I credit host Monty Hall of Let’s Make A Deal with the quote “Good things come in small packages.” While he wasn’t the first person to utter the quote, we all understand his meaning – sometimes what’s inside the little box is going to be worth far more than what’s behind the large door. Such is the case with the resurgence of interest in minimalist wallets. Leather crafters have responded to this interest, and with the Gannett Wallet, Kyle Koster of Range Leather has added his entry into the minimalist market.
While you might at first think making such a small, simple wallet would be easy, the case is exactly the opposite. Not only does the artisan need to create a functional, aesthetically appealing wallet, but they must do it using fewer materials and in a smaller package than your typical billfold.
About Range Leather
We’ve talked in depth with Kyle Koster of Range Leather in our three part interview series A Range of Possibilities, and if you haven’t had a chance, take a look at Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. In brief, Kyle is a leather aficionado who found the craft later in life after having lived in places like Hong Kong, Mongolia, and Chicago. He started his own company manufacturing a quick-connect guitar strap, and from there, fate led him into the world of leather.
Today, Kyle splits his time between Washington and Wyoming, while juggling the ins and outs of a small business on its way up.
Simple construction, to me, is a hallmark of anything bearing the title or description of “minimalist.” The Gannett wallet weighs in at 1.1 ounces (31 grams). By comparison, that’s eleven pennies, six nickels, or twelve dimes – a little bit of change in your pocket, or barely enough to notice the weight. Dimensions of the wallet measure 3 7/8″ (height) x 2 3/8″ (width) x 3/8″ (thickness), which is large enough to fit credit cards in the two available slots. Even with the light, compact design, Range Leather still uses a 9/10 ounce Horween leather for the entire piece. The wallet is going to be nearly indestructible with with the double-stitched, wax-coated, polyester thread.
Stamped on one corner of the wallet is the word ‘Range’, so there is no doubt where this piece comes from.
You all know what to do – it is a wallet after all. There are two slots for cards, one on each side of the wallet, and a slot for your folded paper money on one side. If you are at all curious as to why there is a million dollar bill in our photos, we left it there on purpose. During my interview with Kyle, he noted that in testing, people had a hard time discerning what the slit on that side of the wallet was for. By placing a (clearly fake) bill in the slot, it became obvious for its intended purpose.
We recommend not putting more than 3 cards in each of the two slots. Too many cards will end up stretching the leather out, and since the slots on this wallet are a bit of “open concept”, they could easily fall out if anything is left loose. The best placement of this wallet is going to be in an interior pocket, or your pants pocket, where you’ve got an extra layer material to ensure you items always stay in place.
I don’t like the feel of items bulging out in my pockets, so when I do have to keep anything in them, I prefer small and compact. This wallet makes sure you’re not going to feel much of a bulge wherever you decide to carry it with you. Of interest, and I’m sure they designed it this way, is that the wallet conforms to the golden ratio in terms of it’s height and width. In good company with the Great Pyramids, the Parthenon, and the way Da Vinci considered his dimensions for The Last Supper, the wallet has a pleasing look and feel to it based on dimensions alone.
The wallet is available in Maple and Black, with the black wallet using black no-contrast stitching in our reviewed version. Both the maple and black versions show a light-colored contrast stitching on their web site. As I didn’t see an option for checking the stitching color, I asked Kyle to clarify the colors used, and he indicated they use black and natural (light-color) thread on the black wallet, while the brown version has the option of brown or natural colored thread.
You can get into the Gannett Wallet for a price of $45.00 (US). If you find yourself questioning the price tag, keep in mind that 9/10 ounce leather is much more expensive than the typical 4/5 ounce leather used in many types of wallets. Range Leather also puts all of their wallets together by hand. All things considered, it’s a fair price for a handmade minimalist wallet. It goes without saying that if you’re someone who needs every punch card, credit card, and store card at your beck and call, this wallet isn’t for you. If you’re looking for small ways to simplify your life by carrying just the essentials, you’ll love this wallet. It’s sturdy, tough, and has that pleasing golden ratio that is sure to draw the attention of those with an appreciation for the finer things in life when you pull it out of your pocket.