REVIEW: Andar Apollo CORK… Eco-Friendly, Anti-Microbial, and Packed with Features!

The Andar Apollo is an excellent wallet however you look at it, but choosing the cork finish adds stain & water resistance, natural anti-microbial properties, and an all in all eco-friendly design! All in all the Andar Apollo earns a total score of 7.8/10

Let me start by saying that I’ve written all of my previous reviews under certain headers, with discussions around each individual aspect of the wallet. Today we’re going to switch that up a bit and write about the wallet with the pros and cons all written in!

The Andar Apollo is a phenomenal wallet for the everyman, it combines elements of the classic bifold, and newer modern features without creating that massive pocket bulge we’ve all been trying to get away from. This wallet combines a number of extra features to make it more functional day to day, and extremely easy to use.

Let’s dive in by first looking at the design of this wallet. When you first take it out and open it up, it has a slim feel with a front pocket friendly bifold design, with a quick access card slot on the front, your daily use credit or transit card is always ready to go. When you open the wallet you find 2 card slots on the left side, and an ID window on the left side. I was able to comfortably fit 2 cards into each of these, meaning up to this point I’ve comfortably fit 7 cards into this wallet thus far. When you continue to dive into the features of this wallet though you’ll find on the right side there is a slot on the end of the wallet, this slot allows you to store a few more cards, and utilizes an elastic pull strap to provide quick and easy access to all of your cards. I personally used this pocket for 3 cards and 4 business cards. Lastly, in the centre of the bifold, there is a metal clip, perfect for storing your cash bills and receipts. All in all for the slim wallet, the Andar Apollo was able to hold 10 cards, 4 business cards, and 6 bills/receipts without being bulky at all, and fitting very comfortably back into my front pocket.

This wallet also comes in amazing finishes, whether you want full grain leather for your everyday carry, or you prefer to opt for something cooler and new, as I did by going with the cork finish, you will not be disappointed. The cork finish is a game changer, with natural anti-microbial properties, and water and stain resistance (yes, I tested this thoroughly), this finish provides a very modern look to an otherwise classicly styled design. The cork version of this wallet also provides a very eco-friendly finish, with a natural material that can easily be regenerated, and a very natural look and feel as well.

The wallet was packed with extra features, not limited to the cork properties we mentioned above. The wallet has that great metal money clip in the centre of the bifold, making it extremely easy to hold your cash and receipts and keeps a steady grip on them so nothing will every fall out. The wallet was also completely RFID protected, so you never have to worry about credit card skimming. Lastly, the elastic pull strap to pull up the cards in the extra card pocket is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, I’ve seen pull straps on many wallets, but nothing with this kind of elastic pull strap, the pull strap popping right back in as you remove the cards makes for a much easier to use overall experience.

All in all, the Andar Apollo is a phenomal wallet, with fantastic features. If you want the classic look of a bifold, but are on the lookout for modern features and a front pocket friendly design, then this is the right choice for you. I will definitely use this wallet again long after this review. I truly enjoyed the experience I had with this wallet. It provides a great overall experience, and I believe that the eco-friendly choice in the cork version truly puts it over the top.

Overall the Andar Apollo receives a score of 7.8/10

You can find the Andar Apollo, and all other Andar Wallets HERE

What do you want to see reviewed next? I’d love to hear from my audience on this one. I have a few Everyday Carry products lined up including wallets, and key organizing products, among others.

REVIEW: Totinit Vault Wallet – The Low Cost High Performance Wallet

The Totinit Vault Wallet, an economical choice for many while boasting a similar style to the Ridge Wallet, at only $35 Canadian, there’s not much that will compete with the feature set for the value it provides.

The Totinit Vault Wallet is a piece I’ve been using for a couple of weeks now. I was going to write this earlier, but I wanted a bit of extra time to ensure I didn’t miss anything in this review! I very much enjoyed this wallet, though not as luxurious or feature packed as some of the wallets I’ve reviewed recently, the price point is hard to beat! This wallet covers all the bases as far as functionality goes, while still being RFID protected to keep your information secure while you’re on the go!

Card Capacity

Overall the Totinit Vault Wallet does not disappoint when it comes to capacity. Coming in similar to its closest mainstream comparison in the Ridge Wallet, the Vault holds up to 12 Cards, though I really put it to its limit while testing it. I managed to get 12 cards, 8 business cards, and 10 folded bills into a combination of the elastic and metal cardholder, and the attached money clip. All that content being considered, the wallet kept a fairly minimalist form factor and didn’t disappoint me in the slightest.

Size & Bulk

The Vault is what I would consider a front pocket friendly wallet in its truest form. The wallet is roughly 3 inches tall, by about 2 inches wide. An extremely small form factor. Even when stuffed full, I had a hard time making the wallet more than about an inch thick, including the attached money clip. If you’re looking for something minimal and easy to fit in your pocket, they is a great option to consider.

Card Grip

Every elastic/metal based cardholder I’ve used has had excellent card grip, and the Totinit Vault is no exception. I must say though that the textured finish of the Totinit wallet makes it significantly easier to grip and hold than the Ridge Wallet with a glossy finish.

Ease of Access

This I find to be a pro and a con for the Totinit Wallet, the same as I did for the Ridge wallet. While the cutout on the backside for pressing into to expose your cards is handy for getting to them, the fact that there isn’t a mechanism for fanning the cards can make it a bit tricky to grab something from the middle of the stack when you need it. Overall though I would say its fairly convenient to access quickly if you organize your cards in the right order!

Additional Functionality

The Totinit Vault wallet brings some functional features in its sleek figure, with RFID protection to keep your information safe while you’re on the go, and an insane capacity on its money clip attachment. I was able to get 10 tri-folded bills into the money clip, and I didn’t feel that it was even close to capacity, though as we know, I like to overstuff things to see what their limits really are.

Quality of Materials

The Totinit Vault Wallet has a great feeling textured coating on the side plates for the wallet, making it easy to grip and very sturdy feeling. The money clip has a good clean finish on the metal, making for a durable piece that won’t scratch up easily as you use it, and lastly, unfortunately I didn’t feel the elastic was of the same quality as some of the other competitors I’ve used, the Totinit wallet is 1/3 of the price of the last similar wallet I reviewed, so I don’t have much issue with this overall.

Price/Value

The Totinit Vault Wallet really hits a home run when it comes to price! This wallet comes in at an easy to swallow $35 Canadian, making it an affordable option for the mass consumer, rather than exclusively to the wallet aficionado like myself. At this price point, it’s worth jumping on without much worry for the few little things that may not be there compared to some of the more expensive wallets we’ve looked at.

Final Notes:

The Totinit Vault Wallet may not be the most feature packed wallet we’ve reviewed, or the most beautiful, but it is easily the best value for the everyday consumer. At only $35 this simple and sleek cardholder will hold everything you need for day to day use, and the attached money clip will keep your cash and business cards nice and secure while you’re on the move.

I give the Totinit Vault Wallet an overall score of 7.8/10

You can purchase the Totinit Vault Wallet HERE

REVIEW: Fantom R – The Super Premium Modular Wallet

The Fantom R wallet is a super premium metal cardholder with a variety of options and modular add-ons to make your dream wallet. The wallet carries a premium price tag, but Fantom truly does allow you to create your wallet dream, holding anything from every card you need and having options from cash to coins to keys!

The past 10 days I’ve used the Fantom R wallet as my daily driver, and I haven’t been disappointed. The wallet provides a fair amount of functionality, but better yet, you have your choice of functionality through their modular add ons. My Fantom R is in the Carbon Fibre finish, with a Titanium Money Clip, and a Carbon Fibre Cash Holder attachment (that I’ve been using for business cards). The Fantom R offers plenty of upside, but these super premium features do come at a rather premium price tag. Is that premium price tag worth it? I think so, with the Fantom R wallet coming in with an overall score of 9.2/10

Card Capacity

Much like the Fantom S we reviewed earlier in the year, it’s premium brother the Fantom R is a major frontrunner in the front pocket wallet space when it comes to card capacity. With 3 Sizes available depending on your needs, I have the largest which holds 13 cards in the wallet itself. With the money clip and cash holder attachments, I was also able to keep 8 business cards, and 10 folded bills in this compact yet extremely spacious wallet. With the modular add-ons available, with more to come on these on the Additional Features section, one thing is for sure, running out of space for your cards will NOT be an issue in a Fantom R series wallet.

Size & Bulk

The Fantom R is an extremely slim wallet in its base form, the the Fantom R 13 (the version with 13 card capacity) is only 0.54″ thick! The entire Fantom R series is 4.5″ long by 2.8″ wide making it a bit long, but still maintaining the perfect front pocket fit. Once I added the money clip, and the cash holder attachment, the wallet sits at roughly 1 inch thick. For the capacity this wallet brings, the bulk is virtually non-existent.

Card Grip

Metal Cardholder type wallets are something I’ve had issues with over time, with my metal credit cards generally having a tough time as they seem to slip a bit in the metal cardholders. The Fantom R though does not have this problem, all of my card stayed firmly in place, the cash and business cards were the same, no issues whatsoever.

Ease of Access

With the simple pull of a tab, all 13 cards are fanned out and ready to use whenever you may need them. No issue with the cards at the back or the middle, each and every card is ready to go at a moments notice. If you’re like me and always on the go, every card in here is faster to access then the credit cards on your phone!

Additional Functionality

This is truly the area where the Fantom R wallet shines. This wallet comes with a beautiful and rugged metal frame, and is available in 3 finishes, all of which look fantastic. The 3 finish options are wood, leather, and carbon fibre. Then you have the option to add a money clip, available in 18 different colours, that’s right I said 18! Above all that, every single one of these wallets is RFID protected, so you don’t have to worry at all about the security of your cards day to day. Above all of this we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet, the wallet has multiple attachment options for the side of the wallet opposite the money clip, making for the ultimate modular compilation in wallets that I’ve seen on the market to date!

The 6 Modular Options for the Fantom R Wallets are:

  1. The Fantom R – Key Holder
    • The key holder allows you to keep 3 keys stored inside the modular attachment, keeping this available whenever you may need them, all the while minimizing your pocket bulk!
  2. The Fantom R – Cash Holder
    • The cash holder attachment gives you an additional slot that is roughly 1/8″ wide to accommodate folded bills, or even better yet (in my opinion) business cards, keeping them crisp and clean as opposed to keeping them in the money clip.
  3. The Fantom R – Coin Holder
    • This attachment gives you a nifty slot to store your coins in, and keeps them securely stored in the attachment and kept in by the pull tab for your cards!
  4. The Fantom R – ID Holder
    • This attachment is rather simple, a clear plastic holder for a single card, allowing your ID to be easily presentable without having to pull it out of the wallet.
  5. The Fantom R – Silicone Band
    • Available in 4 colours, this attachment suspends a silicone band down the centre of the wallet allowing for additional cash storage, or a secure place to keep business cards and receipts.
  6. The Fantom R – Tracker
    • This attachment allows for tracking of your wallet through an app connected via bluetooth on your phone! Ensuring that the wallet is easy to find whenever you need it.

Quality of Materials

The metal and finish materials of the Fantom R feel high quality from the instant you take them out of the box, and these materials are backed by a phenomenal warranty as well!

Warranty

As with the Fantom S we reviewed earlier in the year Fantom comes back again with the best warranty in the business. Not only does it come with a lifetime warranty for any manufacturing defect, but they also provide a warranty for accidental damage, offering a replacement wallet for 50% off with the simple condition that the previous wallet be destroyed. This warranty definitely makes the hefty price tag more worth it.

Price/Value

As we discussed early on, the Fantom R truly is a premium wallet, and as so carries a rather premium price tag with a Fantom R wallet with a money clip and attachment coming in at over $200 Canadian after taxes and shipping. Even without the modular attachment, the base wallet and money clip come to $150 prior to tax and shipping. The wallet comes with a phenomenal warranty, and fantastic features, which do justify the price tag, but the wallet will likely remain exclusive to those willing to pay the price for it.

Final Notes

The Fantom R is an extremely premium wallet, with a variety of options to suit the needs of absolutely anyone with the customization options available. You can truly create a wallet for your style. Despite the price tag, the extremely premium features and benefits of this wallet make it one of my overall favourites thusfar.

The Fantom R Wallet earns an Overall Score of 9.2/10

REVIEW: Ekster Parliament, Stylish & Smart

Stylish, high-quality and GPS trackable are the first three things that come to mind when I think of the Ekster Parliament Wallet. This wallet comes in a sleek front pocket design, and holds everything you need to keep in it. Whether you keep it in your suit breast pocket, or the front pocket of your Levi’s, the Ekster Parliament wallet will fit into every outfit and every situation.

The Ekster Parliament is one of the cooler wallets I’ve played with. I loved the Senate Cardholder, but the Parliament wallet really steps it up to earn a score of 9.5/10, our highest score yet!

Stylish, high-quality and GPS trackable are the first three things that come to mind when I think of the Ekster Parliament Wallet. This wallet comes in a sleek front pocket design, and holds everything you need to keep in it. Whether you keep it in your suit breast pocket, or the front pocket of your Levi’s, the Ekster Parliament wallet will fit into every outfit and every situation.

You can purchase the Ekster Parliament wallet HERE

Card Capacity

The Ekster Parliament boasts an incredible card capacity for the size of the wallet overall, with the inside slide pocket holding 4-6 cards depending on whether their flat or embossed, I personally used it to store 5 cards, 1 flat and 4 embossed. The front folding area holds 2 additional cards, and has the money band that holds your cash and/or business cards. The wallet also has a back pocket that could be used to hold an additional card or two, however it was intended to be for the GPS tracker card. Overall I have 9 cards, 4 Business cards, and 4 folded bills in the wallet, which is a phenomenal amount of storage for something so minimally sized.

Size & Bulk

At 4.1 inches by 2.5 inches the Ekster Parliament is extremely front pocket friendly. When empty the wallet is 0.4 inches thick, and when fully loaded, it came to only 0.75 inches thick! This wallet will fit comfortably in your front pocket, your shirt pocket, or your suit breast pocket, making it comfortable for carry in any situation. I don’t have much to say about bulk, as fortunately this wallet seems to have no bulk whatsoever.

Card Grip

Card grip is an issue I’ve been running into constantly with the card slide type wallets, and I’m extremely thrilled to report that with the Ekster Parliament, this was not an issue I encountered with any of my cards. This was the first slide wallet I’ve had that has the ability to grip my metal card securely as well as my plastic cards.

Ease of Access

As with all card slide wallets, there’s definitely no points being taken away for ease of access for this one. With the press of a button, your go to cards are popped up and ready for you to grab the one you need quickly and conveniently. Even the cards in the front fold area are easy to get to, and the cash you store in the money band is always right where you need it .

Additional Functionality

This is a category I was excited to get to for the Ekster Parliament. This wallet comes from a brand that is truly stepping up the wallet game and bringing it into the tech era. Ekster offers a GPS tracking card that they promote with their wallets so you never have to worry about losing your wallet. I found the app was super easy to use to track the wallet as well. The wallet is also RFID protected to keep your information safe from credit card skimmers while your out and about.

The Smart tracking card slides nicely into the back pocket of the Ekster Parliament.

Quality of Materials

Ekster uses top-grain leathers tanned with the highest levels of environmental protocols being followed. This produces a beautiful quality of leather that starts off with an amazing sheen, and that beautiful leather aroma. Over-time is when the quality of the leather really shines though, as the patina developed by the leather truly sets it apart.

Warranty

Ekster believes in the quality of their products, and as such they offer a hassle free 30 day return policy, and a 12 month warranty on all of their products. I personally guarantee though that once you have this wallet in your hand, there’s no way you’d want to return it. This wallet has everything you’ll need and then some.

Price/Value

The Ekster Parliament is a premium product at a standard price of $89, though if you keep your eye out for it there’s frequently sales held by the company, offering the wallet for discounted prices of $67-$73. I would say that at under $90, this would be one of my first picks for a high quality wallet to spend your hard earned money on.

Final Notes

If you’re looking for a new wallet, look no further. The Ekster Parliament is a beautiful leather wallet that houses a secure home for your cards, and smart tracking technology. You’d be hard pressed to find a better value for your money, which is why this wallet has earned the highest score we’ve given a wallet EVER.

The Ekster Parliament Wallet receives a score of 9.5/10

The Ekster Parliament and all other Ekster products can be purchased HERE

I hope you enjoyed today’s review, please follow my blog to get the latest reviews and news first!

Review: The Slimmest Cardholder You’ll Ever Need – The Turner by Andar

For the past 10 days, I’ve been using the Andar Turner in brown as my daily wallet, and I’m pretty rough on wallets, I pushed this piece to its limits during the process, without further adieu, you’ll find my comments below.

Let’s start off with the overall. If I had to give this wallet a score out of 10 as I do with all the wallets I review, I would give this wallet an 8.5/10 overall.

All Andar products can be purchased HERE.

Overall, this is one of the best leather cardholders I’ve had the privilege to get my hands on. As a fan of minimalistic designs, this wallet truly does fit the bill, while the Turner isn’t jam packed with extra features, I was able to push this wallet to its limits, while simultaneously testing out the quality of the leather, and it passed with flying colours. Better yet, It’s one of the slimmest cardholders I’ve used to date, even when fully loaded.

Card Capacity

While the Turner wallet may look slim, with only 2 external card slots and an interior slot with a pull tab, I was truly impressed by what I was able to fit into this wallet throughout the week. At this moment I have 3 embossed cards between the 2 outer pockets. On the inside pocket with the pull tab I currently have 1 receipt, 8 business cards, 4 additional credit/ID cards, and 3 tri-folded bills. For a cardholder than comes in at less than 1/2 an inch thick when completely loaded with everything i have in it, I am truly impressed.

Size and Bulk

The Andar Turner comes in at 4 1/8 inches wide, and 3 inches tall. Empty it comes in a 5/32 of an inch thick. Even when I’ve fully loaded it with everything I could throw at it, it’s still at just under half an inch thick! If you love a slim cardholder that doesn’t chew up your front pocket real estate, this is an ideal choice for you!

Card Grip

Leather card holders don’t generally have an issue with card grip, and the Andar Turner is no exception. Even after loading a pocket up to 3 cards, then dropping back to 1 there was no question of the grip whatsoever, the cards will always stay secure in this cardholder regardless of whether they’re one of the 2 external pockets, or the internal slide pocket.

Ease of Access

The Turner Wallet really sets itself apart from most cardholders on the market in terms of ease of access. I had to grab each card out of this wallet at least once, and despite there being a number of them in the centre pocket, it never took more than a second to grab any of the cards I was looking for. The pull tab in the centre pocket provides quick and easy access at any time, and the pull tab is made of canvas rather than elastic, so you don’t have to worry about it wearing out.

Additional Functionality

We’ve talked about some of the extra features this wallet has already, but for the sake of organizing the review, we’ll touch on them again. The non elastic pull tab in the centre pocket, let me cram a ton of receipts, cards, and cash into the middle portion of the cardholder, but with the non elastic pull tab, I was able to access anything I needed in approximately 1 second. The Turner wallet is also RFID protected, so your credit and debit cards can’t be skimmed when securely stored in this cardholder.

Quality of Materials

The leather used to make this cardholder is a full grain vintage leather. The important thing to note about full grain leather like this wallet is made of is that the leather will scuff or scratch quite easily, that being said though, this does NOT damage the quality of the wallet at all, in fact the patina the leather will gain from these scuffs and scratches makes it look even more beautiful that the day you took it out of the box.

Warranty

Andar wallets come with a 12 month warranty, in which the company stands behind the quality and craftsmanship of their product. While this isn’s one the longer warranty’s available on modern wallets and EDC products, for a full grain vintage leather, this warranty is phenomenal .

Price/Value

This is where the Andar Turner gets truly exciting. The Turner may have high end features and be made of a high end material, but the price places it into an affordable category at only $53. With the quality and value in this wallet, I would say that the price point presents this as a product affordable by most people. While this may not be for everyone, the price point is accessible.

Final Notes

Something I haven’t mentioned yet was the phenomenal shipping on this product. Despite having to be shipped across an international border during COVID, I had this wallet within 2 business days of it being shipped. I believe that if what you like is a slim profile without too many fancy features, and you don’t want to spend $100+ on a wallet, this is the piece for you! What it lacks in special features it more than makes up for in price and overall value.

Overall the Turner Wallet by Andar gets a rating of 8.5/10. Placing it near the top of the class so far in pieces we’ve reviewed. This is a wallet I will definitely be using again, and a company I will be keeping my eye on moving forward. The Andar Turner & other Andar wallets can be purchased HERE

New Review Coming Soon

We’re going to have a new review dropping in the upcoming week, on this wallet that I’m currently using. This product has been a lost leader in the EDC game for awhile, and I’m excited to share my experience. Follow us to see it first!

REVIEW: SECRID Mini Wallet

This time around I took the SECRID Mini Wallet in Black for a spin for a couple of weeks.

As we’ve learned by now, I love a good minimalist wallet, and I love when modern technology is introduced into a compact EDC product. For years now, SECRID has been a lost leader in the card slide based wallet space, manufacturing their fantastic variety of options from Holland, you can truly see and feel the quality in these wallets from the instant you set your sights on them for the first time.

As we all know by now though we must rank the wallet based on certain criteria, however if I had to give this wallet its overall rating, I’d peg it down at a 8.5/10! Fantastic rating for a great product by an exceptional company.

Card Capacity

The mini wallet may come in small, however the capacity of this wallet is fantastic. The main metal card slide offers space for 4 Embossed cards, or up to 6 flat cards. Personally, I store 3 embossed cards, and 2 flat cards in the slide. Now within the leather wrap (shown in the below picture) holds another 4 cards! This brings us to 8-10 cards in total. But…there’s more, in the cash holding sleeve, I fit in commonly another 4 folded bills, and 4 business cards. This brings the total capacity for me to 9 cards, 4 business cards, and 4 folded bills. For a wallet that fits in the palm of your hand, this is fantastic.

When the wallet opens up, you get 2 more card slots for up to 2 cards each, and a plastic slot for folded bills that I also keep business cards in.

Size & Bulk

As we touched on in capacity, this wallet is truly outstanding in capacity for it’s compact size. The wallet comes in at roughly 3 inches tall by 2 inches wide. When fully loaded I had it at less than an inch thick! This wallet is truly one of the more front pocket friendly wallets that I’ve played with.

Card Grip

This is one of the few categories where I had to deduct points for this piece. The 2 card slots in the leather wrap around are phenomenal for grip, I felt that my cards were secure at all times, and the leather wrap snaps shut when you’re storing the wallet in your pocket, so rest assured your cards are safe. Now the metal slide on the other hand, is a different story. I felt that the majority of my plastic cards were stored securely and I had to apply a decent amount of force to make them fall out, but my metal card I had some trouble with. When moving the wallet around and testing it on different angles, the grip was definitely a bit loose on my metal card, and I was able to make it fall out completely on more than 1 occasion.

Ease of Access

As far as ease of access is concerned, this wallet gets a perfect score. With the easy access slide switch on the bottom of the card slide, you pull the switch and your top 4-6 cards come popping right up for near instant access to whatever you need most. The lesser used cards in the leather wrap around are still easy to access, but they’re safely stored away for when you don’t immediately need them.

Additional Functionality

For additional functionality this wallet has one of the key features I look for in a cardholder based wallet… RFID protection. The RFID protection on the main metal slide ensures that nobody with a skimmer can steal the data from your ID and credit cards as you walk around day to day.

Quality of Materials

The leather this wallet is made of is of a quality that you know as soon as you touch it for the first time. The metal card slides to tend to scratch a bit, but the leather and other materials are definitely of a top notch quality. You’ll know immediately when you’re using this wallet that you have a high quality wallet in your hand.

Warranty

The warranty that SECRID offers is something that truly sets their entire line apart from their competitors in the EDC marketplace. As one of the original players in the space they’ve had a lot of time to work on their craft, but they believe so firmly in the quality of their products, that they back all of their products with a 3 year warranty for any defects or malfunctions. On top of the warranty, I’ve found their customer service team very easy to work with despite them being on another continent.

Price/Value

The entire SECRID line of wallets sells at a price point that most would consider premium, they’re definitely more expensive than the average wallet you grab off the shelf at your local department store. However, you know when you pick these wallets up that you’re paying for the quality of the product, the functionality, and the warranty. Despite the many knockoffs available on Amazon and alike, I would recommend splurging on the real thing any day of the week.

In closing, I would recommend the SECRID Mini Wallet to anyone looking for a solution to slim down the old bifold wallet taking up major real estate in their back pocket. Plus, can you put a price on the back pain you’ll save yourself by moving your wallet to the front pocket in the first place?

Overall the SECRID Mini Wallet gets an 8.5/10 rating, making it one of the highest scoring wallets I’ve gotten my hands on thus far. While I’m trying new things every couple of weeks, I’ve been using SECRID for awhile and their products truly are in a league of their own.

Until next time!

REVIEW: Ekster Senate Cardholder

Senate Cardholder | Slim Leather RFID Blocking Cardholder
My wallet of choice the past two weeks was the Ekster Senate Cardholder in Black

The Senate Cardholder can be Purchased Here

It’s been a couple of weeks since I reviewed my last wallet, and I’ve been using a product from another newer player to the men’s wallet market. Ekster, a brand boasting high quality materials in the slimmest, most fashion forward wallets I’ve stumbled over in awhile. They also advertise optional tracking cards that can be used to prevent you from losing any of their wallets, however I did not have the luxury to try this item at this time. Ekster makes 2 products I see tremendous value in, the Senate Cardholder, and the Parliament Wallet.

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been using (and abusing) the Senate Cardholder, a sleek pop of cardholder with a simplistic mechanism allowing for easy card access, but with the addition of an elastic money band & additional card slot makes more a new set of opportunities while keeping form minimal and function high. Overall I give the Senate Cardholder a score of 7.5/10.

Capacity

As you know by now if you’ve been reading my reviews, capacity is by far the most important feature I look for in any wallet on the market. It’s tremendously important to have everything you need within an arms reach, and when this can be accomplished without added bulk, I’m impressed. The senate cardholder allowed me to store 5 cards in the main pop up compartment, and another 1 card, and 3 business cards in the additional card slot on the money band slide. I was also able to store 5 bills in the money band. All things considered this is plenty of space for most people’s day to day needs, however it did leave me wanting more in terms of space for 1-2 additional cards, and more than the 2 business cards I was able to fit. That being said, with this wallet being only 3 inches by 2 inches, and less than an inch thick, I’m extremely satisfied with what I was able to fit into this extremely compact space.

Size & Bulk

While we touched a bit on size and bulk in the capacity section, the size and bulk of this wallet was what truly set it apart. To be an ideal front pocket wallet, the wallet can be up to 5 inches long, but never more than 3 inches wide. Thickness should always be under 1.5 inches to fit well in the front pocket. Now the Senate Cardholder, even when fully loaded came in at around 3/4 of an inch thick. Based on what I was able to squeeze in, I am impressed. Ekster really earns top marks for their ability to make a compact wallet.

Card Grip

This is an area of wallet use that I’ve always found particularly important, and in my experience this is where most pop up style wallets fall short, particularly when you get into metal credit cards, without the usual embossing of a plastic card. The Senate Cardholder impressed me in this regard for the first while, however closer to the end of the 2 weeks I was using the cardholder I found that my metal card could come slipping out with force, though the plastic cards were gripped tightly, and I have little to no concern about keeping my cards secure in this wallet for day to day use.

Ease of Access

Nothing on the market can provide ease of access quite like a pop up style wallet, as you can see in the photo below, a push of the bottom on the bottom and your 5 most used cards pop right up, so you’ll never have to dig around in the pockets of your wallet to get to that credit card you’re looking for. Everything you need with this wallet is available with the mere push of a button (literally).

Ekster: Senate Leather Card Holder Wallet - RFID Blocking - Quick Card  Access: Amazon.ca: Clothing & Accessories
The Button on the Bottom Easily Pops up the 5 Cards in the Top Slot.

Quality of Materials

The Senate Cardholder truly impressed me directly out of the box with the high quality feeling of their genuine leather, and the craftsmanship making their pop up design as smooth as a warm knife through soft butter. I know that was a terrible analogy, but the wallet truly does seem quite impressive directly out of the box with the feeling of their materials and the clearly outstanding workmanship that went into the production of this piece.

Warranty

Ekster offers a 1 year manufacturer warranty on their wallets, which while inline with many industries in the consumer goods space, the majority of new higher end wallet makers are offering more thorough warranty options that compete against the warranty offered by Ekster.

Additional Functionality

With the addition of the money band to allow for cash, and the extra card pocket, this wallet does exactly what you’d expect for the most part, and with its minimalistic style, there isn’t much surprise to be had. However Ekster also offers the optional add on of a tracking card, ensuring you’ll never lose your wallet again.

Pricing (Value)

The Senate Cardholder is priced at $79 USD, which unfortunately is one of the few downfalls I’ve found in this review. The wallet shows value for the money, however it doesn’t gain a distinct advantage over any of it’s competitors in the price arena.

Overall, this is a wallet I would be extremely satisfied to be using continually, and I truly can’t wait to try Ekster’s other product, when the time for that comes. I give the Ekster Senate Cardholder an Overall Score of 7.5/10.

The Senate Cardholder can be Purchased Here

Until Next Time!

REVIEW: Fantom S Aluminum Slim Wallet

My product was the Fantom S (8-13 Card version) in Red, with a Titanium Money Clip

Today marks about a week now I’ve had the opportunity to play with one of the most exciting new wallets on the market. The latest product launched by Ansix Designs here in Canada is the new Fantom Wallet.

With 3 different card capacity options housed inside a sturdy aluminum frame this card has good pocket feel, and weighs virtually nothing while making itself even more functional with the additional of the pop out toggle lever along the shortest edge. This lever fanning the cards out for easier access is definitely a plus to the overall functionality.

Overall I rate the Fantom S an 8/10, with strong performances in some of the key areas we’re looking at, however it did have a couple of minor issues that you’ll see as we delve in further below.

Card Capacity

This particular model boasted a capacity of 8-13 cards, which seems realistic with the number of cards I was able to fit into the card holder segment of the wallet. I did find it to be a bit slick when I had only 8 cards in the wallet so I’m not sure I would trust only having 8 in this particular model. I maxed out the amount of space in the wallet at 11 cards, however 4 of those were embossed cards so we give them a thumbs up for the accuracy of their card capacity and the realistic numbers they’re advertising.

Size and Bulk

The slim build of this wallet was what truly excited me about the concept of it, weighing in empty at less than 50 grams! That is astonishingly light for a wallet with this level of capacity. Once I fully loaded it up, it still feels like one of the lightest wallets I’ve ever had, and fits well into the front pocket with almost no added bulk. That being said though, I do find that the design of the wallet with the lever on the end, makes it slightly longer than I would have liked in an ideal world, but they get 2 thumbs up for the slimness and minimal bulk of this wallet.

Card Grip

We touched on my feeling of card grip in the card capacity section of the review already, but let’s go over this a bit more. The grip on my cards seems to be sturdy so long as I have at least 8-9 cards in the wallet. If you go below the minimum capacity for your specific model, then it does tend to be lacking in the grip of your cards a bit. I also found that the last card in the wallet, closest to the quick access latch had to be a plastic card. When I loaded my metal American Express Platinum into the final spot for the easiest access, I found that it was a bit slick and began to fall out a couple of times due to the lack of grip with a metal on metal contact. I would love to see some way to have better grip on the metal credit cards, though that won’t be a major issue for most people.

Ease of Access

The Fantom S makes accessing most of your cards as easy as fanning out your cards with the top level, and grabbing the one you want. That being said, I would love for the cards to fan a bit more, however with 12-13 cards in the wallet there is limited room for fanning out that many cards and I understand why the wallet is the way it is. I also have to keep my metal credit card in the second slot which makes the access a little bit slower than if it were in the primary spot, but I change wallets multiple times a week and I’ve been going strong with this one for over a week, so thats a great sign!

Additional Functionality

So what makes this wallet special other than it’s ability to hold my cards? Let’s talk about that. The Fantom wallet is available in a model with a coin holder, though in COVID times I did not opt for that model so I can’t comment on it specifically. My biggest issue with this wallet comes from a functionality it was NOT designed to have. I found it to be tedious that the card holder compartment in this wallet could not hold any business cards. However I found a way around this by keeping my business cards in the money clip, though they do get bent and scuffed up in the pocket, tarnishing that pristine condition you desire when handing your business card to a potential client, none the less I found a way to carry them, which is more than I can say for many of the wallets I’ve tried. In the money clip I keep 5 business cards and 3 folded bills at any time and it maintains a tight grip on all of it, so they’ve done good work with the money clip on this wallet. Interestingly I had to screw on the money clip myself as it came packaged separately from the wallet itself.

Quality of Materials

The quality of this wallet feels phenomenal. The metal finish feels very high quality, though I have managed to scratch it within this first week of owning it, but the wallet comes in a variety of finishes other than metal, so I’m sure theres a finish out there to fit the needs of anyone.

Warranty

This is where this company really goes above and beyond to back their product by offering both a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects AND a wear and tear warranty garnering a 50% discount on a new wallet when returning the worn out wallet.

Lastly, Price

I paid $72 USD for this wallet, plus an additional $9 for the shipping. I found it to be tedious that I had to pay in USD (I paid roughly $108 Canadian including the $10 Signup Discount) considering the wallet shipped from within Canada, however I do see the value for money. At $108 CAD I would expect a wallet of high quality and excellent function, and I feel that for the most part, I received that. Down the road I will likely try and review the company’s new Fantom R model, which is more expensive, and I will likely write a second review on the quality of this model as well after some time using the wallet.

In Closing

As we said this wallet scored an overall rating of 8/10, with excellent card capacity, a phenomenal warranty, and high build quality. The points deducted were for the lack of a functional business card holder, and the slippage occurring with my metal Amex card.

I would not hesitate to recommend this wallet to anyone looking for a slim front pocket solution, provided that the steep price tag isn’t prohibitive.

The Fantom S can be purchased at http://store.fantomwallet.com/