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Best ID Badge Holders for Your Style - Compare Types

Find the best ID badge holders for your style or career - compare reels, clips, cords, weights, etc. Shop 100's of unique ID badges and lanyards in creative themes so you can look your best and reflect your individuality in a fun way.

Decorative Badge Reel Styles
Plain Badge Holder Styles

Slide Clips

Slide Clip Badge Reels
Slide Clip Badge Reel for Pocket, Belt or Lanyard

These smooth bent clips slip easily over a belt, collar, waistband, or pocket. Because they are typically stationary, you need to pull the cord straight down otherwise you might pull the clip right off your clothing. These are the best ID reels to use with lanyards as they slide right onto a split ring and hang in a vertical position without tipping forward because the loop is at the very top. They are also a good choice when used slipping onto a gym bag handle, purse strap, or through a jacket buttonhole.

The extra versatility of clipping the badge reel onto a ring-ended lanyards makes these the best choice if you plan to use your clip on lanyards - whether just on some days or all of the time.

Swivel Clips

Typically found on spring clips such as bulldog or alligator varieties, these rotating clips allow you to pull your cord from any direction because the clip on the back swivels all the way around.

Swivel Clip Reels Rotate Any Direction
Versatile Swivel Clip Badge Reels

Spring Clips

Bulkier than a slide clip, versions with springs tend to force the face of the reel to tip forward. They also sit higher than slide reels when clipped onto a waistband or belt, since the spring sits in the center of the back of the reel.

Spring Clip Reel Back & Side Views
Spring Clips Make Reels Tip Forward

Bulldog Clips

These clips have smooth jaws that can grip clothing from any angle and open by pinching the clip. The bulldog clip is bolted to the plastic holder in one spot that allows it to pivot around the bolt. Because they are smooth they may pull off of clothing if the badges are too heavy. It can be clipped to fabric anywhere and at any angle, but the clip is a little bulky if trying to fit it over the split ring of a lanyard so it may hang forward slightly. This may not be an issue with plain reels but is less than ideal for decorative versions you want to be visible.

Swivel Bulldog Clip Badge Reel
Bulldog Clip Reels Have Smooth Jaws

Alligator Clips

Alligator Clip Reels Have Sharp Jagged Teeth

Distinguished by their sharp jagged teeth, these clips can hold badges tight but at the risk of ripping fabric or poking holes into clothing.

Carabiner Clips

Carabiner Badge Reels for Belt Loops

These have a gate on the top which makes them extremely secure. Better for pulling at odd angles because they won't pull off, however you do have to have a loop onto which to hook them. You can clip them to a belt loop, buttonhole, purse strap, backpack, gym bag, equipment bag, or keychain.

Badge Reel Uses

Badge Reel Uses for Employees
Alternative Uses for Badge Reels

Badge reels are not just for holding ID tags! These unique, stylish retractable badge holders are a cool way to hold company ID cards, proximity (proxy) cards, one or two keys for doors or filing cabinets, lightweight scissors, casino point cards and fishing line clippers, among other uses. They are also popular for:

  • Keys - Company staff in secure facilities who frequently open locked file cabinets, drawers, or doors. Children also connect a house key to their backpack when they are at school to ensure their key isn't lost or misplaced.
  • Pens - Never lose a pen again. Just slip a slide clip through the pen's pocket clip to keep your pen from getting "borrowed" or lost.
  • Employee Reference Charts - Quickly see your hospital's emergency color codes, look up a sports penalty as a referee, or reference material that is related to your field of work with a quick reference guide accessible from a reel or lanyard.
  • Scissors - Crafters who enjoy creating memory albums will appreciate having their scissors at their side and not buried under paper and pads.
  • Fishing Line Nippers - Fisherman keep their fly fishing line clippers handy with these retracting reels.
  • Casino Cards - Have easy access to your points or balance cards when playing slots & poker machines at the casino.
  • Press Passes - Photographers and news personnel who need to keep their name badge visible and readily accessible.

Additional Features to Consider

Badge Reel Cord Types

Cord Types

Size and weight comparison of retractable pull cords. Use quarters to determine if weight of particular key reel will suit your needs. Retracting mechanisms come with nylon pull strings, Kevlar cords, steel wire, or stainless steel chain.

Retractable Reel Sizes & Weights


Use the ID name badge holder size and weight comparison photo above. Use quarters to determine if weight of particular reel will suit your needs.

Retractable Keyring Reels for Keys


Kyle Design sells a wide variety of badge reels, from basic plain ones to designer versions with decorative designs and rich color accents.


Neck Lanyards for ID Badges

Coordinating woven lanyards and beaded neck chains also available.

Badge Reel Styles

Available in plain reels, or in gold tone, silver tone, copper or brass non-tarnishing finishes in 100s of designs.

Small, Medium & Large Badge Holders

Find a variety of sizes - small sizes, medium and large holders.

Proxy Card Holder Reel Attachments

Versatile attachments - plastic straps, badge clips, snap hooks, card clamps, or keyrings. They might also have no-twist tops or straps for that guarantee name tags will remain facing front for critical jobs that require immediate visual identification.

Retractable Reels - Round, Square, Heart

Variety of shapes - round, heart shaped & square reels.

Reel Cords - Nylon & Steel

Cord types - lighter weight nylon reels, medium duty Kevlar corded reels or heavier-duty steel cord or chain choices.

Badge Reel Wearers

Who uses retractable badge reels? More people than you might realize:

  • Teachers, pilots, doctors, nurses, store managers, co-workers in secure buildings, tour guides, photographers, reporters, convention attendees, trade show staff, craft faire exhibitors, fisherman, and more. Also popular with quilters, seamtresses, embroiders, or other crafters who use scissors and small tools often.

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