- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: Twelve Degree Angle Compact Wallet
For the last few years as the slim wallet has become the new black in carry, I have become fascinated with the different approaches designers take to solve the problem of minimalism. Some prefer to use the traditional shape of the wallet but put a high cost on the number of cards you carry. Others go the route of elastic bands in various ways, shapes and forms to keep the form as thin and scalable as possible. I was intrigued when Jim Pelletier reached out with this Twelve Degree Angle Compact Wallet. This was a clever twist on what was out there with a steel plate and elastic band that perfectly combine scalability and ease of carrying cash. It didn’t disappoint after putting it to use for a few months.
Who it suits
A minimalist wallet that carries all the cash and credit cards you want without adding any extra bulge. The wallet is so thin you often forget it’s even there!
Who it doesn’t
If you’re someone who is looking for a more timeless minimalist wallet, this isn’t for you. The style of the Compact Wallet is a bit more cold and masculine.
There is an inherent simplicity that I have come to love with the Compact Wallet. There are no frills, no embellishments. Just a simple, straightforward design that gives the user the ability to use it as he or she desires.
Jim Pelletier’s day job as a mechanical engineer comes through with the Compact Wallet in an unusual place: the elastic band that keeps everything secure. It’s an elastic band, how can it stand out? First the thickness and quality of the material ensures that it’s going to last for a long time. After months of use, it held its shape and never over-stretched despite being stacked with up to 10 cards sometimes. Additionally, Jim reinforced the stitch with a nylon strip that prevents fraying at the seams. It’s a small detail but I’m a firm believer that the devil is in the details.
You can’t talk about a minimalist wallet and not talk about slimness. It’s only 0.125″ thick which makes it one of the thinnest wallets I’ve tested. One of my biggest gripes with minimalist wallets is that cash is an afterthought. With the Compact Wallet, you can throw in as many cards as you want and simply flip it over to have a side dedicated to cash. While you do have to fold it into thirds for it to fit, the elastic band is strong enough to take it and easily accessible.
The Not So Good
There is a golden rule that is true in life as it is in products: your greatest strength is your greatest weakness. In this case, the Compact Wallet is deftly able to carry 4 or 10 credit cards with ease. While the steel plate is beautifully powder coated and obviously strong, the more cards you carry the harder it is to pull them out. This is simply a byproduct of them being stacked against each other and having to flip through them like records.
Lastly, there is an inherent element of style that needs to be addressed. However, this is an incredibly well-made and thought-out minimalist wallet.
Others to Consider
I definitely came to really love and appreciate the Compact Wallet. The first thing I noticed about the steel plate was how strong it was and immediately felt like it was missing a bottle opener. Jim was already two steps ahead of me and has created a version that has just that. If you’re looking for a true minimalist wallet that is super thin, can carry all the cards you need and has options for cash without getting in the way, this is the wallet for you.