We review products quite often that are a part of our reader’s “everyday carry” items. A typical everyday carry includes wallet, keys, cell phone, and often a multi-tool Swiss Army type knife. The Kisetsu Aki wallet is mostly wallet, and a bit of the multi-tool. This wallet has more features than any I’ve personally used, and manages it all in an impressively minimal form.
Let’s make a quick list. Inside this thin package we’ve got:
- External single card pocket
- Internal single card quick access pocket
- Pull-out thicker pocket for multiple less-used cards
- Cash/receipt strap
- Micro-SD card slot
- Secure coin pocket
The first of the Aki’s signature features is the external single card pocket, or what they call the “ninja slot.” This card will be hidden when not in use, but when you push on the small window, the card pops up just enough to grab. My hope is that this will become more smooth with lots of use, but in the weeks I’ve used it, it’s actually been fairly hard to push the card up. Pro tips: using both hands makes it easier, and cards with textured or raised lettering are much easier to push out than perfectly smooth cards. Despite the force necessary, having a card accessible without needing to open the rest of the wallet does have a certain convenience to it.
The inner multi-card pocket uses a pull tab for easy access, and the single card pocket on top of that is good for your second most used card. Cards are RFID protected.
I’m a big fan of the pen. It’s tiny and barely noticeable in the crease of the wallet, but has saved me a handful of times. The Aki comes with a single replacement cartridge.
Next up is the cash/receipt strap. The best part of this feature is that there’s no dormant space taken up if you don’t have any cash on you. Since I rarely have cash or receipts, this was great for me. When I actually do use it it’s a bit more cumbersome than a typical cash slot. It does make things more visible and, if handled correctly, easier to get out, but placing things in it is tricky and the pile of paper can get in the way of other features, such as the coin pouch.
While we’re talking about the coin pouch…this is something I use very rarely, but sure is handy when I need it. The edge of the pocket has a small flap that you can slip under the pocket itself to keep coins secure. It takes a second to open and close, but has never let coins slip out and, like the cash strap, takes up no unnecessary space.
Clearly the emphasis here is the swiss-army level feature set in a thin package, but of course we at BestLeather have to discuss the leather, other materials, and construction. The leather used for the Aki is called “crazy horse leather.” Crazy horse is, contrary to the name, a cow leather. It has some pull up properties, and a touch of the suede/nubuck feel at the surface. Kisetsu uses full grain crazy horse for the Aki. It is thin and has been sewn and folded over several non-leather components such as what appears to be a nylon lining for the coin pocket and other features. The non-leather materials become the weakest link, likely breaking down within an owner’s lifetime. However, construction is overall good, and the Aki should last for quite a few years.
If you’re looking for a product that leverages some of the good qualities of leather and combines that with lots of fun and useful features in a minimal/front pocket package, I’d recommend the Kisetsu Aki. Kisetsu has clearly put lots of thought into this product. Not all the features function as nicely as I hoped, but I’d say the biggest advantage of the Aki is that it’s incredibly thin and makes it very easy to go minimal, but has the necessary accommodations for when you do need to hold more.