Comfortable satin lining and silk exterior. Spacious interior. Lies flat against body.
Zippers and buckles are plastic, not metal. Some breathability issues in hot weather.
Reliable features and a budget-friendly price. RFID protection, ample space, and tough nylon material. The slim design is easy to conceal under clothing.
Doesn't have as many individual pockets as some competitors. Material lacks beathability in warmer temperatures.
No fasteners or clips to cause chafing. Material wicks body moisture. Can even hold items such as insulin pumps and gel packs.
Finding the right size can be challenging. Belt can ride up or invert during strenuous exercise.
Six shielded sleeves protect cards from RFID scanners. Aluminum zippers won't set off metal detectors. Enough capacity for small electronics.
Water-resistant rather than waterproof. Some seams are glued, not stitched.
Built-in RFID protection means any pocket is safe. Easy to organize, with pockets and hidden inner compartments. Dual side-release buckle prevents accidental unbuckling. Slim-fitting belt made of durable 210D ripstop nylon with mesh backing. Water-resistant. Comes in a variety of sizes and colors.
Several reports of zippers breaking, snagging, or fraying.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Whether you’re vacationing in the Bahamas or standing in line at the grocery store, you need to make sure your most important personal items are safe and secure. If you want to keep your money, credit cards, and other important documents as close to you as possible, a money belt is the ideal solution.
While all money belts may seem the same, there are actually certain features that can make one more functional than another. At BestReviews, our goal is to help you find a money belt that can give you peace of mind.
If you’re ready to purchase one, check out our top recommendations. If you’d like some general tips on shopping for a money belt, just continue reading.
A money belt is small, zippered sleeve or pouch that typically sits at your waist. It is ideal for holding cash, credit cards, important pieces of identification, and transportation tickets when you’re traveling.
While it’s usually worn front-facing, some people prefer turning their money belt so the pouch rests at the small of their back. There are belt styles designed to rest on other parts of the body, too, such as the neck or leg.
Most money belts have a variety of pockets in which you can separate and organize your items. It’s much easier to find your cash and other goods with a well-organized money belt.
Traditional waist-style money belts don’t work as well if you plan to wear a dress because it’s difficult to access the belt discreetly. Opt for a neck or shoulder style instead.
Is a money belt worth the investment? We think so. Here are some of the reasons why you might want one.
Stowing your cash and other items in a money belt offers effective security while traveling because the items are hidden beneath your clothing. A thief is much more likely to snatch your wallet from your pants pocket than your money belt.
Most money belts have a fairly streamlined design. Generally speaking, these handy accessories are lightweight and easy to wear.
Many money belts are waterproof, so you can even wear them during water activities such as boating or kayaking.
To ensure that pickpockets can’t identify your money belt and target you, avoid purchasing a dark-colored belt. A dark money belt may show through a light-colored shirt.
A “traditional” money belt sits at the waist and can be worn under your pants with your shirt tucked over it. This style typically features at least two pockets in which to organize your belongings.
You can also find money belts that sit at the waist but look like actual belts, so you thread them through the belt loops of your pants. Keep in mind that this type of money belt is extremely thin. As a result, it can usually only hold a few dollar bills.
Some money belts are actually pouches that loop onto an existing belt. The pouch can then be tucked into your pants. It can be a little more difficult to access this style, since it requires removing your belt.
If you aren’t a fan of wearing a money pouch around your waist, consider a neck or shoulder pouch instead. The pouch can be concealed beneath your shirt. Notably, however, you must lift your shirt to get at the pouch. For some wearers, this could be an issue.
Leg pouches are also available, though they don’t work as well for travel documents like passports since your legs are curved and the documents are flat. Another potential problem is that a leg pouch could come loose as you’re walking around. You can’t easily wear this style with shorts, either.
You may not necessarily want to keep all of your day’s money in your money belt. If you know you’re going to stop at a cafe for a cup of coffee, for example, keep a few dollars in your front pocket to avoid having to access the belt.
Some people find money belts uncomfortable because sweat can build up beneath the belt.
However, there are certain types of money belts that are less likely to irritate your skin in a sweaty situation.
A belt that features a cotton/synthetic mix is often your best bet. The cotton makes the belt soft and breathable, and the synthetic material increases durability.
Some belts have a moisture-proof back. Sweat moisture won’t reach the items inside.
You may wish to look for a money belt with an antimicrobial back. Bacteria, mildew, and odor are less likely to become issues if you sweat while wearing this type of money belt.
Avoid wearing tops that are very snug with a money belt. They can often reveal the telltale bulge that alerts pickpockets you’re wearing one.
If a money belt doesn’t fit well, it isn’t going to be very comfortable. You may be tempted to skip wearing an ill-fitting money belt, which puts your belongings at risk.
Fit is an especially important concern if you’re wearing a traditional waist money belt. Look for a style with a wide, adjustable elastic waistband. You can customize the fit so the belt is snug but not too tight.
If you’re going to be engaging in water activities such as boating, canoeing, or kayaking, it’s a good idea to choose a waterproof money belt. In the event that you fall in the water or get splashed, the items inside the belt will stay dry and undamaged.
A waterproof belt is also a good option if you’re visiting an area that’s prone to rain and/or snow.
If your money belt isn’t water-resistant, place items you don’t want to get wet in a plastic bag before adding them to the belt.
Some money belts feature a single pocket, so there’s no way to separate your items. Others have two or more pockets so you can organize a bit. For example, you may not want to keep your money in the same compartment as your passport or driver’s license because you run the risk of dropping your ID when you reach in to pull out bills. A money belt with several pockets would likely be a better choice for you.
How much stuff do you plan to carry in your money belt? If you’re only using it for cash, virtually any size will do. If you want to carry credit cards, debit cards, and a driver’s license around, you’ll need a money belt that’s wide enough to hold those items. And if you’ll be carrying a passport or other travel-related items, make sure you get a large enough belt to accommodate those documents.
Notably, the larger a money belt is, the harder it usually is to conceal.
Some money belts feature radio frequency identification (RFID) sleeves. This technology helps prevent thieves from wirelessly accessing key information from your chip-enabled credit cards.
Identity theft is a serious problem. If you plan to travel with credit cards, it’s good idea to choose a belt with RFID protection for added peace of mind.
If you plan to stash nothing but cash and/or credit cards in your money belt, a belt with a single pocket may be sufficient.
Money belts vary in price based on brand, material, size, and number of pockets. You can typically expect to spend between $10 and $50 on a good one.
For a basic money belt with just one or two compartments, you’ll usually pay between $10 and $20.
For a mid-range money belt with multiple compartments, you’ll usually pay between $20 and $35.
For a high-end money belt with multiple compartments, you’ll usually pay between $35 and $50.
If you are the victim of a pickpocket while traveling, always contact the police; they likely won’t be able to recover your items, but most insurance companies require a police report when you file a claim. Also, cancel your credit cards as soon as possible to limit the extent of the damage.
Keep your money belt completely out of sight. For the utmost in security, wear it over your underwear but beneath your pants.
Tuck your shirt in. This conceals the money belt more effectively than an untucked shirt.
If you’re wearing a neck money belt, tuck it under one arm. It will less visible at your neck that way.
Don’t keep all of your money in your money belt when traveling. Just keep a day’s worth in the belt, and store the rest in your hotel room safe.
Keep any necessary cash, your ID, and a single credit or debit card in your money belt. Most people agree that placing multiple credit cards in a money belt is a bad idea. The belt may be secure, but it’s still possible that you could lose everything.
Access your money belt in a private location, such as a restroom. That way, no one will be able to see that you’re wearing one.
Q. What’s the difference between a money belt and a fanny pack?
A. Fanny packs tend to be bulkier with just a single large compartment, and they’re designed to be worn over your clothing. Yes, they can hold money, credit cards, and ID, but they’re not as secure.
A fanny pack works well for holding larger items such as a pair of sunglasses or a cellphone. A money belt, on the other hand, has a thin, streamlined design that is best worn beneath the clothing.
Q. Can you wear a money belt when you go through an airport security screening?
A. Some money belts contain zippers or other metal components that would set off a metal detector. Other styles are secured with Velcro, so you can easily pass through airport security with one on. If you want to wear your belt through the security screening, be sure to choose one without any metal.
Q. Is it important to choose a money belt with RFID protection?
A. Some credit cards, driver’s licenses, and passports are equipped with RFID chips that transmit information wirelessly. And unfortunately, some thieves use RFID readers to glean this information from your cards and steal your identity. If you plan to carry credit cards or ID in your belt, it’s a good idea to choose one with RFID protection.
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