best waterproof wallet for hiking with cash and cards

Choose an ultralight, waterproof wallet for hiking & backpacking

To store and protect your valuables optimally, we recommend an ultralight waterproof wallet for hiking and backpacking. From bifolds made with waterproof fabric, to highly water resistant zipper pouches, to fully submergible TPU cases, we have you covered with sub-one-ounce hiking wallet recommendations. There’s no reason not to choose an ultralight wallet, and you should look at these two first:

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Hiking Wallet Quick Picks

Hiking Wallet Comparison Table

Make/Model Price ($) Weight (oz) Configuration Material Size (in) Waterproofness
HMG Minimalist  49 0.7 Bifold DCF 4.40 x 3.30
Lightly Water Resistant
CTUG Standard UL 20 0.3 Zip Pouch X-Pac VX21 5.25 x 3.75
Very Water Resistant
Flowfold Vanguard  40 0.7 Bifold X-Ply, EcoPak 4.25 x 3.25
Lightly Water Resistant
Zpacks Zip Pouch 15 0.2 Zip Pouch ULTRA 4.25 x 3.00
Very Water Resistant
WEBO Hiker Wallet 12 0.3 Zip Pouch X-Pac XV07/21 4.75 x 2.75
Water Resistant
NiteIze RunOff  25 0.5 Zip Pouch TPU 5.00 x 3.70
Submersible 1M
SUL Gear Adventure 30 0.4 Velcro Pouch DCF 3.00 x 5.00
Water Resistant
Cold Case Gear 30 2.6 Fold TPU 4.50 x 8.00
Submersible 30M
hyperlite mountain gear minimalist hiking wallet

Hyperlite Mountain Gear The Minimalist

It’s hard to argue with HMG The Minimalist, which averages 4.8 out of 5 stars on nearly 200 reviews at time of publication. Made with durable, waterproof Dyneema fabric in black, this elegant bifold ultralight wallet keep weight and bulk to a minimum in your pocket, while providing a base level of weather protection.

  • Price: $49
  • Weight: 0.7 oz
  • Configuration: Bifold
  • Material: Dyneema
  • Size: 4.40″ x 3.30″
  • Waterproofness: Lightly water resistant. Fabric is waterproof, but wallet is open ended
  • Pros: Great for both everyday use, hiking, and travel. Highly rated. Simple elegant design. Best-in-class materials.
  • Cons: Not waterproof. Open design could allow contents to fall out.

Flowfold Vanguard Bifold

Flowfold Vanguard Wallet

Available in an array of colors and two waterproof ultralight fabrics, the bifold Flowfold Vanguard is a beautiful and simple everyday, adventure, travel, hiking wallet. The X-Ply Sailcloth version is more durable, while EcoPak more sustainable.

  • Price: $40
  • Weight: 0.7 oz
  • Configuration: Bifold
  • Material: EcoPak or X-Ply Sailcloth
  • Size: 4.25″ x 3.25″
  • Waterproofness: Lightly water resistant. Fabric is waterproof, but wallet is open ended
  • Pros: Great for both everyday use, hiking, and travel. Highly rated. Sustainable.
  • Cons: Not waterproof. Open design could allow contents to fall out.

CTUG Standard Ultralight Wallet

Chicken Tramper Ultralight Gear Standard Ultralight Wallet, Sealed

The CTUG Standard UL, made with waterproof, durable X-Pac fabric, is our preferred hiking wallet for long distance adventures. Three sizes and two levels of water resistance are offered, and our pick is the standard size with bonded seams. Standard give you enough wiggle room inside for a bit of rummaging, or storing bulkier items like a key fob. The bonded seams are only $4 extra and highly recommended for a huge boost to water resistance. As opposed to the stitched version, the bonding eliminates potential to wick water from the outside in, and makes for as close as you’ll get to a waterproof wallet without achieving submersible status. Plus they come in tons of great colors!

  • Price: $20
  • Weight: 0.3 oz
  • Configuration: Zippered pouch
  • Material: X-Pac VX21
  • Size: 5.25″ x 3.75″
  • Waterproofness: Highly Water Resistant. Waterproof fabric with bonded seams. Zipper is only weak point in system.
  • Pros: Very ultralight. Very water resistant. Lots of great colors. Secure. Standard size is spacious enough for cards, cash, keys, and fob. Connector tabs. Highly rated.
  • Cons: Zipper makes it non-submersible. Zip pouches can be finnicky for frequent everyday use.

Zpacks Wallet Zip Pouch

Zpacks Wallet Zip Pouch

Choose the Zpacks Wallet Zip Pouch because it’s made with waterproof ULTRA fabric, the best-in-class composite, even stronger and lighter than Dyneema. In classic Zpacks fashion, their ultralight wallet is lighter than any others, though only by 0.1 oz. While it’s clearly excellent and highly rated by customers and other expert reviewers, we do wish it were a smidge bigger to accommodate slightly easier rummaging.

  • Price: $15
  • Weight: 0.2 oz
  • Configuration: Zipper pouch
  • Material: Challenge ULTRA
  • Size: 4.25″ x 3.00″
  • Waterproofness: Highly Water Resistant. Waterproof fabric with taped seams. Zipper is only weak point in system.
  • Pros: Very affordable. Very ultralight. Single lightest option. Very water resistant. Secure. Best-in-class materials. Highly rated. Compact.
  • Cons: A bit smaller than we prefer. Zipper makes it non-submersible. Zip pouches can be finnicky for frequent everyday use.

WEBO Hiking Wallet

WEBO Hiker Wallet

We nod to the WEBO Hiker wallet because in addition to its high quality ultralight construction, it’s manufactured by a small, BIPOC LGBTQIA-owned business. And to sweeten the deal, it’s also highly rated and less expensive than similar offerings in this guide. From our perspective, the downside is that at 2.75″ tall, it’s a bit shorter than we prefer in a hiking wallet.

  • Price: $12
  • Weight: 0.3 oz
  • Configuration: Zipper pouch
  • Material: X-Pac XV07/21
  • Size: 4.75″ x 2.75
  • Waterproofness: Very water resistant. Waterproof fabric. Zipper and seams are weak points.
  • Pros: Most affordable. Ultralight. Highly water resistant. Highly rated. Supports LGBTQIA/BIPOC business.
  • Cons: Would have preferred slightly more height. Non-submersible. Zip pouches can be finnicky for everyday use.

Nite-Ize Runoff Waterproof Runoff Wallet

Nite-Ize Runoff Waterproof Wallet

The Nite-Ize Runoff waterproof wallet is a completely different take from the zipper pouches we’ve listed so far. This one is made from TPU  (thermoplastic polyurethane) with welded seams, and features a miraculous waterproof-submersible zipper. Combined, these features score an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating, and it’s capable of being submerged in shallow water up to three feet deep for up to 30 minutes. That said, it’s more finicky than a traditional zipper pouch hiking wallet, so we’d only recommend this if you really need the waterproofness

  • Price: $25
  • Weight: 0.3 oz
  • Configuration: Zip Pouch
  • Material: TPU
  • Size: 5.00″ x 3.70″
  • Waterproofness: IP67 Waterproof. Submersible up to 1M for 30 minutes
  • Pros: Submersible! Uniquely waterproof zipper. See-through front. Ultralight. Nicely sized.
  • Cons: Less durable than some of the hiking-centric designs. Waterproof zipper requires care. Zip pouches can be finnicky for frequent everyday use.

SUL Gear Adventure Wallet

SUL Gear Adventure Wallet

If you feel comfier wearing your essential ID and credit cards under your shirt, hung from your neck, choose the SUL Gear Adventure waterproof wallet. This ultralight, Dyneema envelope has three bonded sides, and as they note, a satisfyingly snappy Velcro closure (it really is satisfying). If you just want an envelope, sans-lanyard, it would be totally valid to cut the cord use it like any other pouch.

  • Price: $30
  • Weight: 0.4 oz
  • Configuration: Velcro-closure envelope with cord lanyard
  • Material: Dyneema
  • Size: 3.00″ x 5.00″
  • Waterproofness: Water Resistant. Waterproof fabric with three bonded sides. Envelope opening is only weak point
  • Pros: Ultralight. Lanyard is wearable. Best-in-class materials. Water resistant. Really nice Velcro, easier to use than zipper.
  • Cons: Finicky for everyday use. A bit small/narrow for anything aside from cards.

Cold Case Gear Clearwater Case

Cold Case Gear Clearwater Case

For water-based pursuits like canyoneering, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, etc, you should choose a submersible waterproof wallet. The Cold Case Gear Clearwater is technically a phone case, but perfectly suitable for storing and protecting any kind of valuables. At 2.6 oz and 4.5 x 8.0″, it’s overkill for most hikers and travelers on most trips, but you’ll know when you need it.

  • Price: $30
  • Weight: 2.6 oz
  • Configuration: Fold over magnet closure
  • Material: TPU
  • Size: 4.50″ x 8.00″
  • Waterproofness: Submersible to 100ft/30m (IPX8)
  • Pros: Very waterproof. Lightweight. Fits phone, allows use of touch screen. Easy to use. Lifetime warranty. Lanyard option.
  • Cons: A bit bigger than is necessary if all you need is a wallet. Shorter lifespan than some of the simpler. Not ultralight. Overkill for most hiking and backpacking.

three sizes of the best waterproof wallet for hiking

Pro Tips For Using & Choosing A Waterproof hiking wallet

What to carry in your backpacking and hiking wallet

  • I.D. / Driver’s license
  • Credit & Debit Cards
  • Health & Car Insurance Cards
  • AAA Card
  • $100+ in Cash,
  • Note With Relevant Medical Info & Emergency Contacts
  • House Key & Car Key
  • America the Beautiful Pass for Parking, Park Access
  • Permit if not Displayed on Exterior of Pack

Why it’s still worth carrying cash in your hiking wallet

Yes, it’s still worth carrying cash into the backcountry, ideally in a waterproof wallet, and for a plethora of reasons. For starters, you may find yourself at a rural general store that does not accept card, or that is experiencing technical difficulties with their card reader. You may also want cash to incentivize a hitchhike, or whatever kind of assistance is necessary. It can be helpful to have as a bartering currency to use with passing hikers, in case you run out of a particular supply that they might have extras of. For example, food, a spare lighter, blister tape, or stove fuel.

Why choose a waterproof wallet for hiking and backpacking

The more time you spend in the backcountry, the more likely you are to get wet. A waterproof wallet will protect cash, key fobs and written information from rain and sustained exposure to wetness. Some waterproof wallets will even protect your valuables if submerged, such as in the event that you fall into a river while fording. Unlike leather, it won’t be damaged if it becomes wet. It won’t absorb water like a cloth pouch. There is basically no reason not to choose a wallet without some degree of water protection.

Why you should choose an ultralight wallet for hiking and backpacking

Because a plethora of great options exist that weigh less than one ounce, there is simply no reason to bring something heavier, because it won’t offer any performance benefits that a lighter option does not. Weight savings allow you to hike faster, father, and/or more comfortably, and are generally desirable. As such, a lighter wallet is more desirable. Soft sided is better than hard sided for being easier to stow and carry in pocket.

How much waterproofness does your hiking wallet need?

We use and recommend open-sided bifold wallets, highly water resistant zipper pouches, and TPU submersibles. For a day trip, unless you’re expecting heavy rain (in which case why not reschedule?), we recommend your everyday bifold style that does not involve switching cards and cash around. For multi day backpacking which may expose your valuables to extended periods of wetness, we recommend switching over to zipper pouches. If you’ll be rafting, canyoneering, paddling, or otherwise getting all up in it, we recommend a submersible.

Where to store your waterproof wallet while hiking & backpacking

Honestly, this one comes down to personal preference. The logic is that you should store it where your least likely to loose it, but that means difference things to different people. You might choose to store it in your pants pocket, just like you do while walking around town. This means you can always feel it against your leg, reminding you that it’s still there.

However, this is only safe in zippered, and/or deep secure pockets. You might also place it into your ditty bag with other knickknacks and accessories. Or perhaps your backpack’s brain compartment. Or keep it in a shoulder mounted pack pocket. Or in your main compartment, securely nested with your sleeping bag. Choose a system that works for you!

using a hiking wallet

Waterproof Wallet Conclusion

Thank you for reading this buyer’s guide where we hope you found your next waterproof wallet for hiking and backpacking. Choosing a wallet can be daunting, as there are near limitless options. We don’t claim to have tested every single one, but we know this batch to be the cream of the crop. Happy trails!

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