This article will be an ongoing coverage of less expensive, quality leather wallets. If you’d like your company’s to be considered, please email [email protected]
We love the highest end goods out there, but sometimes one needs to enjoy leather and save the bank. Here we’re going to bring together some of our favorite recent wallets that fall within a lower price range.
North Star Leather Horween Leather Money Clip – $45
It’s becoming more and more rare to carry cash these days. So much so that most people had to ask me what the clip part of this wallet is! For those who do still practice the art, let me present the North Star Leather Horween Leather Money Clip.
Made of Horween’s Chromexcel, you can be sure the leather itself is of high caliber. I have the red brown version, and it’s offered in natural as well. The design is simple and good looking. The stitching varied a little, actually getting closer to an edge than I would have liked in one place, but not enough to cause any durability issues.
Functionally this will favor those who like to carry just a few cards and like a big space for their cash and receipts. The card pockets on each side held two cards each for me; you could probably manage three. Then there’s the money clip, which functioned well and held as much as I ever needed to carry. Pop it open, lay things flat, pop it closed, and hold it together with the rest of the wallet.
For those who do recognize and appreciate a good money clip, you’ll like this wallet. There’s no frills but at only $45 it’s a shoe in for our economic wallet roundup.
Thirteen50 Leather Natural Veg Tan Bifold – $49
We don’t see too many bifolds that break the $50 barrier and use the type of leather we’re interested in here at BestLeather, but Thirteen50 pulls it off well.
Like many natural vegetable tanned leathers, the bifold was a little stiff outside of the box. After some conditioning the leather started to soften up and color. The patina development should be fantastic. The functionality is about where you’d expect: two visible card slots on each side, a hidden pocket behind those, and a main cash slot.
Thirteen50’s bifold is comparable to the Albatross bifold we reviewed here, but differs in being a bit more minimal. This is accomplished with one fewer card slot per side, and thinner leather on the outside. This outer leather is without the usual thin strip of reinforcement on the top outside edge, so it occasionally folds a bit or catches my pocket, but also avoids the slight visible edge this strip would normally create.
If you’d like the holding power of a bifold but want to remain as minimal as possible, this is about as thin as I’ve seen while still using top notch leather. Thirteen50’s Natural Veg Tan Bifold should last for many years and comes at a great price (they carry a chromexcel version as well!).
Kendal & Hyde Simpleton 1
Most of Kendal & Hyde‘s customers can’t get enough of their boots, belts, and bags. Their Simpleton 1 wallet is made with the same fantastic leather concept and is a great minimal card carry.
The Simpleton uses a classic wrap-and-sew card holder design, with a main storage pocket and a single easy access slot in front. I’ve found an ideal fill to be about four cards in the main pocket. This makes them fit snugly but leaves some room for cash or receipts if needed, and doesn’t put too much pressure on the single card slot.
Edges are gently burnished, and stitches are a nice thick marine grade polyester, machine sewed. The construction leads me to believe this little cardholder will last a lifetime.
The Simpleton 1, sadly, isn’t sold anymore on Kendal & Hyde’s website, but we’re told they have some other wallet ideas coming out soon. If Kendal & Hyde has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes the best products are worth the wait.
E3 Supply Co Holster Style Slim Wallet – $39
Gotta love a design unique enough that it’s hard to know what it is: I showed E3 Supply Co’s Holster Style Slim Wallet to a friend without cards in it, and was immediately asked “…what is it?” Once I put cards in it, that confusion turned to envy. Something about the open corners design feels both cool and rugged, and being made of thick, strong, and supple Chromexcel obviously doesn’t hurt one little bit.
Functionally, the Holster is a single, slim card pocket. It needs at least a few cards in order to keep things snug, and will get hard to use with too many. I’d say 3-6 cards is ideal. With a single large pocket it is sometimes necessary to pull out all of the cards to reach one, but thankfully you can put your most common cards on the outside of the pile to make them easy to access. Folded up cash and receipts slip in nicely.
Once you get used to where you place your fingers as you take cards in and out (at first I kept accidentally pushing out all of my cards!), the design is great to use, and is overall extremely minimal. If you just need to carry a handful of cards and love the rugged look, the E3 Holster Style Slim Wallet is inexpensive, made with the incomparable Horween Chromexcel, and should last for years to come.
Great and inexpensive wallets will continue to be added to this roundup as we come across them! Email [email protected] if you’d like your company’s to be considered.