Wallets seem to be a quintessential gadget item. Part of our EDC, we carry them everywhere with us, and each of us has certain expectations for our wallets. Bellroy is a company that gets it. They design and manufacture wallets with an emphasis not only on slim, but on elegance and function.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that although I may never find the perfect gear bag for me (though my GORUCK GR1 comes pretty darn close – more on that in a future review), or the perfect wallet, I am enjoying the journey along the way. A previous version of me was a “Constanza wallet” carrier, trying to jam and cram everything that I thought I needed to carry with me on a daily basis into my wallet. But several years ago I decided that this was silly: I really didn’t need to carry all the receipts, cards, slips of paper, and so forth around with me. And so began the quest for the best slim wallet.
Fast forward to about a year ago, when I first spotted Bellroy while doing a web search for “slim wallets.” There are many companies offering slimmer wallets, but I was immediately intrigued by not only the functional features of Bellroy’s wallets, but also the elegant, yet rugged styling. So serious is Bellroy about helping you battle the bulge that they provide a set of friendly tips how to Slim Your Wallet such as eliminating coins, using your smartphone to take photos of your receipts and bundling cards.
Specs & Options
- Dimensions – 3.9 inches x 2.9 inches
- Exterior – Premium vegetable tanned cow leather
- Colors – Available in Black (reviewed here), Cocoa, Tan, Blue Steel and Russet (red)
- Storage – Up to 11 cards in two quick-access card slots, a folded bill slot, and a slot with a pull-out tab for infrequently-used cards
- Warranty – 3 years
The packaging follows the Bellroy style: elegant, yet simple and functional. It’s basically an envelope with a tabbed flap that folds down and tucks into a slot for closure. It is also made from a very rigid cardboard that affords some good protection. Inside the tab it reads, “Bellroy: vegetable tanned, responsibly sourced, non-toxic leather to give a lifetime of happy service.” I like that. The idea of purchasing an item of such quality, durability and craftsmanship, so to use it for a lifetime is appealing to me, especially in our consumable, throw-away society.
The first thing that piqued my interest in the Slim Sleeve Wallet was its styling. I would call it simple and understated, yet ruggedly handsome.
The exterior, made from premium vegetable-tanned cow leather, gives the Slim Sleeve Wallet the appearance of quality, as well as being soft and supple to the touch.
With Bellroy, it isn’t just the overall look and feel, but the small, subtle touches as well. For example, the blue stitching that stands out from the black leather is a minor touch, but gives it a hint of unique styling. The embossed “bellroy” logo on the front is small and understated as well.
Inside the Slim Sleeve Wallet, the appearance is again simple, yet here is where the functionality and convenience begin to become apparent. The first layer of storage is the two quick-access card slots. Located on either side, they each include a small thumb notch in the corner to facilitate both a quick view of the card inside as well as ease of removal.
The second layer of storage is the two pockets located directly behind the quick-access pockets. On the left is a simple pocket, on the right is a pocket with a quick-pull tab to allow access to infrequently used cards. Also, note the interior lining of the two deeper pockets with the Bellroy logo. Again, it’s the little things.
Filled with cards and bills, the Slim Sleeve Wallet does not increase appreciably in thickness, remaining quite slim. While in a back pocket it is nearly undetectable, it quite can easily be used as a front-pocket wallet as well.
The Bellroy Slim Sleeve Wallet is a great slim wallet. It has an understatedly simple yet ruggedly handsome appearance, enhanced by its high-quality materials and attention-to-detail construction. While you may at first miss having a full bill slot like most wallets, the Slim Sleeve Wallet’s interior includes well-thought-out features that give it a good balance of convenience, allowing you to carry several cards and bills while remaining small and thin, great for either back pocket or front pocket carry. Like all of Bellroy’s products, its price is probably higher than what you might typically be willing to pay for a wallet, but considering that Bellroy intends for you to use this product for a lifetime, I myself find that the higher price is worth the quality, if that is important to you. Finally, The Wallet Shoppe is one of Bellroy’s USA online retailers, and is a great place to order Bellroy’s products, including the Slim Sleeve Wallet . Having tried out the Slim Sleeve Wallet, I’m taking a look other Bellroy wallets as well, like the Travel Wallet for my overseas excursions.