“Under Pressure” – The classic Queen song should be the theme song for all wallets. Think about it. A wallet spends 98% of its time in your back pocket, squished by your butt…under pressure. So, with all of that pressure its under, you better be sure it’s a well built wallet. Let me introduce you to the Minimal Leather Wallet from Mr. Lentz.
About Mr. Lentz
Evan, aka Mr. Lentz, strikes me as a combination of The Marlboro Man and Chuck Norris. He bills himself as “a modern cowboy of the creative revolution” and aptly so after you spend a little time perusing the Mr. Lentz website, blog, and online store. His creativity isn’t limited to just leather. He excels in wood and jewelry making too. Originally I found Mr. Lentz on Etsy. His store seems to garner a great deal of traffic there. What really caught my eye initially was the sheer number of views many of his products have received…often numbering in the tens of thousands. One of his wallets is approaching 150,000 views. Impressive!
Evan’s a busy guy, which is no surprise due to the popularity of his products on Etsy and his own well groomed website. All of our dialogue to date has been via email. After several emails back and forth, we settled upon reviewing one of his most popular wallets – the Traditional Minimal Leather Wallet.
The Mr. Lentz Traditional Minimal Leather Wallet’s name is a bit of a misnomer. By no means is the construction of this wallet “minimal”. Here’s what Evan told me about the leather used on this wallet:
“As for where I get the leather, I actually consider that a bit of a company secret. I can say that it is pretty much the best you can buy in the US. It is all vegetable tanned, full-grain leather with some beautiful natural marks here and there. The backs are skived to perfection so you don’t get any of those ‘fuzzies’ like you do in lower grade leather. Also, the leather I use will easily withstand heavy use for a long time. Many wallets out there tend to wear out in a year or two because they are made with such thin leather – or even ‘Genuine Leather’ (which tends to be leather fibers ground up and glued together).” So, there you have it…straight from the Cowboy himself.
The wallet also features nickel-plated brass rivets on each of the corner. Again, just a testament to the fact that this minimal wallet is built to last and will endure a lifetime of abuse. And then, as with any good cowboy, Mr. Lentz uses his branding iron to brand in his logo and unique serial number of the wallet. The wallet is 100% handmade.
The Mr. Lentz Traditional Minimal Leather Wallet performs its tasks without issue. It’s a wallet – it holds stuff right where you want it and makes it easily accessible just when you need it. Right off the bat it’s a little stiff…however, this is good quality leather and it will definitely soften up as it gets used. Its design lends itself to some unique features though. The four main card slots are cut in such a way that they almost function like a “quick draw” system allowing you to quickly and deftly select the card you need at just the right moment. The two front slots are pretty tight and unless they stretch out a little will only accommodate one card each (I guess this is where the “minimal” name kicks in). The back cash pocket is spacious and will easily carry multiple bills.
The version of the Traditional Minimal Leather Wallet I received from Mr. Lentz features the Western Brown dye. Mr. Lentz creates all of his own all-natural vegetable based dyes. The wallet is available in four different colors. The Western Brown color is pleasing to the eye and guaranteed to age well.It evokes a sense of ruggedness and feels good in your hands too. I look forward to following up with a report on how it looks in six months and one year from now.
Included with the wallet is Mr. Lentz Leather Spiff N’ Shine leather conditioner. According to Evan, “I carefully experimented with various natural ingredients before settling on the final recipe. The ingredients are a mix of an age old recipe of Beeswax, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and one secret ingredient that is also all natural but really make this stuff work its magic on leather. It is all handmade here in my shop – as well as hand-filled and hand labeled! I take a lot of pride in controlling every minute detail about my business to carefully ensure that my goods are the highest quality possible.” We will be experimenting with this conditioner as we review the wallet a few months from now.
The Mr. Lentz Traditional Minimal Leather Wallet is a rugged, durable, well-built piece. You’d be hard pressed to find a better-built wallet at $64. It definitely qualifies as a buy it for life item. There are several other wallet designs built by Mr. Lentz too – so be sure to check them all out.