You may have noticed a trend lately of guys having these slim, minimalist card wallets. Basically, little sleeves that they store their credit cards and IDs in.
They’re low-profile, they don’t take up much space, et cetera et cetera. I understand the appeal, but personally, I’m still kind of a billfold guy.
Yeah, sitting on that cannot be good for your posture…
Still, I’m just used to having a wallet that I open in order to take my money out.
But recently I had a chance to try a new minimalist wallet from a company called Anson Calder. It’s called the Cash Wallet, and below are 3 reasons I think it’s actually an upgrade to the standard card wallet.
Watch the video below or continue reading.
Full disclosure, Anson Calder sponsored this post. But I felt like I was the perfect person to do this review, because I’m NOT a card wallet guy…at least not yet. View their Kickstarter Campaign to get the Cash Wallet at a special price (expires 11/30/17).
1. Push Slots Make it Easier to Find Your Cards
One thing I’ve always hated about the standard card wallet is this:
Yes, it’s minimalist. Yes, you can store it in your front pocket without disrupting the delicate silhouette of your skinny jeans…
…But all because your credit cards and ID are tightly wedged inside a tiny little pouch, nearly impossible to access.
When you want to pay for something, you go through this ridiculous dance to find the right card that I call “pinch and pray.”
C’mon, AmEx, show yourself!
Ak, debit card!
Ok, maybe this one?
Damn you Safeway Club Card…
Alright, this next one’s going to be the one…
And by the time you find the right card, you’re getting the evil eye from the cashier and the line of people behind you.
So what Anson Calder has done is created “push slots” on their wallets—essentially cutouts that allow you to thumb through your cards to select the right one. That way you’re not just pulling out cards blindly.
This means the wallet itself is still extremely slim because you don’t have the bulk of multiple card slots like on a billfold wallet. Yet, you’re still able to easily access all your cards.
2. Cash Compartment Keeps Your Bills Separate
The other limitation of most card wallets is that they don’t have a dedicated spot for cash.
Which means that if you want to have any hope of finding that mashed up $20 bill you stashed away, you practically have to use a set of tweezers to dislodge it from between your library card and that expired Visa you’ve been carrying around.
To address this issue, Anson Calder’s new Cash Wallet has a dedicated center pocket for cash. In it, you can store bills (without having to fold them more than once) or other odds and ends like receipts.
And like their other wallets, the Cash Wallet has their patent-pending push slots on both sides, and room for up to 12 cards.
3. Extremely High-Quality Leather
When judging any product like this, it’s not rocket science: you look at the materials and the craftsmanship. If the materials aren’t great, then it’s not going to be a good product and it’s not going to last.
So it was noticeable to me that all of Anson Calder’s wallets are handmade with full-grain French calfskin.
Not all Leathers are Created Equal
I’ve talked about this before in a previous video: not all leather is created equal. Basically, there are 3 main types of leather—all based on how much of the outer part of the hide is used.
Anything you see called “genuine leather” or “top-grain leather” has usually had a portion of the leather sanded down. Which means it’s not as strong and won’t have that character that you see with high-quality leather.
With full-grain leather, they use the entire outer part of the hide. Sometimes that means it can have more imperfections from the animal, so it’s harder to get and more prized.
But it also has more of the natural grain, it will age the best, and over time it develops a very rich patina and depth of color that you expect from beautiful leather.
Even more importantly for a wallet, full-grain is the strongest type of leather—so it keeps its shape longer and won’t overstretch like many other synthetic and lower-quality natural materials will.
When you first put your cards in the Cash Wallet, it feels a little bit snug—too snug actually. But after about a week the leather will adjust to handle your cards.
Though I haven’t tested this, Anson Calder said that if you decide to scale down how many cards you carry, the full-grain leather can actually “recover” to some degree. All because of the superior quality of the full-grain calfskin.
So, if you’re card wallet guy, you may want to check out Anson Calder’s new Cash Wallet.
In fact, they are doing a Kickstarter Campaign that is just about to expire on November 30th. During the campaign, they’re offering the Cash Wallet at a deep discount for only $65 (it normally sells for $130).
More Than Just Card Wallets
If you’re not sure about the Cash Wallet, Anson Calder also has a few other options to choose from:
There’s the Passport Wallet, which is designed to hold everything you need for travel, like your passport, credit cards, plus a special slot for boarding passes, visas or other travel documents.
There’s the Billfold Wallet, which is more of traditional design that allows some extra room for more cards, cash, and receipts.
And finally, there’s also the original Anson Calder Card Wallet, which is their ultra-minimalist wallet. It’s only ⅛” thick, but it can still hold about 10 cards.
Of course, all of them have the push slots so you can easily slide cards out without doing the “pinch and pray” routine.
These Wallets Aren’t for Everybody
Look, these wallets are not for everybody. They aren’t just throw-away $20 wallets that you buy and replace 2 years later. But you get what you pay for.
What I like about Anson Calder, in general, is their attention to detail. There are a lot of things Anson Calder is doing that other manufacturers don’t do just because they’re more expensive and time-consuming
While often the edges of leather goods are painted, Anson Calder burnishes the edges of their wallets. Burnishing is an old-school, hand process where you singe the edge of the leather through friction and heat, so your edges are cleaner, they don’t peel, and they’re much more durable.
Also, rather than using standard thread, they use strong German threading that doesn’t fray or stretch.
And finally, remember the French calfskin I mentioned a moment ago?
As it turns out, the tannery Anson Calder works with has been in business since the 16th century. The traditional techniques they use help create an even higher-quality and more beautiful leather.
In short, there are many ways that Anson Calder could be cutting corners to make it easier for themselves. But instead, they’ve chosen to do a lot of uncommon things to ultimately make a better-quality, more functional, longer-lasting wallet.
So, I have to know: am I the only one who hasn’t totally bought into the card wallet craze yet? Are you a card wallet guy or a billfold guy? Let me know in the comments below.
Also, don’t forget, if you’re interested in the Anson Calder Cash Wallet, make sure you visit the Kickstarter page before November 30th.