Hello friends! How many of you sit on a slant from the tome that you call a wallet in your back pocket? Or how many of you have pulled your back leaning forward so hard to enable you to pull said wallet from your front pocket? Patterns is here to help. I present to you, dear reader, the Basics wallet ($19.99):
First, some background. I spent the last few years trying out various "slim" wallets available at brick and mortar stores (i.e., Kohl's, Target, Macy's); I was never comfortable buying one online as a wallet is something that I needed to touch and feel to test if it will be a good fit for me. Each year I would give a new leather wallet a shot; each one would be a little thinner than the last one; and each one left me less than satisfied. I found myself still searching for the one wallet to rule them all.
With all the wallets in the stores feeling essentially the same, I moved on to explore online options. The most promising candidate was the slim wallet line from Bellroy. Although the reviews online were very positive, these wallets cost on the range of $80-$90, and I was not quite ready to commit that kind of cash on a wallet.
While I was still searching for just the right square of stitched leather, I had my ah-ha! moment at lunch with a friend; when the bill came, he pulled his credit card out of what appeared to be a large spandex band. I then spent the next five minutes getting the nickel tour of his Basics wallet and I was hooked.
The Basics wallet succeeds by combining utility and simplicity. It consists of three parts: A spandex-type material that wraps around your cards; a pull strap that divides the wallet into two sections and creates easy access to your frequently used cards, and a pouch sewn to the main wrap that can secure money, coins, and keys. And because it is made of inexpensive (although sturdy) materials -- only a touch of leather is used -- it costs only $20. It is available in four colors: black, grey, mint green, and red.
The pull strap is actually quite ingenious. It is sewn to the top of one side of the wallet, then loops down and back up through a hole in the opposite side of the wallet. This creates two natural sections to the wallet.
The side with the pull strap is easy to open; you pull up and your cards pop up for access. I keep my two main credit cards and photo ID on this side, as these are the cards I use regularly. The pull tab has a fold of leather stitched to its end, making the tab feel very durable; an extra reinforcing layer around the hole for the tab prevents the spandex from unraveling due to usage.
The backside has the end of the pull tab stitched to the body of the wallet; in order to get the cards out, I found it easiest to push them down from the top and slide them out of the bottom of the wallet (the S-shape of the pull tab makes the access to each section occur on opposite ends of the wallet. This area can hold a surprising number of cards, and I keep all my insurance/HSA cards, gifts cards, and members club cards (like Costco or AAA) here.
The final section is simply a second layer of spandex stitched to the outside of the main wallet. This area provides a compression pocket the secures cash, coins, and small trinkets like single keys. This pocket is very secure and nothing has ever fallen out of it in my experience — in fact, due to the compression hold, nothing “jingles” around in the pocket, either. I carry various monies in this pocket, along with receipts for the day and the occasional key, coupon, or USB stick.
This wallet has made a big difference over all the other other wallets I have carried. It is so small, it makes it easy to carry in my front pocket OR back pocket without even feeling it. It is compact enough to squirrel away in those small extra zip pockets that jackets and some pants and shorts have, making it never a nuisance to carry. And finally, being so minimal forces me to be disciplined in what I carry. Because I limit my wallet real estate, I don’t needlessly carry a lot of extra items. And because its easy to find a spot for it, I always have my wallet with me.
So if you, too, are searching for a simpler, slimmer wallet. and you find that all the options you’ve come across seem the same or else are unique but expensive, give this one a try. If you don’t do it for me, at least do it for George!