- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: Simple Wallet 2.0
As a writer for Carryology, I am always on a quest to find the perfect minimalist wallet. It’s a high bar where construction, design detail and materials all coalesce into something that’s sleek, wears well with age and never makes me think about my wallet in any way, shape or form. I was intrigued when I stumbled across the Simple Wallet 2.0 on Kickstarter last October which ultimately raised $80K (USD). Not bad for a couple of guys asking for $10K.
Being a kid in a candy store with my new toy, I immediately took everything out of my SUPR slim wallet and laid it all out. I quickly realized that even though I carried 6-8 cards regularly, there would be no way to do that and use the middle compartment exclusively for cash.
I could put all of them in the front pouch but that felt cumbersome to pick out the card I liked. (Side note, the difference between the SUPR and Simple really comes down to this: the Slim ultimately has a lot more fabric and pieces to it so it’s bulkier in your hand by comparison and makes you feel like you’re ripping it open. On the SUPR, because it’s JUST an elastic band, it feels more like flipping through a Rolodex.)
The thing that really caught my eye about this wallet was that it was minimal and yet seamlessly combined this utilitarian idea to have your phone and keys all in one spot. This was great in theory but in reality it just proved unnecessary and impractical. Aside from the obvious reason of losing one thing means you lose everything, in the end to do so would add a bit more bulk to your pocket than I was comfortable with.
It’s important to note that these wallets are handmade with Simple touting themselves to be the “world’s thinnest, handcrafted wallet.” The packaging was as the name suggests, elegant and simple with the wallet nestled perfectly on the card.
The leather is pretty soft but you feel a bit cheated when it’s surrounded by all of that elastic. The one thing I noticed over time was that the overage of the elastic tended to fray with loose threads cropping up regularly. While not an issue in terms of durability, it detracts from the overall aesthetic.
Putting it to use
I spent the last three months putting this wallet through its paces. What does that entail exactly? It was with me 24/7. It was with me rain or shine, long nights out with friends and even a trip to Mexico, doing my best impersonation of a Corona commercial. (On an unrelated note, when in Puerto Vallarta, make your way to Yelapa which is only accessible via horseback or boat. Not only is it gorgeous, but they also happen to make raicilla, an (illegal) moonshine from agave that will make every hair stand up just by smelling it.)
During those three months I found the Simple Wallet 2.0 to be a worthy companion, but not without its faults. As I mentioned above, I just never really got in sync with the way it was designed to be used. On top of that, the side seam on the middle pocket has ripped, a likely byproduct of using it as a credit card slot as well.
To me the big issue, which is endemic to most minimalist wallets, is what to do with cash. While we live in a charge happy world, there are times and occasions (like a trip to Mexico) where cash is king. There’s just never a good way to store it. You want to use the back as a money clip but the band is a bit too wide for that as it was designed to hold your phone. Ultimately, you fold it up and place it in the elastic or keep it separate, which is never an ideal solution.
While I have been a bit harsh, the honest answer is that I have grown to like this guy. Would I recommend it to friends: absolutely, if it was the right thing for them. For me however, that just wasn’t quite the case. I am excited by the promise and potential and hope the guys at Simple keep at it. The introduction of Kickstarter and heavier reliance on elastic has pushed the minimalist wallet further than ever before. I for one can’t wait to see what’s next.
Small overall profile that doesn’t add a lot of bulk to your pocket
High-quality elastic band that doesn’t lose significant retention over time
Stripes (if that’s your thing)
Some superfluous details for a minimalist wallet including phone and keyring holder
No good place for cash
Middle compartment is hard to access
- Side seam ripped after three months of regular use