I bought the Eagle Creek Silk money belt from Amazon about 8 years ago before my first solo trip. I have worn this money belt for months at a time traveling through 56 countries on 6 continents with it. So far, it has held up incredibly well. I still travel with the same one to this day. This is one piece of gear that I never travel without. Here’s why I think it’s the best money belt for travel.
Money Belt Security
This waste style money belt is easy to access and very secure. Pickpockets can’t get to it. Muggers won’t know it’s there. I’ve been patted down by security when entering banks, museums, bars, grocery stores, etc. and nobody notices it. You can even walk through metal detectors while wearing this money belt as long as you aren’t carrying any keys, coins, or other metal objects inside. This is the safest way that I have found to carry cash, cards, and my passport while traveling.
Tip: Consider carrying a decoy wallet when wearing a money belt. Stock it with a few dollars and a couple of old credit cards. If you get mugged or pickpocketed, the criminal thinks they got all you had and leaves. If you don’t have a wallet, they may try to search you and find the money belt. You get to keep your valuables and you’re only out a few dollars.
This money belt is made of natural silk. It is a soft, lightweight material that you can wear directly against your skin without worrying about chafing or discomfort. Silk is water resistant and breathable which helps you keep cool and wick away sweat.
I’ve worn this thing for over 24 hours at a time during long bus journeys and most of the time, I can’t even tell it’s there. While walking around, I sometimes forget I’m wearing it and have to double check that it’s still strapped to my waste. While sitting down, you will want to move it up onto your stomach a bit so it doesn’t dig into you.
One drawback is the fact that it does get a bit sweaty if you are traveling in a tropical climate. This is a problem with all money belts. There is no avoiding it. You are putting a lot of material right against your skin on a part of your body that doesn’t get much airflow. The fabric does the best it can but it can’t breathe or vent too much. Having said this, the contents always stay dry.
In hot climates, the sweatiness gets a bit uncomfortable. Taking the money belt off at the end of the day is a major relief. Kind of like taking off your socks after a long day on your feet.
This money belt straps around your waste and hides between your body and the waste of your pants. Other money belts exist which hang around your neck or down your leg from your belt. I’ve tried both and didn’t care for either. They are either obvious, uncomfortable, or simply not practical. The around the waist style is the best.
The Eagle Creek Silk features two zippered pockets to help keep your cash, cards, and documents organized.
- The large pocket includes two smaller pockets sewn inside. One is sized for your passport and one is sized for credit and debit cards. The passport pocket easily holds a thick passport with extra pages and a yellow fever certificate. The card pocket can accommodate around 8 cards comfortably. You could fit more but it gets a bit thick. There is also plenty of space in front of the two small pockets for additional documents. I carry a copy of my passport, drivers license, and yellow fever certificate. You can also store your cash in this space. You could even store your phone here though it would be a bit heavy.
- The smaller pocket is perfect for carrying your cash. Some countries use tall bills. These all fit fine. You could also use this pocket for your documents if you prefer. I carry a key in here as well. You could also carry a flash drive if you wish. I like to store cash in the front pocket so I don’t have to open the pocket with my passport to access my cash.
You can fit a surprisingly large number of bills in the Eagle Creek Silk. I’ve traveled to a few countries in Africa where the largest bill was only worth around 4 USD. I had to carry a hefty chunk of currency at times when ATMs were few and far between. The money belt accommodates a thick stack of cash just fine.
I’ve worn this money belt a lot. I mean for months at a time over the course of 8 years. I have no complaints about the durability. It’s still holding up fine and has plenty more years of life left in it. It feels a bit thin and flimsy but I’ve used this thing hard and it still looks great.
After all these years of use, the pouch part of the money belt looks absolutely perfect. I can’t spot any wear on mine. There are no holes and the zippers still work like new. The strap, however, does have some wear. Some parts of the elastic have weakened or failed which you can tell by the waves that have developed in the strap. There is also a bit of pilling on the strap. With all of this being said, the strap is still in perfectly functional condition. It’s just a bit less elasticy than it was when new.
To me, a money belt is an essential piece of travel gear. Eagle Creek makes quality travel products. They also charge for it. The Silk costs a bit more than comparable money belts from other brands. I think the Silk is worth the extra cost. You’re paying for extra comfort and durability that the silk backing offers.
I also feel better trusting the straps and zippers from a well-known travel brand. I’m trusting this thing to stay strapped on my body with my most important documents and large sums of cash. I wouldn’t feel as comfortable with a cheapie. If it saves my passport and cash from getting lost or stolen one time, it will have paid for itself several times over.
What I Don’t Like about the Eagle Creek Silk
Even though this is the best money belt on the market that I have found, there are a couple of areas that could be made a bit more durable.
- The Strap- This is one part of the Silk that could be improved. The strap is about an inch wide and made of a soft material with elastic inside. Being so narrow, it can dig in a bit if you tighten it too much. The same happens if you carry to much weight in the money belt. If you have the strap too loose, it is more comfortable, but the belt sags down too low. The strap just gets annoying after a while.
- The Clips- The plastic clips on the ends of the straps feel a bit flimsy but they have never broken on me or come undone. They seem to clip in tight. Make sure you hear the click when you put the clips together. You don’t want them to slip apart because they weren’t fully clipped together. Even though they work fine and I haven’t had any problems, the clips could be a bit more robust.
Final Thoughts on the Eagle Creek Silk
A money belt is one piece of gear that you’ll use daily. You need it to be comfortable, functional, and durable. The Eagle Creek Silk fits the bill perfectly for me.
This was one of the first pieces of travel gear that I bought when I started solo traveling in 2011. It’s also one of the only pieces of original gear that I still regularly use. When this belt wears out, I’ll buy the exact same one again. It’s that good.
You can buy the Eagle Creek Silk on Amazon here:
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