Pelican G5 RF Field Wallet Review – EDC Secure Transport for Your RFID Cash Cards
REVIEW – Hackers are always in the news. One of the latest schemes is RFID skimming where an electronic reader near an RFID card, such as a credit card, reads the relevant payment information from the card. This allows the thief to conduct contactless transactions as if they had typed the physical card on a contactless terminal. You can apply for a non-RFID card, but then you lose that cool and convenient tap-to-pay functionality. Pelican, the maker of a million waterproof and nearly indestructible travel cases, has an answer with its new G5 RF Field Wallet. Let’s see if it delivers the dry radio silence it promises.
What is that?
The Pelican G5 RF Field Wallet, or Wallet for short, is a waterproof, RFID blocking, and sealed wallet.
What’s in the box?
Technically, there is no box. The wallet is mounted on a display hanger card. The card displays all the features of the wallet. The wallet comes with its wrist strap attached.
The outer shell is completely made of aluminum and anti-RFID. When closed, the Pelican G5 RF Field Wallet is IP67 waterproof to a depth of one meter for 30 minutes. It is available in silver or black aluminum finish.
The wallet is approximately five inches long.
It is just under three inches wide.
At about 0.625 inches deep, it’s reasonably thin.
It weighs 5.3 ounces, just above the 4.9 ounce weight of my regular wallet.
Design and functionality
Seeing the dimensions is one thing. Here is a more practical measure – it fits well in the hand.
It’s not small, but not too big. Here is a size comparison with my usual wallet.
The front of the Pelican G5 RF Field Wallet features the Pelican logo and a ridged design.
The back is smooth and has a rubber body strap.
The strap is nice and grippy and relatively tight, so your bills will be held securely on the wallet.
The hinge is strong and sturdy. You can also see the strap attachment loop.
At the other end, we find the closing clip.
The clip opens from the top.
Opening the Pelican G5 RF Field Portfolio, we see two sides with different designs.
The top has a Pelican logo rubber strap and a small bottom tray. This is designed to hold cards and folded banknotes securely. The bottom has a perforated bottom tray that can hold tickets and cards folded in four. Around the outer edge of the summit you can see a raised ridge. This ridge rests in the channel around the outside of the bottom. This channel contains a rubber bead. The crest seating on this rubber cord creates the IP67 waterproof seal.
Let’s stuff this thing and see what fits!
Each side can hold 7-8 cards. Putting so much under the strap will make removing a single card a bit difficult. In addition, you can fold 5-10 bills into quarters and hold them securely. Banknotes folded in half are too large for this wallet.
I had a problem with the wrist strap. Here I am, sliding it over my medium to large hand.
As you can see the strap is pretty tight no matter how I position my thumb. With a little squirming, I could get it over my hand to my wrist, but it wasn’t easy. I would like to see a slightly larger strap with a strap.
The smooth aluminum finish allowed the Pelican G5 RF Field Wallet to fit easily into my pants pocket.
I liked that the rubber bed strap got stuck a bit, making it harder for a pickpocket to go unnoticed. Carrying it was certainly as comfortable as carrying my regular wallet. I’m the type to carry a front pocket, and it works well in this scenario. If you are carrying a back pocket wallet, it may be a bit too stiff when you are seated. I guess it all depends on how sensitive your behind is. Throwing it in a bag or purse would work well too.
The clip was another element that I had problems with. No matter how hard I pushed, I couldn’t open it with a single thumb.
I had to put a thumb on each corner of the clip and still really push. Closing was a bit easier and it closed with a loud * snap *. Maybe this will loosen up a bit over time, but with somewhere nearing 100 open / close cycles it was still very tight.
Pelican claims that once you close the wallet, it blocks RFID signals completely. Let’s see!
I live in a community with front doors. To open a gate, we wave our RFID entry card in front of the reader and the gate opens. I whipped my card to the reader – in fact, as soon as I got it about four feet away, the light turned green (too fast for me to capture it) and the door opened.
I placed the card in the Pelican G5 RF Field Wallet and closed it. No matter how I waved the wallet or how far I approached it from the reader, the reader would not pick up the signal from the card. RFID blocking? To verify!
Finally, let’s test the IP67-ness! I don’t have a one-meter-deep container. I opted for a pot with about six inches of water in it. I loaded the wallet with a folded tissue and dropped it in the water.
One thing I noticed was that it was floating, at least for a minute or so. The end of the wallet clip rose to the surface of the water and remained there for a while. Then it sank to the bottom. Maybe small air bubbles on the outside of the joint caused it to float before it was released from the wallet. Or was the wallet leaking water inside and that’s why it sank? My handkerchief inside the wallet should reveal the answer.
The IP67 rating indicates that it must remain waterproof for at least 30 minutes in a maximum of one meter of water. I left it in six inches of water for 45 minutes. Let’s check the fabric for evidence of leaks.
I opened it and found a handkerchief stained with a single drop of water. This drop of water came from my still wet hand after taking the wallet out of the pot, not a leak. My fault, not the wallet’s fault. So far, so good.
Next, I examined the entire interior of the wallet. I did not find a drop of water anywhere. It was as dry as when I closed it. Waterproof? To verify!
I think the claim of the IP67 rating seems quite plausible. I can’t explain why it floated for a minute, but it could be a good thing if you drop it in the water. You may be able to retrieve it from the surface before it sinks to the bottom.
What I like
- Very well done
- Fits well in a pocket
- Blocks RFID signals
- Big capacity
What i would change
- Extend the strap a little and add a strap
- Make opening the clip a little easier
If you’re looking for a waterproof, RFID-protected, and secure wallet, look no further than the Pelican G5 RF Field Wallet. With an easier to open latch and a wrist strap that fits more wrists, this would be an almost perfect solution for the security-conscious. Still, these are minor quibbles with an otherwise formidable security portfolio.
Price: $ 39.95
Or buy: Pelican and check out their store on Amazon for a huge selection of protective gear
Source: The sample for this product was provided by Pelican.