- Buyer's Guide
Arc’teryx Veilance Wallets Review: Drive By
The Arc’teryx Veilence wallets are a sleek and minimal range of stitchless leather carry pieces. Built using progressive construction techniques, these wallets are laminated rather than stitched, using tooling and registration techniques that very few brands have mastered.
The process builds the wallets in a flat 2D plane, which is why leather is a great material selection for them, as it can then stretch and move as you adapt the wallet to its 3D use. The wallets feature Horween leather which is more typically used in heritage products, showcasing it in a far more progressive form. Currently they’re being built in Arc’teryx’s Vancouver factory.
Who They Suit
If you want a head-nod to your outdoor performance life, but consider style and elegance important, you’ve found your thing. These are minimalist wallets requiring discipline and restraint. They don’t hold much, but what they do hold creates a striking vibe.
“These wallets are laminated rather than stitched, using tooling and registration techniques that very few brands have mastered.”
Who They Don’t
If you’re after budget-friendly wallets, these aren’t them. They’re not cheap – this is premium leather in a futuristic construction. Additionally, if you like to shove loads of cards, coins and receipts into your billfold, these are not for you.
The wallets are crafted with fine grain, water-resistant Horween leather. This leather is excellent, feeling durable with just the right level of softness. You get wrinkling on the spines as you have to keep folding them back against themselves for access, but that’s fine. The wallets also feature nylon woven linings laminated to the flesh side of the leather.
The construction of these wallets is really precise and beautiful. Panels are aligned with registration tools, so they fit snug and straight. The formed leather panels give you a starting point for card volume, which you then stretch into depending on how many cards you want to carry. The joins at the top of card sections can feel a touch vulnerable, even though they are actually okay. Heat-set adhesives keep it all together, and radii are spot on, avoiding rabbit ears with age.
“These are minimalist wallets requiring discipline and restraint.”
The wallets also feature minimalist laser-etched branding, along with unfinished edges that work well against the precision of everything else.
Casing Billfold 78mm
The Casing Billfold 78mm suits low currencies like USD, CAD, and AUD. However, there’s an 89mm version also available for taller currencies like EUR, GBP, and JPY.
Arc’teryx claims this billfold fits up to 8 cards, but we found it fit 6 cards more comfortably. With 8 there is almost zero room for cash. With 6 cards there is room for a few bills with only some distortion. With 4 cards you can fit 6-8 bills in there with only some distortion.
In terms of cash, the wallet fits unfolded bills up to 78mm tall, but only a handful at most. The Casing Billfold is built without bill allowance. Bill allowance is that extra curve of leather most wallets typically have around the spine, to create room for more bills to fit around the fold without distorting the inner spine. This means you’ll max out the cash-carrying ability at around 5 or so bills, before the wallet starts to distort around the inner spine. An additional construction note, this wallet has a lovely tongue detail coming up inside the bill section from the base.
It’s worth noting that since this wallet is built flat, there’s some breaking in required to get it working in three dimensions. I generally only would use a maximum of 6 cards and it handled them fairly well. The interaction did get a little bit awkward when trying to fumble for the card at the base of the stack and I felt I really had to open it fully wide to get access. You need to peel back past flat to access cards.
There are a few things I think they could do better in finishing, particularly the lining and how the crinkling comes through.
Casing Passport Wallet
Arc’teryx says this wallet will hold 8 cards. If you really want to stretch it, you can jam 12 into it, but it needs some forcing for that.
It carries international standard-sized passports that are 125mm tall. That means most countries should be fine, other than recently superseded German hardcovers and some Irish passports. If you have a double thickness passport (frequent travellers), it’s going to be really tight.
There’s no room for a pen down the inside of the spine, as the passport goes right to the inside of the spine. However, there’s some lovely detail as the backing liner ducks inside the leather between card slots.
Casing Card Wallet
Arc’teryx claims up to 8 cards fit in the Casing Card Wallet, but we found with 8 you have trouble closing the wallet and access is tricky. Four cards is really comfortable, and 6 cards are manageable but require a touch of fiddling.
You can three-fold and tuck a small amount of bills, but in general this wallet isn’t great for bills. Where it shines is as a great-looking card slip.
In terms of breaking it in, the wallet wants to stay open for the first few weeks, but will eventually rest closed. Cards start to push through and get easier to access, but it is initially very tight. I would not recommend using it for more than 6 cards.
It’s so tight that you have to bend it back on itself for card access. That’s fine if you’re only in and out occasionally, but for frequently used cards it can slow access down.
The Arc’teryx Veilance wallets deliver a clean combination of progressive construction and premium materials. They look and feel great, exuding a minimalist style that’s sure to draw admiring glances. However, like any design, there’s room for improvement such as reexamining how the crinkling comes through and making access easier. Overall, these wallets are an exciting development in Arc’teryx’s design direction and we’re keen to see where they’ll lead.