Makers Gonna Make

RFID Blocking Sleeves Review

Posted on Jul 13, 2015 in Reviews, Travel |

Anyone who is even a little tech savvy knows that RFID stands for Radio-Frequency Identification.  That’s how some hotel key cards work and that handy tap & pay feature on your debit or credit card works.  So of course, that’s how savvy identity thieves are thieving.  Fortunately, here’s my review of these handy RFID blocking sleeves.
I was supplied with this product complimentary for review. Opinions are 100% mine.

RFID Blocking SleevesProduct Specs

The BLOCKIT RFID blocking sleeves come in a pack of 6 and are approved by the United States Government FIPS 201 for use as electromagnetically opaque shields.  They are slightly larger than the average debit or credit card to allow for a snug fit that your card won’t fall out of, and come in various feminine prints.  They come in either a top load style (like the orange & black floral one pictured) or a side load style (like the purple floral one pictured).  They are lined with a silver, slightly metallic coating that is the key to how they work, and they’re about the thickness of a credit card.  The pack of 6 retails for $14.95 on Amazon.com.

Use

I was presented with a unique challenge in reviewing these sleeves – how could I test the RFID blocking capabilities?  I don’t have a digital scanner to read RFID cards, so I had to get creative.  My husband works in access control, which includes things like commercial building security entry systems, and apartment building gates and entry systems.  So I picked his brain about all the ways RFID is used and found out that he DOES have a reader at work.  So I put him to use!

He took the readers to work and stayed late one afternoon to play with their blocking abilities.  He used some test cards and just programmed some nonsense information onto the test cards.  He tested the cards using the reader as intended, and then put the cards into the sleeves to test.  Successfully, they did provide a block and he was unable to read the test information on the test cards!

RFID Blocking SleevesSo where can YOU use these?  If you travel a lot, and keep things on your body light with just your ID, a credit card, and your hotel room key like I do, they’re a great solution to keep your hotel room information and credit card safe.  I’ll be travelling to New York City next month, staying in Times Square, so I’ll be happy to have these to store my cards in while I wander the crowded streets of New York getting from place to place.  I hate boring things too, so the fun prints make them easy to identify in my bag and not let them get lost among papers, receipts, souvenirs, etc.  The Amazon listing also suggests that you can use these RFID blocking sleeves for gift cards, which I think is a great idea to use if you’re going to be mailing a gift card in a greeting card.  It’ll dress up a boring gift card, as well as offering slim protection through the envelope while it travels through countless hands in the postal system!

 

Verdict

RFID Blocking SleevesMy only beef with these is the price – $14.95 for 6 is $2.50 each.  I think these would be an easier sell at just 50¢ less, or easier if they sold them separately instead of in a pack.  I’d gladly grab one along with a gift card if I were, say, sending a birthday card to my mother-in-law in Oregon and including a gift card for her favorite restaurant.  If I frequently sent gift cards, I’d go ahead with the 6 pack of BLOCKIT RFID blocking sleeves for sure, but I don’t.  So it depends on your habits.  I’d say if you have a group and you’re travelling, great idea to buy a pack.  If you send a lot of gift cards in the mail for friends and family, great idea to buy a pack.  If it’s just you… a pack might be more than you need, unless it’s Christmas time.  Regardless of the feasibility of how much you might need 6 of these, they definitely live up to their claims and do not add hardly anything to the weight of the cards in your pocket, purse, or an envelope.