7 best passport covers 2018

T3’s roundup of the best passport covers available to buy this year

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Is a passport cover a necessity? In practical terms most passport covers can actually be more hindrance than a help, but they're a must-have for frequent travellers who don't want to travel with a passport and see all the gold lettering on the front rub-off. 

That happens all too quickly if you leave your passport naked. However, unless you opt for a travel organiser, try not to cover your passport in something bulky that makes it hard to put in your pocket. 

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 £205 Shinola Leather Passport Cover And Luggage Tag and £135 Montblanc Meisterstück Full-Grain Leather Passport Cover to the outdoorsy £10 Snugpak Deluxe Passport Carry Bag and the bargain basement Pacsafe RFIDsleeve 50 Passport Protector, which sells for a mere £2. 

That last effort brings us on to a trend in passport covers that features on some of our contenders; RFID-blocking. Do you need it? 

An entire RFID-blocking industry has sprung up in recent years, with promises to protect us all from thieves skimming our cards while we're in crowded public places. The problem is that our bank cards and our passports have tiny chips inside them that emit radio signals. 

Unfortunately, they’re always-on, and it is possible for scanners in close proximity to get information from passports. Does this actually happen? There's no evidence for it. Are RFID-blocking passport covers essential? Probably not. 

RFID-blocking passport covers are probably overkill, but appear to have wide appeal in those that want to be better safe than sorry. After all, the best passport covers are all about protection.

The 7 best passport covers

1. Shinola Leather Passport Cover And Luggage Tag

This opulent option comes with five card slots and a luggage tag

Reasons to buy
+Luxurious looks+Five card slots
Reasons to avoid
-Not as understated as black-Could be too large

If you're going to go for a plush, luxurious calf leather passport, you might as well pair it with a luggage tag. The latter hides away your details, and has an attractive silver buckle, but it's the passport cover itself that stands-out for its storage area for five cards.

2. Aspinal of London Zipped Travel Wallet With Passport Cover

A travel organiser that stores passport, cards and cash

Reasons to buy
+Five card slots+Pocket for cash
Reasons to avoid
-Too large for a pocket

Inside this document organiser are five card slots and two compartments, one of which can accept your passport, and another zipped for coins and notes. The package also includes a simple leather cover that grips the front and back pages of your passport. It's good quality, but at 23cm long it's a lot to carry around.

3. Montblanc Meisterstück Full-Grain Leather Passport Cover

Italian-made leather with space for a boarding pass

Reasons to buy
+Space for boarding pass+Luxurious design
Reasons to avoid
-No card slots

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.

4. Knomo Bags Shoreditch Knomad Zip Folio Organiser

This passport cover adds room for in-flight tech

Reasons to buy
+Takes a 10-inch tablet+Elastic straps for cables & earphones
Reasons to avoid
-Won't fit iPad Pro-No RFID-blocking

If you're after somewhere to store not only your passport, but your other in-flight gear, look no further than the Shoreditch. While one side stores a 10-inch tablet, the other contains slots for three cards, a passport, battery charger and phone, with elastic straps nearby for cables and earphones.

5. Snugpak Deluxe Passport Carry Bag

A mini man bag for documents

Reasons to buy
+Stores tickets and documents+Shoulder strap
Reasons to avoid
-Much bigger than a passport-More clutter

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.

6. Osprey Travel Document Zip Wallet

Outdoorsy-style RFID-blocking wallet with room for everything

Reasons to buy
+Takes cards, tickets and cash+RFID-blocking
Reasons to avoid
-Outdoorsy style-Large-size

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.

7. Pacsafe RFIDsleeve 50 Passport Protector

This simple slipcase keeps your passport safe from snoopers

Reasons to buy
+RFID-blocking+Water resistant
Reasons to avoid
-Ugly design-RFID-blocking not essential

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.