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Fashion experts have always said a guy’s wallet will tell you a lot about him (not necessarily how much is in it!). I have always been very picky about my wallet. I wanted something that looked good and because I had to show my military ID everyday going on post, I needed one where I could quickly access it.
Over time, with my debit card, membership cards (Sam’s, Costco, etc.), credit cards, driver’s license, business cards, cash bills (also had to fit foreign bills and hotel keycards since I traveled frequently), and the occasional receipt, my wallet inevitably got bigger and bigger. Fortunately nothing like George Constanza’s below!
I stopped carrying cash to make it smaller but that was pretty inconvenient at times. After visiting the chiropractor one day, he mentioned that sitting on a bulky wallet is one of the worst things you could do for your lower back. So I would take out my wallet at work and put it in my drawer. Guess how many times I would forget my wallet at work!
My typical leather wallet was starting to tear, so I was on the hunt for a new one. I started by going through the typical retail store but unfortunately it was more of the same. I started to search online and found a new brand of minimalist wallets that were thin, light, and strong.
I researched about four brands and compared them with design, price, quality, and functionality. Ultimately I was looking for a good-looking, long-lasting slim wallet.
There was one that caught my eye and just launched on Kickstarter, a funding platform for new projects. SlimFold wallets were made of a soft shell that was subjected to 70mph crash-testing on real pavement and purported to be the world’s thinnest and lightest wallet.
Made in San Francisco, it had RFID blocking (designed to help insulate you from a very particular brand of electronic pickpocketing, called RFID skimming, that steals information from your card and license ID chips) as an option.
After a successful launch, they have created more options. Tyvek® (a product of USA and is technically a sheet plastic (HDPE)) and Soft Shell are the two materials available and they come in Original and MICRO size. Each model has several color/stitching combinations.
To compare my current leather wallet, I used three ID cards, four credit and debit cards, three business cards, and eight bills. You could see time had taken it toll with parts of my leather wallet coming apart and fraying. The clear window where my ID would show was also torn. It was bulky and increasingly uncomfortable to use.
In comparison to the other minimalist wallets, I liked what I saw with SlimFold and was able to get a Micro Soft Shell to test. It fit snugly and the first thing I noticed was how light and slim it was. My wife at first glance didn’t think anything could fit in it. I tried stretching the material to see the strength and durability. The material was definitely durable and the stitching pretty solid.
I transferred everything in my leather wallet to the SlimFold and interestingly my old leather wallet empty was still bigger than the SlimFold filled with the cards, IDs, and bills. By default the micro is made to be super minimal, ideal for 4-6 cards.
I was using 11, so the ideal location to put the extra cards are to put them in the inner flaps behind where you put your bills. In those flaps are plastic inserts and the RFID protection sheets. By trimming the width of the plastic inserts in the wallet by about 2-3mm, the wallet could easily fit the number of cards I had.
At first, I wasn’t used to such a slim wallet and I kept reaching for my back pocket thinking I had forgotten it. I didn’t need to take it out during work any longer and my IDs and cards could slip in and out easily. The material was pliable enough to stretch without losing its form.
If I had any complaint, it would pretty much be that I used to separate each card in its own pocket in my leather wallet for easier access. My cards in the SlimFold are stacked on top of each other to save on space. But the tradeoff is definitely worth it and since I have my cards ordered in a certain way, I know which one to grab quickly.
The prices range from $23 to $53 dollars (depending on the type, material, and color) which was very good compared to others in the same category. The two main types are Original and MICRO. Both are technically a bi-fold wallet. The Original you can fold twice if you have around 8 or fewer cards, making the footprint of one credit card. You can fit more cards in it, up to 20, with the ideal card at 11.