Fantom Wallet Review: A Minimalist Wallet with a Unique Card Fanning Mechanism

Find out what sets the Fantom Wallet apart from other minimalist options in our detailed Fantom Wallet review.
fantom wallet

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A minimalist wallet has rapidly become one of the must-have tools for the EDC-minded. Fantom Wallets are Kickstarter darlings with a reputation for innovation, serious style, and rock-solid construction.

In this Fantom Wallet review, we’ll see if the actual product lives up to the hype.

Fantom Wallet

Quick Overview

The Fantom Wallet is a high-end, gorgeously designed minimalist wallet that checks all the boxes for an EDC enthusiast. It combines an innovative card access system with rock-solid construction and broad customizability for a durable, seriously stylish wallet that still fits easily into your front pocket.

Functionality

9.6/10

Style

9.5/10

Dependability

9.4/10

Value

9.7/10

What We Like

Stands up to drops, even on concrete
Easy to grab a specific card in an instant
Wide range of plating and color optionsn
Lots of optional modular attachments

What We Don’t Like

A fully loaded wallet costs over $100
Coins can get stuck easily
If it’s not full of cards, they can get loose

Want more wallet options?

Start with our review of the best EDC wallets. We review the best options, including the slimmest, strongest, and advanced-tech options.

Full Review: What are Fantom Wallets?

This Fantom Wallet review is inspired by the wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to revolutionize the minimalist wallet. It used high-end materials and an ingenious lever system to make finding just the right card a snap.

They’ve since expanded into a full range of wallets and modular attachments that allow you to customize the look and functionality of your wallet.

Fantom Wallet Product Design & Style

Fantom did a lot right with their wallets, but they hit it out of the park with the style and design features. The Fantom is slick and futuristic in a way we see too many designers attempt, but few achieve.

At their core, Fantom Wallets are aluminum chassis hard body wallets with inlaid finish panels. You can choose from a variety of different finish and color types, including dark walnut, bamboo, multiple leather options, and a seriously sharp carbon fiber.

Fantom Wallet Review: Product Design & Style

Just picking up the Fantom allows you to feel the thoughtful design that went into it. The rounded edges allow it to slip easily into your pocket while also providing extra drop protection. Running your fingers over the inlaid finish is downright sensuous, especially with the natural leather or wood versions.

Ease of Use

The Fantom is a stylish and well-built minimalist wallet, but what stood out to us was how downright practical it is. Many minimalist wallets we’ve used provide a level of access to your money and cards that can be matched by a rubber band wrapped around a stack of twenties.

Not so with Fantom. From a usability perspective, it’s an impressive product. 

The gorgeous design combines with an innovative and durable lever mechanism that allows you to fan out all stowed cards in an instant. Instead of pulling out and fumbling around through all your cards, you can easily select the one you need by using the fanning lever with just a flick of your thumb.

Fantom wallet review card fanning mechanism
fantom wallet card fanning

Before we started this Fantom Wallet review, we were leery about moving parts in something as simple as a wallet, but the Fantom mechanism moves smoothly and feels rock solid.

Fantom Wallet ease of use

Pocketability

By far, the most critical question to ask on any EDC wallet is whether or not you can pocket it. A bi-fold wallet is arguably more efficient from a usability point of view, but there are few things worse than a stuffed old leather wallet bulging out of your pants pockets.

The largest Fantom Wallet, the Fantom R 13, measures just over half an inch thick.

Even with the optional attachments or money clip, it’s still a lot slimmer and more defined in shape than a traditional wallet. You can slip any Fantom wallet into your front pocket with no fear it will mess up the lines of your look.

Fantom wallet review: pocketabilty

Customizability

Another place where Fantom stands out from the crowd is the sheer customizability of their wallet system. We already covered the range of materials and stylistic touches you can choose from, but that just scratches the surface. Functionally, you can pick from three versions, the R, the S, and the C, with a capacity of 5 to 13 cards.

Once you know how many cards you want, you can start making the wallet your own. Modular attachments include a coin holder, key holder, ID holder, silicone cash strap, money clip, and even an option for a built-in tracker or slot to hold an Apple AirTag. Playing around with these attachments was the favorite part of our Fantom Wallet review.

fantom wallet review customizability

Usability

The Fantom is a dream to use. Your cards are held firmly in place yet can be accessed in an instant. The money clip screws onto the edge of the wallet and works just as advertised, with the capacity for ample bills. The credit card fanning mechanism is smooth and reliable. 

The add-on we arguably liked the most was the optional key holder for the Fantom R. It holds up the three keys and allows you to extend them for use with the flick of a switch.

How to a Insert Card into the Fantom Wallet

Here’s a video from Fantom that explains how to insert your cards into this minimalist wallet.

How to Install Money Clip onto the Fantom Wallet

Here’s a video from Fantom that explains how to install the money clip:

Fantom Wallet Stealth (7-13 Cards)

Only 0.54 inch thick - just 0.1 inch thicker than the cards it's holding. Carry cards, cash, and coins. Ergonomic thumb lever is designed for one-handed operation. One flick of your thumb and your cards are fanned. With the integrated quick card slot, you can withdraw your top card with one swift motion. 3 different sizes. RFID blocking included.

Buy on Amazon

Reliability, Safety, and Durability

With this Fantom Wallet review and all of our reviews, we’re concerned with quality. We were impressed with the materials and build quality of the Fantom. The main body of the wallet is made from ceramic-coated aluminum that’s designed to stand up to drops and bumps without damage.

The edges are rounded off to help disperse impact forces and are a lot more scratch-resistant than expected. We dropped the wallet on several surfaces and saw only superficial scratches that did nothing to detract from the overall style. Like many industrial-chic EDC items, the finish on the Fantom honestly improves with a few character marks.

fantom wallet review reliability safety

The chassis also serves as the RFID blocker for the wallet and does it exceptionally well. We tried running the wallet over an active tap-to-pay terminal from every angle and could never trigger a payment. You can rest assured that no one will be skimming your card information while they’re in the Fantom.

One thing we were concerned about going into this Fantom Wallet review was the reliability of the lever mechanism. After trying it out, we’ve entirely been converted. It relies on a simple spring-actuated joint that moves like butter with every push.

Even better, Fantom backs up every wallet they sell with a pair of warranties. A lifetime limited warranty fully covers any manufacturing defects for the life of the product, ensuring that any issues you have will be made right.

The second warranty was especially generous. The Wear and Tear warranty allows you to trade in your damaged, scratched, or otherwise less than perfect Fantom for 50% off MSRP on the same model wallet. Here’s the full warranty text:

Product damaged through wear and tear, misuse, or neglect can be replaced by Ansix Designs at 50% of the MSRP. Changing to a different Fantom Wallet, such as different size, color, option, is eligible for this Wear and Tear Warranty. However, this does not apply to changing to a different Fantom Wallet model, such as going from the Fantom Wallet to the Fantom R Wallet, or vice versa. This Wear and Tear Warranty can be claimed repeatedly and at any time. To qualify for the Wear and Tear Warranty, the original wallet must be sent back to Ansix Designs. Alternatively, proof of destroyed wallet has to be shown to Ansix Designs. Any abuse of this Wear and Tear Warranty will not be accepted. Shipping & handling fees may apply.

With that kind of backing, you can tell Fantom believes in the durability and reliability of their products.

Fantom Wallet Price and Options

Admittadly, the Fantom wallet is more expensive than a traditional leather bi-fold. It comes with a price tag of $54 – $76.00 depending on whether you add the optional money clip. Fantom slim wallets are not traditional wallets. The fanning mechanism alone is bound to increase the price on these quality products, so we think $54 – $76.00 is a fair price. 

Size Options

  • Fantom R7 – holds 4 to 7 cards
  • Fantom R10 – holds 5 to 10 cards
  • Fantom R13 – holds 7 to 13 cards

Finish Options

  • Walnut
  • Bamboo
  • Brown Dot Leather
  • Black Leather
  • Black Diamond Leather
  • Carbon Fiber

Optional Money Clip Options

  • Titanium
  • Blue
  • Gold
  • Black
  • Red
  • Orange

Modular Attachment Options

  • Coin Holder
  • Cash Holder
  • Key Holder
  • Silicone Band
  • Tracker
  • ID Holder
  • AirTag Holder

Fantom C MagSafe Compatibility

The Fantom C stands out from the flagship Fantom wallets in that it doesn’t include the thumb lever, the modular attachments and is only available in carbon fiber. That cuts down on a lot of things we liked about the Fantom Wallets, but it does add one very special feature that bears mentioning:

If you’re not familiar with MagSafe, it’s a quick-attach accessory system Apple unveiled on the iPhone 12. It uses a ring of magnets built into the phone’s back to allow instant attachment of a range of accessories, including the Fantom C.

It’s a real gamechanger for the EDC crowd as it allows you to attach your wallet to the back of your phone for ease of organization then pop it free whenever you like. During our Fantom Wallet review, we had a lot of fun snapping the wallet to everyone’s phone.

Fantom C MagSafe Compatibility

The Fantom C stands out from the flagship Fantom wallets in that it doesn’t include the thumb lever, the modular attachments and is only available in carbon fiber. That cuts down on a lot of things we liked about the Fantom Wallets, but it does add one very special feature that bears mentioning: Apple MagSafe compatibility.

If you’re not familiar with MagSafe, it’s a quick-attach accessory system Apple unveiled on the iPhone 12. It uses a ring of magnets built into the phone’s back to allow instant attachment of a range of accessories, including the Fantom C.

It’s a real gamechanger for the EDC crowd as it allows you to attach your wallet to the back of your phone for ease of organization then pop it free whenever you like. During our Fantom Wallet review, we had a lot of fun snapping the wallet to everyone’s phone.

fantom wallet review magsafe compatibility

We were sad to see the lack of a thumb lever, but overall the ease of attachment and the simplification that comes from carrying only a single item made up for it. If you’ve got an iPhone 12 or above, you should seriously consider the Fantom C for a minimalist wallet.

Fantom Wallet vs. Ridge Wallet: Which is Worth Your Money?

When talking about hard minimalist wallets, everyone has heard of the Ridge wallet. The Ridge wallet is the OG minimalist wallet and is still an aspirational choice for a lot of EDC enthusiasts looking to level up their carry. It’s the most common Fantom wallet alternative, so we couldn’t leave it out of our Fantom Wallet review.

There’s a good reason for it too. The Ridge wallet is a beautiful piece of industrial art that somehow still manages to be a really good wallet. In a straight beauty pageant between the two, we’d honestly still lean towards the Ridge wallet.

Picking between the Fantom and the Ridge wallet comes down to what you’re looking for in a wallet. If you crave the ultimate in minimalist chic and only need to bring a few cards and maybe a couple of bills, the Ridge is our pick as the best Fantom wallet alternative. It’s a sleek, eye-catching wallet that combines simplicity of design with high-end materials.

Once we’re past aesthetics alone, we’ll say that the Fantom is a better overall wallet. The lever access system is downright genius, and we found it much easier to pick out just the card we were looking for in the Fantom than in the Ridge wallet.

We also loved that we were able to add extra functions through Fantom’s modular attachments. The AirTag alone would be a tremendous value add for a lot of people. Our favorite was the key holder. There was just something special about a slim, stylish wallet being the only thing we needed to carry along with our phone.

fantom wallet review comparison

Durability wise, we like that the Fantom doesn’t incorporate elastic bands as a critical part of its construction. The bands in the Ridge wallet are sturdy, but we were always worried we’d find a way to stain them, snag them, or even tear them while using it. We had no fear of damaging the Fantom.

For more information, read our full Ridge Wallet review.

Are Fantom Wallets Worth It?

Let’s face it, the Fantom is a lot pricier than traditional wallets or even other minimalist wallets. The base package is comparable to high-end wallets and gets even steeper once you add options and customize the finish. Shipping is free for U.S. residents from their Canadian distribution center but varies for international purchasers.

What’s important to remember is that the Fantom is built like a vault. Its ceramic-coated aluminum construction makes it nearly indestructible under regular use without detracting from its stylish design.

Fantom Wallets: Are they worth it?

It works exceptionally well, is built to last, and looks sharp doing it.

If you’re looking for a basic, practical minimalist wallet, the Fantom probably isn’t going to add enough extra features to be worth it to you. If you want to invest in something that’s beautiful, offers next-gen functionality, and has the build quality to go the distance, the Fantom is one of the best options out there.

Common Questions About the Fantom Minimalist Wallet

Curious about the Fantom wallet? Here are some answers for common questions about this minimalist wallet.

What is the best Fantom wallet in 2021?

In our opinion, the best Fantom wallet is the R10 with optional money clip. This seems to be the sweet spot for me since I carry 9 plastic cards with me every day. The R10 holds just enough cards for everyday carry without getting bulky. The money clip was a no-brainer for me as well since I like to carry at least $80 in cash with me wherever I go. (You never know where you end up that only takes cash.)

Where does Fantom wallet ship from?

Fantom ships from their warehouse in Canada. They ship within five business days. Shipping times range from 6 to 22 days, depending on location. Domestic shipping orders (US and Canada) take 3 to 8 days. 1-3 days priority shipping is also available. 

(It’s important to know that there are restrictions on some products, and some products cannot be shipped to international destinations. This does not apply to domestic shipping.)

How many cards does Fantom wallet hold?

The Fantom Wallet comes in three sizes. Since some cards are flat (gift card, driver’s license, etc.) and some cards are embossed (credit cards, bank cards, etc.), each size of Fantom Wallet can hold a range of cards. Fantom has this helpful sizing chart to determine which size is the perfect match for you.

Will cards fall out if the wallet is not full?

Not at all. The wallet is designed so that nothing will fall out, even if you only have a single card in there. 

Can the money clip be removed?

Yes. The money clip can be removed by using the included hex key.

Is there a hole for a lanyard?

Yes. There is a hole on the bottom right of the wallet for a keychain or lanyard.

Can additional plates be purchased to change colors?

Not at this time. The wallet is assembled precisely to ensure it functions well. It’s not a good idea to take it apart to change pieces.

Is the Fantom wallet waterproof/water resistant?

Yes. It will not be damaged by exposure to water. That said, we don’t recommend swimming with it, especially in salt water. 

Will the wallet de-magnitize cards?

This is highly unlikely. The coercivity of the magnetic material in card strips is high enough to resist the magnetizing force of another card. In theory, it’s possible for cards to de-magnetize each other, but they would have to be pressed strip-to-strip for a long time. We recommend positioning your cards so they face the same way (so the strips aren’t touching). 

Does the Fantom work business cards?

Nope. Business cards aren’t stiff enough and their sharp corners get caught on the wallet. 

How do you insert your cards into the wallet?

Fantom provides a user guide with each purchase to show you how to insert your cards. They also provide these two videos. 

Fantom Wallet Review Final Thoughts

To conclude our Fantom Wallet review, we can say this:

Fantom wallets are ruggedly stylish, highly customizable, and some of the most fundamentally usable EDC wallets we’ve ever seen. They combine an innovative card access system with a range of customizable attachments and style choices to create a high-end and highly durable wallet that still fits seamlessly into any pocket, making it an impressive product to use on a daily basis.

They’re definitely on the expensive side, but you get a lot of value for your money. We gave Fantom high marks for value, style, dependability, and functionality.

Fantom Wallet Stealth (7-13 Cards)

Only 0.54 inch thick - just 0.1 inch thicker than the cards it's holding. Carry cards, cash, and coins. Ergonomic thumb lever is designed for one-handed operation. One flick of your thumb and your cards are fanned. With the integrated quick card slot, you can withdraw your top card with one swift motion. 3 different sizes. RFID blocking included.

Buy on Amazon
Dennis Hammer
Dennis has been a part of EDC since he was young - before he even knew what it was! As an artist, he loves beautifully designed products that function well. He also likes to be ready for any situation, which makes EDC perfect for his lifestyle.

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