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Put a "Paper Wallet" in your pocket

ABOVE: A colorful edition of The Paper Wallet by a Russian artist, Alexander Typochkin.

by Durant Imboden

Paper Media Design, a small New York-based fashion firm, has introduced The Paper Wallet, which is billed as "a small, slim, durable, and light wallet made from a tear-resistant, paper-thin, and elastic fabric called Tyvek." (You may recognize Tyvek as the material that's often used in lightweight courier pouches and shipping envelopes.) 

The inexpensive bi-fold wallet was designed by Elad Burko and comes in more than a dozen styles, which range from solid colors to works of art like the example in the photo above.

When we learned about The Paper Wallet, we were intrigued by its possibilities as a travel wallet:

  • Because it's slim and lightweight, The Paper Wallet fits in places where a bulkier wallet would be more obvious to pickpockets (such as the zippered security pocket of an Ex Officio or REI travel shirt, or the front pocket of jeans). 
  • Because The Paper Wallet isn't designed to be overstuffed, travelers can fill it with a few basics--e.g., a driver's license, a credit card, an ATM card, a transit pass, and a modest stash of banknotes--while keeping the rest of their cash and credit cards in a hidden "neck wallet" or other safe place.
  • Unlike leather, Tyek is perfect for beaches, because it isn't damaged by sand.

Paper Media Design recently sent us a sample of The Paper Wallet, and I'll be field-testing it in Italy and Germany during the next several months. (Watch for a review at In the meantime, you can learn more about the wallet or order as many styles as you need at

Note: If you're headed for Paris--where The Paper Wallet was featured at Fashion Week this spring--look for The Paper Wallet in a number of a number of high-profile locations, including the Louvre and the Palais de Tokyo.


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