0.54 gram wallet

0.54 gram wallet
0.54 gram wallet

Greetings Hikers,

When I am out on a long distance hike the less I have to carry the better, and I quickly become tired of having my money, identification, and a credit card in a heavy wallet or thrown into a stuff sack with other gear where the chances of loosing things increases. Early last year I was expressing some frustration about this matter with a friend of mine who makes some of my custom made gear, and he was gracious enough to put together for me a custom made wallet made from 0.34 cuben fiber that holds three plastic cards and a maximum of around twelve pieces of paper currency.

The vast majority of the time I carry fifty dollars in currency with me while out hiking. Five one dollar bills that I might use in trail towns for small snacks,  five five dollar bills that I use to slip folks who give me a ride or other trail angels, and one twenty for if I should need to buy something else that does not warrant me using a credit card. I also carry my drivers license/identification, a credit card, an insurance card, and typically a calling card with enough money on it to make a phone call if I happen to get into a situation where I need to call home and have no other means of calling than to use a calling card.

I have never been one of those guys who walks around with a wallet that causes my back pocket to look like I have a brick inside of it. I have just always preferred to have as little as possible on me, regardless of whether I am out hiking or not.

Perfect for three cards and a dozen or so bills.
Perfect for three cards and a dozen or so bills.

I use to keep all of this type of stuff just thrown into one of my smaller stuff sacks that I would carry along with me, but I got tired of walking around trail towns with a stupid stuff sack in my hands, worrying about where it was at when I sat down to eat, and so forth. So I went on the hunt for the smallest and lightest wallet that I could find. It was around this same time that Chad “Stick” posted an article talking about the Wa-Ben Cuben Fiber Wallet that he had gotten. To me, it was just too big, and even though nobody would probably ever see it, it had this little round red dot that just annoyed me.

So in yapping with my buddy, he was already working on something for me and told me he might have a little surprise for me in my next shipment. By the way, I am sorry, but the individual who made this for me has expressed that he has zero desire to make any more and would thus just desire to not be named, so I will respect him in this.

When my package showed up I was all excited to get the gear I had ordered from him. Also inside of the box was my extra surprise, a cuben fiber wallet with no frills, bells or whistles, just a pure wallet made from 0.34 cuben fiber made to fit pretty much exactly what it is that I carry while out hiking.

Long Term Usage:

A common USA twenty and a bill from the Far East. Perfect no matter where I go.
A common USA twenty and a bill from the Far East. Perfect no matter where I go.

Well so far I have only been using it for a little under a year. I use it while out hiking and often while not out hiking. It fits perfectly inside my shoulder pocket on my ZPacks Waterproof Cuben Fiber Rain Jacket, and as I almost always wear it when I leave my house, the wallet is almost always with me. So far it has not had any rips, tears, thread pulls, or any other noticeable damage. I have been using a 0.34 cuben fiber tarp (80.24 grams / 2.830 ounces)  since middle of 2011 so I already had an understanding of just how far this material could be pushed, and how far it could not be pushed.

This is by no means one of those wallets that would have any purpose at all in the hands of somebody who is ruff on their gear… they would probably destroy it before they made it onto the trail, but thankfully I have a softer side of me.


As I mentioned above, the individual who made this for me does not wish to make any more – it was a gift he made for me.

However, if you have a fair amount of experience sewing cuben fiber, and have rather tiny hands or the right tools, this would be a fairly easy wallet to reproduce. The main chamber of the wall is all made from a single piece of 0.34 cuben fiber that is folded in half and sewn along the two edges. The sleeve for the plastic cards is just another small piece that was cut to size and sewn onto one side.

I am not sure where you can buy 0.34 cuben fiber at right now, ZPacks use to sell it but I just checked and it does not appear to be on their website anymore. Perhaps they will have it available in late April or early March.

Final Thoughts:

Clearly this is one of those rare items that the rare few are going to want. For those that are always after the lightest of the lightest, I thought I would share this with you – and I hope it gives you some ideas of your own!



In accordance of Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that the disseminated content within the review of this product(s) is free of endorsement(s) between myself and the manufacturer(s) of any product(s) disclosed herein and meets all FTC 16 CFR.255 compliance requirements.

7 thoughts on “0.54 gram wallet

  1. awesome. i will try to make this but probably out of silmylon. I also want something superlight to put my Guinness Can Alocool stove in. Time to get sewing! Thanks very much for the noes that come in my emails to cheer up my day as i plan for the 88 temples walk in japan. Trying averything I can to get down to 7Kgs but the big three are still holding the base weight up too much. The Talon 44 will have to be replaced by a talon 33 and the tent to 500 gms solution instead of 1500 gms. Alread down to two baselayers one mid and one warm. Shoes to asics 2000 gtx as i want to walk in the rain. Three icebreaker beast underewear, three midweight socks, one gaxaxy 3 phone/gps/email/camera/music/blogging device.
    cheers from Canada
    Any suggestion for ultralight sun and rain hat?

  2. I just use a snack size ziploc. Probably as light but not as robust (though it’s easily replaced). Mine is always stored in the zippered pantleg pocket. I normally don’t even zip it since it doesn’t matter if they get wet.

  3. Very awesome John! I love this, and will have to see what I can do about either getting one, or making one myself…

    Also, thanks for the shout out! I am still using my Wa-Ben wallet everyday, and so far, it has held up just fine. I absolutely love it, and have been using it as my wallet on my trips, just as I do for everyday use. With everything inside it (including about 10 – 13 bills) it weighs in at 2.3 oz, and is still uber thin. When I head out for a hike, i just stuff it inside my back pocket on my pants (I still love my pant’s pockets…) which has a zipper on it, so as long as a bear or a coon doesn’t run off with my pants, I have no worries about losing it.

    Thanks for sharing!


  4. I don’t know anything about cuban, but seems it wouldn’t be that hard to reproduce, if you used seam tape, or would that add to much weight ?

  5. Thanks for the idea. I have a ton of cuben fiber and am always looking for new things to make.

    Here is mine: http://i.imgur.com/EA6RwaM.jpg?1
    (I prefer to use cf tape over thread+needle whenever possible)

    I don’t have a scale with enough precision to weigh. I’ll report back when I do.

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