What We Like
Lightweight and comfortable
Theft Insurance and lifetime recovery service
What We Don't Like
RFID-blocking technology is subpar
Pockets don’t have dedicated credit card slots
From busy subway trains to crowded markets, traveling puts jet setters at high risk for pickpocketing—particularly in big cities known for theft. Many of today’s pickpockets have become particularly clever, which is one of the many reasons travelers invest in proven money belts to protect their valuables while in transit.
Money belts like the Peak Gear Travel Money Belt With RFID Block promise to keep travelers’ valuables secure, hidden, and organized. This belt offers RFID (radio frequency identification)-blocking technology—similar to many anti-theft travel wallets—to protect travelers’ credit cards against hackers.
I put the travel belt to the test during a day excursion through Manhattan to see how well it could organize documents, prevent hacks, and more.
Design: Multiple pockets but limited space
I was initially drawn to this money belt because of its ability to hide beneath my clothes without being bulky. However given its extremely slim design, I wasn’t surprised to find it lacked in pocket space. The main zippered compartment opens up to a small pouch for a passport and credit cards with four smaller, sewn-in pockets for change and other loose items. While I used it, I found these small pockets pretty useless; they weren’t large enough for my credit cards (and I don’t have enough change to fill four small compartments). And, at the same time, I don’t like my credit cards floating around in a bigger pouch. They’re way too easy to lose with the hustle and bustle of travel. This was strike one against the Peak Gear Money Belt.
Given its extremely slim design, I wasn’t surprised to find it lacked in pocket space.
The second zippered compartment could fit credit cards, but again, it’s roomy enough that my cards would float around. I ended up throwing my entire wallet in the bag just to keep everything in one place, but this made the belt bulkier and tougher to hide.
Portability: A slim and sleek build
The Peak Gear Money Belt is about as slim as they come; when I first tested it with just some cash and a room key, I couldn’t get over how easy it was to hide beneath my leggings. But as I mentioned, its compartments aren’t really designed to keep my travel credit cards snug in one place, so I ended up spending the majority of the day with my wallet in the bag. This added uncomfortable bulk to the otherwise thin money belt. With the money belt filled to the brim, I had to wear a looser sweatshirt to avoid it sticking out awkwardly.
The Peak Gear Money Belt is about as slim as they come.
The Peak Gear Money Belt does have a comfortable build; it’s made of flexible 210D water-resistant nylon and boasts a soft, moisture-wicking mesh backing. This was one of my favorite features, as I was exploring New York City on a hot and humid summer day. The adjustable strap was comfortable and fit easily to my hips and features a double-release safety buckle.
RFID Block: Doesn’t block sensors
It’s estimated that less than 5 percent of U.S. credit cards are enabled by RFID. Since my cards are not part of that very small group, I tested the RFID-blocking technology by putting my apartment key card in the back of the Peak Gear Money Belt and holding it up to my apartment entryway sensor.
The Peak Gear Money Belt’s RFID-blocking capabilities are subpar at best, but you should decide if you really need this feature.
The money belt should have blocked the sensors, but it didn’t work on my apartment card (note: the blocking technology on another competitor did work). This means that hackers could be able to scan information from credit cards stored in the Peak Gear belt. Bottom line? The Peak Gear Money Belt’s RFID-blocking capabilities are subpar at best, but you should decide if you really need this feature. Do you own an RFID-enabled credit card? And even if you do, consider the fact that there have been zero RFID crimes committed in the past decade—why most experts don’t think card protectors are necessary.
Insurance: Theft insurance and lifetime recovery
While the Peak Gear Money Belt is far from perfect, one major perk is its theft insurance and lifetime recovery service. If the belt is stolen, customers are covered with $250 theft insurance to cover lost items. Peak Gear also has a partnership with ReturnMe; the bag comes with global recovery decals that customers can place on their valuables. If the items are stolen, customers can call the ReturnMe customer service center to locate and get assistance in recovering these items no matter where they are.
Price: An affordable “starter” money belt
Since the Peak Gear Money Belt is highly affordable—just around $15—it’s a great way to test the waters to see whether or not money belts are for you. If you do have a positive experience, you can always upgrade to better money belts with more bells and whistles for future trips.
Competition: The slimmest option, but not necessarily the best
Boxiki RFID Travel Money Belt: The Peak Gear Money Belt and the Boxiki RFID Travel Money Belt are about the same in size—11.5 inches long and 5.9 inches wide—but the Boxiki belt has an advantage when it comes to comfort and organization. I thought the Peak Gear Money Belt’s mesh backing was comfortable until I tried the Boxiki belt. The Boxiki Money Belt has better cushioning with its mesh backing, which makes it easier and more comfortable to wear all day. Additionally, the Boxiki Money Belt has a variety of pockets that include sewn-in slots where credit cards can fit snugly. This is a feature I wish the Peak Gear Money Belt had. Both failed at RFID-blocking in my at-home test, and the Boxiki Money Belt does come at a higher price point (about $24).
Alpine Rivers RFID-Blocking Money Belt: The Alpine Rivers Money Belt and the Peak Gear Money Belt are about as different as they come in terms of size and functionality. The Alpine Rivers Money Belt is an inch wider than the Peak Gear Money Belt, and I could feel that inch of difference while wearing it. The Peak Gear Money Belt is significantly easier to hide under jeans and leggings, both because of its size and the fact it’s not so noisy. (The Alpine Rivers Money Belt makes a “swishing” noise whenever I walk.) That said, the Alpine Rivers Money Belt does have one big perk both competitors lack: RFID-blocking technology that actually works. The Alpine Rivers Money Belt—which runs for about $15 to $30—was the only money belt to pass my at-home RFID test.
An average money belt that works—but isn’t perfect.
If you want a money belt that discreetly fits beneath your clothes, the Peak Gear Travel Money Belt With RFID Block is a great option. But, if you strive for organization while traveling—or want the latest RFID-blocking technology—it’s best to go with another travel money belt.
- Product Name Travel Money Belt With RFID Block
- Product Brand Peak Gear
- SKU TG024B
- Price $17.19
- Product Dimensions 5 x 11.2 x 0.2 in.
- Color Beige, black, gray
- Material Nylon
- Warranty Lifetime