Best Tactical Survival Wallet for EDC

by Tommy Grant

Everyone has a wallet, and a lot of people settle for wallets that just plain suck. You get gifted a trifold wallet and just jam some cards and cash in it. You have to carry your wallet with you every day, so why not get something that doesn’t wear out in two years? Wallets are often overlooked as part of EDC loadouts, but that trend is changing. The best survival wallets are a huge upgrade for keeping your money and valuables safe and protected. There are plenty of options to consider when it comes to wallets: value, durability, profile, capacity, etc.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best survival wallets, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and an upgrade option. If you need an EDC wallet that can handle whatever punishment you dish out, one of our suggestions will fit the bill.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

The Best Survival Wallet

Maxpedition Spartan

Quiet, Secure, and Durable

Keep cards, cash, and more secure in this tactical wallet brewed up by the guys at Maxpedition.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Big in the military, Maxpedition wallets are available for civilian use too, of course! I prefer the Spartan model and am a big fan of the capacity it provides plus the card retention tabs.

Here are the full specs:

  • 1000D Nylon w/ Teflon fabric protection
  • Double stitched, hook and loop card retention
  • Mesh external pouch
  • 3.75” x 5.5” x 0.5″
  • 2.1 ounces

With a solid construction and features that are tough to beat in a survival situation, the Maxpedition Spartan Wallet takes our top spot.

Budget EDC Wallet

DAKA Essential Wallet

Minimalist, Rugged, and Grippy

Welding some DAKA polymer together created an ingeniously simple but effective wallet.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

This polymer wallet is a minimalist’s dream. It only has four slots to stuff your cards and cash, but that should be plenty unless you are hauling around a pound of plastic. Even still, they claim it only holds 3-7 cards, but we were able to fit twice that. The more you put in the wallet, the tighter the grip though.

The wallet itself is constructed out of a reinforced anti-slip polymer fabric which is really what makes it great. Several layers of the fabric are RF welded together making it insanely durable. The anti-slip texture makes it so your cards and cash can’t slip out, which is obviously important even in a minimalist design. Here are the full specs:

  • Reinforced polymer fabric
  • Windowed side for ID
  • 4.13” x 2.75” x 0.12″ (105 x 70 x 3 mm)
  • 0.7 ounces

The Daka Essential Wallet is the extremely lightweight budget choice that you need to check out (and it happens to be the one I chose to carry).

Upgrade EDC Wallet

The Ridge Wallet

Durable, Secure, and Proven

The King of Wallets reigns supreme with a slim profile and the most durable construction on the market.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

The Ridge Wallet has taken the EDC community by storm and is the ‘wallet to have’. It’s incredibly lightweight, strong, and keeps all of your cards and cash secure. If you are looking to upgrade to the last wallet you will ever buy, you’ve found it. Here are the specs:

  • 6061-T6 aluminum frame (RFID blocking)
  • Available with an elastic cash strap or money clip
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 3.4″ x 2.1″ x 0.25″ (86 x 54 x 6 mm)
  • 2 ounces

Despite the higher cost, these wallets have flown off the shelves. The Ridge Wallet has tens of thousands of rave reviews, and if you get it as an upgrade you can leave the next one.

Everything We Recommend

The Ridge Wallet

The King of Wallets reigns supreme with a slim profile and the most durable construction on the market.

Where to Buy

$95* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Wallets We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to the several wallets that we reviewed: Ridge, Magpul, 5.11, Carhartt, Spec-Ops, Dango, Maxpedition, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We focused on men’s wallets with a history of durability. We excluded women’s wallets, small pouches and packs, money clips, and multi-tools that hold cards and cash. All of these have benefits for EDC, but we keep our reviews focused and will review that equipment separately if there is a need.

We’re always looking for new and better gear, so if you have a survival wallet that you swear by let us know in the comments. We review most of our roundups annually, so we can always try to pick one up for the next roundup round and see if it makes the cut and beats out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best survival wallets for everyday carry have several important features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Durability
  3. Capacity
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a reliable wallet that will keep your cash and cards secure and durable enough to last for years. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the wallet brands and types that set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like a wallet shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. A wallet is important, but there is a wide range of price points so there is something for every budget.

On the flip side, you don’t want to go too cheap or just plain get the wrong thing. There is no reason to keep using that duct tape wallet you made 15 years ago (except maybe nostalgia). A wallet is something you carry on you and use every day.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource, especially something like a wallet. Plenty of people buy designer-brand wallets while up to their neck in credit card debt. Be smart and sensible with your preps and EDC loadout. There is a sweet spot where you get high value with not too high of a price, which is where our top pick sits.


Durability is the main factor when selecting a wallet, and one of the fields where we saw huge variation between traditional men’s wallets and survival wallets. When you construct something out of tougher materials, it’s going to be tougher.

Whether it’s 1000D Cordura, RF welded polymer, or straight-up aluminum- survival wallets are typically built with durability in mind.


Our wallets have grown more compact over the years, with less cash and coins as society went to plastic cards. Now, society is slowly shifting again to a new method: smartphones. Neither of these has completely gotten rid of cash, and we’re big proponents of keeping cash in your wallet. Don’t believe us? We’ve written a whole article on it: The Emergency Cash Stash for EDC and Preparedness

While your wallet may not need to be as big as when they carried cash and coins around, having the extra capacity for other stuff is always nice- as long as it doesn’t get in the way or add significant weight.

Size & Weight

With polymers, aluminum, and even carbon fiber wallets weight can be less of a concern than even just 20 years ago. The massively stuffed tri-fold is from years past, and you can find a sleek, no-frills, functional solution in a variety of sizes.


Being able to carry your wallet in different places adds versatility. Our top pick, for example, can be neck-carried for fast access or extra security. Other elements, like being able to embed an Airtag into a Ridge wallet or the grippiness of the Daka polymer both add versatility to those wallets as well.

Wallet versatility improves how you can use your wallet, what you can store in it, and what situations it can handle.

What to Keep in Your Wallet for Survival

There are the typical things people carry in their wallets:

  • Cash
  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • ID Cards
  • Shopping Cards
  • Coins

Beyond these, there is an opportunity to increase your survivability by including more and reducing the things above that don’t matter or aren’t used often. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Pocket Manuals
  • Credit Card Tools
  • Maps

Keep your wallet light, though. You’ll be carrying it every day and you don’t want it to be too heavy or bulky to be noticeable.

Who Needs a Survival Wallet?

Wallets are carried by virtually everyone and are an essential part of a daily loadout- whether you know about EDC or not:

Having one of the most durable wallets available is something that anyone can benefit from, so a survival wallet can make sense for people from all walks of life.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best survival wallet is useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical military and prepping experience:

Alaeddin, O., et al. (2018). From physical to digital: investigating consumer behaviour of switching to mobile wallet. Polish Journal of Management Studies. Volume 17. Issue 2. Pages 18-30. (Source)

Sarkar, D., et al. (2018). An Innovative Approach for Securing RFID-Based Card Information From Digital Pick-Pocketing. International Journal of Innovations in Engineering Research and Technology. Volume 5. Issue 10. Pages 20-22. (Source)

Zamani, B., et al. (2014). A Carbon Footprint of Textile Recycling: A Case Study in Sweden. Journal of Industrial Ecology. Volume 19. Issue 4. (Source)

The Final Word

Investing in something that you touch and use every day is usually a good idea. Wallets are often overlooked but hold together important cards, cash, IDs, and more. Getting the best survival wallet in your pocket gives you one less thing to worry about.

Here are a few related articles our readers have also found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the Maxpedition Spartan Wallet to be the best option given its value, durability, capacity, profile, and versatility.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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