Disclaimer: The following product was bought and paid for independently by the writer of this article, without compensation by Saddleback Leather or Gear For Life. The opinions contained therefore reflect the writer’s own honest view after using the product firsthand over the past several years. Gear For Life may, however, receive a commission from the manufacturer or Amazon if you purchase the product using the links below.
There are about a million and one options for minimalist wallets out there – from the traditional to the high tech and utilitarian. All of them are worthy, but if I had to pick, I’d go for the more traditional every time. That’s just one reason why I’ve been rocking this ridiculously simple wallet sleeve from Saddleback Leather for more than 6 years now.
The Story: Why I Bought This Minimalist Wallet
After years of carrying your typical bulky wallet – whether the ugly Velcro kind or some kind of cheap leather bifold – I had decided it was time for something smaller and sleeker. Something that fit into my back pocket, the front pocket on my jeans, and any other jacket pocket – with ease. I was looking for something minimalist and understated.
At the same time, I was looking for something classic. I’ve always been a fan of leather goods (who isn’t?), and if I recall correctly, I just had splurged on a bunch of full-grain leather belts to replace the old cheapies that had been flaking, peeling and breaking on me the last few years. Naturally, I wanted something that would match my new belts, both in style and quality.
I knew there was only one place to look: Saddleback Leather.
I’ve been eyeing Saddleback Leather bags for years now. Alas, I’ve never had the extra dough to drop on one of their $500+ bags, but I totally afford one of their wallets; the price has gone up a bit now, but at the time, Saddleback’s Thin Wallet ran me about two trips to Chipotle. For full-grain leather and saddle stitching.
Yeah – talk about a steal. And on top of that, it came with a 100 Year Warranty.
I added it to my Amazon cart and ordered.
Overview of the Saddleback Leather Sleeve
There’s not much to say about this sleeve in terms of features: it’s literally just one solid piece of full-grain leather, cut, folded over itself and sewn together with complementary “marine-grade polyester thread.” It has room for up to 12 credit cards and a few folded dollar bills; a cutout in the bottom allows you to push the cards up when you need to remove them.
Again, it’s ridiculously simple – but don’t let that fool you. I’ve carried this minimalist wallet with me every single day for over 6 years now and have found it to be extremely useful and versatile.
If stuffed full with cards, you definitely won’t be able to hold more than a few dollar bills; you may even find that those dollar bills get shoved down to the bottom.
When this happens, they can be difficult to extract without removing all the wallet’s contents – but it’s more of an inconvenience than a major problem. You will also find that, over time, if you carry a lot of cards…the leather will stretch. And that means that, unless you continue to carry all those cards (or a bunch of cash) around all the time, keeping the wallet full, you risk losing all those cards when they fall out.
Again, more of an inconvenience than a major problem, but my only real complaint. Even with a bunch of cards and some cash stashed away in here, carrying this kind of minimalist wallet is a heck of a lot smaller and more convenient than lugging around a bulky billfold (or – if you’re especially a glutton for punishment – trifold).
Beautiful Full-Grain Leather
In case you missed it – this wallet is made by Saddleback Leather – and they know a thing or two about top-quality leather goods. The full-grain leather used on this wallet is high quality and thick, supple yet sturdy. Over the past 6 years, the rich Chestnut color I bought it in has darkened and taken on its own rich shine and characteristics. In my opinion, it’s gotten beautiful and classier-looking every year – just like all the best leather does.
Saddleback also produces the Sleeve in Tobacco, Dark Coffee Brown, and Black. If I had bought a second, I’d choose Tobacco. Saddleback will even monogram it with your initials for an additional fee.
The Last Word On Saddleback’s Minimalist Wallet: To Buy Or Not To buy?
Buy it. We promise you won’t regret it – if you really are into minimalist EDC and just want to get by with carrying the least cards and cash possible. Just the essentials. It’s super affordable and trusty – and comes with a 100 Year Warranty. A steal for full-grain leather.