Last year, when the bulges in my pockets became a little too ridiculous, I bought a Bellroy Slim-Sleeve wallet. Before I realized how bad my bulges had become I didn’t know minimalist wallets even existed. So, when I entered “minimalist wallet” as a Google search term I was very surprised to see they not only existed but there were a number of options available. Now I’ve been the proud owner of a Bellroy Slim Sleeve wallet for a little over six months, I know my wallet well enough to write an informed and unbiased Bellroy Slim Sleeve wallet review.
Why I Decided to Buy a Bellroy Minimalist Wallet Instead of Another Brand
I liked the Bellroy range of minimalist wallets right from the start. I spent quite some time researching the company and loved they way their slimline wallets are designed to use as little leather as possible, to keep the dimensions down. I also liked the fact that Bellroy wallet buyers have 11 colour options to choose from. Prior to my research of the company, the only wallet colours I’d seen were black and brown and, most of the time if I needed to buy a new wallet I would always opt for black. I never knew wallets could be so colourful and absolutely fell in love with one of the blue-coloured Slim Sleeves. I began looking for a local supplier.
Bellroy wallets are not the cheapest option by any means. I bought mine from a department store in Utrecht and it cost me €80. At the time, the price would have been exactly the same If I’d bought it from the manufacturer’s website, but I’d have had to wait for the wallet to be shipped from Australia. Buying local was a much better idea and it meant I got the chance to hold the wallet in my hand before I made my final decision to buy.
Just because you are paying more for something, it doesn’t always guarantee superior quality. Bellroy has a reputation for producing quality items, and the wallets I’d seen on the company website certainly looked very impressive, but having the opportunity to handle the wallet before I bought it allowed me to check things out for myself. I could tell straight away the quality of the leather used was very good and the stitching also seemed to be first-rate. I bought it.
My first impression was good, but that didn’t mean I was going to rush into writing a Bellroy Slim Sleeve wallet review. I wanted to see how the wallet held up after constant everyday use. That was six months ago and everything continues to be fine. I’m not the kind of guy who normally pays for top of the range products, but in this case, I am very glad that I did and have no regrets at all.
Bellroy Slim Sleeve Minimalist Wallet Pros and Cons
The main thing I like about this wallet is it really does slim your pockets down and rid them of unsightly bulges. However, it’s so light, sometimes I don’t feel it’s there and often find myself patting my pocket to make sure I haven’t lost it or been targetted by a pickpocket. If you are thinking about buying a Bellroy Slim Sleeve minimalist wallet, I think I should also point out these wallets may be easier to lose than larger traditional-type wallets. I’ve found, if I’m lying down on a sofa or bed with the wallet in my front pocket, it can fall out quite easily, but my trousers are not particularly tight. Men who wear tighter pants or carry their wallet in another pocket may not have this problem. However, If I am staying in a hostel or am somewhere else where strangers may be able to take advantage of the situation if it falls from my pocket, I take extra precautions to prevent its loss.
But can such a slim wallet really be functional? I am glad to say that it can. The wallet is designed to carry four to 12 cards. I only carry four cards inside mine. A the moment, I’ve also got a local rail pass and a few of my business cards in it as well.
How much cash the wallet holds may depend on where you are in the world because some countries have larger notes than others. I use euros and, these days, I seldom carry more than €100 around with me, but when I was living in the Netherlands I sometimes had two to three time that amount inside my Bellroy. Having said that, €50 notes are quite common there. I’m in Portugal at the moment and the cash machines only have €10 and €20 notes inside. I would say if you want to get the most out of one of these wallets you don’t want to be trying to stuff any more than six to eight notes inside (depending on their size).
If you decide to buy a Bellroy Slim Sleeve wallet there will be a learning curve involved because you cant just stuff a wad of notes in the top and then close the wallet and put it inside your pocket. You need to fold the notes first. With smaller notes you can just fold them once and pop them inside, but larger notes need folding more than once or they protrude too far and stop the wallet from closing properly.
It’s a personal choice, but I prefer to fold my notes twice and place them in the wallet in a little line, with the tips protruding slightly. That way I can identify them quickly and just pull out one note at a time instead of taking out a wad of money. Of course, it’s not safe to hang around doing that at a cash machine, so I usually stuff them in as a wad and then line them up later, when I’m in private or somewhere where I’m not flashing my money for everyone to see.
A Closer Look at the Bellroy Slim Sleeve Wallet Design
Although I have a few business cards in one side of my wallet instead, the slit-type pocket they are in is really intended for a credit or debit card. The idea is to put your two most-used cards in the two slit-type pockets that are on either side of the wallet when you open it up. The pocket on the left is for your notes and the pocket on the right is for the cards you need to carry about with you, but don’t use every day, such as your driving licence or club membership cards etc. This pocket can hold several cards and has a nifty little pull tab that makes it easier to get at them. It’s a very handy feature and it doesn’t appear to add any unnecessary bulk to the wallet, so what’s not to love?
The Bottom Line
I loved this wallet six months ago and I still love it now. It was worth every penny I paid for it and I would never go back to a normal wallet again. I’ve never felt using this wallet restricts me in any way and I no longer have to worry about having any unsightly or stupid-looking bulges in my pockets. I’ll wind-up my Bellroy Slim Sleeve wallet review by saying I genuinely believe it’s the best minimalist wallet a man can get, in terms of functionality, design, and style. And it’s such a good quality product I’m confident I will be loving my Bellroy ten years from now and well into the future.