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Body Wallets

I'm looking for recommendations for a body/hidden wallet. I want one that pins to my side. I'd wear it over my undershirt and under my overshirt, and I'd put my phone in it and a bit of local currency, maybe my passport. Ideally as thin as possible and pins tightly to body (doesn't just hang), no frills if they compromise this first principle, though waterproofing and RFID blocking would be nice.

Consider as an example this. It has most of the features I want, but it'll just hang from the shoulder. It needs another fixing method to pin the bottom of the wallet too, but I can't think of what that might be. It's probably also bulkier than it needs to be based on the description. Throw your suggestions at me.

Posted by
8857 posts

I use a neck wallet type of money belt. It's made of a soft thin fabric. Mine is similar to the one sold on this website. I wear mine under my shirt, over one shoulder. It sits below my armpit and I pin the strap to my bra. Wearing it that way between an undershirt and over shirt would work. The fabric is thin enough to safety pin it to your undershirt. I only use mine for deep storage. I keep my phone in my front pocket or a back pocket on my purse. Personally I don't see the the need for RFID blocking.

Posted by
21844 posts

RFID blocking serves no purpose so didn't spend extra money for something that is primarily market hype.

Posted by
2737 posts

A'zon was my go-to site for all manner of such contraptions. I ended up with a wallet that looped through my belt and hung inside my trousers. Worked just fine.

Posted by
31510 posts

A "waist wallet" probably wouldn't be as convenient for a cell phone, and it could be a bit challenging to access the phone. I probably would never use the "shoulder holster" style wallet you linked, as in that location it would be more susceptible to perspiration. After a day of strenuous touring, the contents of the wallet may be a soggy mess. Also, it wouldn't be as easy to access as a waist belt or neck pouch.

Posted by
192 posts

I used the "hidden wallet" that was mentioned in a prior post for my trip to Europe in Sept. It worked well, however, I did not carry a phone in it. I used it to carry my passport, credit cards, and cash. You do have to position it in the right spot so that your passport doesn't get bent when you walk. I used a neck wallet(under my arm) when I wasn't wearing a belt. Also, I put my items in a baggie before I put them into the wallet.

Posted by
6778 posts

ryan you might be interested in products they have at scottevest.com . They have lots of clothing with built in secret pockets and places to hold things like cell phones and passports.

Posted by
2081 posts

ryanhinshelwood,

i just use a necklace type pouch i purchased at one of our local outdoor stores.

I has 3? pockets in it and the main one large enough to put a cell phone. Note that i dont put my cell phone in it but my passport and some extra cash.

Im not sure why you would want to put your cell phone in it but thats up to you.

I have only been traveling for 3+ years now and not have anyone try to take my cell phone. Pick pocket, yes, but once.

I recently bought a phablet and have made a belt holster for it so its not one you can pull off my belt without bringing me along with it. its fully enclosed too so that you have to grab the whole case to get the phablet.

one thing about the ability to pin this device to you is that at the airport you will need to remove it for TSA screening. Or expect a pat down and or not too happy TSA people reminding everyone to remove EVERYTHING from your person.

good luck and happy trails.

Posted by
6509 posts

I don't think I've ever seen one like you describe. Maybe you'll have to design a custom-made one. The one you linked to looks a bit bulky to wear under your shirt, I think it was made to be worn outside, like a purse. You could just get a neck wallet and wear it cross-body under your arm, then maybe you could sew (or glue) a piece of velcro to the bottom of it and a piece to your undershirt where you want it to lay against your body. Well, you said to throw ideas at you.

Posted by
776 posts

During my last trip to Paris, I used a neck wallet as a cross body hidden wallet under my shirt. It worked well. I pinned part of the neck "string" to my bra strap, it worked well.

Posted by
4535 posts

Just to explain why RFID is not necessary. RFID is a system that can make payments by remotely reading your card (rather than inserting it or sliding it). This is common on things like transit passes and some gas cards (wave the card near the sensor to pay). It has nothing to do with your regular credit, debit and ATM cards. Data on your magnetic strip or chip cannot be read remotely.

Posted by
2 posts

When I travel I'm always worried that my phone will fall out of my pocket, be pickpocketted from my pocket, or taken while I'm asleep. If I had it in a wallet in front/to the side of me and always accessible I'd strike the balance between security and accessibility. I also want to pin a leash like this one to the inside of the wallet. I take photos with my smartphone to save carrying the weight of an extra camera, and again, I worry that I'll drop it.

A cross body/shoulder/holster wallet pinned at the bottom with a safety pin seems like the best option so far, just need to find the right product (right sized pockets, as thin as possible).

Posted by
4535 posts

I use a belt loop travel wallet. It hangs on the outside but has numerous zippers, Velcro, and inner pockets so it is secure from prying hands. But easy for me to access what I need. It works great for my phone (now that they are essentially flat and thin).

Another idea is to use a neck pouch or something similar but just use a safety pin to better secure it so it doesn't hang so loose.

A shirt with buttoned pockets is also great for storing a phone. Much more accessible for using it to take photos.

Posted by
79 posts

+1 on the RFID comments. Same goes for the passport. Theives cannot obtain the personal information without the necessary database anyways...

If you're uncomfortable with using the money belts (which I am), get the simplest, thinest billfold that has a few slots for your ID, an ATM card and a chip & pin card. Put that in your front pocket. SHould be secure by itself, but if you want more, just put a rubberband around the wallet parallel to you leg. That wallet won't go anywhere without you knowing.

Posted by
21844 posts

Sorry, but the rubber band and front pocket is just another urban myth. There are many postings over time on this site when the front pocket with or without rubber band didn't work. I remember seeing a NY vice cop promote the same thing on the Today Show a few years ago. Sure the front pocket is marginally better than the back pocket but don't put anything in any pocket, front or back, that you cannot afford to lose. Common sense - if it is easy for you to get to, then will be easy for someone else.

PS There is even a report here of a young lady losing her credit card from her bra. With the right distraction, they are good.

Posted by
4535 posts

+1 to Franks comments about front pockets not being a secure place for a wallet. While people might think that there is no way someone could put their hand in your front pocket without you knowing, the reality is that pickpockets almost always work on distraction. With enough bumping and grinding on a crowded train or bus, the extra bumps around your front pocket go un-noticed. These guys are really good at what they do and front pockets are pretty easy pickens for them.

Posted by
1 posts

Okay, since ya'll are here answering this question, I have a similar one for you.
I am a skinny female and I wear clothes that fit. No oversized baggy stuff or things with super high necks. Sooo. HOW am I supposed to hide stuff on my person? It is going to be super obvious that I have a bulge on my body or a cord around my neck. What is the point in having something hidden if it's super obvious that it's there? I feel like I will really stick out as a tourist if they can see I have things stuffed under my clothes. How do actual Europeans carry their money? Does everyone use a money belt? And what if you don't have pockets? I'm just trying to figure out how this is supposed to work for me. (There is no way I'm spending money on ugly clothes that make me feel like crap.)
Thanks for your advice. I'd really like to hear from some ladies on this one, too.

Posted by
8293 posts

"What is the point of having something hidden if it's super obvious it is there?" Well, the point is that if it appears you have something hidden under your shirt it is extremely unlikely a pickpocket will rip off your shirt to get at the hidden money. But if you are unwilling to have a bit of a bulge here or there to keep your money, passport, etc., safe, then by all means look as cute as a bunny in your fitted clothes and take your chances. Oh, and good luck with that.

Posted by
1179 posts

Kayte - I think you are making a huge mistake in logic. You are assuming that clothing is either baggy and unfashionable or painted on skin tight and fashionable. That is rarely the case. Most body skimming clothing still has enough room for a money belt, especially at the waist. You're not putting that much bulk in the money belt. You are placing a couple of credit cards, a passport, and a few hundred euros in large bills. The thickness is only 1/4 inch at most.
The money for the day (50-100 EU max) goes into a working wallet which can go in your pocket or into a purse. Lock the zipper on your purse by attaching a small S-Biner to the purse hardware and the purse zipper. They now have locking s-biners that are great. It takes two hands to open them which makes them a great deterrent for pickpockets.
You are also worried about sticking out. Most Europeans wear tailored clothing, not skin tight clothing. You will definitely stick out if your clothing is super tight. A nice pair of fitted pants can take a few millimeters of cash in the zippered security pocket. Several manufacturers make fashionable travel pants.

Posted by
1217 posts

Despite the' you must wear a moneybelt or neck pouch' crowd here, no, the locals don't use such things, and yes, I use a purse with a locking zipper (and then the important stuff goes into an additional interior zipper pocket) and everything's been fine.

Posted by
1805 posts

You're right that the locals don't seem to use money belts, etc...However, for tourists who may be fighting jet lag or unfamiliar territory or get easily distracted, we're a target-rich environment for pickpockets. Lots of women we saw last summer used cross-body bags with their hand resting on top. I still opt for money belt or neck wallet for things I can't tolerate losing and the rest I carry in a handbag.

Posted by
1179 posts

I think that I need to point out that the locals don't use money belts for several reasons:
* The penalty for losing cards/money is not as high. They can easily get their cards replaced where a traveler will have a difficult time getting their cards replaced.
* They have more resources than the traveler. They can go home and get more stuff, have more local friends to help them out, are more likely to get help from police, etc.
* Because they are local, they are more in tune with the area. They know where the bad neighborhoods are, they know where thieves are likely to congregate, etc.
* While inconvenient, they can spend several hours replacing cards/lost items. A traveler losing that many hours or days would have a significant impact to their trip.

In short, the locals have local knowledge and local resources that a traveler does not have. The consequences for robbery are significantly lower for them, so they can afford to take greater risks by not carrying a money belt.

Posted by
11432 posts

To add on to what Cindy H wrote.....

Locals don't hang around places where tourists congregate. Thieves congregate around where tourists are because they have goodies on them....cash, cameras, etc.. They are also more easily distracted while a local is aware of his surroundings and knows his way around.

If a pickpocket is caught stealing from a tourist, there is little chance that tourist will fly back for the trial. A local would show up.
`
One other thing...the biggest target for pickpockets right now are Chinese tourists. They tend to carry large amounts of cash where Americans and Canadians rely more on credit cards.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/07/travel/chinese-tourists-paris-pickpockets/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-14/the-paris-syndrome-drives-chinese-tourists-away.html

Posted by
16883 posts

Locals have less need to carry hundreds of euros in cash, which a tourist often has for cash payments at hotels, restaurants, transport, and sightseeing. If you take out smaller amounts from the cash machine, then you have to keep going back.

Locals might have €50-100 euros in their handy wallets, as do we. You may be surprised how often you take out your wallet each day to pay for tourist needs ranging from metro ticket to museum entry to lunch to museum entry to souvenir to ice cream to dinner, etc., and each time is an opportunity for you to get distracted, especially in a crowded train or subway station. At a colorful, outdoor market, for instance, you will pay each vendor separately (bread, cheese, fruit, veg); you'll see many locals using a coin purse for this, not a credit card or roll of bills.

Tourists are transiting through a variety of hotel rooms and other places that they do not know and to which they will not return. Having your valuables securely attached to you, but not easily accessible, means less chance of you leaving them behind.

Posted by
2927 posts

Katye, You could use a purse such as pacsafe or one of its competitors. As long as you keep it locked and attached to you, I, personally, think that is enough to dissuade pickpockets. IF I wear a moneybelt, it is a leg belt-feels like a knee sock,which your generation probably never wore, and with a boot legged pant. And, again IF I wear one, it is only during transit so I don't have to bring my purse to the airplane or train bathrooms…they are small enough. My daughter's friends travel a lot and never wear moneybelts and are fine---they have years of travel under their belts. Just don't be a space-shot and you'll be fine. IMO

Posted by
866 posts

I think what I will do is buy a smaller puch that straps the the bra strap for CC and tuck in my bra. I will have a small purse and secure it wi maybe 30 euros a day, lipstick, camera. Carry it over body, and keep hand on top. Hubby will carry both passports...don't know yet which he will find most comfy.

Posted by
13 posts

I once travelled South Africa and I heard some stories in advance. Therefore I decided to buy a body pack as well. I can only tell you from my experience and Eastpack prooved to be the right choice for me.
Another advice I can give is a safety belt. It is a special belt (bigger size) you just use like a normal one. The clue is that you can put in money and other important devices and people wont recognize from the first look.