Nobody loves having a massive, overloaded wallet at best, but it’s even worse while traveling.
The never-ending supply of ticket slips and receipts not only threatens to rip your wallet apart at the seams, but having a huge lump in your back pocket is only begging pickpockets and thieves for attention.
With my existing wallet falling apart, BigSkinny offered to send something better to use on my next trip. This is how it went.
Big Skinny makes a range of wallets and card holders, with one underlying similarity: they are all super slim. With a more than 50 percent reduction in weight and thickness over other wallets, the idea is that you can still carry all your essentials with you without looking like Seinfeld’s George Costanza.
I’m a bifold type of wallet, so I settled on the Hybrid World leather bifold wallet. The company also offers triple models, as well as several with built-in RFID blocking material.
Impressions and use in the real world
True to its name, the Big Skinny World Bi-Fold was, well, big and slim. A four-by-four-inch square, it was taller than my old wallet, and at first I was worried it might be too big for my pocket. However, it turned out that the reduced thickness made up for the additional height. The wallet easily fits into the front and back pockets of both shorts and jeans, even when full, with noticeably less bulge.
The advantage of that extra height quickly appeared when I loaded a variety of different coins into the wallet section. Several countries use bills much larger than US bills, and I have needed to fold them along one or both dimensions to fit into older wallets.
Not so with this model – everything from Sri Lankan rupees to Guatemalan quetzals, Vietnamese dong, and Maldivian ruffia fit together seamlessly. That wallet section is divided by a thin slice of fabric, which I always prefer – it makes it easy to separate different coins or keep receipts and other paraphernalia separate from your money.
The slim wallets that I have used in the past often achieve their thinness by only having card slots on one side. The World Bi-Fold offers four pockets on the left side and three on the right, one of which is transparent for driver’s licenses or similar.
That was more than enough for me for all the cards I travel with, but there’s no reason you can’t duplicate if you need to. There are also full-height stash pockets behind each row of compartments if you need them.
Coins are always a hassle when you travel. In some parts of the world it’s easy to end up with a handful of them after a day exploring the city (Australia and the UK, I’m looking at you). They are often worth too much to ignore, but dropping a dozen or more coins into most wallets makes them very bulky.
The World Bi-Fold can’t do magic with those big chunks of metal, but it does what it can. There is a separate zippered section at the back that runs most of the height of the wallet, and as long as the coins are not on top of each other they don’t add much bulk. However, it is not that easy to mine individual coins, so you will likely put them in your hand to find the ones you need.
I really liked Big Skinny’s World Bi-Fold, and it is now my wallet of choice both in town and on the road. It’s stylish, functional, and so far at least it shows no signs of wear. If you are looking for a slim, well-designed wallet for your next trip, this is a great option.