Levart Leather 5 Card Leather Wallet Review – $54

I’ve been using the same bifold wallet for the past 6+ years and it has gotten to a point where it is unusable. There are things falling apart and it is pretty much useless. So when I say it was time for a new wallet, I truly mean it. Lucky for me, Levart Leather Goods was interested in having one of their wallets reviewed and after using their 5 Card Leather Wallet for the past few weeks I am never going back to my original wallet again.

Let’s take a closer look at this Levart wallet.


The wallet is made out of beautiful English Bridle vegetable tanned leather that is sourced from Wickett & Craig. Right away you can tell the quality of this wallet is top notch and the hand made craftsmanship add to this. I have been using this as my everyday wallet for the past few weeks and it has held up perfectly.

By design, it is a minimal and simple wallet with one card slot on the front of the wallet and 4 slots on the inside. Having only 5 card slots was new to me as I have been used to my big and bulky bifold wallet, however, I found out that I only really use 2-3 of my cards on a daily basis so this wallet was ideal. I found myself usually carrying 4 cards and then using the last open card slot as a way to carry cash.


As mentioned, this is a minimalist wallet and it plays that role well. If you are looking for a wallet that will hold 10 cards, a wad a cash, pictures and all of your receipts then this is not going to be the wallet for you. However, if you are like me and carry only a handful of cards and some cash then this will work out great for you.

The card slots themselves took a few days of use before they were broken it, but after that initial period it become much easier to quickly access the cards.

The wallet is slim enough to be carried in your front pocket if you wish, although I carried it in my back pocket the majority of the time. Overall, the functionality of this wallet was ideal after the initial breaking in period, which is to be expected.


Every time I pulled this wallet out, whether at a restaurant, bar or a baseball game, I seemed to catch a compliment from someone I was with. Granted, most of my friends are not leather lovers like myself so when they see a high quality wallet it catches their eye.

I have the black wallet with the brown tiger thread, but on Levart’s website you can choose from 3 different leather colors (burgundy, chestnut and tan) and 8 different thread colors. You even have the option to add your initials for an extra 6 bucks.


All in all, I was impressed with Levart’s 5 Card Wallet and it has completely replaced my old bifold wallet as my everyday carry. If you are looking for a high quality minimal wallet that is both functionally and aesthetically pleasing than you can;t go wrong here.

Matter of fact, we are currently running a giveaway in partnership with Levart where you have a chance to win one of these wallets as well as some other leather goods from them. If you are interested, see the form below.

[RF_CONTEST contest=’5632′]

Oak & Honey Bifold Wallet Review – $84

If I ever come into a ridiculously large sum of money, one of my things to do on a list would be to hand out upgraded wallets to strangers. Sure, there are other humanitarian efforts I’d make, but that’s a later conversation. I was reminded of the common practice of buying cheap department store wallets the other day in the checkout line at a local grocer.

An older man took out a wallet that was reminiscent of the exploding wallet, definitely having got out of hand. I’m clear and convinced that there is a style of wallet out their for everyone, whether they carry a lot of things or very few things in it. One of those wallets is the Deluxe Bifold Wallet by Oak & Honey Leather Goods. I got the chance to talk with the shop owner, Steven Gircys, and utilize this piece for today’s review.

About Oak & Honey

Oak & Honey was started as a part-time project by Steven Gircys. In January, he was able to depart his previous career in the film industry and run the Toronto-based Oak & Honey shop full-time from his home. Part of his inspiration comes from a bug I feel many makers get – seeing too many flimsy cheap quality belts and wallets flooding the market. I’m a firm believer that when makers resist capitalist mindsets and profit-driven production, they aim toward making goods that will last.  In addition to wallets, Steven has answered made-to-order requests, with varieties ranging from portfolios, motorcycle bags, all the way to full on briefcases.

Different leather options are available via the website. Photo by Steven Gircys.


On its surface, the wallet appears to follow the traditional bifold setup. What’s different is the full grain leather in Dark Brown Bridle, which feels amazing. The edges are also nicely burnished and painted, with a slight shine to them. My only regret posting this review is that I have not worn it in enough to make the exterior shine, much like wallets get when developing a unique patina. Being all bridle leather, it starts out pretty stiff, but there are options for a chromexcel exterior with just the interior being made in bridle.

The interior of the wallet is also set up traditionally, with a cash slot and card slots on either side. Hidden pockets are located underneath the card slots to hold cards you don’t normally reach for or wish to have out of the way. The thickness of the wallet is pretty standard for bi-folds, and dependent on the number of cards and cash that are stored.

With extended use the wallet thickness will mold to be slightly slimmer than shown here.


As with any new wallet, the card slots took a minute to break in. Though at this point the wallet isn’t fully broken in, the ease of access for cards has improved. Being a bi-fold, there is a little too much bulk to carry in the front pocket, but it fits nicely into back pockets or shoulder bags. The wallet isn’t meant to be minimalist, so I’d recommend it to those that do carry a few cards or hold on to receipts and cash.

The hidden pockets are perfect for storing guitar picks without printing.


The simple but detailed finishing of this wallet is what makes me reach for it among other bi-folds. The pressed logo does not detract from the overall design, and overall the piece is finished very well. The color is a deep brown, one of which I’d like to match with a belt and shoes.I have not discovered any errors in the stitching, and it is grooved into the leather slightly as to avoid premature abrasions from rubbing. Though my wallet was all one color, I have to say the two-tone variations Steven has definitely catch my attention.

Simple pressed logo on the front of the wallet. Also note, the nicely hand-stitched details.


Literally all of my wallets I’ve purchased or owned beforehand have either been chromexcel or raw vegetable tanned leather. This was a first for a bridle leather wallet for me and I am impressed. A few of my bags have bridle leather straps so I trust this wallet to hold up just as those do. At $84 I believe that’s an extremely competitive price for a quality bifold and would be worth the money and longevity of the piece.

As the site is Canadian based, make sure to click the currency logos to change to US dollars in the top right corner on the web pages.  The option to have a two-toned wallet with a chromexcel exterior and bridle interior is definitely something I’d recommend any bifold wallet user pursue. In fact, we are hosting a giveaway of one of the Oak & Honey wallets you can check out below.

[RF_CONTEST contest=’5398′]

Another photo by Steven Gircys showcasing the two-tone option.

District Leather Metro Review – $225

Shell cordovan is often considered the granddaddy of leathers. It’s tough as can be, and holds a shine better than many can believe. How about a wallet that’s not only made with shell, but made of a rare, Horween marbled color #4 shell? District Leather’s Metro wallet is just that.

About District Leather

It’s been my pleasure to get to know Bill of District Leather over the last few months as we’ve discussed his review and many things leather. A software engineer recently turned full time leather artisan, Bill has a passion for leather. He goes out of his way to secure some of the best and rarest leathers out there for his products, and this passion extends into his construction and design. If the Metro is any indication, I could see District Leather becoming a well-revered name in the leather world.

Construction & Leather

As mentioned, the Metro is constructed with Horween’s shell cordovan leather. It might be said that quality, full grain leather can last a lifetime, but that shell cordovan can last multiple lifetimes. The underside is a very tight suede texture, soft and great to feel, and on the top is that incomparable smooth shine only shell can provide.

Stitching is done by hand, using linen thread, and is expertly uniform. Edge burnishing is gorgeous. District Leather puts a lot of love into these edges, and it shows. They are stunningly smooth. The feel and look is fantastic, some of the best I’ve ever seen.

The construction of this wallet is impeccable from any angle.


In addition to being well crafted of superb materials, the Metro also presents a totally unique take on a minimal billfold wallet. On the left side you’ve got a vertical card pocket with an extra slot cut into it for one quick-access card. On the right, a very unique open card storage area. It’s hard to describe, so I’ll refer to the photos, but this is a fun take on card storage with several ways to use it. I eventually favored having my most frequently used card resting in the bottom slot of this area. I was worried it would fall out of my wallet easily, but never had any problems, and it was super quick to grab and put back.

The Metro is designed to hold 4-6 cards, but District Leather advertises it can hold up to 12, plus some folded cash or receipts. I never pushed my Metro this hard, keeping my card count around six. This is shell cordovan we’re talking about, so anything more than just a few cards will take some wear in, especially if you’re pushing the limits.

Kindly disregard my cheap fast food tastes.

This is a very unique design, and it will likely take some getting used to. It’s very cleverly made to keep the Metro thin and still capable of holding quite a few cards. At first I found the design unfamiliar, but eventually I came to like it quite a bit. I appreciated being able to arrange cards in various ways and experiment with what worked best for me.


Wow. I’m relatively confident I heard some singing in the background when I first set my eyes on the Metro. This wallet is gorgeous. The streamlined design and buttery smooth edge burnishing would make it look good regardless of material, but the marbled color #4 shell cordovan makes it downright sexy. It makes me smile every time I pull it out of my pocket. I’m confident my pictures here can’t do this beautiful wallet justice, but I hope they can give an idea.


Shell cordovan is the king of leathers, and District Leather’s Metro does it superb justice. The gorgeous color #4 shell is complimented by excellent construction, burnishing, and a fresh clever design. Low cost isn’t one of shell cordovan’s virtues, but the Metro is priced competitively for its class–worth every penny. I can’t recommend this wallet enough. It’s a Buy It For Life product that you’re going to love.

Minimum Squared Slim Wallet – €165

Typically we look to leather to provide us with very durable goods. To be honest, it can be rare to see a large amount of variation in the design of those products. That’s why the Minimum Squared Slim Wallet stands out quite a bit. It’s made with tried-and-true Chromexcel leather, but designed in a completely unique way. While remaining highly functional, the Slim Wallet is both beautiful and slim.

About Minimum Squared

Minimum Squared is the product of a couple, Adrian and Senala, 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 Slim Wallet, a slightly modified version of their flagship wallet. We will also be reviewing the rest of their new models in the upcoming months.

Construction & Leather

When I first received the Slim Wallet and was looking it over, I realized something incredible: this is all one piece of leather! The leather is cleverly cut, folded, and stitched into a slim and highly functional wallet.

The leather is Horween Chromexcel, which means pull-up and a soft yet sturdy feel. The Chromexcel is some of the thinnest I’ve seen used. This allows the wallet to be extremely minimal and remain very functional, though it may prevent it from holding up for a lifetime. Chromexcel is, however, extremely durable, and the Slim Wallet will certainly last for many years to come.

Thread is polyester and saddle stitched, so both material and method are of the highest quality.

The Slim Wallet is cleverly designed, uses fantastic materials, and is expertly assembled.


The Slim Wallet is a pleasure to use. The amount it can hold and remain as slim as it does, complements of the thin Chromexcel and clever one-piece design, is truly incredible. Both cards and currency are easy to place and easy to remove.

The four card pockets can hold a total of 10 credit cards. Each of these pockets is designed just so to hold either two or three cards. Sometimes card pockets need some real break-in to make cards easy to access, but not so with the Slim Wallet. The smooth chromexcel and perfectly sized pockets make them slide in and out with ease from day one.

The cash pocket is uniquely designed in that one side isn’t stitched closed. This makes it easy to hold open the cash pocket, see all of your bills or receipts, and remove and replace them quickly. There is much less push and pull on the bills you don’t need to access.

The Slim Wallet remains very thin even with a full load of cash and cards. This is even more impressive considering the width and height–as Minimum Squared intended, it’s barely larger than the profile of the credit cards it’s meant to hold. This is the only folded wallet I’ve managed to forget was in my pocket. It also fits really well in the hands when you’re using it.

The only functional difference between the Slim Wallet and the Slim Wallet Elastic, as you might be able to guess, is the elastic. This means the Slim Wallet will need to be closed with the thin flap hidden behind the full-sized folds. In addition, the Slim Wallet is only offered in Chromexcel, where the Elastic is only offered in goat leather.


The look of the Slim Wallet is simple and understated. It’s hard to go wrong with Horween’s color #8. It’s a gorgeous deep red, and the Slim Wallet shows it off well. The design itself is very aesthetic as well, particularly when you take a closer look and realize how clever it is. There aren’t any rough edges exposed, only smooth folds. Stitching is impressively uniform (and can be a variety of colors of your choosing). The Slim Wallet is beautiful in its functionality and simplicity, not from any excess or flashiness.


Minimum Squared’s Slim Wallet is a fantastic evolution of their award-winning Elastic. It’s one of the most clever designs I’ve ever seen. Yet this clever design is not at all just for the sake of being clever or for looks: the Slim Wallet is pure functionality. The surprising amount of cards and cash it can hold are always easy to access, and the slim form won’t take up almost any space in your pocket. All of this functionality doesn’t sacrifice the Slim Wallet’s simple and beautiful look. It’s certainly on the pricey side, but you’re getting what you pay for. I highly recommend this excellent wallet.

Pierpont Leather Lizardskin Cardholder – $345

Bringing another item that appeals to the crowd who won’t settle for anything but the best, today we’re reviewing the Pierpont Leather Lizardskin Cardholder. This card wallet meets every functional standard while offering an elevated experience compliments of the luxury exotic leathers and superb construction.

About Pierpont Leather

“Pierpont Leather started as the eponymous creation of its founder, Parker Pierpont, as a medium through which to produce beautiful and unique items from the finest leathers available on the market. After years of practice and hundreds of thousands of stitches, Pierpont solidified his understanding of traditional workmanship through friendships and mentorships with some of the finest artisans in world, an intensive training with a former Hermès master artisan, and thousands of hours of meticulous study. His focus on an ever deeper understanding of the craft is the basis and guiding principal of all work done through Pierpont Leather.”


The inner leather of this custom card wallet is made with “Chèvre Mysore.” This isn’t a term we use too often here at BestLeather due to its somewhat proprietary feel; this leather is well known for being commonly used for Hermes bags (making Pierpont’s use of it quite understandable, as I mention in the previous section). Chèvre Mysore is a fine goatskin leather, well known for a strong grain pattern and high durability. 

The outer is, of course, lizardskin. It’s rare to use a product made with an “exotic” leather, but it’s a treat. This lizardskin has an awesome feel to it…think of when you got to touch the lizards at the zoo as a kid! It’s also very strong. So far no keys, fingernails, anything has been able to mark it in any way. It’s a remarkable material!

The thread used for this cardholder is linen, which is saddle stitched. Stitching is very uniform and sturdy. Similar to Pierpont’s French calfskin wallet, the edging on the wallet is very fine. Refined from a time consuming finishing process, it’s extremely polished and smooth. Construction is immaculate, and I have yet to find any flaws. 


Functionally, this is a very simple wallet. Each of the four pockets holds two cards comfortably for a total of eight. You could force more in, but the wallet isn’t oversized and would stretch a bit. I appreciate the closed design; none of my cards edges are exposed when the wallet isn’t opened, meaning there’s no chance of them slipping out. However, when I need them, cards are very easy to slide in and out. The Mysore and lizardskin are stitched together such that the wallet keeps itself closed along a center spine. 

While certainly nothing fancy functionally, at its core the lizardskin card wallet is a great minimal card holder.


As you would expect from leathers and assembly of this caliber, the wallet is beautiful. The lizard scales shine well and really pop visually–it exudes extravagance. Then, upon closer inspection, you can see the fine natural variance in the scales, reminding you that this is the real deal, not an imprint or knock off. Truthfully, I’m not used to carrying products of this caliber! It’s a level of refinement that catches others off guard and starts conversations.

The Chèvre Mysore inside gives a slight accent when the wallet is closed, and feels a bit like your own personal flair hiding on the inside of the lush scales on the outside. I may have not gone with yellow myself, however, Pierpont Leather works in bespoke goods, and offers a wide range of colors to suit your own taste.


Pierpont Leather’s demographic isn’t the customer who needs only functionality or durability. Instead the aim is for the customer who, alongside those attributes, recognizes and appreciates the finest of materials. The lizardskin and Mysore leathers of this wallet are gorgeous, unique, and tough as nails. The edging and construction are done well and with attention to the overall high-end feel of the materials. This is a premium, Buy It For Life, highly recommended product. Head over to Pierpont Leather’s website and check out their wide variety of bespoke options.

Pierpont Leather informs me their products have reached an even higher level of refinement than what we’ve seen here. Be looking forward to another of their products up for review in the coming months!

Da Vinci Workshop Wallet Kickstarter

The quality of leather doesn’t depend on the size of the company, and we at BestLeather are always pleased to bring some attention to a smaller company making good products. Da Vinci Workshop has recently started their first Kickstarter and was kind enough to provide us a sample for a quick review.

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.


Da Vinci Workshop takes pride in fully completing construction of their products by hand. Construction quality is high. Stitching is done with thick waxed thread and is very well done. Edges appear to be smoothed, but not burnished thoroughly. Cuts are uniform and construction overall is good.

The leather used is chrome-tanned, top grain calfskin, treated with some beeswax conditioner before leaving the shop. The calfskin is extremely soft, with a gentle matte feel to the outer and a slightly more suede feel on the inside. Chrome tanned leather may not be as tough or develop the patina of veg tan, but does have the benefit of softness and handling water more easily without treatment.

The leather originally had a reasonably strong burnt smell to it, but Da Vinci informs me this has something to do with the shipping conditions and that the fade will disappear. It has already faded considerably over just a few days.


This is actually the first full-length wallet I’ve used! I wasn’t sure how I’d end up feeling about it. Of course, it doesn’t quite fit in a back pocket, but there are advantages as well. It does fit nicely in an inner suit pocket and doesn’t get lost as easily in my every day carry bag.

Plus, of course, it can hold plenty of items. I’d put small papers I picked up throughout the day in the larger pockets alongside my cash. I could keep a pencil or pen in the center of the fold. I even was able to keep my phone in there if I wanted. I think the ladies out there will be used to this from their larger purse wallets, but I wasn’t as familiar.

There wasn’t quite as much room for cards as I would have liked, each of the three card slots feeling full with two cards. However, Da Vanci does offer other more roomy models than the base “Simple” wallet that I have here.


This Simple wallet I’ve received is essentially all black, and is easy to fit into most environments. The soft leather gives a pretty casual feel, but when sitting flat it does have a nice shine that fits in nicely with a suit as well. Da Vinci offers the wallet in other colors as well, and all of them are understated and should fit many situations well.

I think overall the wallet is fairly gender neutral. I wondered if I’d feel a bit out of place using a long wallet, but with the strong simple look, it is plenty masculine. I think men and women will appreciate the design of Da Vinci’s wallets.


The Da Vinci Workshop Simple wallet is well constructed with soft, quality leather. There’s plenty of room for most small items you could want, including your typical cash and credit cards (larger models can hold even more). The simple design is easy to fit into most situations. I think this would be a worthwhile Kickstarter to support if their wallets suit your style.

Economic Wallet Roundup

This article will be an ongoing coverage of less expensive, quality leather wallets. If you’d like your company’s to be considered, please email [email protected].

We love the highest end goods out there, but sometimes one needs to enjoy leather and save the bank. Here we’re going to bring together some of our favorite recent wallets that fall within a lower price range.

North Star Leather Horween Leather Money Clip – $45

It’s becoming more and more rare to carry cash these days. So much so that most people had to ask me what the clip part of this wallet is! For those who do still practice the art, let me present the North Star Leather Horween Leather Money Clip.

Made of Horween’s Chromexcel, you can be sure the leather itself is of high caliber. I have the red brown version, and it’s offered in natural as well. The design is simple and good looking. The stitching varied a little, actually getting closer to an edge than I would have liked in one place, but not enough to cause any durability issues.

Functionally this will favor those who like to carry just a few cards and like a big space for their cash and receipts. The card pockets on each side held two cards each for me; you could probably manage three. Then there’s the money clip, which functioned well and held as much as I ever needed to carry. Pop it open, lay things flat, pop it closed, and hold it together with the rest of the wallet.

For those who do recognize and appreciate a good money clip, you’ll like this wallet. There’s no frills but at only $45 it’s a shoe in for our economic wallet roundup.

Kendal & Hyde Simpleton 1

Most of Kendal & Hyde‘s customers can’t get enough of their boots, belts, and bags. Their Simpleton 1 wallet is made with the same fantastic leather concept and is a great minimal card carry.

The Simpleton uses a classic wrap-and-sew card holder design, with a main storage pocket and a single easy access slot in front. I’ve found an ideal fill to be about four cards in the main pocket. This makes them fit snugly but leaves some room for cash or receipts if needed, and doesn’t put too much pressure on the single card slot.


Edges are gently burnished, and stitches are a nice thick marine grade polyester, machine sewed. The construction leads me to believe this little cardholder will last a lifetime.


The Simpleton 1, sadly, isn’t sold anymore on Kendal & Hyde’s website, but we’re told they have some other wallet ideas coming out soon. If Kendal & Hyde has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes the best products are worth the wait.

Update (March 2017): Sadly, Kendal & Hyde is no longer in business. Many of their designs have been revived by SALT Co.

E3 Supply Co Holster Style Slim Wallet – $39

Gotta love a design unique enough that it’s hard to know what it is: I showed E3 Supply Co’s Holster Style Slim Wallet to a friend without cards in it, and was immediately asked “…what is it?” Once I put cards in it, that confusion turned to envy. Something about the open corners design feels both cool and rugged, and being made of thick, strong, and supple Chromexcel obviously doesn’t hurt one little bit.


Functionally, the Holster is a single, slim card pocket. It needs at least a few cards in order to keep things snug, and will get hard to use with too many. I’d say 3-6 cards is ideal. With a single large pocket it is sometimes necessary to pull out all of the cards to reach one, but thankfully you can put your most common cards on the outside of the pile to make them easy to access. Folded up cash and receipts slip in nicely.


Once you get used to where you place your fingers as you take cards in and out (at first I kept accidentally pushing out all of my cards!), the design is great to use, and is overall extremely minimal. If you just need to carry a handful of cards and love the rugged look, the E3 Holster Style Slim Wallet is inexpensive, made with the incomparable Horween Chromexcel, and should last for years to come.

Great and inexpensive wallets will continue to be added to this roundup as we come across them! Email [email protected] if you’d like your company’s to be considered. 

Turek Leather Works Hennepin Wallet Review – $89

We are privileged to experience many wallets here at BestLeather. One thing I’ve learned from reviewing so many is that often a very simple design can be the most pleasant to use, and Turek Leather Work’s Hennepin wallet is a great example of this. Made with Horween Chormexcel, the Hennepin is great to the touch and is a great option for a front-pocket wallet.

Turek Leather Works is based in Illinois, making all their products right here in the USA. They name their products after legendary explorers and adventurers. The Hennepin is named after Louis Hennepin, known for his exploration of interior America in the 17th century. In a small way following its namesake, the Hennepin wallet was designed for those venturing towards the new trend of front pocket wallets.

Handmade with Horween’s famous Chromexcel leather, the Hennepin is very soft to the touch and feels great in your hands. At the same time, the leather is a good thickness and durability isn’t an issue. The thick thread is saddle stitched and expertly done with no irregularities.

Functionally there’s not any surprises. Four card slots that can handle about two cards each and a “hidden” pocket behind them. The slots are all easy to use, and this wallet works well with as much or as little as you need. I’d say the only small glitch is that the softness of the chromexcel and the stitches along the top edge occasionally cause a snag when I’m pulling cards in and out of the back pockets.

The two things that make the Hennepin stand out to me the most are the aesthetic and the “feel” of using it.

Visually, it’s a pleasure. The Chromexcel shows just enough of its distinct marbling texture on the outside to give a sort of mysterious, deep look. On the inside the coveted Horween stamp! The color of the thread stands out yet compliments the brown of the leather.

It’s can be hard to describe the “feel” of a product, but here goes. First, the Hennepin has a good weight distribution. It’s nice and easy to flip open and closed. Also, Chromexcel has a soft yet sturdy feel in your hands. The size and thickness is just right to grip and pull in and out of your pockets. The bottom line is that the Hennepin is the kind of wallet that puts a smile on your face when you get to use it.

The look and feel are great, handmade construction is impeccable, and Horween’s Chromexcel never fails to satisfy. The price point is on par for the caliber of this wallet, and I highly recommend the Turek Leather Works Hennepin wallet.

Rugged Material Slim Bifold Review – $60-65

Stepping away from department store wallets and into the world of handcrafted, built-to-last goods is a difficult step. Even before I came to write for BestLeather, I had taken a dive and purchased multiple styles of high quality wallets, as I like rotation and variety. When it comes down to suggesting one wallet for friends and colleagues I give advice to, I’m torn between two styles – the traditional bifold, and slim front pocket designs. At that crossroad, the user ultimately will have to let me know which way they want to go. Tyler Condie of Rugged Material recently threw a wrench into my usual advice given. He developed the Rugged Material Slim Bifold that comfortably can carry large or small amounts of cards while remaining slim enough to carry in the front pocket of most men’s jeans.

Tyler Condie and the folks at Rugged Materials pride themselves in being able to make goods in the USA, guaranteed for life.  Based out of Utah, Rugged Materials has been in the business of offering wallets, bags, and other leather accessories at a direct-to-consumer price. This means that instead of outsourcing production, they make their products in-house using materials made in the USA. This saves the consumers costs significantly and ensures a better value.

The slim bifold is constructed of two relatively thin pieces of Horween Chromexcel leather in burgundy. It is also offered in a variety of other Chromexcel colors. The aroma and quality of Horween Chromexcel is the perfect choice for Rugged Materials to utilize. The thin profile of the leather allows for flexibility while remaining strong and durable like full grain leather should be. Marine grade polyester thread is used to stitch together the pieces of leather. The interior sports a Made In USA stamp in the cash slot and a mountain logo on the exterior. Over my use, the exterior logo has started to fade or smear slightly, making me wish it was laser-burned like the logo on the messenger bag I gave first impressions on. Nonetheless, both logos are subtle and very appealing. The outside edges are nicely burnished and have held up over my use.

The inner setup of the wallet is where the slim characteristics of the bifold are accomplished. Going with a horizontal setup to the cards, as the card pockets stretch from accommodating multiple cards, they appear to be less likely to have cards slip out of the top of the wallet, and instead slip in towards each other. This is the idea behind Rugged Material’s design and so far it has proven to be functional in providing minimal layering that avoids unnecessary bulk. Each side sports two card pockets as well as a slot behind for storing extra cards. For my setup, I chose to put one card in each pocket and the rest of my cards behind in the bigger slots. You could easily stack two cards in each of the four slots, but I choose to carry a minimal amount of cards. For the cash slot, I don’t usually carry a lot of cash but over the course of use, I did at one time have 14 bills in and it did not add unnecessary bulk. At all times I was able to carry in front or rear pocket of jeans.

Comprehensively, the Rugged Material Slim Bifold Wallet is a great candidate to upgrade the wallet of yourself or a dear friend. The inner card setup is definitely a change from traditional wallets, but with good thought process towards its design. Priced at $60 I would consider it a bargain for those stepping away from department store wallets. At just $5 more, the same wallet but with RFID blocking materials can be purchased which is well worth the protection against card scan thefts. Accompanied by a lifetime warranty, this is the perfect gift for the holiday season or upcoming birthdays and celebrations.  With the ability to arrive before Christmas, the RFID version of the wallet can also be purchased through Amazon.


Kisetsu Aki Wallet in Crazy Horse Leather – $99

We review products quite often that are a part of our reader’s “everyday carry” items. A typical everyday carry includes wallet, keys, cell phone, and often a multi-tool Swiss Army type knife. The Kisetsu Aki wallet is mostly wallet, and a bit of the multi-tool. This wallet has more features than any I’ve personally used, and manages it all in an impressively minimal form.


Let’s make a quick list. Inside this thin package we’ve got:

  • External single card pocket
  • Internal single card quick access pocket
  • Pull-out thicker pocket for multiple less-used cards
  • Pen
  • Cash/receipt strap
  • Micro-SD card slot
  • Secure coin pocket

The first of the Aki’s signature features is the external single card pocket, or what they call the “ninja slot.” This card will be hidden when not in use, but when you push on the small window, the card pops up just enough to grab. My hope is that this will become more smooth with lots of use, but in the weeks I’ve used it, it’s actually been fairly hard to push the card up. Pro tips: using both hands makes it easier, and cards with textured or raised lettering are much easier to push out than perfectly smooth cards. Despite the force necessary, having a card accessible without needing to open the rest of the wallet does have a certain convenience to it. 


The inner multi-card pocket uses a pull tab for easy access, and the single card pocket on top of that is good for your second most used card. Cards are RFID protected. 

I’m a big fan of the pen. It’s tiny and barely noticeable in the crease of the wallet, but has saved me a handful of times. The Aki comes with a single replacement cartridge. 

Next up is the cash/receipt strap. The best part of this feature is that there’s no dormant space taken up if you don’t have any cash on you. Since I rarely have cash or receipts, this was great for me. When I actually do use it it’s a bit more cumbersome than a typical cash slot. It does make things more visible and, if handled correctly, easier to get out, but placing things in it is tricky and the pile of paper can get in the way of other features, such as the coin pouch.


While we’re talking about the coin pouch…this is something I use very rarely, but sure is handy when I need it. The edge of the pocket has a small flap that you can slip under the pocket itself to keep coins secure. It takes a second to open and close, but has never let coins slip out and, like the cash strap, takes up no unnecessary space.

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Clearly the emphasis here is the swiss-army level feature set in a thin package, but of course we at BestLeather have to discuss the leather, other materials, and construction. The leather used for the Aki is called “crazy horse leather.” Crazy horse is, contrary to the name, a cow leather. It has some pull up properties, and a touch of the suede/nubuck feel at the surface. Kisetsu uses full grain crazy horse for the Aki. It is thin and has been sewn and folded over several non-leather components such as what appears to be a nylon lining for the coin pocket and other features. The non-leather materials become the weakest link, likely breaking down within an owner’s lifetime. However, construction is overall good, and the Aki should last for quite a few years.


If you’re looking for a product that leverages some of the good qualities of leather and combines that with lots of fun and useful features in a minimal/front pocket package, I’d recommend the Kisetsu Aki. Kisetsu has clearly put lots of thought into this product. Not all the features function as nicely as I hoped, but I’d say the biggest advantage of the Aki is that it’s incredibly thin and makes it very easy to go minimal, but has the necessary accommodations for when you do need to hold more. 


Rose Anvil Claude Minimalist Wallet on Kickstarter Review — $29

For the last 5 years, I’ve used a minimalist wallet called the Mojito.

It has gone head to head against many other wallet designs, and it won every fight.

So when I saw the Rose Anvil Claude Wallet on Kickstarter, I doubted it could beat the reigning champ.

But I tried the Claude, and I never looked back.





The body of the Claude is cut from a single piece of leather that’s folded on one side. The cash strap is a separate piece, sewn on the outside. I love that simplicity. Just two pieces, elegantly saddle-stitched together. (Just FYI, I actually haven’t used the cash strap yet, because I don’t carry bills, but I suppose you might.)

I was worried the angular design might mean it doesn’t hold the cards securely. But I’ve been carrying (and throwing) it around for several days, and it has a firm grip. The cards sit snugly and don’t shift around.

The Claude is also very thin, as advertised, which I thought might mean a compromise for strength, but it doesn’t. This leather is high quality. Sturdy but thin. Sometimes I can’t even tell whether it’s in my pocket because the mass is approaching zero.

It’s exactly what I’m looking for in a minimalist wallet.





When I transitioned from the Mojito to the Claude, I had to drop 2 cards because they wouldn’t fit. I now carry 2 credit cards, 3 miscellaneous cards, a couple blank checks, and a guitar pick. I’ll round up and say that’s 6 cards. That’s pretty much the maximum for the Claude. If you jammed 7 or 8 cards into it, I’m sure the leather would stretch and you’d be fine, but my recommendation is to get down to 6 cards.

So take out your wallet and start counting them before you order.

That said, I like that this forced me to rethink what I was carrying with me every day.





Christmas is coming up. The Rose Anvil Claude Wallet would make a great gift for the beloved minimalists in your life. If you want to get one, it’s on Kickstarter right now. The campaign is already completely funded, but it doesn’t hurt to contribute to the stretch goals.

I love this wallet. It looks great, works great, and it’s super thin. It’s easily worth $29.

I might even pay double. It’s that sweet.

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Pierpont Leather French Calfskin Card Wallet – $225

Some people just want an inexpensive product and are willing to replace it every other year or so. Others have come to appreciate the value of quality leather and its feel and longevity. Others want even more still. Pierpont Leather aims to provide products for those in the latter category.


Parker Pierpont always knew he wanted to work with his hands. Through college, he spent more time working leather than he did on his schoolwork. He was able to work under the tutelage of a former Hermes artisan, and is now doing his own custom work as Pierpont Leather.

Functionally, this cardholder we’ve obtained for review is quite simple. It has a quick access card slot on either side, and a larger storage pocket in the center. It’s nicely oversized, and easily holds quite a few cards. The seven cards I carry were no problem, and I’ve managed to cram in around eleven. If it isn’t too full some cash and receipts can be slipped in as well. It isn’t terribly easy to access individual cards kept in the main storage, but since I only need one of my two main cards the vast majority of the time, it’s an effective design. The function and capacity is minimal, but not too minimal.


However, it’s an appreciation for the luxury materials that would entice someone to invest in a product such as this.

Pierpont is, for lack of a better term, somewhat obsessive about their leather. Hides come from a select few European tanneries, and are inspected individually. Any defects or irregularities are cut away by hand. This meticulous selection results in a very uniform piece of leather. It’s superbly soft, strong, and smooth simultaneously, and I’ve never experienced a leather quite like it. You can notice some beautiful ripple patterns in the photos.


Construction is completed by hand. The linen thread gives a slightly unique look compared to more common polyester or nylon threads. Saddle stitching ensures strong, secure seams, though it is just a bit less uniform than I’m used to. I was also surprised that one double-backed stitch came loose on my wallet, though cutting off the excess was enough to eliminate the issue. Pierpont informs me they’ve stopped using this double backed stitch for this reason.

Edging is probably the most impressive part of the construction. Pierpont tells me the edges go through several layers of dying and polishing and are the most time intensive part of his construction by far. The result is a tough, high-gloss edge that’s a pleasure to both see and feel. It takes a nice polish and has worn well.


It may be functionally simple, but the best part of the Pierpont French calfskin card wallet is the materials. The luxury level of the leather and edging make this product a pleasure to use, an experience that ascends above simple functionality. It’s certainly an investment but it’s worth it for those who appreciate these aspects of an item.

Pierpont Leather works primarily in bespoke goods. Swing by their website to learn more, and check out their Instagram for more pictures of their fine products. We’ll be doing a review on one of their lizard wallets in the upcoming months!


Offene Meer Leather Company Gun Deck Wallet Review – $45

I have to admit; I am very much a wallet aficionado. I’ve owned nearly all styles of wallets, and constantly rotate a few of my favorites. Though I do tend to carry minimal cards, I appreciate wallets having the space to accommodate minimalists and traditional users alike.  Every time I see an innovative design, I’ve got an itch to take a closer look. Michael Bluth of Offene Meer Leather Company crafted the Gun Deck Wallet which scratches the itch for this review.


Just in case you’re curious like me, Offene Meer is a German phrase which translates to “open sea.” Michael Bluth is an active duty Navy sailor, and has taken on bespoke leather craft making goods in Monterrey, California since 2015. Aside from wallets, he has also taken a dive into other goods such as shoes, belts, and bags. When I asked Michael about the name behind the Gun Deck Wallet, he related the term “Gun Decking” to Navy qualifications having a quick and easy, though tongue-in-cheek option some sailors may take. It also signifies the asymmetry of the wallet, with sharp cutting of the corners leading to pleasing aesthetics. Lastly, he says, and I agree, that the name purely sounds cool.


My particular wallet is crafted from a single piece of full grain, vegetable tanned bridle leather. Initially, I was shocked by the thin cut in leather. It is thin – but not in a cheap or poor quality sense. It is more than thick enough to withstand the abuse a wallet will take, and I actually think it would be a complaint if the leather was thicker due to its folded construction. Being made from one piece of leather, it resembles a document folio, hand stitched on the left edge with waxed white thread. The wallet is also offered with various thread color options and multiple shades of hand-dyed vegetable tanned leather as well as Horween Chromexcel and Dublin. There is also a stitch-less variant, which looks and functions equally as pleasing while allowing cash to be stored on the outside of the wallet.


In a market filled with various snap, card, and thin wallets, the Gun Deck does make a nice improvement in design. Built to accommodate around 10 cards and folded cash, it can be slim with less cards and not overly bulky if stuffed. The closing flap easily folds in behind the logo, and over my use it has not slipped out nor do I think I will have issues with such slipping. The primary features I enjoy in the Gun Deck are that it can handle bills folded once, and also has a card slot for cards you use most often. In mine, I keep a bank card and driver’s license. In contrast with wallets that only offer one undivided space, this is nice for quick access for cards you frequently use. I immediately felt relief in the checkout lines at Walmart quickly grabbing my debit card or using cash at the gas stations; no more fiddling hands trying to twice fold cash into a minimalist wallet. The wallet fits euros and US bills folded in half easily, and can be requested bespoke to accommodate British notes.


In terms of the interior finish, I have seen smoother finished pieces of leather. The suede fibers show up mainly near the fold crease, and sparingly through the interior. This is not so much as a negative as it gives the wallet a slightly rugged or edgy look, and it does not compromise the construction. I have belts with a similar finishing that have lasted years. The exterior is very smooth, feeling good in the hands, and well prepped to take on patina. The logo is nicely finished and does not take a commanding presence in terms of overall aesthetics. The wallet weighs in at about 35 grams empty; comparatively, three full grain bifolds I have weighed in at an average of 78 grams each. The thinness of the leather definitely is a weight saver.


Overall, I am very pleased with the design, durability, and function of the Offene Meer Leather Company Gun Deck Wallet. The wallet speaks for the people looking to transition from classic bifold or trifold wallets into minimalism and alternative designs. At $45.00 I would say the price is certainly reasonable. Equipped with a lifetime warranty, I don’t think I’ll ever have to activate it. I actually may look into purchasing another to consolidate my grandfather’s nearly exploding bifold into something more manageable. This one is breaking in nicely and I look forward to potentially providing a long-term update as it darkens and softens up. You can check out Offene Meer Leather Company via the website, etsy store, or through his instagram account which may announce special releases such as shell cordovan wallets.


Guarded Goods Shell Cordovan Vanguard

In my never ending search for the perfect front pocket wallet you’d be hard pressed to find a small store or leather operation I haven’t heard of. The shell cordovan Vanguard from Guarded Goods may have finally put an end to my search with a truly astounding wallet made with top of the line materials and unparalleled construction.

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Guarded Goods is a one-man operation based out of Minnesota. Jesse is the man behind the whole operation and is an awesome guy who will go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy his customers. He has been slowly growing his business and designs which include wallets, lanyards, watch straps, leather shoe laces, leather care items, and other accessories made out of almost any leather you can think of. He has shell cordovan in almost every color under the rainbow from working directly with Horween.

This particular wallet is his Vanguard design and is made out of unglazed natural shell cordovan from Horween. Typically shell cordovan has a shiny finish but this special run lacks that but is still buttery smooth. I’ve only had the wallet a few weeks and its already starting to darken and develop an astounding patina.


The Vanguard design can hold up to 8 cards in each card slot as well as keep your cash secure in the gold plated money clip. All the edges are hand sanded and burnished with beeswax making it a pleasure to hold in the hand. The wallet is stitched together by hand using the tried and true saddle stitching method.

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If you’re looking for the last wallet you’ll ever need definitely visit Guarded Goods and I’m sure you’ll find a design and leather you’ll be happy with. Make sure you visit regularly since he’s currently awaiting a baby boy so I’m sure his time will be limited but he is excellent about closing his store when he’s covered up with orders and getting his orders taken care of. It may be awhile before you can get your order in but sign up for his email list and purchase a truly astounding piece of craftsmanship.


Guarded Goods and by direct association, Jesse, believes in buying high quality and buying once. Something you can certainly do at his store.

FormFunctionForm Charette Wallet

I’m a big fan of front pocket wallets and I also enjoy pairing that with a small notebook. In our digital age it’s easy to forget how handy a small notebook can be. Whether it’s for jotting down quick notes, a to-do list, or one of my main uses which is as a checkbook register, it’s hard to beat pen and paper. The Orlando Florida based company FormFunctionForm makes an excellent fusion of the notebook wallet that I’ll be covering here.


Both of the models here are versions of their Charette wallet designed to carry a Rhodia A5 notebook. To me this is the perfect sized notebook for a front pocket wallet since for me Field Notes are a little large and the mini Moleskin Volant is slightly too small. It doesn’t hurt that Rhodia’s paper quality is legendary and truly a pleasure to write on.


FormFunctionForm use a unique construction method on most of their goods. They laser cut the leather and hand sew it together so it is made from one whole cut piece of high quality Horween goodness. Both of these are made out of natural Horween horsehide which is why there is a slight color difference between the two.


My initial wallet was modified at my request to leave off the pen holder and shortly after receiving it they updated their design to have 3 vertical card slots so I picked one of those up as well. While you can’t go wrong with either design I do prefer the vertical card slots since I carry 4-5 cards most days. If you do opt for a pen slot they can include a space pen in the color of your preference and all models include a notebook.

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The quality and finishing on both wallets is truly superb and you can’t go wrong with any of their designs. In addition to wallets they make phone cases, some of my favorite watch bands, and other leather accessories. Check them out and get some high quality leather in your pocket.

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KC Co. Simple Wallet Review

Throughout my time collecting and using various wallets, I’ve always come back to front pocket wallets. In this review, I’ll focus on the Simple Wallet made by KC CO. KC CO is a small leather company hailing from Kansas City, Missouri. They specialize in handcrafted leather goods with modern touches. A mantra of the company is “quality through simplicity” in which they source the best materials and construct products with the essentials and less of what we don’t need.


The Simple Wallet is crafted out of four pieces of vegetable tanned leather. I’m led to believe it is from Hermann Oak, as the company states that their leather is sourced from a world-class midwestern tannery in operation since the 1800s. The wallet comes saddle-stitched with white thread and burnished edges finished with beeswax. Each leather piece is cut by hand without the use of templates. The wallet is finished with a discreet logo impression just below the inside of the front pocket leather piece.  It is finely finished and ready to receive the patina the owner puts on it. The wallet is also available in black, as well as a three pocket version which removes the back strap. The size of the wallet allows for front pocket carry with little printing. Empty, the wallet weighs in at about 35 grams.


As with most minimalist wallets, a huge priority is given to ease of access for a small number of items. The wallet accomplishes this task with style. The front pocket is useful for your most used cards such as credit cards and a driver’s license. I carry 2-3 cards here. The middle pocket is for the extras, such as insurance cards and a hunting license. The company lists the back strap as for cards or for twice folded cash. I’ve carried U.S. dollars and Euros without worrying about the retention, I just would caution one about overstretching the piece.


The finishing on this piece is understated. Attention was paid to detail with the saddle-stitching, and the burnishing has held up well in my many months of use. A special The beauty of vegetable-tanned leather is that whatever elements or abrasions the product is exposed to could affect the patina formation. My wallet has been exposed to rain, sun, and constant touching of hands, which transfers oils onto the leather. In what began as a light, nearly pink color has darkened to a nice caramel brown color. The thread is also slightly subject to denim transfer, but not as much as thread made from other materials.


The KC CO Simple wallet feels right at home among quality front pocket wallets. The price point makes it relative to other handmade leather goods. I also own one of their belts as well as a key fob, which is a top-notch product that can be seen in retail stores such as the Baldwin Co. Denim stores which specialize in selvage denim pieces.  After thorough use of this wallet, I can say with confidence that it is built to last.


J Michael Ashland Men’s Classic Bifold Review – $150

Wallets are part of people’s everyday carry, also referred to as ‘EDC’. Wallets are smothered, folded, squished, dropped…the list goes on. The vast amount of options when on the hunt for a new quality wallet can seem daunting. After using the J Michael Men’s Classic Bifold for quite some time, it can certainly be added to the tier of leather goods considered to be ‘bespoke handmade,’ and rightly so. Read on to find out some of the characteristics that make this bifold wallet a serious option for your next quality leather goods purchase.

For those curious about the color, my example was a deep, rich, dark brown.


J Michael is a leathersmith with a loyal following, working out of a private shop in Oregon.  “As a leathersmith, I have been making knives and leather carry goods since I was a kid.” Conversing personally with Mr. J Michael over email, I can say that he is a pleasure to chat with. If you have any questions at all for him regarding leather crafting or just about his goods in general, be sure to shoot him an email. Be sure to check out his website to learn general facts about him and his craft.

Customers are greeted with classy and precise packaging–just like the wallet itself.


The construction of this bifold is immaculate and masterfully done with premium Horween Chromexcel horse leather, which is slightly stronger and more scratch resistant than the cow variant. The outside holes were punched smaller, offering better water protection. The thickness of the individual parts of leather are considered, and hand skived to perfection. The hand-stitch work is about as perfect as it gets, with special attention to even the slightest detail. Even the thread itself was picked based upon its strength-oriented characteristics. No complaints here, as this is truly a work of art.

Looking closely at the hand stitching and edge work; it is evident just how masterfully crafted this wallet is.


One caveat I have with this wallet is the size. It certainly holds a ton of cards and cash with ease, but it is just a tad bulky in its overall design. This is one of those things that some customers may not experience, but it is worth mentioning. Due to the premium materials and construction, it could seem a little thicker to some people. Nevertheless, it does a great job of holding at least 12 cards and a good amount of cash (this was what my daily carry consisted of) and will impress most who are used to a bifold design. The dimensions are: 3 5/8” x 4 ½” x 3/8” thick when empty.

J Michael has designed this bifold to retain its shape tremendously well. No awkward shaping of the wallet, even when full of lots of cards and cash.


The aesthetic of this bifold is classic and timeless. When you imagine a traditional bifold style wallet, this is what you get. J Michael has elevated the design a bit with the premium materials and construction. As previously mention, the full-grain horse-hide leather is sourced from the Horween Tannery in Chicago, IL. Check out Horween’s website for more information about their leathers.

Classic, timeless, and quality. Three words that sum up the design of the J Michael Men’s Classic Bifold perfectly.


If you are searching for a serious upgrade for yourself or someone you know, this wallet will not disappoint. J Michael Ashland obviously puts a considerable amount of thought and precise craftsmanship into his goods, and its hard to put a price on something like that. While the price is certainly higher than your average bifold style wallet, the J Michael Men’s Bifold Wallet will make its new owner proud to hold onto something quite special for a long long time. Be sure to check out J Michael’s other beautiful leather goods over at his website, such as the black variant of this wallet.

The beautiful box with J Michael’s simple yet rememberable logo.
The wallet after a few weeks of use.
The wallet holding 10 cards (the rest are in the hidden slots) and 12 bills of cash, with some room to spare.

Sandlot Goods Billfold Wallet Horween Rio Latigo Review – $85

There’s two things just about every guy has in common; a love for baseball and a wallet in their back pocket. I really enjoy the nostalgic vibe and quality products put out by Sandlot Goods, so when I got a chance to review the Sandlot Goods Billfold Wallet,  a piece that infuses America’s pastime with my everyday carry, I was more than willing.

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The Sandlot Goods Bilfold is made from famous Horween leather. This style in particular is from the Rio Latigo series. When asked about this particular style Sandlot explained:

Sandlot Goods Construction

Latigo is a full grain leather that is combination tanned and fat liquored. This means that the process uses both chrome and vegetable extracts, which is then conditioned with emulsified oils and waxes. What makes Latigo unique is the dying process. The leather is first drum-dyed and then aniline finished. The dyes in the aniline finishing process contains no pigment, allowing the natural of the character of the leather to be seen. The leather is then pasted and hand glazed. Pasting is the drying process where the leather is fixed to ceramic plates. This process smooths out the grain and provides very little stretch.

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The billfold is made with several pieces of leather, this provides much friendlier storage and retrieval options for your cards but it also adds a lot more stress points. Generally with leather, the less seams the stronger the product. The stitching is clean and tight and I didn’t spot any frayed or loose threads. The wallet is made in Kansas City. It also boasts a pigskin lining which is great because it provides a slightly tackier surface so your cash will be more inclined to stay put…unless of course Jack Links jerky is on sale at Wal-Mart, in which case take my money!



When opened, the middle spine has a long oval cutout which helps the wallet close easier. This is a nice feature for those who want a wallet that will perform right out of the box. I’ve reviewed some wallets that I just had to absolutely beat into submission for weeks before they were comfortable in my pockets. Sandlot Goods did a great job here with that aspect.  Card storage is another issue though. I appreciate the front right slot with a cutout for thumbing your cards out quickly, but I find the slotted pocket above that too deep. When fully inserted, a card only has about an eighth of an inch clearance making retrieval a chore. The left side horizontal pocket works, but would have been handier as a ID window with no plastic. You can fit a fair amount of cards into this wallet, but it won’t be exactly fluid. Cash carry is always a forte of billfolds and this one does not disappoint. The deep channel allows for easy access of cash.

Sandlot Function


This wallet’s finest attribute for me is the looks. It’s Horween leather, so you just know it’s going to get better with use. Expect a deep whiskey color to develop with age. The signature Sandlot baseball V pattern stitch really does a great job accenting this wallet. Its an obviously simple design on the outside, but it’s so well executed. There is no reinventing the wheel here.

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The Sandlot Goods Billfold is simply a quality wallet with just enough personality to make it worth a second look. Its price point puts it about smack dab in the middle for handmade leather goods and the quality is on point with other similar wallets I’ve reviewed. It is a solid wallet with solid looks. ‘Nuff said.

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       Our last look at a Trayvax wallet proved wildly popular among our readers and nabbed the staff pick for best wallet of 2015 here at BestLeather. Trayvax is at it again with a new special Black Edition Trayvax Element version of the original, plus the Keyton Bottle Opener Keychain. If the good ol’ bifold just isn’t honking your horn anymore, read on.



On paper, the Trayvax Element Black Edition is virtually identical to the standard Element. The main difference is Cerakote (a baked on ceramic layer that makes the metal appear black) provides more corrosion resistance after exposure to weather and use over time. The recipe still utilizes 5oz chrome tanned, top grain leather around the stainless steel frame. Mil-spec 550 type III paracord binds the leather to steel. As always, the Element is 100% Made in the US. 


The same US sourced leather is used for the Keyton as well as 304 stainless steel for the loop/bottle opener.



The Element shines through as a utilitarian tool for carrying your cash and cards. The leather snap secures your contents in place, allowing the wallet to tp be carried in  virtually any manner without risk of losing anything. The grommet at the top makes for a perfect option to run some paracord through so you can wear it around your neck, or attach a carabiner and have it hanging from your pack. Cash is stored in the built in clip, allowing for quick access. Still not as convenient as a bifold but you compromise for the space savings. This wallet also has RFID protective qualities which is a nice assurance with today’s security issues. Card access remains straightforward, thoughtful card placement will save you time as you access frequently used cards and the money clip keeps your cash safe and tidy.


The Keyton is a simple device that loops through your belt, just make sure you put it on before your belt as it won’t unsnap. There is a Philips screw holding the leather together which can be removed, but I wouldn’t see the need. You will pretty much have to have some sort of quick detach device like a carabiner to allow unrestricted key retrieval. I think a sturdy spring release snaphook would have been more convenient than the fixed loop and a button to allow removal of the Keyton without taking off your belt would have made this device a home run. Sometimes though simple is better, the lack of those features also makes the Keyton pretty much indestructible. Did I mention it has a bottle opener hidden under the loop? Well now you know, and knowing is half the battle


The Element and Keyton go together like Kleenex and Steel Magnolias. The models reviewed are both tobacco brown. The tough metal wrapped in leather really adds serious character. Admittedly, the Keyton will usually remain unnoticed and is pretty simplistic anyways but the straightforward, no BS design has a certain appeal. The Element on the other hand refuses to go unnoticed. It’s so unwallety (yep made that word up) that people usually ask questions. The black Cerakote finish is great for getting that “Murdered Out” look so popular among EDCers.


 One look at the Element and you just know that was the wallet in Arnie’s back pocket when he defeated the Predator.



Every Once in awhile a product comes along that offers a fresh take on a well worn idea. While the price tag will leave you with a lot less to put in your new wallet, you can bank on it lasting a long time. Simply put, the Trayvax Element Wallet & Keyton Keychain are a great option for anyone who’s sick of a plain old bifold and bunched up keys in your pocket.

Albatross Natural Bifold Review – $39.99

Sometimes it’s easy to dismiss a leather product as poor because of a low price, but that’s the notion Albatross is trying to dismiss with their Natural Bifold and other aggressively priced, full grain, vegetable tanned leather goods.



The Albatross Brand was founded in 2013 over a glass of bourbon. A leather maker and industry insider decided to team up. They aimed to use their combined experience to offer economically priced leather goods without compromises. Costs are kept low by cutting out typical cost creating factors such as retail sales and advertising designs. They stand behind their products, too. Each design is used for six months to a year before release and comes with an impressive three-generation guarantee.



The Bifold is made of 3-4oz full grain, vegetable tanned, USA sourced leather. Thread is thick, 3 cord waxed polyester. Assembly is done in Mexico, stitched on Campbell sewing machines. Leather is die cut for accuracy.


Construction quality is overall very good, and materials are all top quality. One corner of a card pocket wasn’t set perfectly flush with the rest of the burnished edge. My finger would occasionally notice this, but overall it wasn’t an issue. Stitching is uniform and sturdy. Edges are mildly burnished, giving some smoothness but with the grain still showing.



While bifolds are great for holding everything you need, the primary drawback is that they can be quite thick. The Albatross Bifold is designed to be about as thin as a quality leather bifold can be. The 3oz interior leather is very thin (though still strong enough for a wallet), and the card pockets are specially designed to allow cards to lay flat. As a result, the closed wallet is noticeably thinner than many other bifolds I’ve used.


The cash pocket needed a bit of wear-in to be at its best. I rarely use cash, and the new, unfinished leather interior makes sliding in cash a bit tricky. However, quality leather wears in over time and will adapt to your usage. The interior slowly starts to smooth out and becomes easier to use.


The feel of the leather and overall usage of the wallet is highly satisfactory. Card pockets are easy to use, and the hidden pockets are great for some extra less-used cards. As a big fan of minimal card wallets, the relatively thin design of the Natural Bifold appealed to me.


I’m a sucker for the natural leather look. The full grain leather used for the Natural Bifold is beautiful. The grain is highly visible, and the patina development is very satisfying.


I eventually decided to use some conditioner to speed up the process a bit…


…then decided to have some fun with a cut-out stencil and tanning.


The edges are gently burnished and the thread is nice and thick. The overall aesthetic is slightly rugged due to the natural coloring and mildly burnished edges. I think the thick stitching almost gives it an islander feel. However, the quality of construction and material wouldn’t leave you feeling out of place using this wallet in a formal environment, though.


Often if the price of a leather product is low, we would call it a good “entry-level” product, best for those just wanting to wet their feet in the leather world. I suppose you could say that about the Albatross Natural Bifold, but it’s rare to see an entry-level product carry a three-generation guarantee. Despite the low price, this wallet is skillfully constructed with some of the most durable materials you could hope for. You and your great grandkids will enjoy the patina develop over a lifetime. We recommend the Natural Bifold as a Buy It For Life wallet at a fantastic value.