The Wallet: simplifying my daily carry

For about two years now, I’ve been trying to simplify my daily carry; the stuff I have with me all day, every day. It started with ditching the little notebook I carried around with me everywhere getting replaced by Evernote. After the notebook was gone, the biggest, most cumbersome thing I had was my wallet. A big tri-fold bulging with cards, cash and random stuff I needed. This thing had to go, but what to do with all the stuff?

While I was doing some research online on wallets I noticed a banner that hit the spot: It didn’t want to sell me anything, just help me slim my wallet. One click later I ended up on a page at the Bellroy website giving me some tips to slim my wallet down. The tips were pretty obvious to me except for the one to not use the card slots because they add bulk. It’s pretty logical but you just never really think about it. So there I was, dumping the receipts, coins and cards I rarely used.

Coins

Dumping coins is easy, not having coins is hard. I live in Europe and we Europeans don’t get to pay for everything with credit cards, we still frequently use cash. The smallest bill we have is €5, we have coins for €2 and €1. Not having any coins in you wallet requires some work; I try not to pay with cash as much as I can, but when I have to I keep the coins in my pocket until I get home, where I put them in my change jar. This was a bit weird at first, but I got used to it. After a while of walking around with my old wallet which was now almost empty, it was time to find a new, smaller wallet. To the internet!

Contender #1: The Secrid

secrid

The Secrid is a pretty cool wallet really, it just isn’t for me. The mechanism that releases the cards really is great, but it means the wallet has a hard shell, which doesn’t feel good in the back pocket. It holds only about 5 cards in the mechanism and I needed it to hold some more. I carried it around for a few days before deciding this wasn’t my wallet.

Contender #2: TGT

tght

Then I ordered myself a TGT, which I wouldn’t even call a wallet because it’s so tiny. This thing is minimal; basically just some elastic around your cards and a pocket. It was great for a while, until I got worried about stuff falling out. Because all of the cards were in one big pile finding the right one could be cumbersome. This wallet was too minimal for me.

Contender #3: Slim Sleeve

slimsleeve1

Since I’d been using the Bellroy approach to slimming my wallet for  while, I though it was only fair that I gave one of their wallets a chance. When it arrived ay my house even the packaging impressed me. Opening the wallet for the first time gave me a very satisfying whiff of leather. The two card-slots are enough to quickly get to your most-used cards while the rest are neatly stacked away, accessible using the pull tab. it’s tiny and it’s great. It’s also roughly a third of the size of my old tri-fold with the same content (yes, I measured…)

compare

 


 3 months later…

I’ve been using the slim sleeve for just over 3 months now. I carry 5+2 cards and usually 2 bills, that’s it. By keeping my card-count down, the wallet stays pretty slim. As far as aging; the leather is slightly wearing around the corners, but that’s to be expected. The insides are also showing slight signs of wear from rubbing against each other. Keeping the wallet in my back pocket has had some more effect on the wallet that you won’t have otherwise: the corners are bending slightly and the pulltab is visible through the back. What you can also see in the pictures is that the card stack doesn’t stay a stack; card will work their way out of the pocket obscuring the pulltab. Also, constantly sitting on your cards will bend them. I’ve switched pockets but the damage has been done…

after-3-months

 


The verdict

The Slim Sleeve is an awesome little wallet that fits my needs perfectly. It’s leather and stitching are great and the pulltab works without any sign of stretching. (I was afraid of the leather stretching over time, but nope!) It wears beautifully; there’s just something about used leather that looks great. The only real caveat I have would be the price; at €69,- it’s not exactly a bargain. Still, I highly recommend this wallet; it’s slim, but still an actual folding wallet that nothing will fall out of.

 a small wallet that wears well

 pulltab lets you easily get to all cards

 high quality of stitching and leather

 doesn’t do well in the back pocket

 cardstack sometimes obscure pulltab

 not exactly cheap

Full disclosure: I did this review without any incentives from Bellroy, it’s just my opinion of their product after I bought it online.

 

image credit

All promotional images used with permission of Bellroy