Under the thin facade of urban living, I believe just about everyone craves a little adventure. That walk down to the corner store, how about a daring pilgrimage for the nectar of the bovine god, Bos Taurus? When I was a kid I had a safari hat, and anytime I put it on, everything felt like an adventure. It’s been years since I lost the hat, but recently found another vessel that captures that adventurous spirit… The Buffalo Jackson Dakota Field Notes Cover.
The Dakota Field Notes and Passport cover is made from Top Grain leather- The suppleness of the leather is very pleasant and the journal feels already “broken in” which is great since having a thick, stiff wallet to break is a pain. Marine grade nylon stitching holds it all together. The journal measures 4.25” x 6” closed and 4.25” x 8” opened.
I don’t have a passport, but I was able to slip in my field notes and put this puppy to work. It should be noted that Buffalo Jackson offers refills as well. I love the size and portability of this cover. It’s slim enough to keep stashed in my back pocket. The lack of a pen stache of some sort is surprising, I would have loved an unobtrusive spot in the spine to store a small bullet pen. There are also several slots for business/credit/etc cards. This would also work as an excellent car insurance and registration safe spot. I used to do estimates for a contracting business and I wish I had this to take notes when looking at projects and leaving business cards.
The Dakota Field Notes cover executes in all the right ways visually. The subtle grain of the leather combined with the soft honeyed glow really makes for an attractive EDC tool. The stamped Buffalo is always a great signature and helps exude the adventurous spirit of the cover. I often find myself just throwing the cover from hand to hand like a baseball, it’s that fun to play with.
Buffalo Jackson has been producing some really great leather and canvas goods for years now. The Dakota Field Notes Cover and Passport Wallet does not disappoint. The price point is elevated but not unrealistic for a product of this caliper. The question just remains, how it would fit into your pantheon of tools to accomplish your goals.
A Masterpiece of Craftsmanship: Merging Style and Functionality
Step into the world of refined sophistication with our exquisitely craftedAlligator Luxury CardHolder. Merging style and functionality seamlessly, this sleek front pocket card holder epitomizes luxury with its Wild Florida alligator skin, featuring genuine alligator pockets on the exterior and supple English Bridle Leather pockets on the interior. Holding up to 8 cards with ease, it also includes an interior currency pouch, offering a truly versatile and elegant accessory.
Meticulous Detailing: A 2-Day Crafting Process
Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the 2-day crafting process begins with handpicking the ideal alligator scale pattern and precisely cutting, preparing, sewing, and edging each piece. Each pocket is thoughtfully creased to add an extra touch of sophistication, elevating this alligator wallet to a league of its own.
Nature’s Unique Touch: The Uniqueness of Alligator Skin
What sets this alligator wallet apart is the uniqueness of each alligator skin. Displaying distinctive characteristics such as diverse scale sizes, subtle aging marks, and color variations, each wallet becomes an individual masterpiece, reflecting the personal touch of nature. Different colors are available, allowing you to choose the perfect one to match your style.
Proudly made in the USA, Taza Leather Walletsrepresent the epitome of quality and craftsmanship. Our commitment to excellence is evident in every meticulously crafted piece, ensuring that each wallet is a true symbol of luxury.
Material: Genuine Alligator skin and English Bridle leather
Style: Credit card holder or front pocket alligator wallet
Features: 4 pockets for cards and ID, interior currency slot
Anyone who’s been reading Bestleather since the beginning knows that Saddleback Leather is one of our favorite brands. Their iconic designs and legendary craftsmanship have put them at the fore when it comes to dry goods and inspired more knockoffs than Chanel No. 5. In today’s review we take a look at two of their staples, the Leather Tow Belt and Full Grain Leather Bifold Wallet.
Both the wallet and the belt are made from full grain leather. Full grain leather is the best grade available, any more grain and you’d have to milk the belt and take the wallet out to pasture. The stitching is clean and tidy, and reinforced in the hard hit wear areas.
The belt features a heavy stainless steel buckle while the wallet has heavy duty marine grade thread…that’s right, you can go windsurfing using this bifold. In all seriousness, both of these products are built to last decades.
A belt is a belt…only when it’s not. Cheap belts delaminate or the “genuine” leather cracks. The Tow Belt utilizes three layers of the good stuff (Full Grain Leather) and won’t peel like a banana at the first sign of stress.
This belt is pretty stout too, almost feels like I’m girding up for battle when I put it on. I typically have a multitool, smartphone holster and sometimes a CCW and the belt has no problem supporting them.
The Bifold Wallet from Saddleback Leather is no slouch in the EDC arena either. I will admit the break in can be tedious tedious and this wallet is too thick for my personal preference (I’ve been using their Front Pocket ID Wallet for over a decade) but the card capacity and ease of cash retrieval make it a viable option for those who like to carry everything but the kitchen sink in their wallet. This wallet is RFID proof as well is which is a huge security bonus.
Both of these products are timeless in design. Leather will never not be in style. The belt contrasts well with most outfits other than a tuxedo and the wallet much like Sandra Bullock, will only get better with age.
It’s been awhile since we had a good look at Saddleback Leather and it was a refreshing reminder of what passion and quality materials can produce. The price might seem a tad high after browsing your local TJ Maxx bargain bin but these are goods that will last a lifetime. My wife has spent hundreds on “designer” wallets over the years, and I have literally watched them crumble away while tearfully busting out my trusty Saddleback wallet to pay for the next one and a simple tightening on the Tow Belt does a great job suppressing my appetite so we can continue that habit.
Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed are our own.
I’m usually a creature of habit. Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins for breakfast, Blue Chuck Taylor All Stars for the gym, and the list could go on. However, when it comes to my Everyday Carry, I’m always looking for ways to refine and hone the things I always have on me. My wallet usually inhabits my rear pocket, but lately it’s been bothering me especially when driving. After doing some serious research in the hallowed annals of men’s billfolds, I came across Rogue Industries Front Pocket Wallet – A wallet that goes in your front pocket might sound like hearsay, but read on brethren, and you too might become believers.
The Rogue Industries Front Pocket Wallet measures in at about 5.75” inches long by 3.4 inches tall and is about a quarter of an inch thick when empty. It weighs in at 1.6 ounces. Rogue Industries offers this model in multiple textiles including Moose leather, Nylon, Waxed Canvas, etc. The model I opted for was Bison Leather. I chose Bison because the leather has a unique grain pattern and is inherently very rugged looking. The large porous nature of the skin also makes this breathable which is a must for me since I loathe pulling out a sweaty billfold. This puppy is made in Maine, USA and carries a 2 year warranty.
First off, this wallet smells great. Before Covid it wasn’t uncommon to see me fidgeting with my wallet while waiting to get my crown repaired at the dentist. Now I do so socially distanced in my home. What makes Rogue Industries Front Pocket Wallet so popular is the signature half taco shape that just slips effortlessly into your front pocket. If you take a pair of your favorite jeans/shorts, hold them up and look at the front pockets from the interior of the pants, you’ll notice the wallet is shaped very similarly to the pocket – which makes it sit naturally.
This is a great feature especially when driving or moving around frequently, front pocket wallets tend to stay more secure and are much less prone to falling out than your back wallet. You could go to put your wallet in your back pocket and miss and never knew it hit the ground, that’s much harder to do when the wallet is in front of you.
Wallet retrieval is very smooth and once out operates like any billfold. There’s plenty of space for cards, and if you want you can opt for the ID window version as well. Another brilliant feature is RFID blocking to protect your credit/security access cards from thieves. Speaking of which, a front pocket wallet is nearly impossible to pickpocket.
I really dig the look of this wallet. It’s not another yawn worthy billfold. The Bison leather looks great and really gives this wallet depth and a tangible testament to American craftsmanship. Sometimes a quality wallet gives a great, but subtle impression. Say you pay for your coworkers lunch and pull out this classy wallet, I’m sure they’ll look right at it and notice it’s a quality piece.
I’ve always been a back pocket wallet type of guy. However, the design and functionality of The Rogue Industries Front Pocket Wallet is hard to pass up. It’s a more comfortable carry, especially when sitting. The added security of RFID blocking and having your wallet in front of you as opposed to behind just makes sense. The wallet’s fit and finish are great, and the materials seem top notch. I’m kind of taken back at the 2 year warranty but at the $55 price point it’s not a deal breaker.
What could be finer than the rich smell of leather and cigars? I had the upmost pleasure of reviewing and gifting these custom handmade leather cigar cases for my groomsmen and I can say without a doubt that every one of my brothers loved them like I couldn’t have even imagined.
About Loucks Leatherworks
in 2016, David Loucks set out to buy a new wallet and found himself unhappy with the typical department store offerings. After researching higher quality wallets, David decided to take on the challenge of making his own. Of course, at first attempt, it turned out hideous. He then became obsessed with all things leather. David spent the next two years absorbing everything he could about different types of leather, tanning processes and crafting techniques.
In 2018 David combined his passion for cigars and pipes with his newfound love of leather and created his first cigar case. At the urging of friends and family he created Loucks Leatherworks and began selling the cases online.
It starts with the materials. The highest quality, oil-tanned leather and the strongest thread on the market. Every piece is cut, assembled and stitched by hand. The result is an attractive case that will last . Also what sets Loucks Leatherworks apart is customer service. They personally work with each customer, customizing and personalizing each item to their specifications. They then provide updates and photos throughout the process. Loucks Leatherworks believes to do all this while maintaining a price point that is competitive with mass produced items.
All cases are made with full-grain, oil-tanned cow leather. All stitching is done with braided polyester waxed thread. Specifically the tiger thread by Ritza. Monogramming is done by laser. In addition to monogramming there is an option for personalized notes on the interior of the product, which is great when the item is intended as a gift. The case’s dimensions are 9” X 3.2”.
This case was designed to perfectly hold two, fifty gauge Churchill size cigars or shorter. The flap is held in place by a stitched holding band.
This is a very stylish and compact cigar case perfect to throw in your briefcase, overnight bag, glovebox, or even golf bag for that weekend away. The leather is stunning with the pull-up, the smell, and the feel of oil tanned leather. It is naturally moisture resistant, and extremely durable making it the perfect material to protect expensive hand rolled cigars.
The personalization touches on both the exterior and interior are unique as they add so much character to the piece. I chose a specific cigar inspired quote that reminded me of each gentleman who it was intended for.
Whether a groomsmen gift or just a special personalized gift to give to someone (or yourself), these leather cigar cases will surely impress. And just like a great friendship, they will get better and ‘uglier’ with age but only in the way leather enthusiasts and close friends will know about..Check them out -here-.
I’m a huge fan of a quality leather wallet regardless of how creative the design is. Having said that, after reviewing many over the years, it’s always a pleasure to experience a totally unique approach. Rugged Minimalist’s Front Pocket Minimalist Wallet squeezes about as much functionality as one could expect out of a single piece of leather and a single rivet.
Bridle leather first became popular in making equestrian harnesses because of its remarkable strength. The material has the ability to retain its form without stretching. Over time, the leather gets old beautifully and acquires lines that only add more character to the item.
About Rugged Minimalist
It’s been a pleasure to get to know Jason, owner and founder of Rugged Minimalist, over the last couple of years. Jason has a background in sales and marketing, but, in an effort to pursue a more creative and more personally rewarding trade, developed an interest in product design that eventually lead him to leather. Over the last four years he’s been working on a variety of designs that focus on utility without excessive labelling or embellishment. Rugged Minimalist aims to make such leather products of the highest quality. While using old world materials and techniques, Rugged Minimalist also strives to cater to the modern consumer: “Bags and accessories that do not feel out of place in the office, on a plane, or in the woods.” All products are handmade in Tennessee.
Leather & Construction
Rugged Minimalist exclusively uses full-grain, vegetable tanned bridle leather from the Wickett & Craig tannery. You can rest assured this is the highest quality of leather. Rugged Minimalist impresses further with how they put this leather to use. A single piece of leather is used, cleverly cut, folded, and held together with a single rivet.
When I first got my hands on this wallet, I was frankly a bit confused! The front, from the outside, isn’t so unique, but it gets more interesting from there.
First, the back of the wallet. A single slit allows you to place one super-quick access card. I suspect I’m not alone in that a huge majority of my wallet use involves a single card, so this is an awesome feature.
Then we go inside. There’s one primary pocket that is technically where all of your cards will be stored, but with the back slot card and one additional inner card divided for easier access.
Finally, one small additional pocket near the bottom is just about the right size for a small number of folded bills.
All this from one piece of leather and one rivet! Functionally, things come together just as nicely as the construction. Sure enough, 9 times out of 10, I don’t even have to unsnap the wallet since I only need my primary card. That in and of itself is a huge victory in my book. Then, when I need a less frequented card or even to hold a little cash, those things are also easily accessible under the snap.
The wallet maintains a thin profile in any pocket, yet is roomy enough that I never feel like I need to tug at my cards to get them out. I tend to carry around 6-8 cards and a couple bills, but you could fit more if you needed to.
Many wallet users tend to encounter challenges in fitting their bulky wallets in their small bags, you won’t even have to worry about that with this kind of minimalist wallet. It’s slim and won’t be a challenge to carry in your bag or pocket. You may slip it inside the beautifully crafted Willow handmade leather half-moon bag; they could perfectly work together as both boast of a minimalist design.
Additionally, you won’t even have to feel the strain of your wallet and suffer from fat wallet syndrome. Fat wallet syndrome or piriformis syndrome is the back pain caused by spinal alignment problems because of sitting on a thick wallet for an extended period.
When you sit on a thick wallet, it compresses one side of your back and causes strain on your sciatic nerve. At times the pain that you’ll feel may travel to your hips, buttocks, and down your legs. The pain will be more pronounced if you walk up the stairs. You’ll have a limited range of motion for a period until you have it treated. So, to prevent this, use a wallet that’s slim.
The design of the Front Pocket Minimalist Wallet was made to cater to real-life use and absolutely nails it.
Rugged Minimalist stays true to their name in the aesthetic of this wallet. No embellishments or designs, for the sake of appearance, are used. Even the logo, already very small and discrete, is hidden below the snap cover. This may not cater to everyone’s taste, but I’m personally a fan. Leather, in and of itself, is a beautiful material, developing patina and character over time. The Minimalist’s pleasing appearance comes from the beautiful leather and functional design.
Nowadays, less is best. The simpler but more functional an item is, the more it attracts a larger audience. A minimalistic style can complement other design aesthetics more seamlessly and will suit any type or personality.
Here I have the English Tan color of the Minimalist, but Rugged Minimalist offers it (as well as most of their other products) in Black, Chocolate, and Tan as well.
Rugged Minimalist’s Front Pocket Minimalist Wallet is highly functional, well constructed with top-quality leather, unique, and aggressively priced. I have no problems whatsoever highly recommending this wallet to any minimalist wallet lovers. The ultra-quick access card slot is a new favorite feature of mine. The inner pockets are organized just enough to keep things clean. The more I’ve used this wallet the more I’ve come to appreciate just how clever it all is. Head over to Rugged Minimalist’s site to check it out.
We have a few more products from Rugged Minimalist that we’re excited to review. Look forward to those over the next couple of months.
If I’m being honest, when I think of a wallet with an ID window I don’t think of a refined money clip . I think of the lime green Tony Hawk wallet I got when I was in 6th grade. I think of how much I loved the velcro closure and the way I’d put guitar picks in the zippered coin pocket to seem cool even though I couldn’t play the guitar. That’s essentially the opposite of Arrow & Board’s Simple ID Wallet. Instead you have a high-class, minimal profile wallet that includes the convenience of an external ID window.
About Arrow & Board
Arrow & Board is a family owned and operated company out of Austin, Texas. Zac and Jacki Brown began the company inspired by a love of heirloom-quality watches and tech accessories. With Arrow & Board they aim to pair old school craftsmanship with modern advancement, such as leather cases and straps for watches, cameras, computers and phones. Their products embody minimalism, using simple designs and top notch materials.
Leather & Construction
The Simple ID Wallet is made with only two pieces of leather, one folded over the other and sewn together to create the pockets. Fewer cuts of leather makes for fewer moving parts and less chance of failure. Between this and the precise hand stitching of the polyester thread, this wallet will easily last a lifetime. All the edges are laser cut for exactness. There are no issues with construction.
The version I have here is made of shell cordovan. While the cost is higher, so is the strength and overall experience. Shell cordovan is a pricey but incredible leather. If you can spring for it, it’s worth it. You can’t get the feel, look, or longevity anywhere else.
The Simple ID Wallet includes three simple functions: an ID window, a card storage pocket (in the center) and a quick-access card pocket. All work as expected. This is a really great minimal wallet that’s easy to forget is in your pocket! The center storage can hold 3-5 cards, and may stretch to accommodate more over time (particularly the non-shell version of the wallet). This is definitely meant to keep your load light, however. The wallet isn’t oversized and adding too many cards will present quite a challenge should you need to access them.
This will be a great choice if you’re hoping to keep a thin profile and mainly need your ID and primary card. Most of us only use our primary credit card a majority of the time, and it’s worked really well in my day to day use.
The Simple ID Wallet breaks the molds by being an ID window wallet that exudes class. Compact form, sharp lines, quality leather and uniform stitching make for a fantastic looking wallet. The shell cordovan version also includes the signature polish of shell. This isn’t the bulging, worn out bonded leather wallet you see all too often. You’ll be proud for this wallet to be seen.
Quick disclaimer: the Color #8 shell wallet I have here has been discontinued! The cordovan version is still available in black and whiskey.
Arrow & Board’s Simple ID Wallet is an awesome wallet on any scale, but it’s certainly out of the league of any other ID wallet I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking to get a really high end wallet and need to show your identification regularly, I wouldn’t look any further. On top of that, both the full-grain and shell versions are in a great price range for what you’re getting. I’ve loved using this wallet and I think you will too. Head over to Arrow & Board to check out the Simple ID Wallet and their other range of fine leather goods.
Almost every wallet we see is made of two things: leather and thread. Today we’re reviewing a wallet that breaks this mold. Instead of thread, Mr. Lentz’ wallets are held together only with rivets! It’s a unique idea that ends up working really well. These wallets have a strong look and versatile function.
About Mr. Lentz
Mr. Lentz is an artist, a creator, and a cowboy. He believes in the value of creating something with your hands and from the heart. Each product is made to order. The leather and metal only products are a trademark of the company. In Mr. Lentz’ own words: “You just can’t beat that mixture.” Mr. Lentz also enjoys sharing his talents on his blog, encouraging others to get out and go back to the classic ways of doing things. Overall he’s a guy who puts a lot of passion into his work, and I definitely suggest dropping by his about page to read more.
Leather & Construction
All Mr. Lentz products are made with premium, US-sourced full-grain leather, which is exactly what we like to see. Rivets are made of solid brass. No issues with the materials whatsoever.
Construction is also superb. There’s actually a lot more attention to detail in these products than is easily visible. I think this may be intentional, actually. These products maintain a certain ‘raw’ look to them, but in reality are meticulously cut, edged, dyed, oiled, and waxed. Each step is done by hand. Products comes with a small tin of Mr. Lentz’ own conditioner for at home treatment. These are simple wallets, but don’t let that make you think they aren’t carefully put together by a highly skilled artisan.
One thing I really like about these wallets is the versatility. Mr. Lentz designs his products to be minimalist, but a heavy carrier will be perfectly happy too. When I end up with more cards or cash than usual, the open, oversized pockets can hold it all. But when I only have my slimmer daily carry, things are still nicely kept in place. In either configuration my favorite cards are brought to the top with the quick access card slots. It may seem like it would be easier for cards to fall out, since the pockets are open on two sides, but I haven’t had any issues.
I mentioned already that these wallets maintain a somewhat ‘raw’ leather look. Rivets enhance this with a masculine, tough feel. However, that doesn’t mean they look unfinished. I have a certain soft spot for these types of products, the ones that are both refined yet true to the wild they came from. These will fit in anywhere.
The best part of good leather is that it just gets better with time. Since I had the privilege of experiencing both the Slim and Plus wallets in Mr. Lentz’ ‘Western Brown’ and ‘Sun Tanned Natural’ colors, I thought this would be a really good chance to show a few attributes of leather, its variation, and color over time:
Here at BestLeather we get asked about patina development on products with some regularity. Mr. Lentz’ wallets display this nicely. Leather can by dyed, but because it comes from unique animals it will always have some variation and develop in different ways based on how it’s used.
I’m happy to recommend both of these Mr. Lentz wallets as Buy It For Life items. They seem very simple, but truthfully are skillfully constructed and function at a high level. They’re slim enough for a front pocket but have no problems holding as much as needed. The unique rivet construction makes for a strong wallet that stands out. Swing by Mr. Lentz’ shop to see more of his items. There are an impressive number of unique wallets to suit just about any need. Look forward to a review of one of his duffles in the coming weeks, as well!
Ever since Trayvax released their first hybrid wallet not more than a few years ago, they’ve been non stop in developing new ways to hold your cash and cards. Their latest offering aims at those seeking a high end, luxury piece. The Trayvax Contour Wallet features hand-stitching, CNC-machining and PVD finishing, but is it worth the extra cost? Read on for my take.
The Contour is mainly comprised of two different pieces. First we have the steel skeleton that forms the backbone of the wallet. Precision CNC machining is used in crafting the steel plate followed by a Titanium aluminium nitride coating. Top grain oil tanned leather is used to tie it all together. All materials are sourced in the US as well as fabrication. The wallet has an adjustable sliding clasp and attachment point for use with a lanyard/carabiner/etc.
I’ve used Trayvax wallets in the past, and the basic concept remains with a few twists. The adjustable securing clasp is a new feature which is handy in keeping your cards secure and allowing you to custom fit based on your number of cards. With the included torx wrench you can loosen the clasp if you have more cards or retract it so tighten the slack.
Cash retrieval is a bit awkward but I use my phone to pay for items and as we move more into a contactless pay society, the less I worry about handling paper money. The attachment point is great if you want to attach a chain or paracord to your wallet, but personally I just pocket carry. The Ascent definitely works better as a front pocket carry and the wallet is RFID resistant which adds peace of mind. And yes, don’t forget the bottle opener.
This is arguably one of the best looking wallets I’ve reviewed. It’s so off the beaten path you can’t help but get excited about it. I find myself just fidgeting with it. The leather looks great and will develop a patina that will serve as a reminder of sorts on all you put the wallet through. Trayvax backs it with a 65 year warranty as well. The leather color pictured is Canyon Red but the Ascent is available in quite a few other finishes!
After handling the Trayvax Contour Wallet, I really came to appreciate the finer details and aesthetic it offered. Personally, those differences aren’t enough to warrant the cost over some of their other models. If you love Trayvax though, and a lot of people do, then having their premier wallet will definitely not disappoint.
Trayvax is one of my favorite companies, due to their integrity and dedication to keeping this wallet American made from start to finish, so if you do drop some serious cash on this wallet, you can feel good knowing it’s supporting American craftsmanship.
I’ve been lucky to review a few of the innovative wallet designs from Trayvax. In a world of bifolds, these metal and leather hybrids are an exciting entry into a rather stagnant market. Trayvax has recently debuted the Ascent Wallet, and I’m excited to put it through its paces.
In true Trayvax fashion, the Ascent is a fusion of metal and leather. The wallet features a solid stainless steel frame, wrapped in hand stitched, top grain leather. The color I reviewed was Canyon Red, although several color variations are available. Brass rivets attach the leather to steel at the bottom end of the Ascent. The Ascent weighs in at 3 oz and is 3.8” Long and 2.75” wide.
My main worry with rigid wallets is comfort. I definitely felt the Ascent when sitting. I’m a back pocket guy by nature. Trayvax does recommend front pocket carry, and some of the reasons are more than convincing; it protects your back from misalignment, reduces chances of RFID hacking and pickpockets.
The Ascent features a nylon tab that when pulled, bring your wallets quickly out for easy selection. I really dig this feature, as similar wallets have a Chinese finger trap like grip on your goods. The backside has a slot where you can fold your cash and keep it secure. Minimalist wallets always struggle in my opinion with cash retrieval. Things are no different here, but I use my phone now to pay for most things, so its a moot point. I really dig the attachment bar at the bottom, you could attach a keyring around this and hook up to a lanyard if so desired.
The Ascent exists in a universe apart from boring bifolds. The look is striking and intriguing. The overbuilt design and substantial feel make it a joy to handle and use. Get used to answering questions when you pull it out.
At a $55 price point, the Trayvax Ascent is a bargain buy for a wallet that will last years, its even backed by a lifetime warranty. The design may not work for some, but for those who are hard on their gear, this wallet will endure the abuse superbly.
Minimum Squared has brought us some of the most cleverly designed wallets we’ve had the privilege of reviewing here at BestLeather. Today we’re going to show you the last item in their 2017 lineup. The Cardholder is a much simpler design than Minimum Squared’s other offerings. It competes with the best ultra-light wallets out there, and is reasonably priced.
About Minimum Squared
Minimum Squared is the product of a couple, Adrian and Sanela, who were seeking to fill a need of their own. This attempt was so successful that it became a commercial success. It began with their Red Dot Design Award-winning Slim Wallet Elastic, which we had the pleasure of reviewing a few years ago (check it out here for even more about Minimum Squared), and has evolved to a collection of four wallets. Today we’ll visit the last of these new models, the Cardholder.
Leather and Construction
Like its brothers at Minimum Squared, the Cardholder is made with the famous Horween Chromexcel leather. Chromexcel is soft, beautiful, and feels great in your hand. If you’re not familiar with this leather, make sure to check out our overview here.
As with all their products, Minimum Squared makes the Cardholder with a single piece of leather. It’s precisely cut, folded, and stitched together to create the product you see. All aspects of creation are expertly done. This may be a simple product, but these fine details make it great.
A minimal product has minimal functionality. In these situations, it’s all the more important that the execution is well done. I’d say the shining aspect of the Cardholder’s functionality is its size. The dimensions are 89x55mm. The dimensions of a credit card? 86x54mm! In other words, the Cardholder is an exact fit. What I love about this is that even with a single card, the wallet keeps it securely in place. More often than not, I need at least 2-3 cards in a cardholder in order to achieve a secure feel.
Day to day, the Cardholder performs well. When it first arrives you’ll likely need to exercise the leather a bit. A new Cardholder comfortably holds around three cards before becoming difficult to use. Over time, the leather stretches out and holds about five.
Cards are secured well at the bottom and easy to grab at the top.
Chromexcel is a beautiful leather. The tones tend to be very earthy due to the tanning process. Staying true to their name, Minimum Squared lets this beauty shine with little distraction. Besides a very discrete logo, there’s nothing here but well defined lines and curves.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have your own personal touch. Minimum Squared lets you pick the thread color to make your Cardholder match your own tastes.
Minimum Squared has another winner here with the Cardholder. It may not be their most fancy design, but it certainly embodies their company name the most. This well designed and crafted wallet would be a welcome addition to any lover of minimalism. In addition, the price is very reasonable. I highly recommend the Cardholder!
Here at Bestleather we have reviewed several companies whose products are consistently top-notch quality. J. Ryan & Company, LLC is one of those few, and each of their products has been a hit on our site. Today we will be revisiting the previously reviewed Minimalist Wallet, only this time with new leathers and a broken in condition.
J. Ryan & Company, LLC is an Emmett, Idaho based company known for their custom exotic holster offerings, but more recently adding items such as belts, strops, and wallets. If you’re looking for a highly finished leather product, look no further. In contrast to the recently popular raw leather look, Jim and his company aim to bring you products that incorporate the best tans, dying, wax stuffing, and exotic leathers, custom made for the discerning individual.
Without a doubt, the Minimalist wallet is one of the most sturdily constructed wallets I have ever used. The burnished edges and relatively small shape make the wallet strong and sleek. This version of the Minimalist wallet consists of shark skin, hardrolled horse hide, and a pigskin lining. The internal body of the wallet is made from the horsehide leather. This leather offers the rigid, durable feel of the wallet, and provide a beautiful contrast for the shark skin on the outer layers.
Each of the layers are machine stitched together with the sturdy #277 bonded nylon thread. Even with several months of use (and too many trips in and out of my pockets), not one stich has popped or frayed. This thread provides a nice contrast to the very textured sharkskin and the burnished edges all the way around.
The Minimalist Wallet is designed to fit 4-8 cards, some cash, and a few receipts. During my extensive use, I have comfortably held 8-9 cards, 2 business cards, and a few bills here and there with minimal pocket stretching. The cut in pocket is the exact size of most of my cards, so if you have more cards than usual it can be a little difficult to slide the cards in neatly. You may need to use some force at first, but over time the wallet stretches just the right amount for a snug yet secure fit.
The Minimalist Wallet’s shape is so sleek and refined, that it is perfect for any pocket you choose. Personally, I carry my wallets in my back pocket most of the time. However, if I feel like there is a chance that I could get pick-pocketed, I slip the wallet in to my front pockets with no problem, just to be safe. If you require a little extra space for cards or cash, J. Ryan is be happy to custom make the pockets for customers, it will just take a little longer than in stock items.
I guarantee people are going to check out your Minimalist Wallet every time you pull it out. This wallet is simply beautiful. The textures from the shark skin and pig lining are contrasted very well with the horsehide, and the rich shades of brown all make for a unique and noticeable wallet. If the look of these leathers do not suit your style, be sure to check out the other versions of the same wallet made with different leathers on their website.
The Minimalist Wallet from J. Ryan & Company lives up to their reputation of high-quality products. I have been thoroughly impressed with this wallet and recommend it any time people are looking for a functional, minimal, and unique wallet. Overall, the excellent quality of the Minimalist wallet is almost unprecedented, and it is bound to end up in the hands of your children and grandchildren if handled with care.
This article was written by former BestLeather writer T.J. McWhorter.
Last time we worked with Mack Provisions, we were treated to their totally unique Minimalist Baseball Glove Wallet. This time KC is up to bat with The American Pastime Wallet, a bifold that is currently being featured on Kickstarter. It has the same soul as its little brother, but with a little more space for carrying your cash and cards. So if you liked the minimalist version but were still sitting skeptically in the bleachers due to the carry capacity, read on and maybe you’ll get on the field with Mack Provisions.
The Pastime wallet’s shell is made from full grain, vegetable tanned Hermann Oak leather. It’s pretty light colored initially, but will darken with age and use. Fil Au Chinois Lin is what holds it all together, it’s a waxed lined thread that is wear resistant and long lasting. The pockets of the wallet are made from vintage full grain baseball gloves. All the edges are hand burnished to preserve the exposed leather grain. Upon close inspection the wallet seems to be made from 4 pieces of leather which are the outer shell, inside slotted pocket and both card pockets.
The Pastime wallet’s straightforward design ensures a simple carry. You have 2 slots for cards and a main sleeve for bills. I always like to keep the bare minimum in my wallet, so the limited organisation worked for me. If you carry a dozen cards and routinely need to access them, this might be a challenge for you. This is a handmade leather wallet, so break in is necessary and pocket comfort will be absent for a bit but have patience and that sumptuous leather will perfectly conform to your glutes.
The Pastime has a clean, classic look. I wish the exterior would have been made of baseball mitts, but finding and salvaging a swatch of leather that big from a glove would be nearly impossible. The interior however opens up the lid on nostalgia with two card pockets using vintage leather. The exterior shell will darken overtime to better match the interior pockets. The Mack Provisions stamp adds great character to the wallet and I look forward to seeing how it ages over use.
It was a pleasure handling another wallet from KC. The same craftsmanship and attention to detail were a welcome sign. While it didn’t quite have the same magic for me as the minimalist version, I found the billfold design and card pockets a definite upgrade in usability. Mack Provisions American Pastime Wallet is a strong choice for those who are a looking for a little more than just a simple wallet.
Da Vinci is back with another leather Kickstarter project, and they’ve sent us a sample for a review. Their Daily wallet is a good size to fit plenty of bills, all kept secure with the button closure.
About Da Vinci Workshop
Inspired by its namesake scientist and inventor, founder Alexey started Da Vinci Workshop in the Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye. Da Vinci has been selling their items at local fairs and shops for some time, but is hoping to move into the world market and begin a website with the help of their already fully-funded Kickstarter.
Leather & Construction
Da Vinci uses top grain leather for their wallets. It appears to be a chrome tan, due to the softness. This is almost an over-constructed wallet, due to the thickness the hand-stitched thread and leather. This leads to a wallet that will take plenty of a beating but still be very soft in your hands and pleasant to use.
The button wallet is very simple. Inside you have a mere two card slots and the bill pocket. Truthfully, I’m a card carrier, and it was off-putting to me to not have more card space. However, the wallet is oversized, and I was actually able to fit everything I wanted to pretty easily. I put a couple cards in each slot, and a couple more in the bill pocket. It’s spacious enough that things are easy to get to in this arrangement.
I do like the button closure. I haven’t used many wallets with this feature, but it gives a bit of piece of mind that your wallet won’t open and things won’t go flying. The button is easy to open, but not so loose that it will open unexpectedly.
Da Vinci used a nice matte black all over for this wallet. I often think of motorcyclists when I see black leather, however, the smooth matte look of this wallet doesn’t give off that vibe too strongly. Similar to their long wallet that we reviewed, the black is very conservative, but also very stylish. It’s going to fit in in most situations nicely.
It’s great to see a small company trying to make their way into the world leather scene. Da Vinci makes some classy products, and this button wallet is a great new option for Kickstarter backers. A small number of pockets are compensated for with an oversized design that’s very easy to use, and the $55 backer price is reasonable. Swing on over to Kickstarter and check out this project.
My interest in handmade leather products started just about a year ago when I finished my summer internship. I had a nice chunk of savings and wanted to treat myself to a small gift. After thinking of what I could use, I decided on a new wallet. I found Popov leather after just a few minutes of googling and I was hooked.
Ryan’s site was really an eye-opener for me- it helped me learn about all the pieces that make up quality leather and handmade wallets. It led me to purchasing my own card holder from them, and I absolutely love it to this day. I would honestly encourage you to go through the site and watch some of his videos to learn more about leather products and how they’re made. For now, let’s talk about the Leather Card Holder in Driftwood.
The card holder, like many others, is a vertical minimalist wallet with 3 pockets. The basic build is simple: two pieces of leather are cut out, folded over, and sewn shut. Great design often does the most with the least, and this card holder is no exception. But the truth is the devil is in the details here.
All the wallets at Popov are hand sewn with Tiger Thread, forming a tight seal that will stand the test of time. The leather they use for this product is Horween’s full-grain chromexcel, a durable hide which will give your wallet a great patina as you continue to use it. Finally, all the edges are burnished and polished to complete the look and feel.
The driftwood color is almost like a light brown, so a pretty neutral tone that can go with almost anything. In the short time I’ve had it, however, the leather has already begun to darken quite a bit. It goes well with the red stitching version Ryan sent me, but there are plenty of styles between the leathers and threads to match your personal taste.
I’ve been using the card holder for almost 4 weeks at this point, and I can faithfully say that it allows me to carry all the essentials. I keep four credit cards in the main pocket, which were admittedly tight in the beginning (allow some time for the leather to expand). My wallet usually has a few bills in the front part of the wrap-around, while my ID and registration sit in the back.
If you’re already a minimalist wallet enthusiast, I would definitely recommend this piece. Everything I mentioned above is held tightly in the wallet- it takes some serious shaking to get cards to fall out. Since the whole wallet has an open design, removing items is always quick and easy.
I’ll admit that this review is somewhat biased. Would you expect a completely honest review from a car enthusiast about the first car he got as an 18 year old kid? But here’s what you can know for certain: the Leather Card Holder from Popov leather is made with quality leather and stitching. It’s all put together and detailed by hand in their British Columbia shop. And at just $35, there are few comparable handmade products available at this price.
Today we’re going to look at another great product from Brookes & Hyde. This Money Clip is made with soft Horween leather and gives those who carry cash a great, minimal option in high-end wallets.
About Brookes & Hyde
It’s been my pleasure to get to know Connor Sambrookes, owner and founder of Brookes & Hyde, over the last year or so and several reviews. Connor started Brookes & Hyde as a senior thesis project. Hoping to design shoes, he began work for a company designing products for some of the biggest names out there. It was at this job the opportunity to apprentice under a highly experienced leather craftsman came about, leading to creating his own products and founding the company. Brookes & Hyde has grown quite a bit since we began working with them. The company continues as a one man show out of Cincinnati, Ohio, recently winning an audience choice award at a local ArtWork’s Big Pitch competition!
Leather & Construction
This money clip is made with Horween Plush. This is a very soft leather that feels great in your hand. The largest main pocket is lined with the same. Edges are carefully painted and stitching is uniform. On the back, the money clip utilizes a nice and strong magnet stitched into the leather.
Brookes & Hyde has always impressed me with the caliber of their construction, and this money clip is no exception. As you hold this wallet in your hand it’s hard to deny the luxury feel.
This is definitely a minimalist wallet. The leather is very thin, resulting in a forget-it’s-there thin profile. I’d place card capacity at about five, three in the main compartment and one in each front pocket. Any more cards and it gets difficult to get them in and out, since they’re so tightly held together. The leather is also soft, however, and could be stretched to fit more. So stretchy, in fact, that it’s wise to face your credit card in the outermost pocket in, lest the card numbers become visible through the leather on the outside!
The money clip is definitely the trait that should make the decision on this wallet. The magnet is nice and strong. I experimented to find roughly what the capacity of the clip is. Ten bills, laid flat, aren’t going anywhere. If I fold those same ten bills once for twenty layers, it took some pretty serious turbulence to make them slip. Folded into thirds, for thirty layers, the bills held in rest, but easily fell out when disturbed. American bills push right up against the edges of the wallet size-wise when folded in half.
If you only need a small handful of cards but like to carry a decent amount of cash, this should be a good choice for you.
The Horween Plush leather is both soft and beautiful. The texture is smooth, having just the right amount of sheen. At the same time, from a distance, this is a very conservative and simple wallet. I’m a fan of these sorts of understated products, the ones that are truly appreciated only upon careful inspection.
Cons: Low effective card capacity, not ideal for rugged use.
In conclusion, the Brookes & Hyde Money Clip Wallet is a luxurious and minimal wallet favoring the cash holders out there. Assembly is expertly done with details in mind and the Horween Plush looks and feels fantastic. While you’ll pay somewhat of a premium for these features, the price does roughly match up with what we’d expect from these levels of materials and craftsmanship. If you like to carry plenty of bills yet want a minimal wallet with a gorgeous understated design, this offering from Brookes & Hyde is for you.
I get a lot of questions and comments when I tell people that I write for a leather review website. Often I’ll be asked for product suggestions. My friends will comment about how worn out their cheap wallets are, and would like a quality one, but can’t break the bank to do so. The Brullen Bill Fold Leather Wallet is exactly the type of product I’d suggest. It’s made from high quality leather, has a classic look that anyone will appreciate, and is aggressively priced for the category.
Brullen was founded in 2014 when founder Alex Harrera was driven by a frustration with low quality products found amongst designer brands. There’s definitely some effort put into the fashion of their products, and Brullen’s items have even been featured in GQ magazine!
Their company is focused on making quality products, “like they used to,” at great prices. ‘Brullen’ means scream or roar, with their Lions Head logo representing the company’s values (and looks really cool doing it).
All Brullen products are made in the USA.
Leather and Construction
This bifold is constructed with a pull-up leather. It’s a gorgeous material with plenty of color variation. The leather is thin, which minimizes wallet thickness, and full-grain leather is strong enough to hold up to wear. The main pocket is lined with a smooth material. The leather is folded over the edges of this material and sewn into place.
The wallet is machine sewed with a fine thread, and edges are painted and burnished by hand. Overall, construction is well done, with no noticeable flaws.
Wallets are simple products, so we have to look at the fine details to see what distinguishes them.
One of the first thing that stands out is that there’s not the usual “secret pocket” I usually see, hidden behind the card slots on either side. Capacity wise, this shouldn’t be an issue, as the card pockets are designed to be able to hold 12 cards total. Twelve would be a tight fit at first, but the pull up leather has some stretch and should be able to accommodate. In addition, no secret card pocket means less thickness overall. This difference comes down to preference.
There’s a tradeoff with the lining in the main pocket, as well. On one hand, it introduces additional stitching and a weaker material than leather. On the other hand, it makes inserting bills easier than leather, which can take quite a while to break in and become smooth.
I like the curve on the top of the card pockets. It makes it easy to place one corner of the card in and guide it into place.
In addition to the price point, the looks of Brullen’s billfold are another reason I’d love to suggest this wallet to a friend. While managing to remain conservative enough for most users, this wallet also has subtle flares of style. It was featured in GQ, after all!
My two favorite aesthetic aspects are the color variation of the pull-up leather and the Brullen Lion’s Head metal logo. They both catch your eye and beg you to grab the wallet and pull it in close for further inspection.
The Brullen Bill Fold Leather Wallet is a fantastic entry-level choice for someone looking for a new wallet. It’s well constructed with good materials, functions as expected, and has a fantastic look. On top of it all, the price is just right. I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest this wallet to friends, family, and our BestLeather readers.
As the second wallet in Minimum Squared’s new lineup we’re reviewing this year, today we’re going to look at their Minimalist Wallet. Their award-winning Slim Wallet is a full sized bifold wallet that keeps an impressively thin profile, but the Minimalist takes that a step further. This wallet is cleverly designed to not only hold cards, but give easy access to a few receipts or cash bills.
About Minimum Squared
Minimum Squared is the product of a couple, Adrian and Sanela, who were seeking to fill a need of their own. This attempt was so successful that it became a commercial success. It began with their Red Dot Design Award-winning Slim Wallet Elastic, which we had the pleasure of reviewing a few years ago (check it out here for even more about Minimum Squared), and has evolved to a collection of four wallets. Today we’ll visit the Minimalist Wallet.
Leather & Construction
Similar to the Slim Wallet, the Minimalist Wallet is made from a single piece of Horween Chromexcel that has been folded and sewn into the shape you see. Thread is polyester and saddle stitched. Edges aren’t burnished but are cut well and smooth.
Construction is excellently done, with no flaws. The caliber of the leather and stitch leads me to believe this wallet will last a lifetime. The elastic used to secure the top flap may wear out, but should be relatively easy to replace.
At first, I thought the Minimalist Wallet was simply a card holder, but there actually is a secret trick up its sleeve. The top flap acts as a clever slot for cash or receipts. You slide one side of the bills into the slot, then tuck the other side behind your cards. In order to access cards, use the wallet normally, without pushing the top flap back too far. If you want to flip through your bills, you can push the top flap back further, and they pop out from behind your cards for easy access. I wasn’t sure how usable this feature would be, but after trying it a few times I was surprised by how well it works!
Overall, this is definitely a minimalist product. The dimensions are barely larger than the cards within, making it easy to forget it’s in your pocket. Minimum Squared suggests 4-7 cards can be held, but I’d reduce that to about five, myself. When I reached 6 cards it became fairly challenging to find and remove the card I wanted if it wasn’t at the front. However, this is leather, and will stretch a bit with use.
One tip is to use the part of the elastic inside the wallet as a card divider. You can place a few cards in front of it and a few behind it within the wallet. This makes two cards easy access: the one in front of the wallet, and the one directly behind the elastic.
I’ve always had a hard time with the one-pocket card holder type of wallets. The Minimalist Wallet makes some small improvements on the style that make it easier to use.
A minimalist wallet has a minimalist look. If you love the look of well-made leather products without flair, you’ll like the look of this wallet. The single-piece design means lots of smooth folded corners and minimal exposed edges. Minimum Squared offers a few colors of Chromexcel and several colors of thread for you to mix-and-match to your taste. I have black Chromexcel with blue thread here.
Minimalist Squared’s Minimal Wallet is well constructed of high quality materials and looks great. If you only need to carry a few credit cards and bills, the design is great for keeping them secure and fairly easy to access. The thin profile takes up hardly any room in your pocket. The price is about right for the caliber of product you’re getting. I recommend this slim wallet as a Buy It For Life item.
Be looking forward to our review of Minimum Squared’s Cardholder in a couple of months!
If there’s one item we see the most at BestLeather, it’s wallets. For the most part, they’re all made of excellent materials and feature quality craftsmanship, so much so, that reviewing them for me has almost become a jaded experience. However when I came across Mack Provisions Vintage Baseball Glove Minimalist Wallet, I got that giddy wallet fever and had to check it out.
The intriguing aspect of these wallets is that they’re made from vintage baseball gloves. The brands used can differ, and each wallet is unique.
The years typically range from the 1940s-1960s. A very cool requirement is that the original gloves have to have been originally made in the US. The thread used is American made Yellow Barbour’s 6 cord linen thread. The edges are beveled and hand-burnished with beeswax. The wallet consists of a single card compartment and money strap on back. Measures 4”x3”
This is definitely a minimalist wallet. The single card compartment doesn’t offer much organization but it does challenge you to trim your carry. Most of my loyalty and membership cards are digitally stored on my phone, which allows me a light wallet. This is great for my ID, credit card and other essentials.
The money strap works as long as you have enough cash to keep it snug. I’m personally using a paper clip to keep the cash in one wad then securing it inside the strap which allows for easier retrieval. The slim design is great for front pocket carry.
In my humble opinion, this is hands down the coolest wallet I’ve reviewed for BestLeather. The style harkens back to golden age Americana. The wallet is cleverly built around key focal points from its previous life as a baseball glove.
The Rawlins patch off center really catches the eye and the “oil treated” stamp on the money strap is a great touch. I will admit this wallet doesn’t have that great leather aroma I always look forward to, it smells like…well it smells like a 50 year old baseball glove. The character of this wallet is definitely there and so is the spirit.
I haven’t had this much fun reviewing a wallet in awhile. Mack Provisions Vintage Baseball Glove Minimalist Wallet is an aesthetic treat. While the simplicity takes a functionality hit, a little honing of your wallet essentials can make it work. At $70 bucks, it’s pricey given the leather, but the spirit of the piece definitely trumps most wallets.
Choosing which wallet to carry is a big deal for a lot of people. It’s something you use a few times a day, everyday, for years on end. A lot of folks want something that’s convenient, pleasant to look at, and durable. Thirteen50 hopes you’ll find all of that in their Wrap Around card wallet.
Last week I wrote about the Big Hoss belt from Thirteen50 Leather. If you look back at that review, you can read about how great the leather is, the quality of their production, and how their team got started in the leather business. Along with that piece, the guys sent me a minimalist wallet in a matching style.
This specific wallet is made of Old World Harness leather, just like the Big Hoss belt. Obviously, the leather used here is much thinner. It runs around 3.5 oz., just under a sixteenth of an inch. The hide is also vegetable tanned, so it has a very natural look and feel to it in your hands.
In terms of the build, the design is pretty straightforward. Essentially, the wallet is two pieces of leather laid on top of each, folded over halfway, and then sewn shut on two sides. This creates three pockets for cash and cards: two thin outer slots, and a thicker one on the inside. At the end of the process, the edges are burnished and waxed by hand.
As described on the website, this wallet aims to be minimalist, and I found that to be the case. The whole thing is really thin, especially for something with two layers of leather. I’ve been using the inner pocket for four cards, a few folded bills on one side, and my ID and registration on the other. If you’re shocked by how little I walk around with, you might not be interested in a minimalist wallet at all.
I found the Wrap Around to work great for my carry. Access to the cards and cash was pretty convenient. To get a card out of the middle slot usually means sliding them all about halfway out, then plucking out the one I wanted. If that last sentence sounded tedious to you, I assure you that it isn’t.
Remember that when using this kind of leather product, any stretching the wallet undergoes can’t be “unstretched.” So if you want to switch from using six cards to three, you might find the wallet too loose.
Like I mentioned, this wrap wallet has a very natural feel to it. You can see the grains and slight imperfections which make each hide unique. It’s not as smooth as a pull-up leather, so this style may not be the one you’re looking for. But you can expect the leather to develop a nice patina and softness over time.
With that in mind, the Wrap Around comes in a variety of leathers (Bridle, Old World, Chromexcel) and colors (ox blood, black, brown, tan, etc.). If you want something more supple, one of the Chromexcel options should be perfect.
If you’re looking for a wallet that you’ll hardly notice, the Wrap Around card wallet from Thirteen50 might be what you’re looking for. It’s a quality piece, it looks interesting, and it’s incredibly thin. The wallet comes in a ton of styles and colors that can satisfy any taste you might have.