Economic Wallet Roundup

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 robert@bestleather.org.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 robert@bestleather.org if you’d like your company’s to be considered. 

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3 Comments

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  1. How does the Thirteen50 compare to the Albatross in thickness?

    • Hey Albert, as I mention in my review, the Thirteen50 is more minimal and thin. Since you asked (and for science!), I went ahead and measured. The Thirteen50 bifold is approximately 1/8″ (3.2mm) thinner. When empty and pressed flat, it’s about 1/2″ (12.7mm) thick vs. the Albatross being about 5/8″ (15.9mm).

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