Is a passport cover a necessity? If you're the kind of person who likes to travel light, a passport cover can seem like an unnecessary nicety. However, if you travel frequently, you really do need to protect your passport.
Aside from the gold lettering on the front rubbing off, e-passports with a chip inside can break very easily. If your passport breaks, it will mean you have to queue for manual checks at immigration, and is expensive to replace. If you travel for work then there's an additional reason to keep your passport as pristine as possible; it likely contains one or several long-term work visas.
Consequently, if your passport breaks, you’ll not only have to get a new one at your own expense, but you’ll also have to rearrange all of the visas. That’s an expensive option, but buying a passport cover is not. You need to invest in a good protective cover.
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Whatever you go for, these are some of the most stylish and practical passport covers around.
How to choose the best passport cover
Finding the ideal passport cover is largely about form and function. It’s fine to go for luxury Italian leather, but bear in mind that wherever you will be showing your passport, you will also be presenting a boarding pass.
Some passport covers forget this, while others build in special sleeves and even handy slots for bank cards and cash.
We've covered the full gamut of passport coves out there, from the luxury Shinola Leather Passport Cover And Luggage Tag and Montblanc Meisterstück Full-Grain Leather Passport Cover to the outdoorsy Snugpak Deluxe Passport Carry Bag and the bargain basement Pacsafe RFIDsleeve 50 Passport Protector, which sells for a mere £2.
That last product has RFiD-blocking, which rises a good question; do you need it? A massive RFiD-blocking industry has appeared in recent years, with promises that the blocking tech can protect us all from thieves skimming our passports while we're in crowded public places with an intent to steal identities. The problem being that passports have tiny chips inside them that emit radio signals containing our image and personal details.
Those chips are ‘always on’, and it’s therefore possible that portable scanners in close proximity could get information from passports, and take small payments from contactless payments from cards. Does this actually happen? There's no evidence for it. Have you ever heard of this happening to anyone you know? No. Therefore, are RFiD-blocking passport covers essential? Probably, they’re not.
If that particular feature is likely overkill, there are plenty of other features – design, build quality and features – that are non-negotiable. Besides, the best passport covers are all about protection, so how does a little RFiD protection hurt? Here’s everything you need to know about the best passport covers.
The best passport covers you can buy
A perfect way to bring fashion and style to your travels – this passport cover from British brand Mulberry is designed to fit standard sized passports and has a Nappa lined interior, with a foil embossed logo on the front. We love how the stripe adds a sporty finish, and gives it a little extra design flare.
Designed from smooth leather, the John Lewis Ali passport cover is your colourful travelling companion (seriously, we love this colour). With a contrast leather lining, not only does this cover protect your passport but it also has useful card slots. This passport holder was designed by JL's in-house designers and this includes a notch detail that allows for the easy removal of your passport, as well as gold foil lettering to finish off the design.
The Aspinal Passport Cover is crafted from luxurious leather with a textured finish and features Aspinal's signature contrast ribbon marker. This leather passport cover has 'PASSPORT' embossed on the front and a handy inside pocket to hold boarding passes or payment cards. It's great quality from a great brand.
You passport is sure to stand out in this William Morris passport holder. It's a beautiful travel accessory which features a classic William Morris print. It's designed to fit a standard UK passport, and offers protection with effortless style, no matter where you go.
Tom Ford's passport cover will safeguard your travel documents while you're on the move whilst being as elegant as possible. It's crafted from full-grain leather and equipped with two sleeves and six card slots, so you can keep everything in one place. The label's logo is stamped in gold letters on the front, so you can make the right impression in the business class lounge.
The Travel Guardian Passport Holder is a premium quality travel wallet that is constructed of very lightweight, water resistant and fully washable navy blue nylon. Its minimalist exterior design features anti-theft technology to shield against electronic theft of your valuable documents and cards, whilst inside there's multiple slots and sleeves organise your documents and allow for quick and easy access when needed.
Designed for a standard passport, this lightweight passport wallet is the ideal way to add a little extra protection to your valued document. As well as the main compartment, it features slots business cards, credit cards, and boarding passes, helping you keep organised on your travels. We love the elasticised nylon belt design, which should help prevent things from falling out.
Fashioned in Italy in black full-grain cow leather, the Meisterstück – German for masterpiece – lives up to its name with a vertical slip for the front page of your passport and, behind it, a full-length sleeve for a boarding pass and another for tickets.
Equipped with specialised RFID blocking lining, this wonderful travel wallet will keep your passports, credit cards, and other personal documents safe from unauthorised card scanning and electronic identity theft attempts. It's made from high-density denim fabric, and features a pocket for your phone and ticket, 2 passport pouchs, a wing bag, a transparent photo bag, 6 credit card bags, a cash pocket, a coin slot, as well as a removable wristlet, pen hang and key hook.
If you don’t want to mess about with cards and cash and just want some straight-up, simple protection for your passport, this cover should do the job. Thoroughly affordable and with a British-specific emblem embossed on the front, the Shvigel is available in 10 different colours, from shocking pink to business black. It also ships with a small fabric pouch for added protection, but we’re not sure why.
It’s not real leather – at this low price, of course it’s not – but the Oslo is extremely practical. As well as having four card slots and an area for storing banknotes, the Oslo has a slipcase for the back page of a passport. You can therefore flash your passport at the gate very easily without removing it from the case. It’s also got built-in protection from RFiD theft.
Although it's sold as a passport protector, this small shoulder bag's document pouch is only the beginning; behind it is an unexpectedly large storage compartment for other bits and pieces. Overkill? Probably, though if your idea of ultralight travel is ditching everything except your passport and credit cards, this could be your ultimate travel bag.
A more casual travel organiser than from Aspinal of London, Osprey's entry is arguably more functional. Chief feature is a RFID-blocking outer layer, so you can protect a passport as well as credit cards. Including a secure passport sleeve and several card slots, there's even room for a boarding pass, though at 26cm long, it's also very large.
Phone cases now cost £2, so why not passport covers? You may not be convinced about the need for RFID-blocking, but at this extremely low price you don't need to be. A simple top-opening slip case, this Pacsafe product also has basic waterproofing to your passport.