Being on the review staff at BestLeather I’ve seen more wallets than the back pocket of a pair of Levi’s 501s. A lot of the wallets we review are high quality, expertly crafted pieces, but maintain the same general formula. When we got wind of the Trayvax Element in Canyon Red we immediately had try out the innovative design.
Trayvax was started in 2013 by Mark King. Originally setting out to develop a reusable plastic bag carrier, Mark ended up on a different course and created the Trayvax wallet. With an aim to produce the toughest most utilitarian wallet on the market, Trayvax uses top quality materials and all of their wallets are assembled here in the USA. When asked how the company started, we were told “In Mark’s apartment 2 years ago. We were powder coating every Trayvax wallet in the bathtub and sewing each product by hand.” That’s a far cry from their operation now consisting of over 30 employees. A good sign for us consumers, when a company is growing that rapidly, it means they’re doing something right!
“We use top grain leather that is custom dyed to shape-shift its color and oils. We use mil-spec grommets, spot welding, and sandblasted stainless steel on each wallet. They are flossed together, welded, and finished completely by hand to produce a seamless leather wallet.”
That was the impressive response we received from Trayvax when asking about their construction process for the Element. From the materials used, one might say it over engineered, but I think that is what Trayvax demanded of the Element. For instance, the paracord used to bind the wallet is mil-spec 550 which means it has a minimum load strength of 550lbs. The Element weighs about 3.8 oz empty and measures 4.5” Long X 2 ⅝” Tall. And the cherry on top, it’s made right here in the USA.
While the Element is definitely innovative in design and function, it still adheres to the same basic principle of all wallets. It holds your cash and cards. The Element has great capacity in a smaller package. The initial instructions call for you to place all the cards you normally carry in the wallet along with a provided spacer card, then you soak it in warm water for 10 minutes to expedite the break in process. While this step isn’t necessary I recommend it as the cards will be very tight and hard to get at otherwise. Once broken in, card access is a breeze. The front opening in the leather lets your thumb quickly push out your cards.
The Element has a built in bottle opener for liberating your libations in a flash. You can attach a cord or clip to the grommet loop at the top if you want to carry the wallet around your neck or on your bag. I usually prefer these carry options because the Elements steel frame is pretty unyielding and can be uncomfortable in your back pocket when sitting. I really like the money clip which makes getting cash out less of a chore. Everything is secured in place by the horizontal leather flap that runs along it.
At first glance, one might guess at the purpose of the Element. Is it a tool? A weapon? I usually spend Saturday morning at local garage sales, so I have my wallet out often. The Trayvax Element definitely elicits impressive responses from people. You just feel cool whipping it out. It’s a great fidget device too, I like to just have it hand and feel the weight when waiting at appointments and such. The Element comes in several colors, we received the Canyon Red edition and the color is beautiful, like it was baked to perfection on a sandstone slab in the searing Utah summer heat.
The Trayvax Element is a great option for those who are tired of traditional wallets and want a new and interesting addition to their everyday carry. With bulletproof construction and superior machining and craftsmanship, you would do well to try one out.