Finding a good wallet is hard. I’m a bit OCD when it comes to spending money, so I spent a lot of time searching for the right one.
I had a short list of requirements for the wallet:
- It should fit in my front pocket, the same pocket I keep my phone in
- I should barely notice that the wallet is the pocket with my phone, in other words it shouldn’t be too bulky
- The wallet material should not be abrasive in any way so it doesn’t scratch my phone
- It should hold all the cards I need (a driver’s license, 3 credit cards, medical insurance card and 2 car insurance cards – 7 cards in total)
- I wasn’t concerned with it also being able to carry cash, as I rarely ever carry cash, and can just carry cash directly in my pocket if needed
- It should be at least somewhat stylish
I searched Amazon, Reddit reviews and blogs to see what wallets others were happy with, and narrowed my search down to 3 different wallets.
Distill Union Wally Sleeve
I had previously owned the Distill Union Wally Micro. The Wally Micro was my first minimalist wallet, and it functioned really well for a few years. It was a very small foot print, and made out of quality leather that felt and looked good. The wallet has one drawback though – in an effort to reduce the size of the wallet Distill Union opted to not have the sides close. Instead of having closed sides on the wallet they chose instead to have an elastic band built into the wallet, which helped keep the cards in place (similar to wrapping a rubber band around it). After a few years of use this elastic band wore out and cards began slipping out of the wallet nearly every time I took it out of my pocket.
The Wally Sleeve solves this problem. It is still made from the same quality leather as the Wally Micro, is incredibly small, but it also has closed sides so that cards do not fall out of the wallet from the side like the Wally Micro does.
Other features of the wallet include “MagLock”, a feature that helps keep the mouth of the wallet closed tightly around the top of the cards, and the “Wally Pull-Tab”, which aids in pulling cards out of your wallet by pulling up on the bottom of the cards using the pull-tab. (Note: the pull tab can be pushed down too far and come out of the wallet if you push your cards down too hard in the wallet, so be careful there).
Secrid Men’s Modern
I was skeptical of this wallet at first, simply because it is made out of aluminum, and I was concerned that it might scratch my phone screen, since I carry my phone and wallet in the same pocket. But I got a chance to check out one of these wallets at a local backpacking shop, and I don’t think scratching the phone will be an issue. The corners weren’t as sharp as I was expecting, and I keep a screen protector and case on my phone. I would feel confident carrying this in the same pocket as my phone and not worry about it being a problem.
The Secrid Men’s Modern is also more stylish in person than it may look in the pictures. I really liked the look and feel of this wallet, and they come in a pretty wide range of colors. It offers RFID protection so if that’s a concern for you then this may be a good wallet to look into.
The mechanism that is used to slide the cards out worked really well. It felt more robust than I expected. I’m curious if over time if there would be any issues with that mechanism, but my gut tells me that by the time the slide-out mechanism started encountering any issues, you’d probably be ready for a new wallet anyways.
Bellroy All-Conditions Card Pocket
A friend of mine had shown me a wallet that he was carrying the can best be described as a small, men’s coin purse. The wallet was small, leather, and had a zipper that completely enclosed it. At the time I was still dealing with the Wally Micro issue of cards falling out the sides, so I was really interested in how his wallet kept all the contents securely in place with a zipper.
This sent me on a search to find a zippered wallet Bellroy is known for making quality leather wallets, and the All-Conditions Card Pocket is the same style of wallet that my friend had.
It offers water resistance, internal stretch pockets, a key loop, and of course a zipper to keep all the contents enclosed.
What I like about this style of wallet is that you can carry cash, cards, and coins without fear of any of those falling out of the wallet.
Conclusion: Which Wallet Did I Buy?
Each of the wallets listed above were appealing to me in different ways. I really liked how sleek the Secrid wallets are, and all the color options they offer. The Bellroy was a strong contender because I liked how secure it would keep it’s contents, and being able to keep coins in was an added bonus.
Ultimately I ended up getting the Distill Union Wally Sleeve. I really like leather wallets, and I knew from owning the Wally Micro that Distill used quality, durable leather. I liked the fact that it doesn’t come with RFID technology, because I keep my work badge in my wallet and want to be able to easily swipe my wallet to get into work, rather than having to take my badge out to swipe it. I also like how easy it is to pull the cards out of the wallet, the pull tab is very convenient to use, and the MagLock technology keeps the cards snuggly in place.
A close second for me are the Secrid wallets. I liked them much better in person than I thought I would, and I may get one as a second wallet at some point.
The Bellroy was also very appealing. This might be a wallet that I would use if we’re doing a lot of hiking. It’s protective and water resistant so I would feel more confident carrying something like the Bellroy on hiking trips.
But for my current needs the Wally Sleeve is doing exactly what I’m looking for. Very small profile, cards fit snuggly, easy to pull the cards out, and fits the amount of cards that I carry. I very rarely carry cash or coins, so that is not a concern, and the leather is comfortable in the hand and there is no concern of scratching my phone. For the time being it is the perfect wallet for me.