Keep Your Information Safe: RFID Blocking Gear Guide
RFID-blocking-equipped items can help defend against theft.
The days of the George Costanza wallet are numbered. Technology and innovation have led to the rise of the smartphone and the decreased need to have cash on hand.
Phones are now equipped with numerous apps such as Venmo, Apple Pay, and PayPal putting cashless transactions at your fingertips. Our passports and many credit cards and driver’s licenses are now Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) enabled.
The need to carry cash and multiple credit cards is quickly becoming antiquated. Yet, there are a few key items that you need to keep with you, including a driver’s license, credit or debit card and even membership cards. To ensure you’re always prepared, a slim wallet is the solution for functional, comfortable and minimalistic daily carry.
No matter if you are on the road for business or pleasure, thieves will often prey upon those who appear to be in unfamiliar surroundings. In order to keep your trip going smoothly, there are plenty of countermeasures that you can take to keep your valuables safe from theft.
During our travels, we have seen unfortunate incidents happen that range from swiped bags to pickpocketing. These professionals of misdirection can be very hard to spot. You probably wouldn’t realize that you’ve been pickpocketed until they were a few blocks away from you at best.
In this day and age, you also need to be cognizant of electronic theft. We enjoy how technology makes our lives more convenient, but with those advances also come some vulnerabilities.
RFID is a short-distance electro-magnetic method for transmitting data. It is used for services such as contactless payments. RFID-enabled credit cards wirelessly transmit personal information to credit card readers when making contactless payment transactions.
Electronic data capturing devices, known as RFID skimmers, are made to steal data from RFID-enabled items by reading information from cards much like a credit card reader does, but then the information it reads is stored by the thief. A skimmer can easily take your personal information without you even realizing it.
Protecting yourself and your valuables from physical as well as electronic theft is the key to having problem-free travels.
The following selection of RFID-blocking equipped items can help deter and defend against theft. You don’t need to reserve the use of these protective items just for travel. Incorporating them into your daily routine will help keep you protected no matter where you go.
Silk Undercover Money Belt
This waist-worn under-clothing security solution comes in Eagle Creek’s soft-to-the-touch, washable, moisture-resistant natural silk fabric.
It features two zippered pockets for organization of money and documents you want to keep out of sight and a soft elastic waistband that tucks into the slip pocket on the back for tidiness.
The interior features two zippered pockets for the organization of your passport and money.
If you’re going to have a money belt tucked away under your clothes, it might as well be as comfortable as you can make it and there isn’t a fabric that is much more comfortable than silk.
Its construction from breathable, washable silk allows it to form=fit to your body and not leave any obvious imprints under your clothes.
We find its sweat-resistant coated satin lining a nice feature as well.
RFIDsafe Tec Passport Wallet
This streamlined RFIDsafe TEC passport wallet has a passport-holding compartment and four easy access card slots in an ultra lightweight, heat-welded design.
It has a durable polyurethane exterior and a soft microfiber-lining interior.
Clean, simple and gets the job done. If those attributes sound good to you, this is your passport wallet. We like just about everything about this wallet except that there isn’t a pen holder in it.
When travelling to destinations where your passport is required, a pen is often required to fill out disembarkation and customs forms and such. The addition of a place to secure a pen would put this passport wallet over the top.
RFIDsafe Tec Trifold Wallet
Easily sort your cards and cash into the ultra slim RFIDsafe TEC tri-fold wallet. Fits up to 10 cards with 2 easy access card slots and a slot for notes. This wallet is lightweight and functional with a double snap closure.
It is constructed of a durable polyurethane exterior and a soft microfiber-lined interior and is available in black or navy with red trim.
This low profile wallet is as slim as it is simple. It can swallow up to a whopping 10 cards yet not feel like it’s bursting at the seams. The wallet stays closed with two snap buttons.
We really like the look and feel of this wallet. If you’re searching for something simple and durable that can block RFID-theft, this wallet is well worth a look.
Coversafe X100 Anti-Theft RFID Blocking Waist Wallet
Both RFID-blocking and slash-resistant, you can relax knowing your passport and other daily essentials are kept safely undercover and away from prying eyes in this secure waist wallet.
The divided zippered main compartment fits your passport and other documents. The reverse side features a soft touch breathable backing.
Another simple design from Pacsafe that gives you just what you need and nothing you don’t.
We like how this waist wallet protects from both electronic and physical theft. Its compartment is RFID-blocking and its waist strap is made of slash resistant material.
RFID Money Belt
Keeping your valuables close and out of sight can be safer than leaving them in your hotel’s safe. REI Co-op’s RFID Money Belt features a special liner that helps block unauthorized scanning of RFID chips inside passports, credit cards and debit cards.
Its water-resistant, ripstop nylon construction stands up to wear and tear. It is available in black or taupe.
Worn under your clothes, this money belt has two zippered compartments that help you hide away important cards and documents such as passports, cash, cards and airline tickets.
A soft-brushed tricot material on the side facing your skin keeps it comfortable to wear.
RFID Passport Sleeve
This is as simple as it gets. REI Co-ops’ RFID-blocking sleeve is constructed of a durable, water-resistant laminated foil. It is capable of blocking unauthorized scanning of the RFID chip found inside most passports.
If you’re looking for a low-cost and low profile solution to protect your passport from RFID theft, this paper-like passport sleeve just might be the ticket.
Made of a laminated foil material, the sleeve should hold up pretty well but it cannot take the same abuse as a full-blown passport cover.
Qube Hip Pack
Designed to accommodate your passport, cellphone and other daily necessities, the Qube includes anti-theft features including an RFID-protected pocket, locking zipper closure and a cut-resistant fabric bottom.
Its main compartment’s two-way zipper gives you easy access to your essentials. The hip pack has two interior compartments and a non-detachable webbing belt that is low profile and easy to adjust. Qube includes a key fob and removable tassel.
In the 80s they were called fanny packs, but nowadays they’re called hip packs. Regardless of what you call it, we find that the Qube is large enough to hold all of our daily carried gear without feeling too big or boated.
We like its cut-resistant fabric bottom and RFID-protected pocket.
Tokyo RFID Wallet
The Tokyo RFID Wallet’s RFID-protected pocket helps secure your information and a zipper closure keeps you from leaving anything behind.
It features a durable water repellent coating that can shrug off light rain and a built-in 6-credit card slot panel allows for organization of your payment and membership cards.
The interior of the wallet includes a zippered pocket, a mesh slip pocket large enough to fit most smartphones, an elastic pen loop and a plastic key retainer.
Thanks to its zippered enclosure, we think this wallet is a safe bet for those looking for expanded storage space in their wallet.
Large enough to hold a passport, six credit cards, identification, cash and more all while being protected from RFID skimmers, there isn’t more we’d ask for from a wallet.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the EDC Buyer’s Guide Winter, 2020 print issue of American Survival Guide.