Let’s put it plainly: There’s nothing better than an American-made wallet. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are hundreds to choose from. That’s where today’s buyer’s guide comes in to help you out.
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Did you know that men have been carrying wallets (as we know them) since the early 1300s? If anything, this is proof enough that a wallet is more than just a fashion statement.
Sure, you could stash your cash in your pockets, but is there a more convenient way to carry your IDs and credit cards? And would you just throw your passport into your backpack?
There is no denying that a wallet is indispensable, but not all wallets are worth your time and money.
Sit down and listen because this is a roundup of the very best American-made wallets of 2021 and a nerd’s guide to buying the right wallet.
The Best American Made Wallets of 2021
While not everything that reads “made in the USA” will sweep you off your feet, American-made products are renowned for high-quality standards. Behold, the best American-made wallets of 2021.
We’ll start you off with a bang because you deserve the good stuff, and certainly, you need to stand out. Sometimes, the only statement you need to make is to carry a damn fine wallet. And that is what the Front Pocket Wallet by Rogue Industries is.
This American-made bifold offers a half “U” shape designed to go with the curved shape of the typical front trouser pocket, allowing for a perfect, non-bulky fit. But the icing on the cake is the top grain leather it’s made of.
It looks and feels fantastic, and will take on a unique hue the more you use it making it even more irresistible as it ages. There are two size options here: The larger one will hold 12 cards, while the slimmer version will fit half a dozen plastics.
If you are worried about identity theft, breathe in and relax because the Front Pocket Wallet by Rogue comes with RFID-blocking. This means that no one can remotely access your credit card information without your authorization.
Buy in confidence, as you get a two-year warranty from the manufacturer.
If you are the bold type deserving of a seat at the table of men, the Leather Trucker Wallet by Mr. Lentz deserves you.
If anything, this is the archetypal American-made wallet, mid-west aesthetics and all. And as a vote of confidence, it is designed by Mr. Lentz himself and is handcrafted and meticulously put together in the USA.
The material of choice is full-grain leather that is vegetable tanned. Only natural handmade dyes are used to make sure that the end product is as natural as possible.
This wallet is for people who value the good things in life and folks looking for a practical wallet that can suit everyday use. Here, you get to stash lots of cash plus a healthy dose of credit cards without folding and without the risk of dropping anything.
Consider a dedicated cash pocket, a full-length section for those extra notes and IDs, and two credit card slots that could hold more than 10 cards.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about the Trucker Wallet by Mr. Lentz is that you can add a personal touch to it. For example, you could have a name or a logo on it, and it will remain there for good.
And then there’s the rugged chain that these wallets are famous for. You have a choice of 4 materials for the chain ranging from stainless steel to leather but be sure that everything will look good.
To sweeten the deal, you get a free tin of handmade conditioner with this purchase. Not too shabby.
If you are always out there taking notes, you know how cumbersome carrying a notebook can get. While you could always fold the damn thing in half and throw it in your shirt pocket, we wish to recommend a more civil way of doing things. And this is where the Lifetime Leather Field Notes Wallet comes in.
Made entirely out of genuine leather, this tastefully designed wallet is made with the outdoorsy folk in mind. It doesn’t matter whether you are a construction foreman who has to keep jotting things down or a globe trotter; you will find that the Field Notes Wallet will complete your lifestyle.
To start off, you get a dedicated notebook holder plus a free notebook; there’s a pen loop too, so say goodbye to pen ink-soiled shirts. There’s also sleeves large enough to stash cash and a passport to support your jet-set ways.
Additionally, you’ll get three card sleeves allowing you to store up to 15 cards. There’s also room for receipts and additional notes courtesy of three additional sleeves.
As you might expect, it can be a bit bulky when put in the back pocket fully loaded, but it’s not something that you should lose sleep over. After all, you may prefer organization and sheer capacity to utter minimalism.
Don’t forget, you get full-grain leather and a lifetime warranty. This means that it won’t back down easily. And you can get it in black or brown to match your shoes or belt.
God bless the man who discovered leather because we would never have laid our eyes on gems such as the No. 6 Wallet by Ezra Arthur.
But these guys take it a notch higher because this is not your average cowhide wallet. Remove your shoes and prostrate yourself because you are in the presence of leather so great, it would be fit for a king.
And it doesn’t end there because Ezra Arthur handcrafts each wallet, breathing warmth into it and meticulously turning it into a keepsake that will be appreciated for many years to come.
No glue, rubber, or lining is used, just good old leather stitched with precision and good-naturedness.
It’s all made in the USA, and no shortcuts are taken, and it is as practical as they come. It stays thin even when loaded with loot. Too bad it is a tad bit pricey.
The problem with most wallets today is that they are designed for the suave corporate gentleman who only leaves the office for home. But not the Dango T01 Tactical Wallet.
This wallet was designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind and is as rugged as they come. You’ll quickly notice its machined aluminum frame that won’t crack or break even if dropped hard on the ground. Its robust build is complemented by a quality leather body secured firmly on the chassis by stainless steel screws. It is baffling how it’s just 0.3 inches thick, even with 6 cards secured inside.
No doubt that this is an incredibly stylish wallet, but its true strength lies in its utilitarian nature. Unlike any other wallet reviewed here, this one comes with an integrated multi-tool that will prove handy while camping, hiking, or exploring the woods.
This is serious business because it is suited for over 14 functions. Think about a sharpened edge for cutting, a nail pryer, a paracord tensioner, a cellphone stand, a ruler, and more. And don’t forget: there’s a built-in bottle opener to save your teeth from the ordeal.
The multi-tool is made of high carbon stainless steel, so you can be sure that it’s high quality. And the best part? It is easily removable. That means that you can create more space in your wallet and, of course, shed off some weight if you aren’t headed for the woods.
6. Buffalo Jackson Dakota Money Clip
Maybe it’s just us, but there’s a nice ring to this name, and there’s something very American about the name Jackson. No wonder over 30 states in the US have a city or town with the name “Jackson.” But Buffalo Jackson wallets come with more than just an American heritage.
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They are the epitome of style, good vibes, and excellent craftsmanship. The company uses top grain vegetable tanned leather and handcrafts it to make flawless pieces in many sizes, designs, and shapes.
You can tell good leather just by looking and smelling it, and that is one way to identify a Jackson. The rich smell of leather, fine texture, and a beautiful patina are the beacons that will let you know that you are home.
There’s a whole range of wallets to choose from. Whether you want something small to slip into your back pocket or an elaborate wallet to stash your travel essentials, you will find something that will wow you.
And you get it in a style that suits your personality; bifold, trifold, no-frills cardholder? Pick whatever pleases you.
It is hard not to love a Buffalo Jackson because these wallets are not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical. For example, the Dakota Money Clip Wallet is small enough for everyday carry yet big enough to hold enough cards and cash.
There’s even a magnetic clip to securely hold more cash should you win the lottery. Buffalo Jackson wallets aren’t on the cheap side of the spectrum, but they are real value for money.
How to Buy the Best American Made Wallets
To the uninitiated, buying a wallet can be incredibly nerve-wracking. There are so many options to choose from that you could easily get lost in the labyrinth.
But fret not; the following are the four most important things to think about when buying an American wallet.
1. Material of Build
Without a doubt, the material a wallet is made of will determine how long it lasts and how well it ages.
If you want something that is tough, water-resistant, and long-lasting and won’t mind an industrial look, a metal wallet can be good for you. The most common materials here include titanium and aluminum, which are corrosion proof and tough to bend/break. Carbon fiber is an even stronger, though more aesthetically technical choice.
But not many materials can beat leather. It is warm, looks good, and can last a lifetime if well taken care of. The only problem is that there are different types of leather that vary significantly in quality.
Full-grain leather is the Mac-Daddy. It offers the best in quality, looks, and durability. Top grain leather comes close and will impress you. The other varieties, such as genuine leather, are more affordable but aren’t as prestigious, considering they wear out faster even if you care for them.
There are lots of options in the market today to choose from. The most common ones include foldable and minimalist wallets.
Foldable wallets come in either bifold or trifold. As you would expect, a trifold wallet has three sections, while a bifold has only two sections.
A minimalist wallet is not foldable and is very slim. Typically it can accommodate four credit cards and a limited amount of cash. If you hate bulges in your pockets, this is the best option for you.
3. Your Needs
If a wallet does not suit your needs, you are better off not having it, no matter how great it looks. For example, if you are constantly traveling, your wallet must be big enough to accommodate your IDs, passports, and a decent amount of cash. A minimalist wallet won’t work here.
If you are wanderluster who is always in the wild, you need a tactical wallet that can help you cut, peel, saw, open bottles, etc. Of course, it must be hardy and, if possible, water-resistant.
Therefore, do some soul searching to determine what you want your wallet to do for you before you settle on one.
Wallets aren’t created equal and will thus differ significantly in cost. Items made of materials such as high-quality leather or top-grade metal will cost top dollar. The good thing is that you are likely to get more life out of a high-quality product than a cheaper alternative.
However, this is not to say that every expensive wallet is worth buying. Do your research first to avoid falling into the clutch of snake oil salesmen.
Just like smartphones, wallets have become an integral part of our lives. And they aren’t going anywhere. Of course, brandishing a high-end wallet can make you look cool, but a good wallet should be utilitarian as it is stylish.
There are lots of great wallets on the market today, and we won’t pretend that there isn’t anything else we would have added to this list, but it is impossible to mention every deserving wallet. The only thing we can do is to vouch for every wallet reviewed here.
If you are the camping or hiking kind of guy, go for the Dango T01 Tactical Wallet without a second thought and without wasting time. But choosing between Ezra Arthur, Buffalo Jackson, and Leather Trucker by Mr. Lentz is really hard.