Searching for the perfect compromise wallet
January 16, 2014 10:54 AM   Subscribe

I need a new perfect wallet! Or at least a compromise. I carried an Original All-Ett for years and really liked how slim it was, while still allowing me to carry every card I might possibly need in any situation. Then I got a SlimFold Micro, and appreciated that it made me pare down the number of cards I could carry, and I liked the much smaller footprint that allowed me to carry it in my front pocket. But the Tyvek got really unattractively dirty and creased within a week (especially around the outline of the cards, because there's a lot of extra material that extends past the profile of the stack of cards and gets folded), and more than once I've found myself in a bind because I didn't have a particular card on me. So I need yet another new wallet, but I'm not sure I can go back to the huge footprint of the All-Ett. Any suggestions for a compromise wallet that's not quite so large but still lets me carry ~12 cards, without falling apart?
posted by rhiannonstone to Shopping (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (And before anyone suggests Coin, I have one pre-ordered! But I need something to use until then. :))
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:04 AM on January 16, 2014

Have you looked at the All-Ett Sport? I've been using one for about 9 years now and I love it. I've had both the all-sailcloth model and the leather-with-sailcloth-interior. The leather one is definitely thicker, but it looks like a "normal" wallet and it doesn't make crinkly sounds like the classic model. It looks like they've also added a model that looks like cordura, and they've toned down the logo on the leather model since I got mine several years ago.
posted by stopgap at 11:06 AM on January 16, 2014

Response by poster: My hesitation about the All-Ett Sport is that it has a similar design as the SlimFold Micro, where the cards are stacked up in one area with additional material extending out on one side. Have you found that causes creasing and folding? It also looks like the Sport only holds 10 cards, which is not quite enough for me.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:09 AM on January 16, 2014

Check out Big Skinny. Sorry, can't link.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 11:19 AM on January 16, 2014

Best answer: I have the All-Ett Sport and just pulled it out to check; I have 12 cards exactly in there, which reminds me I should ditch a couple of these cards. It does suffer the creasing effect you describe, but in black I find that it's not a problem in terms of visible wear (my last iteration was red, and it was definitely an issue with that one.) I keep mine in a front pocket along with my keys, a multitool, and a flashlight and would say I replace it every two years or so when it gets frayed/torn.

It's not an "attractive" wallet, I guess, but it doesn't look dirty and that's about as far as I'm willing to go in terms of caring about what my wallet looks like.
posted by contraption at 11:26 AM on January 16, 2014

I use an old metal cigarette case. Big enough for some cards and cash, plus it never changes size. Nice and slim and it never bulges out and looks ugly.
posted by Nackt at 11:29 AM on January 16, 2014

Best answer: Bellroy advertise their "slim leather wallets" everywhere online. I can't speak to the quality - but they look nice and would fit the bill of a "compromise" wallet .
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 11:29 AM on January 16, 2014

Business card case.
posted by oceanjesse at 11:58 AM on January 16, 2014

Best answer: Ok, fine. As long as I've got my wallet out and its contents strewn all over my desk, I might as well show you pictures of a 1-year-old All-Ett Sport so you can decide for yourself if the level of wear is acceptable. As I mentioned above, this wallet sees pretty rough treatment, being stuffed beyond its advertised capacity and subjected to my rock tumbler of a front left pocket every single day.
posted by contraption at 11:59 AM on January 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have a RAGGEDedge wallet like the one linked (material is "carbon fiber sailcloth", whatever that is) and it has lasted very well through a lot of abuse. I also had an All-Ett at one point and like you was disappointed by how it weathered; this material is much stiffer but it is still decidedly a front-pocket wallet. I'd give them a look.

As a bonus you can get one with cool fluorescent colors, either on the outside or secretly on the inside.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:15 PM on January 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I use this Kevlar Aramid bifold wallet from RAGGEDedge.

The lack of a coin pocket annoys me, but I've learned to live with it, and there are some other things I'm not so pleased with, but I give it full marks for durability. It's held up really well. And I just counted - I have 13 cards stuffed into it right now, although two of them are thin ones.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:19 PM on January 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My boyfriend has this Hide and Seek Bellroy wallet and he loves it. Daily use a year later and it still looks great! It also holds up to 12 cards, but they have other larger wallet options too.
posted by amileighs at 12:32 PM on January 16, 2014

Best answer: Here's what my leather All-Ett Sport looks like after being in my pocket for four years. I usually keep about 8-10 cards in it. To be honest I don't remember ever being bothered by creasing on the all-sailcloth model, though I do know I had to get rid of it after the stitching eventually gave out. You can see that the place where the cards are stacked is visible on my wallet, but there isn't a sharp crease.
posted by stopgap at 12:43 PM on January 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I still love mine after three years or so.
posted by gyusan at 1:01 PM on January 16, 2014

Best answer: I recently replaced my old All-Ett Sport with a Butterfly Wallet that I found at my local REI. It's the same general principle as the All-Ett Sport, but in a trifold design rather than bifold. depending on how much cash you tend to carry, the trifold will be thicker, but you don't get the crease (which was really never a big issue anway) since the wallet's size is limited by the shape of the cards instead of the shape of the cash.
posted by ckape at 3:26 PM on January 16, 2014

Seconding Big Skinny.
posted by acorncup at 10:29 PM on January 16, 2014

I recently got a cuben fiber wallet from yasutomo2020 after scouting around for wallets over at cool tools.

I've only had it for 3 months, so I can't vouch for its sturdiness at this point, but so far the stitching has been rock solid and it's a really nice, slim wallet. I've got about 12 cards in it and it keeps a very low profile compared to the nylon wallets I've had.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:06 AM on January 17, 2014

I LOVE the Freitag pull-tab wallets. You pull the tab and the cards kind of pop to the top, like a toaster in slow-mo. But they are built for more like 8-10 cards than 12. They're made of old tarps and look great as they age.
posted by barnone at 7:58 AM on January 17, 2014

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