X

The Best Badge Reels for Your Work or School ID Card

three badge reels side by sideBadge reels are the go-to method for keeping ID cards on hand. They allow you to keep your ID on display at all times hands-free and without the risk of your card or badge falling out of a pocket. They’re small, compact, and lightweight, simple to use, clip right on to clothes, and can be retractable for easy swiping. For anyone who works with heavy machinery, badge reels are often a safer option than a lanyard or chain, as they don’t carry the risk of getting caught or tangled in the machinery. Some badge reels are also multipurpose, able to hold items like keys, or even credit cards. If you’re looking for a new way to display your work, school, or other ID card or badge, a badge reel is an excellent and often inexpensive choice.

What Should you Consider in a Badge Reel?

Here’s what to look for when picking a badge reel to hold your ID, access card, credit card, or keys:

  • Type: Are you looking for a badge reel that will clip onto your lapel or your belt? Do you want one that comes with a plastic cardholder already attached? Do you want one that retracts, swivels, or stays firmly in place? Despite their simplicity, badge reels are not one-size-fits-all, so consider which type might be best suited to your needs.
  • Design: When most people think of badge reels, they think of the classic black and translucent coloring. While these options are certainly widely available, don’t feel too limited. There are plenty of colors and patterns out there too, even customizable options that allow you to decorate your badge reel clip with personal photos.
  • Functionality: Depending on your job, you may want to invest in a more heavy-duty badge reel. Badge reels that are listed as such tend to be able to handle more weight and have greater retention ability. These are best for anyone who needs to have more than one ID badge on hand or those who need to carry keys as well.

Best Value: JANYUN Retractable Badge Reel Clips Holders

eight round, black badge reels with narrow silver hooks
JANYUN

Here’s a set of 40 high-quality badge reel clips for one low price. The badge reel is made from top-notch ABS plastic and metal for durability and a strong nylon rope that won’t break easily. The rope is also retractable with a fast rebound spring and it stretches out as far as 23.5 inches. The metal clip on the back allows these badge reel clips to hook easily onto clothing lapels, pockets, and belts alike. They work equally well for supporting ID cards, keys, lanyards, whistles, and more. They’re also a good option for DIY craft lovers, as they’re easy to customize.

Best Value

50 Pcs Retractable Badge Reel Clips Holder for Hanging ID Card Name Key Chain (Black)

A set of 40 high-quality and durable badge reel clips with a quick, retractable rope.

Best Design: BOCHEERY Retractable Badge Holders

three round, glittery, marble-patterned badge reels in different pastel colors
BOCHEERY

This is a set of beautiful and unique badge reels that give your ID holder a personal touch. They’re available in packs of two, three, four, six, or 10, or you can buy one individually if desired. There are more than 40 patterns, styles, and pictures available, from cute animals to gorgeous, colorful mandalas to marble-like designs and more. They’re guaranteed to look great whether you’re hanging these badge reels from your scrubs, suit, or backpack. The retractable 24-inch rope rotates a full 360 degrees, which means scanning your ID cards is a cinch, and the rope won’t tangle in the process. The metal clip with strong alligator-style teeth will fasten equally tightly to backpacks, belts, lapels, pockets, and purse handles alike.

Best Design

Retractable Badge Holders, Cute Nursing Badge Reel, Badge Clip ID Card Holders (3pack Pretty Marble)

Gorgeous, strong, and durable badge reel clips with pattern options that will appeal to almost every taste.

Most Personalized: The Badge Beautique Custom Photo Retractable ID Badge Reel

round badge reel with a custom photo of a dog
The Badge Beautique

Bring a picture of your pets, children, favorite vacation spot, or whatever else to work with your own custom, one-of-a-kind badge reel clip. All you have to do is upload your chosen photo at checkout, and the badge reel will come to you fully designed and ready to go. The clear epoxy badge provides a glossy finish and sleek look so your photo won’t decrease in style or quality with use over time. The vinyl metal snap keeps your ID card in place while the metal alligator clip fits easily onto scrubs, pants, shirts, and other clothing without scuffing or damaging them. The swivel clip rotates in a full 360 degrees so your custom image is always facing the right way up. The nylon cord is sturdy and retractable, extending up to 34 inches for easy access and swiping.

Most Protection: Teskyer Leather Badge Holders and Retractable Badge Reels Set

two badge reels with rose-colored faux leather badge sleeves
Teskyer

While the main task of badge reels is to hold your ID badges, some do come with a built-in sleeve or holder to protect the badge inside. Most of these sleeves are made out of plastic. If you want a holder that is made of sterner stuff, however, consider this pair of badge reel holders with their faux leather sleeves. They’re more colorful, sleek, and stylish than plain, see-through plastic badge sleeves, and are less flimsy as well. Not only do they offer greater protection but they’ll have a longer service life as well. And as an added bonus, both sleeves have a small pocket in the back where you can stash other small items, like your driver’s license or credit cards, to keep them on hand. Both the badge reel holders themselves and their 23.6-inch wear-resistant kevlar cord are equally sturdy. The badge reel holders can support up to 3.5 ounces of keys, and both are equipped with a hard metal carabiner with three locating dowel pins to prevent them from breaking. The sleeves are available in five different color options, and both horizontal and vertical options can be purchased to fit your ID badge best.

Best Protection

Teskyer Leather ID Badge Holder, Vertical PU Leather ID Badge Holder with 1 Clear ID Window & 1 Credit Card Slot and a Detachable Neck Lanyard (Rose Gold)

A pair of badge reel holders with built-in badge sleeves made of PU leather for greater protection, durability, and service life.

Also Great: Will Well Heavy-Duty Retractable Badge Holders

black oval badge reels with plastic sleeves and silvery hooks
Will Well

This is a four-for-one bundle that includes two reinforced, upgraded badge reel clips plus two vertical clear ID card holders for one low price. The retractable cord stretches up to 24 inches and is made of wear-resistant Kevlar, twice as strong as the usual nylon make. The strength and durability don’t end at the cord, either. These badge reel holders can support up to 3.5 ounces, the equivalent of seven keys plus your ID badge at once. The thickened, chromed carabiner clips are stable and won’t slip or unhook even when jostled, and the plastic cardholders have a wider edge for added protection. The carabiner clip is also removable if desired. The transparent plastic cardholders are waterproofed with a resealable zipper and can hold up to three credit cards. They’re also scan-friendly, so you won’t need to take your badge or card out of the case to scan it. It comes with a key ring so you can double the badge reel as a retractable keychain as well.

Also Great

2 Pack Heavy Duty Retractable Badge Holders with Carabiner Reel Clip and Vertical Style Clear ID Card Holders, 24 inches Thick Kevlar Pull Cord

A strong, heavy-duty set of badge reels with a pair of waterproofed, zipper-sealed, clear cardholders and an accompanying key ring.


The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support LifeSavvy.


LifeSavvy is focused on a single goal: helping you make the most informed purchases possible. Want to know more?