Specialist ID Blog

A Beginners Guide to Buying an ID Badge Holder

So, you’ve decided to get into badge holders. Perhaps the blog I shared  last week about our new ID Neck Lanyard  piqued your interest. Maybe you inherited a beautiful MLB lanyard from a family member or got inspired by the collection of a friend?

No matter what your path was to get here, the first hurdle most people must clear is that of realizing you want to carry your ID more efficiently. As with any other gear these days, the options are endless, price range vast, and feature sets diverse.

With no past experience the process can be a little intimidating, but fear not. I was in the position of clueless beginner a short time ago and can report back that once you learn a little lingo and make a few decisions regarding your needs and desires, there are a lot of really great badge holders out there just waiting to find a cherished place in your day to day activities.

Continue reading below to learn how to choose a badge holder that’s right for you!

To get you started, we’re going to cover three basic badge holders; lanyards, badge reels and armband holders. The first experience most people have with wearing an ID badge holder is usually as children wearing a lanyard. Lanyards are those ID Badge Holders you put over your head, that hang an ID card around your belly button area.

Students on campus wear them, after school care programs like The Boys & Girl Scouts of America use them too. Large events and sponsors have been printing their logo’s on them and distributing them for years because they’re economically priced and simple to wear. Just put your head inside the loop and you’re good to go.

Lanyards come in either breakaway or non-breakaway versions. It’s important to note the difference between the two when deciding which would better suit your needs. Breakaway lanyards offer a safety feature that will allow the lanyard to snap apart when snagged or snared. They are usually required for children or people operating heavy machinery. The non-breakaway option however, has a stronger hold because it wont buckle under pressure. We also have a dedicated blog post on the differences between breakaway and non-breakaway lanyards that you should read if you’re interested in owning a lanyard. In recent years, many sports fans have been carrying their keys and tickets with sports lanyards. It’s easy to hold a beer and a hot dog when you’ve got your tickets hanging from a lanyard . Check out our large selection of lanyards to find one that’s great for you.

Badge reels are a personal favorite of mine. They’re great for those people that want to carry their keys, small tools, or ID’s discreetly by their side. They come in many different shapes and colors and fit right in with both professional and outdoor environments. You can attach them to anything from your belt loop to a book-bag strap and you’ll hardly even notice it there.  Retractable Badge reels come with a cord that lets you reel your item from 20″ to 42″ towards an object like a lock or a card reader. Afterwards, the snappy reel will retract back into itself, so you don’t have to worry about losing your keys or ID. Some of these are more rugged then others and come in heavy duty versions which can retract more weight.

Armband ID holders are a top choice for active people that need to be able to perform swift motions while wearing a visible form of ID. You’ll see these wrapped around the arms of airport ground officials, people operating heavy machinery and more. Many come in bright colors that reflect light so they can still be seen at night, and are made from  a nylon material that’s great for keeping ID’s from being weathered by the elements. They can be worn in rainy, sunny, and snowy conditions. They usually come with velcro straps that can be adjusted to fit just about anybody. Just slip your arm inside the holder and tighten the velcro to your liking and display your ID card vertically or horizontally.

Now that you’ve read this Beginners Guide to Buying Badge Holders, you’ve seen how they can enrich your life in everyday activities. From the lanyard around your chest, to the badge reel zipping in and out and the armband badge holder that can be worn anywhere,  there’s a badge holder out there for everybody. It’s just a matter of finding out what’s right for you. If you still need help choosing the right ID badge holder for you, leave us a question or comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!


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