Zero Grid Passport Wallet Review
The Zero Grid Passport Wallet’s ideal compact size and layout maximize packing efficiency, though its build quality leaves us wanting more.
- Compact size ideal for a passport wallet
- Layout holds six cards, other travel documents, and even a pen
- RFID-blocking lets you can carry it by hand without fearing card skimmers
- Build quality feels rather cheap
- Front stash pocket too tight for anything other than slim documents
- Still not pocketable, despite minimal size
6.3 oz (178.6 g)
4.25 in x 5.75 in (10.8 x 14.6 cm)
Ripstop Nylon, YKK Zippers
Possibly one of the most awkward conversations you’ll have when going through customs is explaining to the nice agent why your passport is wet. It’s okay; we’ve been there, too. Whether it’s a drink spilled, getting caught in the rain, or dropping it in the toilet, these are all valid—though ultimately embarrassing—things to admit. This is why we always use a travel wallet. It keeps passports safe and can even serve as a daily wallet during long trips—yep, even everyday wallets deserve a vacation, too.
Zero Grid’s Passport Wallet is ideal for the role, primarily because of its size. The footprint isn’t much bigger than the passport it houses. Inside, there’s a complete set of slots for cards, a pen, and additional documentation, so it’s not lacking in capacity. So where does it fall short? Two words: build quality. In many more words? That’s in the review. Let’s jump in, shall we?
The first feature on the front of the wallet is a diagonal slip pocket. There’s no stretch to the fabric or the reinforced rim, so you can’t fit anything super bulky inside, like a power bank. You could, but you’ll stretch the fabric to an uncomfortable level. For context, we tried using the pocket to stash a Max-sized iPhone. However, the phone is taller than the wallet, and the fabric accidentally activates the touch screen.
Let’s be fair, though; this stash pocket has a more practical purpose. If you’ve ever flown anywhere, then you’re familiar with all the “show-me-this,” “give-me-that,” and “here-you-go” when going through the airport and all the documentation that’s involved. Tickets, forms, slips—all of these need to go somewhere they won’t get crumpled, and that’s where this stash pocket comes in handy.
The wallet opens up like a book to reveal an ideal layout. On the left are two card slots where we can fit three cards each, for a total of six. Your mileage may vary depending on the thickness of the cards you insert. We have a mix of thick PVC-based credit cards, thin transit cards, and at least one made of metal (like the one Apple issues).
Behind those two card slots is a wide pocket. You can use this for either additional travel documents like inoculation records or cash if you plan on using the wallet daily on your trip. You can use it for both if you don’t mind mixing the two, by the way—you do you. We also manage to stash an Apple AirTag inside, though it’s not as elegant as having a dedicated smart tracker pocket.
The right side of the interior is dedicated entirely to the passport slot. Here you insert the rear cover of your passport (or all of the pages right after your relevant information) to have it ready to be presented as soon as you open the wallet. It’s more or less the same way other passport wallets integrate a passport, and it works.
A pen slot in the middle includes a free pen. We can’t stress enough how convenient it is to have a pen ready alongside your passport. This readies you for any form that may come your way as you navigate through customs—and trust us, there will be at least some.
Since you’ll be moving around a crowded airport with the Passport Wallet in hand, there’s always the risk of running into card skimmers. Fortunately, this wallet is also RFID-blocking, so you can rest easy as you carry it, though we still put it in a sling as much as possible.
The most prominent con of Zero Grid’s Passport Wallet is its build quality. There’s no escaping it, but it’s rather cheap-feeling in many areas, like the printing of the logos and the lightness of the ripstop nylon fabric. Surprisingly enough, even the YKK zipper doesn’t feel particularly high-quality. We don’t say that lightly either, as we’ve tested a lot of YKK zippers over the years, and this is probably one of the rare exceptions where we’re unimpressed by how it feels.
That said, our sample has held up relatively well throughout a month of testing in the city. There are no tears in the fabric, nor has the zipper jammed. On the other hand, we wouldn’t take it on a hardcore hike or mountain climb where its relatively light ripstop nylon could encounter rocks, twigs, and gushing water.
Again, the relatively compact size of the Zero Grid Passport Wallet is what makes it compelling. We’ll look at a few comparable travel wallets in the next section, but here’s the key takeaway: most tend to be bulkier than necessary, and bulk is the enemy of efficient packing. While we enjoy bringing large slings like Bellroy’s Venture Sling 9L, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to preserve that space for other gear.
Mind you, despite the Zero Grid Passport Wallet’s minimal size, it’s still not pocketable. That is unless you’re talking about those large pockets on cargo pants. If you’re not, it’s best to keep this in a sling for security.
Now let’s take a look at a few other passport wallets. As you can see, Fjallraven’s Kanken Travel Wallet and Passport Wallet are both bulkier, though with the benefit of more internal organization and better build quality. These options are quite popular among travelers since it’s from a reputable brand, and their styling is very presentable (arguably more presentable than Zero Grid’s).
The Bellroy Travel Wallet is close to the same size while having better build quality (and styling) than Zero Grid’s Passport Wallet. The biggest difference between these two is that the Bellroy Travel Wallet opens lengthwise, so it can be unwieldy in tight spaces like the inside of a bag.
If you need more space, check out Zero Grid’s bigger Passport Holder. It’s basically a bigger version of the Passport Wallet, but with more slots for cards and multiple passports—you know, in case you’re traveling with your kids.
- Love the small size and light weight
- Internal organization is pretty much perfect
- The material feels just OK in the hand
- Organization is simple and pretty much proven to be perfect
- Love the small size that’s easy to pack
- Materials feel a bit cheap still—haven’t gotten used to them
- Outdoor pocket seems to have loosened up a bit
- Still holding up well and keeping everything organized!