Arrow & Board Simple ID Wallet Review – $59/$119

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.

I don’t think an ID ever looked so good.

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 iconic Horween stamp.


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.

You’ll want to limit yourself to to 3-5 cards for this wallet.

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.

Cordovan shining around the Arrow & Board logo.

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.

Mr. Lentz Leather Wallets Review – $60/$64

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.

Personal touch: each product is stamped with its own unique serial number.

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.


Here I have both the Mr. Lentz Slim Leather Wallet and the Mens Leather Wallet Plus. Both have a card pocket with a quick access slot on each side. The Plus also has another layer in the back for holding bills.

The Leather Wallet Plus has a dedicated pocket in the back for holding cash, receipts, etc.

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.

Thin, sturdy leather and no bill pocket keep the Slim wallet front pocket worthy, but it can hold as much as you need.


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:

First, a color comparison. Sun Tanned Natural (left) and Western Brown (right). Both at near-new color.
Next, the natural variation in leather. Both of these wallets are the Sun Tanned Natural color (without patina), but you can see that they aren’t identical–just like no two cows are identical.
Finally, patina. Both of these wallets are the Western Brown color, but I’ve used the Slim (left) much more. A beautiful, textured patina has developed.

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!

Minimum Squared Cardholder Review – €38.00

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.

The waxes stuffed into the leather “bloom” and create a color texture.

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.


Pros: Construction, leather, look, precise minimalism, price.

Cons: None.

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!

J. Ryan & Co. The Minimalist in Shark Leather Review – $175

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.

Da Vinci Daily Wallet Kickstarter First Impressions

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.

Brookes & Hyde Money Clip Review – $110

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.


Pros: Minimal profile, soft and gorgeous leather, understated look, strong/high capacity money clip magnet, quality construction.

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.

Brullen Bill Fold Review – $59.99

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.

Shown with optional deluxe packaging

About Brullen

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.

Minimum Squared Minimalist Wallet Review – €64

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!

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.

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. 


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.