Bellroy Wallets – Which Bellroy wallet should I buy?

Bellroy wallets – Spotting a pocket in the market

Call me old fashioned, but I still love to carry a ‘classic’ style wallet – i.e. something leather that holds cards and cash. In an age of NFC cards and smartphone payment, the humble wallet is pretty old-school. Of course, I do own my fair share of card holders and money clips, which have their use too. But there’s nothing like having all your cards and cash in one easy to carry, comfortable, organized place. So Bellroy wallets are a godsend, and something I often have in my everyday carry.

First and foremost, comfort isn’t a word I can apply to all wallets. Many of them aren’t designed very well at all. In fact, over the years I’ve had a few wallets, but the Bellroy was the first time I’ve spent anything decent. In my eyes it has been money well spent, it’s great to look at, touch and use.

Of course, the problem with most wallets is that by the time you’ve added some cash, a bank card, credit card, license, store card, gym card and any other card you use regular, you’re left with a pretty hefty leather lump. Stick the wallet in your pocket and you’re left with a solid leather square pressing against your leg all day. That isn’t fun and doesn’t look too cool if you’re jeans etc are even remotely fitted.

Now I’m partial to certain items getting a little worn to add some character, but I’ve had wallets that after a year look terrible! The pigment gone out of the leather (these were the cheaper end of the scale) and crack appearing. Stitching failing on the corners. Card or coin lines etched into the leather etc. Wear and tear is inevitable, but I think the quality of leather and how it’s finished plays massive part in how the wallet ages.

The clever guys at Bellroy identified these problems too and came up with several solutions.

 

About Bellroy Wallets

Bellroy is an Australian company, the name being a portmanteau of their two offices in Bells Beach and Fitzroy. Their first wallet arrived in 2010 and quickly established themselves as a quality brand. In the meantime they have become well-known for producing high quality leather slimline wallets. In that time they’ve gone from 4 guys with 5 wallet designs to 40 employee with 11 designs. They also ship to well over 100 countries too.

Development time is important to these guys, they spend a lot of time designing and refining their products. In fact, they helped set up Carryology to gain insights and feedback from the everyday carry community. It’s refreshing for companies to go to such lengths to learn about their customer. I mentioned Leatherman doing something similar with the Charge TTi – another brilliant user-focussed product.

Leather

Of course, Bellroy’s designs are the show stealer, but I want us to look one reason they look and feel so good – leather! The look and feel of the wallet hinges on the quality of this and Bellroy wallets are made from some wonderful leather. Their leathers come in a range of colors, which age very well and are backed by a 3-year warranty. In fact, they only use premium top-grain hides, “tanned under gold-rated LWG environmental protocols” too. At the time of writing this they offer 14 colours across 3 leather types

Bellroy wallets color selection

Colours

Running from left to right on the above:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Teal
  • Arctic Blue
  • Blue Steel
  • Slate
  • Charcoal
  • Black
  • Jave
  • Mocha
  • Cocoa
  • Tamarillo
  • Burnt Orange
  • Tan
  • Caramel

Leather types

Bellroy wallets come in 3 leather types too:

Naked Leathers

This leather is finished to show more character over time. Claiming to be “showcasing the aniline hides in a more natural state – minimal intervention means the grain and personality remain on full display”. This means that over time as you handle them, the leather grain develops a richer texture and establishes stronger character and color.

 Dressed Leathers

This finish is to keep the leather looking newer for longer. The semi-aniline dressed leathers are more resilient to marking than the naked leathers and still retain a natural characteristics. A light natural coating of pigment keeps things looking newer for longer. This results in an excellent balance between consistency and character.

All-Conditions Leather

This finish is used to provide leather protection in tough conditions. The ‘All-Conditions’ leather is the most durable finish they do. This treatment allows the leather to be able to repel both water and wear. The resilience is achieved through additional treatments to the structure of the hides, which helps maintain a natural hand feel. These leathers develop more pronounced surface marks that can be buffed away using your fingertips.

5 Best Bellroy Wallets

So there’s an overview of Bellroy and the quality of the research and production that goes into their wallets. Now it’s time to look at 5 of their products and the features these have to offer.

 

Bellroy Wallets: The Note Sleeve

Bellroy Wallets | The Note Sleeve

This is the All-rounder Bellroy wallets have to suit bills, cards and coins. You can fit paper cash, coins and up to eleven cards, all within a neat slim profile. The Note Sleeve stores flat bills with ease and has quick-access slots for your daily cards. There’s also a really neat storage area with a convenient pull-tab for less used cards. Another trick feature is a coin pouch that doubles as a business card protector. So now you can slim down your wallet without losing any of a traditional wallets’ key features.

Specification:

Card Capacity: Holds 4 – 11+ cards

Size: 103mm x 85mm

Cash Storage: Full-sized note section and coin pocket

Additional Storage: 3 Quick access slots and pull tab for less used cards

Material: Premium, environmentally certified leather

Guarantee: Backed by our 3 year warranty

Also available with RFID protection*

 

Bellroy wallets - The Low Down

Bellroy Wallets | The Low Down

This is the slimline Bellroy wallet for a lightweight carry. This was designed for short currencies and is the slimmest wallet for US and Australian dollars. If your reading this from outside the US you can check to see if your currency fits by looking at this list. Alternatively there is the High Line wallet. Bellroy have kept it beautifully simple here, and taken out the less needed features to create a minimalist design. With a classic landscape style, you’ll find the the edges around the cards tapered in, great for pockets to stay smooth and super slim.

Specification:

Card Capacity: Holds 2 – 10 cards

Size: 110mm x 78mm

Cash Storage: Flat bills up to 70mm

Additional Storage: Discreet card storage

Material: Premium, environmentally certified leather

Guarantee: Backed by our 3 year warranty

 

Bellroy wallets - The Hide & Seek

Bellroy Wallets | The Hide & Seek

A classic designed wallet with added security features. The Hide & Seek is more traditional in appearance, but packed with features. Its a handy design for those who want more out of their wallet, but want to retain cool aesthetics. It can probably hold all of the money and cards you could need too, it helps separate items you use more often from those that are important but needed less. There’s also a nifty security feature that uses a hidden flap to keep large bills hidden from view. There is also a flat pack storage section which helps to stack away cards in a secure location.

Specification:

Card Capacity: Holds 5 – 12+ cards

Size: 115mm x 85mm

Card Storage: 4 quick access slots

Cash Storage: Hidden coin pouch and flat bill section

Additional Storage: Protected section for cards & business cards

Material: Premium, environmentally certified leather

Guarantee: Backed by our 3 year warranty

Also available with RFID protection*

 

Bellroy wallets - The Slim Sleeve

Bellroy Wallets | The Slim Sleeve

A compact designed wallet for the small EDC lover. Its a fine balance of small with convenient, the Slim Sleeve Wallet offers full sized features in a smaller footprint. Your two daily cards go in quick draw, then a tab lets you get to your infrequent cards. Most currencies will fit easily with a half fold, which means you can keep all your essentials in one small, compact space .

Specification:

Card Capacity: Holds 4 – 12+ cards

Size: 80mm x 95mm

Card Storage: 2 quick access slots

Cash Storage: Cash can be stored folded

Additional Storage: Pull tab for infrequently used cards

Material: Premium, environmentally certified leather

Guarantee: Backed by our 3 year warranty

 

Bellroy wallets - The Travel Wallet

Bellroy Wallets | The Travel Wallet

One for all you jet-setters out there, the remarkably functional Bellroy Travel wallet. Ever had that heart-stopping moment as you shuffle through your bags, looking for your passport? The Travel Wallet has been cleverly designed for you to keep all of your important documents in one place, fitting snugly in your pocket. It comes with two note sections, a tailored passport pouch, card slots and even a handy pen! For anyone who does a lot of travelling this is the Bellroy wallet for you.

Specification:

Card Capacity: Holds 4 – 10+ cards

Size: 97mm x 150mm

Card Storage: 4 quick-access card slots (+ 2 extra)

Cash Storage: 2 note sections

Additional Storage: Sections for passport, tickets and cash

Extra feature: Comes with travel pen and refills

Material: Premium, environmentally certified leather

Guarantee: Backed by our 3 year warranty

Also available with RFID protection*

 

Wallets with RFID Protection

As noted in the Note Sleeve, Hide & Seek and Travel Wallet, these designs can be bought with RFID protection. RFID-blocking wallets are designed to help insulate you from a very particular brand of electronic pickpocketing. This is called RFID skimming.

Most credit cards and debit cards issued within the past decade have RFID technology embedded in them. All US passports issued in 2006 and later have RFID chips that track your data and photo. These RFID chips are a convenient way to store and read data, doing away with having to swipe your card through a reader. Now you can simply wave a card in front of an RFID scanner. You can  even do it without taking it out of your wallet! It’s convenience at its best.

However, the down side of this is unfortunately someone could build a counterfeit reader. Consequently, this could allow them to pick up your RFID information against your will.

At this point, I should say you’d be very unlucky for this to happen. Of course, if this does bother you then RFID wallets are here to help. These wallets help protect credit cards, passports, and driver’s licenses embedded with radio frequency identification chips. So RFID wallets help prevent money and information being taken. Presently, Bellroy have several of their wallets available with this protection built in.

 

Concluding Bellroy wallets

In conclusion, for anyone who likes to have a wallet in their EDC, Bellroy offers several excellent options. These are wonderfully thought out designs that combine slimline carry with rich features. The amount of designs, colours and finishes means that there’s a number of options to suit. Combined with great quality leather and stitching, ultimately this is a product I can really recommend.

In my opinion, I’d recommend the following. If you fly a lot, then the Travel Wallet is the obvious choice, although the Hide & Seek offers nice concealment. If you’re after lightweight and compactness – the Low Down and Slim Sleeve are one to consider. Finally, for a full-feature wallet the Note Sleeve or Hide & Seek are both excellent. If you’re thinking of buying a Bellroy wallet or already have one let me know what you think in the comments below.