It feels like it was only a few months ago that we published our guide to handsome and unique wallets, but as it turns out, that was all the way back in August 2015. A lot of great wallets have come to our attention since then, so methinks it’s time for a sequel roundup.
Trayvax’s Element wallet is a money clip that combines old-world ruggedness with modern style by taking a bead-blasted stainless steel plate, wrapping a 5oz top-grain leather sleeve around it, and securing it all together with MIL-SPEC Type II paracord. It fits anywhere between 3–12 cards plus a few bills, offers a bit of RFID resistance, and can generally take a lot of abuse, only to look better and better with time.
The Element wallet is $80–$85 at Trayvax, depending on your choice of colorway (keep in mind that the black editions not only look sleeker, but sport additional corrosion resistance):
- Canyon Red
- Canyon Red (Black Edition) ← Our favorite
- Tobacco Brown
- Tobacco Brown (Black Edition)
- Mississippi Mud
- Mississippi Mud (Black Edition)
The Diplomático wallet by La Matera manages to be both casual and sophisticated. It’s handcrafted from Italian calfskin leather and geometric-patterned Argentine woven fabric, with six card slots and a larger cash slot within.
- This wallet pairs nicely with the company’s own navy San Martín watch. ($125)
Chris Rose, owner of the Rose Leather Crafting Etsy store, specializes in handcrafted kangaroo leather wallets that are surprisingly fair-priced.
He’s got a number of wallet designs to choose from, each of which is hand-cut, hand-stitched, and hand-finished. There are no fancy machines anywhere in this process, so while each wallet can take 4–5 weeks to arrive at your door, he’s at least able to keep costs down to materials and labor alone.
Kangaroo leather is not only soft but incredibly strong stuff, and since Chris uses the saddle-stitch method, you can trust that his wallets will last a long time.
The Koolstof by Carbon Fiber Designs is a simple but awesome money clip made from — you guessed it — carbon fiber, which lends it some unique properties:
- Non-metallic: You can walk through metal detectors with it.
- Lightweight: By itself, the thing weighs next to nothing — just 8 grams.
- Springiness: It doesn’t stretch out like traditional metal money clips, so it can hold 50 folded bills one day and a single bill the next, and it’ll keep working the way it did on day one.
- Durability: Drop it, scuff it, throw it around, keep it in the same pocket as your keys…it almost doesn’t matter what you do to it, this clip just keeps on trucking.
Here’s a video showing what it can do:
This is a perfect example of a no-frills product that won’t let you down. It normally goes for $60, but as of this writing (January 18th, 2017), the CFD site has it listed as $40 for a limited time. Pick up one for yourself, and maybe another for your dad or a good buddy.
Minimum Squared is a small workshop owned by a Spanish couple (one is an engineer, the other a language teacher). They handcraft a number of minimalist wallets using full-grain goat leather from England, waxed linen thread from France, and woven braided elastic from their own country of Spain. And boy, are they ever gorgeous.
Here’s what it looks like to open and close one:
The wallets come in a variety of leather + elastic color combinations. All of them have four card compartments; the left two are each able to hold two cards, and the right two each hold three cards (so 10 cards total). There’s also a larger slot that can fit most international cash currencies fine.
Super slim and designed for front-pocket carry, this full-grain leather bifold sports the following features:
- A fabric-lined billfold section, which accommodates up to 30 bills from around the world.
- Two quick-access card slots (one on either side). Both of these can hold a couple of your more frequently used cards.
- Two more card pockets that both have “Pull-Tab” grosgrain ribbons for easy card access. These pockets can both hold four cards, bringing the Wally Agent’s total capacity to 12.
- Hand-rolled edges for durability.
The Wally Agent is available in three colors: Ink (black), Slate (gray), and Hickory (brown).
The Finn Wallet is a tough, well-designed pouch that’s plenty spacious enough inside to carry your pocket odds and ends — cards, cash, coins, and even your smartphone if the size is right. Here are just a few of their size options:
- Size 28: Holds an iPhone 7 or 6s, about 15 credit cards, and some bills.
- Size 29: Holds an iPhone 7s Plus or 6s Plus, about 15 credit cards, and some bills.
- Size 42: Can hold a passport, larger foreign currency, a smartphone, and about 10 cards. Comes with a zippered coin pocket.
It’s made from full-grain cowhide leather that’s naturally tanned to feel soft and supple like deerskin. (It smells awesome too.) Around the edge is a YKK zipper that “locks” in place until the pull tab is used, which means the wallet won’t creep open on its own and spill its contents into your pocket or bag.
The interior of the wallet is lined with ballistic nylon and sports a pocket on each side. Those inner pockets are ideal for holding cards and coins, while the central space is where your cash, receipts, and even smartphone can live.
The Finn comes in six leather colors — black, camel, grey, red, forest green, and cowboy brown — or you can opt for either black ballistic nylon or tan waxed canvas.