On my first major backpacking trip, I solved the need for a light, minimalist wallet with a ziploc bag.
I kept 5 things in it – my ID, my bank card, cash, loose change (gasp!), and a stone I picked up on top of Springer Mountain in Georgia, to be deposited at the end of the Appalachian Trail in Maine.
A ziploc bag is still the most efficient (and badass) backpacking wallet.
A ziploc presents a problem, however, for the serial backpacker that’s not currently on a long distance trip (and no, not only because a ziploc is extremely ghetto).
Here’s the problem. As a normal working-schlep with a full time job that still enjoys backpacking on the weekends, I don’t care to re-organize something so simple as my wallet each week.
So I’d wind up carrying a monstrous pleather beast of inefficiency on all my weekend hikes, there to remind me of ghastly ties to the “real world.”
I suffered through these horrors for longer than I care to admit, until I discovered the Hyperlite Minimalist Wallet.
Here’s a classic, black, bi-fold men’s wallet that holds everything I need, and nothing more. It’s lightweight and durable.
Best of all, I get to deal sweet, sweet revenge unto my prior woes. Now, instead of lugging my workaday world into my weekends, I bring another token of minimalist backpacking into my everyday lifestyle.
I’ve owned the Hyperlite Minimalist Wallet for 2.5 years, with daily use.
Here’s 10 things that make this the best minimalist wallet in town.
1) It’s Black
I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked having a black wallet. Whenever I made the mistake of getting one that was tan-colored (or even worse, tri-fold), I always regretted it.
In the process of writing this review, I just discovered that I’m in good company. If you still harbor any doubt, go ahead and Google “which color wallet is lucky for man.”
2) It’s a Bi-fold Wallet
It’s obvious that a bi-fold wallet is the best choice for… well, everyone. Whoever invented the tri-fold wallet should be dragged away by the Vegas Mafia and put to rest in the desert, none the wiser.
Cash is not made to be folded three ways.
Additionally, may I add that an ID is not to be viewed through a sticky, opaque, crummy piece of “clear’ plastic. It’s made to be pulled out of the same type of slot in which you’d hold a credit card, to be handed to the doorman at the entrance.
3) Its Billfold Holds Cash
Wallets are meant for holding cash. The Hyperlite Minimalist Wallet holds cash.
That’s a solid $20 cash in that there wallet. I suppose you could carry a bunch of Benjamins in it, but then you’d be that guy who buys an energy drink and a pack of smokes and makes the poor cashier break $100.
If you only want to carry credit cards, you may as well get one of those clips that attaches to your phone.
Or better yet, you could get a tactical wallet with a built-in knife and bottle opener… you know, in case you feel the need to shank someone and promptly crack a beer afterward.
4) It’s Quality & Durable AF
I’ve owned the Hyperlite Minimalist Wallet since January of 2019 (That’s 2 and a 1/2 years at the time of this writing, in 2021). It goes everywhere with me, every day, and it looks almost new.
There’s a small bit of wear at the top and bottom of the spine, but that’s it. Not bad for a punishing regime of getting sat on in my back pocket, not to mention the daily needs of feeding big brother’s capitalist empire, man.
Hyperlite’s simple design uses quality DCF 150D material. If you have no idea what that means, read the description of Dyneema fabrics in another review, like the one for my Hyperlite day pack.
5) It’s Light as Air
Holding true to the backpacker’s mantra of counting every ounce, this wallet weighs almost nothing.
To be exact, it weighs 0.04 pounds, or 4% of a pound, or or 0.71 ounces, or 20 grams.
The wallet’s contents are likely to weigh more than the wallet itself.
The average credit card, by the way, weighs about 5 grams. That’s unless you have one of those heavy metal Sapphire or Amex cards, which often weigh 13 or even 18 grams.
I bet you had no idea you’d learn such a fun fact here today.
6) It’s Water Resistant
The space-age (hey, it’s 2021) Dyneema DCF 150D material that you dutifully clicked through and read all about (above) is waterproof.
The design of this simple bi-fold wallet is not technically waterproof, so I’ll have to settle for calling it water resistant. It keeps things dry.
Stupid story – when I was a teen I went to an amusement park with water rides and ruined the contents of my wallet.
7) It’s Made in the USA
That’s right, this here Hyperlite wallet is manufactured right here in the good ol’ US of A. To be specific, it’s made in the state of Maine, the place where AT thru-hikers dreams come true – the place where Stephen King gets run over by drunk drivers, and so on.
As you well know, few things are made in the USA these days, with the exception of Conagra GMO corn (yummy).
Your purchase of this American-made product will stall Chinese world-domination by 0.3 nanoseconds.
8) It’s Slim & Simple
I can keep this wallet in my back pocket while driving all day long, without breaking my spine or other fatigue-able components of my body.
It’s so slim that if you’re a traditional fat-wallet-carrier, your bound to forget it’s even there (and consequently freak out on occasion, until you get used to it.
While we’re on the subject of its slim and simple design, let’s look at the details.
As previously mentioned, it’s a bi-fold wallet. Open it up, and you’re presented with 6 card slots.
The 2 traditional, vertically accessed slots are on each side, whereas the 3rd on each side is a “hidden slot,” accessed horizontally from the crease of the fold.
The billfold itself is a single sleeve, void of any sort of dividers.
And that’s all.
The wallet’s folded closed dimensions are as follows:
4.375 inches x 3.25 inches
11.1cm x 8.3cm
A dollar bill, fyi, measures 6.14 inches by 2.61 inches.
9) It’s Void of Men’s Tactical EDC Nonsense
It’s a simple wallet that carries things. It carries things that are meant to be in a wallet, and nothing more.
If you want a Swiss Army Knife, then get a Swiss Army Knife.
The Hyperlite minimalist wallet is not made of titanium, and it does not include a screwdriver. It carries cash and cards.
It’s a men’s EDC wallet. Don’t know what EDC means? It means “everyday carry.” So yes, if you feel the need to compensate for something and apply an acronym to your wallet, you can call it an EDC wallet.
10) It’s Fancy
Hyperlite Mountain Gear is fancy, elite, and expensive.
Maybe you can’t afford one of their $400 backpacks or $800 tents, but you can still sport your savvy appreciation for well-crafted backpacking gear with this simple wallet.