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.