Top 10 best ID badge holders

Aug 7th, 2019 (updated on Sep 4th, 2019) Tisho Iliev
Badge holder
Badge holder (photo by GOVO)

The ID badges are an essential part of every working day. To protect our ID badges, we use ID badge holders. There are so many different types of badge holders that one can get confused. If you want to read more about the types, jump to the end of the article where you can find such information. Before that, you can check my list of the top 10 best badge holders on the market.

10. KEYLION Heavy Duty ID Card Badge Holder

KEYLION designs and manufactures classic PVC badge holders. They do not use a recycled plastic. KEYLION has PVC badge holders with multiple sizes. For each size they have holders with vertical and horizontal orientation, based on your preference. I am going to review the classic-sized badge holder with vertical orientation. The KEYLION badge holders use resealable zip which makes them water resistant. They are transparent from the both sides and are tested against very hot and very cold weather. KEYLION sells lanyards separately.

KEYLION badge holder
photo by Qoo10

KEYLION Heavy Duty ID Card Badge Holder

  • Recommended for: offices, meetings, conferences, exhibitions
  • Size: holds up to 5 credit cards, inner size - 3.54" L × 2.6" W (9 cm × 6.60 cm)
  • Orientation: vertical (holders with horizontal orientation are available, too)
Pros
  • Cheap - it’s so cheap you could literally buy 100 of these for the price of 1 high-end badge holder
  • Easily scannable - most of your cards could be scanned without the hassle of pulling them out of the holder each time
  • Transparent - it is crispy clear. It is not made of frosted plastic.
  • Waterproof - the resealable zip makes them dirt and moisture resistant
  • Thicker plastic - they use 0.4mm of thickness compared to their competitors who use 0.25mm
Cons
  • Low-quality - expected for the price tag, this badge holder could fall apart after not so prolonged use.The bottom of the holder could split.
  • Seal strip detaches - the seal strip could detach from regular usage
  • Plastic smell - they have a typical plastic smell which could be a disadvantage for some people
5 / 10

9. ELV Badge Holder with Zipper

This is a popular badge holder by ELV. It is made of artificial leather and it is multifunctional. It has 1 transparent card slot at the front and another open card slot with pull tab. Also, it has 3 separate card slots, hidden at the back. Finally, the ELV badge holder has 1 RFID protected cache slot with zipper. The holder comes with a 20" (51 cm) lanyard, too. This stylish badge holder really serves a lot of purposes.

ELV badge holder
image by Wish

ELV Badge Holder with Zipper

  • Recommended for: offices, Government and law enforcement jobs, women
  • Size: 5 card slots + 1 big RFID protected slot, overall size - 4.8" L × 3.5" W (12.2 cm × 8.9 cm)
  • Orientation: vertical
Pros
  • Separate card slots - each of the 5 card slots is separated from the others. This saves a lot of time when you need to find the right card.
  • Cheap - very cheap compared to the competition
  • Thin and light - contrary to what you might expect, this badge holder is not bulky or heavy
  • Multifunctional - with 5 card slots and 1 separate RFID protected cash slot this is one of the most practical badge holders
  • 8 colors - including rose gold and purple, perfect for the ladies
Cons
  • Cannot scan any cards without pulling them out - the RFID protection prevents any of your cards from being scanned. You have to get them out each time. A deal breaker for many folks.
  • No safety breakaway on the lanyard - this makes it very risky working with machines while wearing the badge holder
  • The front window is not clear enough - it is kind of foggy and not crispy clear
  • No returns policy - you cannot return this product if you didn’t like it after purchase
  • Lanyard is not very durable - it could come apart after a short regular use
  • Low-quality - you get what you pay for
6 / 10

8. Specialist ID Vertical Top Load Three Card Badge Holder

Specialist ID is a family business, founded in 2001. They specialize in badge holders, badge reels, lanyards and such. Their most popular badge holder is the Vertical Top Load Three Card Badge Holder. This rigid plastic badge holder can hold up to 3 badges with the size of a standard credit card. The front badge is visible from the plastic front window. The badge holder comes with a heavy duty quick release lanyard with safety breakaway clasp and a detachable keychain.

Specialist ID badge holder
photo by Specialist ID

Specialist ID Vertical Top Load Three Card Badge Holder

  • Recommended for: employees working in the Government, law enforcement, airports and offices
  • Size: holds 3 cards with size 3.370 × 2.125 in (85.60 × 53.98 mm), CR8030 standard
  • Orientation: vertical
Pros
  • "Front" and "Back" release buttons - these buttons are located at the back. The holder has two slots - the front which holds one card, and the back which holds two cards. Hence, we have two buttons to slide - one for each compartment.
  • High-quality materials - it looks and feels solid and well-built for the price tag
  • Keeps your card safe - the badge holder does not scratch your cards and preserves them pretty well
  • Holds three cards - better than holding just one, and the remaining two are not visible - you could store your credit cards there
Cons
  • Weak connector - the plastic part used to attach the holder to the lanyard could be broken easily. This is the biggest weakness of this badge holder.
  • The lanyard clasp is weak - it could easily be detached and your badge holder might fall on the ground without noticing it
  • Long lanyard - the lanyard is a bit longer than the usual. This might be an advantage, but I would not recommend it for short folks.
  • Heavy and bulky - it is meant to hold three cards, but it might appear to be a little bigger and heavier than expected
  • The front window is blurry - it appears to be built from frosted plastic
6 / 10

7. Witz See it Safe Waterproof Badge Holder

Witz® is a company based in Gold River, California. They are a leader in manufacturing sport cases and waterproof badges. All of their gear is made in USA. Their badge holder, "See it Safe", is the best water resistant holder on the market. It comes with a lanyard and carabiner. It is made of crush resistant ABS plastic. To protect the badge holder from water and dirt, Witz uses rubber O-rings. The goal of this badge holder is to keep your ID badge safe in the wettest environments.

Witz waterproof badge holder
photo by Witz Sportcases

Witz See it Safe Waterproof Badge Holder

  • Recommended for: folks practicing water sports, lifeguards and outdoor work
  • Size: holds up to 5 standard credit cards, inner size - 3.5" × 2.375" × .50" (8.89 cm × 6.0325 cm × 1.27 cm)
  • Orientation: vertical
Pros
  • Does not leak - the rubber O-rings do the job they were designed for
  • Made in USA - it is a quality badge holder designed and manufactured in California. It is durable.
  • 8 different colors - a great variety of colors, this helps to have a bit more identity to your holder
  • Safety breakaway clasp - it is a requirement when doing any sport with a badge holder
Cons
  • The plastic clip where the latch hooks onto can crack - you should be gentle when latching or unlatching your holder and it will last a lot longer. This is the weakest spot of the holder.
  • Lanyard plastic connector might break - rarely, the plastic which connects the holder to the lanyard could break
6 / 10

6. Teskyer PU Leather Badge Holder

Shenzhen Teskyer Technology Limited is a Chinese company with 150 employees, specializing in phone and tablet accessories. They have a factory in China so their badge holder is designed and manufactured by the same company. This is rarely the case with other competitors. Teskyer Leather Badge Holder comes with 1 visible card slot in the front, another hidden card slot at the front and two hidden card slots at the back. 4 card slots in total. Also, you have a cash slot with a zip. The badge holder comes with a lanyard with a lobster claw at the end. The length of the lanyard is 17.13" (435 mm). Teskyer offers a 8-card slot version of this badge holder as well.

Teskyer badge holder
photo by Teskyer

Teskyer PU Leather Badge Holder

  • Recommended for: office workers, Government or law enforcement employees, medical professionals, teachers, businessmen, women
  • Size: 3.07" × 4.72" (78 mm × 120 mm)
  • Weight: 40 g
  • Orientation: vertical
Pros
  • High-quality - despite being made in China, it has the look and feel of a high-quality product
  • Spacious - 4 card slots with cash compartment meet a lot of needs
  • Clear front window - unlike many of the badge holders, this does not use frosted plastic
  • 8 colors - they look fantastic and stand out. Recommended for women, since the badge offers a lot of colors suitable for them.
Cons
  • Needs emergency breakaway - this should be an absolute must for a badge holder
  • Tight - it might feel to tight when getting your cards in or out
6 / 10

5. Wisdompro PU Leather Badge Holder

Wisdompro is a company founded in 2013. They made this badge holder of premium PU leather. It has 1 visible card slot with a window on the front and one card slot on the back. This fairly simple badge holder has a lanyard, which is 23" (58.42 cm) long. The lanyard has a quick release buckle but does not have an emergency breakaway clasp. The Wisdompro 2-sided PU leather badge holder comes in 4 colors, including rose gold and hot pink for the ladies.

Wisdompro badge holder
photo by Wisdompro

Wisdompro PU Leather Badge Holder

  • Recommended for: office workers, Government employees, medical professionals, teachers, law enforcement
  • Size: front slot - 2.54" × 3.6" (65 × 92 mm), back slot - 2.54" × 3" (65 × 76 mm)
  • Weight: 31 g
  • Orientation: vertical
Pros
  • High-quality and durable - it looks and feels high-quality. The badge holder lasts a long time.
  • Great looks - it looks simple, stylish and professional. It certainly makes a good first impression.
  • 4 colors - the great variety of colors covers a lot of tastes
  • Scannable - Your cards can be scanned without the need of getting them out
Cons
  • Hard to get the cards in/out - the badge holder seems to be too tight
  • Long lanyard - not recommended for short people
  • Lanyard hook could break - rarely, the lobster claw could break
  • Lanyard could tear - not as durable as it should be
  • Foggy window - the front window appears to be a bit foggy. It is not crystal clear.
7 / 10

4. OneTigris Tactical ID Card Holder

OneTigris is a company, founded in 2014, which creates tactical outdoor gear for people and dogs. The OneTigris ID holder is multipurpose and a little bit out of the box. The badge holder is made of nylon. It has a front slot with a window. In the back you have 3 card slots and a place to hold your pen. It has a retaining strap on the back. The lanyard is adjustable and made of parachute cord (550 cord).

Where it gets interesting is you can detach the front part of the badge holder from the back. Then, you can attach any part to a vest or a bag via velcro. Or, you can just detach the front to show your ID badge to a guard without getting off the whole badge holder and the lanyard. Or, you can leave the front part of the badge holder to hang on your neck and put the back part with your credit cards in your back pocket.

OneTigris badge holder
photo by OneTigris

OneTigris Tactical ID Card Holder

  • Recommended for: military jobs, outside activities, hiking, camping or office work
  • Size: 5.1" L X 3.3" W (13 cm X 8.5 cm)
  • Orientation: vertical or horizontal (supports both)
Pros
  • Detachable front - you can detach the front part from the rear. This is a unique multipurpose feature.
  • Adjustable lanyard - you could easily adjust the length of your lanyard
  • Vertical and horizontal orientation - depending on your taste, you can configure the badge holder to be worn vertically or horizontally
  • High-quality - it is double-stitched and durable
  • Huge key ring - appropriate for lanyard, keys or carabiner
Cons
  • Needs a breakaway clasp - it is designed mostly for heavy duty activities where the emergency breakaway is a must
  • Heavy and bulky - the velcro increases the weight, but you could always detach the rear part if it gets too heavy
7 / 10

3. Ergodyne Squids 3386HV Arm Band ID Badge Holder

Ergodyne is a company founded in 1983 with one simple mission - reducing on-job injuries. Their Squids 3386HV Arm Band ID Badge Holder is the best armband badge holder in the business. It is worn around the arm to keep your badge out of the way. It is made of vinyl. The badge holder has an elastic band with hook and loop for any arm size. The "HV" version has a high-visibility reflective band in orange. The band is secured with a velcro strap.

Ergodyne badge holder
photo by Ergodyne

Ergodyne Squids 3386HV Arm Band ID Badge Holder

  • Recommended for: construction workers, transportation, military and maintenance employees or any heavy duty work
  • Size: inner size is 4" × 2.5" (10 cm × 6 cm) ID
  • Orientation: vertical
Pros
  • Cheap - compared to the competition and the quality of the product, the badge holder is not expensive at all
  • Reflective strap - a perfect bonus feature for folks working in construction or manufacturing
  • Scannable - you should not get out your badges in order to scan them
Cons
  • Not waterproofed - it would be a nice feature
  • Velcro strap is not durable - the reflective orange is painted on the strap and might peel
  • Strap might be ineffective - if you are doing a work with a lot of movements, the velcro strap might not be an effective solution
  • Plastic might break - rarely, if you do a lot of heavy duty work, the vinyl holder might crack
8 / 10

2. GOVO Badge Holder

GOVO is an American company based in Ohio. They started with crowdfunding campaigns in Kickstarter, where they raised $152,964 and Indiegogo - $188,153. This makes a whopping $341,117 in total. The GOVO badge holder screen and body frame are made of polycarbonate and are attached to each other with screws. Unlike the competition, GOVO made their clip and lanyard connector from steel. The badge holder could hold up to 4 cards with a standard credit card size. Besides the default polycarbonate version of this impressive badge holder, GOVO offers an aluminum and titanium versions as well. You can buy a GOVO lanyard separately.

GOVO badge holder
photo by GOVO

GOVO Badge Holder

  • Recommended for: office workers, Government and law enforcement employees
  • Size: holds 4 cards with size 3.370 × 2.125 in (85.60 × 53.98 mm), CR8030 standard
  • Weight: 1.4 oz (40 g)
  • Orientation: vertical
Pros
  • Sturdy - it looks and feels solid. It has a steel clip.
  • Patented Internal Spring System - keeps all of your cards from falling. The clip is patented as well.
  • No card scratching - it has two rails inside the screen to ensure you will not scratch your cards when inserting or removing them
  • Beautiful design - this badge holder stands out with a sleek look
Cons
  • Expensive - the plastic version is really expensive compared to the competition
  • Could crack at the mounting point of the clip - this is not happening with the aluminum or titanium versions
  • Heavy and noisy - it feels a little heavier than expected. If you use it with lanyard, depending on your clothes, the metal clip could produce noise while walking.
8 / 10

1. Specialist ID Leather Badge Holder

It is designed by Specialist ID and manufactured by the Union Labor in Florida, USA. This badge holder is made of genuine leather. It has 4 card slots - 1 at the front with an ID window, 1 at the top and 2 in the back. The lanyard is made of leather, too, and it is 19" (48,26 cm) long. It attaches to the reinforced connection via lobster claw. Simple and professional, this badge holder is among the top in the world.

Specialist ID leather badge holder
photo by Specialist ID

Special ID Leather Badge Holder

  • Recommended for: Government and law enforcement employees, medical professionals, businessmen, office workers
  • Size: 3" × 4.375" (7.62 cm × 11.11 cm)
  • Orientation: vertical
Pros
  • High-quality - it looks and feels sturdy. Made of genuine leather, simple and stylish.
  • Made in USA - designed and produced in Florida, this badge holder was made to be the best that money could buy
  • Reinforced stitching - the manufacturer made sure this badge holder is going to be durable
  • Light - the simple design makes this badge very light
Cons
  • Could have a breakaway clasp - this could prevent your holder from catching in any machinery or even an elevator or escalator
  • Expensive - the price is high, but you get what you pay for
9 / 10

Types of badge holders

Each badge holder has a specific type and it is designed to serve a specific goal. I hope the following list will help you understand which badge holder type is the most suitable option for you.

Armband badge holders

Armband badge holder
Armband badge holder (photo by Identity Stronghold)

This type of badge holder is worn around the arm. They are usually enclosed in vinyl to increase the visibility and to keep the dust, dirt and moisture away. The armband badge holders usually come with an adjustable elastic strap.

The goals of these holders are to be visible at all times and to keep your ID card out of the way. If you work at a construction site, you do not want to have a dangling badge holder around your neck. The armband badge holders are a perfect fit for firefighters and law enforcement. You do not want to lose your ID while extinguishing fire or chasing criminals. Also, this badge holder is a popular choice for people who operate machines or work in the military, airports or warehouses. Lastly, these holders are suitable for outdoor sports like skiing.

Rigid plastic badge holders

Rigid badge holder
Rigid badge holder (photo by Specialist ID)

These badge holders are made of thick plastic and do not bend. They are perfect for everyday use. The rigid badge holders are suitable for people who want more safety and durability. The hard plastic will protect and cover your ID card, so it is safe to use in construction sites and outdoor activities.

Shielded badge holders

Shielded badge holder
Shielded badge holder (photo by Identity Stronghold)

Most of the ID badges are RFID cards. They are also called smart cards. Unfortunately these types of cards could be cloned in seconds. After someone clones an RFID badge, he could easily access an office building and steal information or devices.

The solution for this is pretty simple and implemented by a lot of companies - shielded badge holders. They work by having a thin layer of metal which blocks the card readers from scanning your smart card information.

Shielded badge holders are required if you work in the Government or in the law enforcement. They are also suitable for anyone who wants to be protected from badge cloning.

Please keep in mind you can protect any badge holder from a card reader with an RFID blocking card. They look like a credit card and could shield any badge holder from both sides (you do not have to buy two to sandwich your smart card).

Vinyl badge holders

Vinyl badge holder
Vinyl badge holder (photo by Specialist ID)

Simple and cost-effective, vinyl badge holders have a clean look and are perfect for events, conferences and meetings. They are widely used in offices, too. Another advantage is that they seal the badges pretty good and protect them from dust, water and the Sun.

Proximity badge holders

These badge holders are typically made of vinyl. Most of the vinyl badge holders are proximity badge holders. The name "proximity" implies your card can be scanned by a proximity reader without getting the card out of the badge holder.

Waterproof badge holders

Waterproof badge holder
Waterproof badge holder (photo by Witz Sportcases)

The name is pretty self-explanatory. Waterproof badge holders protect from water. They are suitable for people working outdoors or lifeguards.

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Tisho Iliev
Tisho Iliev
Tisho Iliev
An IT specialist with 8+ years of experience in developing software solutions. I have been working in multiple US - based corporations. How the working environment impacts the employees has always been fascinating to me. The working conditions, underestimated by many employers, contribute to the health and productivity of the employees and always affect the outcome of a project in a positive or negative way.
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