The market for buying well-made, unique, and durable wallets has exploded over the past three to four years, but that sweet spot of incredible quality and incredible value is still hard to find. Although many companies have tried to hit it, Popov Leather is one of the few who have really pulled it off. Ryan and Jill started their small operation out of Victoria BC, Canada in 2013 with the goal of making quality, minimalist wallets and have been hitting that mark ever since.
I had the chance to test out four wallets from Popov Leather and each one is spectacular. One thing that I simply can’t get over is the overall value of these wallets. Each one is handcrafted and finished in a similar fashion to products from much pricier outfits. I usually don’t gush over a product, but these wallets are certainly deserving of it.
Every single Popov Leather wallet is made with the two of the most trusted names in the business: Horween Leather and Tiger thread. By using these two brands and putting them together with expert care, the people at Popov Leather complete the trifecta of the ideal no-nonsense leather good.
I expected to see a few stitches out of line simply because of the price, but Ryan and Jill have really taken time and care in creating these wallets. They even burnish the edges to a smooth finish! Included with each piece is a lifetime guarantee, but I seriously doubt anyone will ever have to cash in on it after testing out their wallets.
Chromexcel Traditional Billfold Wallet – $60
This wallet does everything to highlight the company’s mission of providing incredible value to their customers. It has great construction, beautiful finish, and an unbelievable price for it all. As for function, it performs just as I would expect a billfold to. There are four card pockets and a single, large bill pocket. Like all new, full-grain leather wallets it took a week or two of use to get loosened up to the point where the cards slid in and out easily. Some might be put off by the lack of lining, but I actually find it to be better for a wallet since it keeps the thickness down.
Chromexcel Leather Card Holder – $35
I love this particular style of wallet. Although it’s called a card holder, it really can function as a complete wallet due to the three pockets which can be used for both cards and cash. I think it is for this reason that it become a relatively popular design among leather companies. It’s small enough to easily slide into the front pocket without making it noticeable and the way the outside piece of leather holds everything together guarantees a snug fit for everything its carrying.
If you are worried that you may not be able to carry everything in it, let me give a bit of perspective. I was able to fit five cards and about $50 into it comfortably. You may be able to cram another card or two into it, but if you carry that many you may want to go with the billfold.
Chromexcel Leather Passport Case – $50
This is probably my favorite wallet out of the bunch. Even though it may be a bit too long for everyday use, I love it because it’s everything you need for international travel without any extras. Many passport wallets I’ve seen are either too thick or try to add more than what I would typically use on a trip. Popov, instead gives just two slots for cards, a nice wide pocket for all types of bills and tickets, and sleeve for your passport. Everything is contained in a slim package that can slip into the back pocket with only a little peeking out the top.
If you’re not a world traveler but want an all-in-one checkbook and wallet, you can modify it a bit to fit a sleeve of checks into the space intended for the passport. Either way, for $50 this wallet is a steal.
Chromexcel Fields Note Cover – $40
I’ve never been one for note taking but Popov’s notebook case really has me wanting to start. The construction is almost identical to the Passport case and functions very similarly. There is a sleeve for the notebook and another sleeve for any other papers you would want to carry around. Also like the passport case, this notebook is pretty easy to fit in pant pockets and will fit into a pack without much notice. The one thing I wish it had was a pen holder. I realize that Popov Leather strives to for minimalism, and it does so beautifully, but a pen slot would be awesome and really add to the functionality of this piece. Even with the lack of a place to put a pen the notebook cover is still a great buy.
As I have said repeatedly, these wallets are incredibly attractive. Popov has created some of the best looking wallets I have seen. They are not particularly unique in design or looks, but they are simply elegant. Depending on the color you choose, the wallets would look just as at home with a suit as they would with a pair of jeans. The style is timeless and will look just as good in 50 years as it did the day it came off the bench.
Ryan and Jill have used minimal amounts of stitching, leaving the leather to really shine in all its glory. It’s very apparent that they take pride in their wallets because the finishing work is top notch. All of the edges are burnished and smoothed to create a simple, clean look while still retaining the rugged handsomeness I appreciate. Popov also offers monograming for only $5 additional on all products to provide that personal touch and identity that many people appreciate.
If there is one word to describe Popov Leather, it would be “value”. No other company that I have seen has provided so much for such a reasonable price. As I have said before, I usually don’t gush over products that I review, but I still can’t get over the quality of material, craftsmanship, and design that Popov gives at this price. If you are in the market for a new wallet, or need gift ideas, you need to take a look at Popov. These two truly make a buy-it-for-life product. They are a young company, but have already proven that they know their stuff. I can’t wait to see what else they do in the future.
Check out these wallet and other great gear from Popov Leather here!