wallet and garments.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? You can purchase a wallet with RFID protection. Passcase wallets and other wallet types that include RFID protection have a metallic mesh insert between the layers of the pockets which blocks the radio frequencies.
If you want a wallet that blocks personal and financial information, but you still want to use your key or pass cards without removing them from your wallet, get one that blocks the 13.56 MHz frequency only. If you want full protection, opt for one that also blocks the 125 kHz frequency.
Wrapping It All Up
A passcase wallet is a versatile style of wallet.
It safeguards your privacy for privacy’s sake and to keep your wallet’s contents out of the view of potential thieves.
To get the most out of your passcase wallet, think about how you will use it. Do you want the flap to be removable? What should go on the back of the flap? Should it flip up or out? Does it include RFID protection?
Answer all these questions, and you’ll surely be able to find the best passcase wallet for you.