follow us:
Shoulders of Giants is closed. Click here for more information
Gear Reviews / May 7, 2017

How to choose your next wallet

Written by: Mitch Harris

How do I choose a wallet? What’s the difference between a billfold and a trifold? What wallet is right for me?

I recently found myself asking these questions. My old leather billfold had finally fallen apart, and I found myself back in the wallet market. At 27 years old, I found I knew surprisingly little about the one piece of gear I carry literally every day.

So I did some research. Here’s what I learned.


The billfold works for (almost) everyone

Billfolds (which fold once in the middle) are the most popular wallets among men of all ages. They’re so ubiquitous that in many social circles the words “billfold” and “wallet” are interchangeable.

These wallets are generally slim, but can hold enough cash and cards for day-to-day use. They’re the obvious, practical choice for any guy who just needs a decent everyday wallet.

We sell a few billfolds in our shop. The super-slim, ultra-light Vanguard from Flowfold is built to withstand wet weather and difficult conditions. We sell the basic version of the wallet for $25 and a premium-quality limited edition for $30. We also sell a sturdier, stylish carbon fiber billfold from Bastion for $42.

Flowfold's deluxe Vanguard billfold.

Bastion's carbon fiber billfold.

The trifold is for travelers

Though its certainly true that some people carry trifold wallets on a daily basis, they’re best suited for travel. These wallets are generally a bit bulkier than billfolds but have more room for cash, cards, and coins.

We sell two trifold wallets in our shop: the $30 traveler trifold from Flowfold, and the $35 deluxe version of the same.


Card holders are best on the go

“Card holder” style wallets don’t have any folds, and most don’t have room for cash or coins. They’ve got room for up to a half dozen credit cards, and that’s about it.

No one carries these around every day. But they’re great to take on a run or a bike ride, when you might want access to your debit card but don’t want to to weigh yourself down with a billfold.

We sell the base version Flowfold’s minimalist cardholder for $10 and the deluxe version for $12. Bastion’s carbon fiber and leather card holder is a bit more robust—it sells for $22.

The basic version of Flowfold's traveler's trifold.

Bastion's carbon fiber and leather card holder.

Money clips are just for showing off

But they’re still pretty cool. A money clip is basically only good for carrying cash, which makes it pretty impractical for most situations. It’s a great option for formal events, though, when you just need a little cash to tip at the open bar.

We sell Bastion’s carbon fiber money clip for $30.

What’s the difference between a billfold and trifold? If you still don’t know, email [email protected] and we’ll guide you though it again. 

about the author

Mitch Harris

Mitch Harris embraced the Every Day Carry trend long before it was cool. From the day he got his first pocket knife, Mitch has devoted himself to staying prepared for every eventuality. Through his position at Shoulders of Giants, he’s able to keep his kit stocked with the very newest and best EDC gear.

read more
hit the outdoors

Sign up for the inside scoop on new products, member discounts and inspiration from our giants.