Minimalist Wallet Thoughts
Like a bunch of folks, I am in the minimalist wallet camp. As cash isn't used as much today as even 5 years ago, the requirements for the wallet are changing. The strategy i use is the everyday carry wallet for my license and a few main cards. I have a second wallet with other items I want to carry. Kickstarter is a haven for these things today and I've picked up 2 wallets this way, with two more on the way, and am considering a couple others. I did the same thing with wallets about 15 years ago to figure out what worked for me. Then I stuck with a basic style until now. No need for disclosure here as I am not getting any samples or being paid to write anything. This is becoming a bit of a hobby over the last 6 months so I thought I would share.
Overall, I'm choosing small size and weight. I'm sacrificing on ease of cash handling while maintaining easy card usage. With that in mind, a quick tour of the wallets I've looked at.
The classic minimalist wallets that I've used:
This style is my go to for the past 15 years. You can usually find some cheap versions of these. They are reasonably good until the leather starts stretching. When this starts happening, cards start falling out which is the main failing of this wallet. In addition to being light and cheap, I like having a window for my license for some reason. This one works for that.
money clip style any of the inexpensive money clip version wear out too soon for my liking. Any clip the has the strength to hold cash and last adds too much weight in my opinion. if you favor this style, this is the best I can recommend in terms of style: best money clip wallet of the bunch. I choose this style although it lacks a bit in the clip longevity category to keep a small size and low weight. Of minimalist wallets, this style has the best handling of cash of the bunch. Not as easy as a traditional wallet but still close enough if that is a primary need fro you. I didn't have this exact wallet so you may want to see one of these in person before buying.
I've had at three of each of the classics above so I do rate them as more than workable.
Beyond these, I have a few I've tried and not liked these are mainly one general style, the "card sleeves" like this one. These are too minimalist. I recommend passing on this style. No visibility for my license here. This has the biggest disadvantages of cash handling of the bunch.
Before I found minimalist wallets showing up on Kickstarter, I looked at some on the Web that I didn't buy:
slimmy. Too expensive to me for what I see in the ads.
Dosh . This one has more "design" built in. In the end, it looked to bulky to me.
That brings me to where I'm at now. Kickstarter had over 20 "minimalist wallets" via a quick search on the site. They mostly are getting funded and I saw a few that caught my eye. The Kickstarter Crop:
Most of these wallets rely on some sort of elastic bands so I have some concerns about how long the will last. Many of the designs are thin machined Al plates with various cut outs to allow access to the cards. These work fine for credit cards which have raised portions that minimize the interaction with the cards next to it. Credit cards slide out fine but things like insurance cards don't. I like this style the best to date for a light weight carry wallet. Watch out for weight! Lighter is better in the pocket. There is also a side benefit of RFID blocking if you need that.
My current favorite is the Dizmio wallet has been my carry wallet for about 4 weeks now and I am loving it. Watch the video for how it works on the kickstarted site. I keep my license on the outside of the front for visibility and a bit of cash on the back. 5-6 cards sit on the inside. It is light and sits in my front pocket comfortably. Getting the cards does take some getting used to. I prefer the solid hold this has on my cards vs my previous go to wallet.
This style of wallet is the smallest being basically a stack of cards. Anything with fold is adding additional layers and the hinge point. Unless this one wears out too quickly, it is in the drivers seat for my favorite
I haven't gotten the Crabby Wallet yet. I have high hopes for this bit of a mash up of fabric and elastic with a more traditional housing for the cards. It doesn't have the window but I like the concept of using the elastic to keep my wallet with my phone.
There is one style that's not making the cut for me. The Solido is a fixed size and too heavy to meet my requirements. I do like the fusion of the leather strip and the metal body which is why I tried it out. Unfortunately, its never made it out the door with me. I'd stay away from any "fixed" size minimalist wallets for either bulk or weight reasons.
I'll end with a few others from Kickstarter that are interesting.
This one despite the name may be a good conventional style minimal wallet.
Wally Case may be too much bulk for the nicely balanced iPhone 5. That said, I'm intrigued by the concept of and ID and 1-2 cards connected to my phone.
The Dollar Wallet is cheap! if you're on the fence, this is the one to try.
Minimo has a twist on how you access your cards.