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I have been searching for the best minimalist wallet for quite some time now; it started with a Ridge Wallet that was given to me for Christmas and has since expanded to other brands like Axwell, Ekster, Dango, and more. However, one company I had never tried out was Bellroy, and with their name being well-known in the industry, I thought it was about time.
Let me start by saying this wallet was one of the least exciting on my list of wallets I wanted to test out, and I thought it would be something I would like, but it would likely not find its way to being a replacement for my Ekster. However, it has quickly done just that.
Quick Note: This wallet was sent out to me by the brand for free to look at! This article fully reflects my own opinions.
Why should you trust me? I have been testing products since 2017 on this website and have been using minimalist wallets for years now. With extensive experience learning about what makes a great minimalist wallet, I have the unique expertise needed to have an educated opinion on this wallet. You can learn more about me here!
Table of Contents
What is the Bellroy Card Sleeve?
- Dimensions: 4.05" High by 2.79" Wide
- RFID Blocking: No
- Card Capacity: 2 to 8
- Cash Organization: Rear Facing Cash Slot
- Coin Storage: No
- Weight: Unknown
- Easy access to my most used cards
- Reliable access to lesser-used cards
- Leather build
- Attention to detail
- Worry-free cash storage
- Compact sizing
- Larger than some competitors
- I miss fanned-out cards.
How did I test the Card Sleeve?
I tested this Bellroy minimalist wallet like all my other wallets! I take all of my cards and cash that I use daily and use it like you would. I grab the wallet on my way out of the house, use it at the store, at the auto repair place, and even pay for online orders, and pay attention to everything that either annoys or impresses me.
What did I like about it?
1. Easy access to my most used cards
One area that many minimalist wallets need is the ease of access to your most used cards. While traditional wallets generally have individual pockets for each card you use, this also means other leather and more bulk, so finding an alternative can be difficult. Some brands have a push button that fans the cards out in front of you, while others require you to take all of your cards out to get to any of them.
This Card Sleeve has a more straightforward solution: they give you a single slot on the front of the wallet that can hold one or two cards and are easily removed without an issue. I only use one card consistently, and it lives in this slot. Of all the wallets I have tested so far, this wallet has done the best for reliable access to that card.
2. Reliable access to lesser-used cards
As mentioned above, minimalist wallets struggle with access to cards. However with the Bellroy Card Sleeve I have found that they did a fantastic job at making all of your cards easily accessible with the pull tab. This pull tab is essentially a leather strap that when pulled, lifts the cards on the interior of the wallet upwards. Using something like this, rather than a mechanical mechanism allows for an extremely reliable way of getting your cards. You don’t have to worry about components wearing out, breaking, or getting jammed up.
3. Leather build
It has been quite some time since I have used a leather wallet, and I have always been impressed with them when I used them. However, the leather build of this Bellroy Card Sleeve has stood out as one of my favorites. While another minimalist (non-leather) wallets tend to get scratched by my key organizer (as both are in the same pocket), the Card Sleeve does a great job of keeping them at bay, and I have no doubts that the leather itself will age well, and only get better with time and wear.
- Axwell vs Ridge Wallet: I’ve Tested Both, This One Is Better
- Best Minimalist Wallets for Cash and Cards (All Tested By Me)
- Axwell Stonewashed Copper Wallet Review: It’s Heavy, but worth it!
4. Attention to detail
You have to hand it to Bellroy; they do have attention to detail with their wallets. Small things like that, the thread on the front of the wallet is blue, yet on the back, it is brown, as the color would take away from the blue pull tab. When you pull on the pull tab, you see a text saying, “Your companion for the moments ahead,” which will likely never be seen by many who own this wallet, but if you know, you know. It’s these small things where you know plenty of effort was put into every aspect of the wallet to ensure it was right.
5. Worry-free cash storage
Most minimalist wallets utilize a cash strap or a money clip to keep your cash in the same place as your cards. However, the Card Sleeve goes a different direction for its solution. The rear of this wallet has a slot for your cash (which should be folded twice). The money sticks out of the space slightly for easy access but does a fantastic job keeping it in place, yet less noticeable than competitors.
6. Compact sizing
Most leather wallets suffer from one major downside, their size. Leather is generally thick, and it shows its size even more when cards or cash are introduced. That said, for a leather wallet, this one does a great job of being the best of both worlds. Sure, it’s not the same size as a credit card as a Ridge Wallet, but it isn’t that far off.
What did I not like about it?
1. Larger than some competitors
The two plates of metal and an elastic strap style wallets like the Ridge Wallet have mastered the sizing war. They cannot get any smaller than they are, as they are the same size as a credit card. However, the Bellroy, with its more traditional leather build, is more significant than a card both in height and width. If you are looking for a genuinely minimalist wallet and are trying to get the smallest possible one, look elsewhere. Although, I have found that this wallet fits nicely in my pocket, and the size is not noticeable.
2. I miss fanned-out cards.
While the Bellroy Card Sleeve is my daily driver, the one feature I miss from the Ekster Carbon Fiber Cardholder is that the Ekster fans up to six cards out the top of the wallet for easy access. While I use only one card regularly (which Bellroy does a great job with), having easy access to more cards is excellent. With the Bellroy, the pull tab pulls all cards upwards at one level rather than fanned out. This isn’t a deal breaker, but worth mentioning for those that may use more cards daily than I do.
Is the Bellroy Card Sleeve worth its price?
With a price lower than many of the other wallets I have tested recently, this wallet is well worth what the company is asking! That said, there are plenty of other wallets at a lower price point, so shop around before making your final purchase. However, on my end, I think this high-quality wallet is well worth every penny they are asking for.
I have been thoroughly impressed with the Bellroy Card Sleeve. If you are looking for a minimalist wallet that works and works well, this is a fantastic option, especially if you want a leather wallet. The rugged metal or carbon fiber wallets aren’t for everyone, and if that sounds like you, the Card Sleeve is your best bet. I have enjoyed its easy access to the cards, slim design, and attention to detail, earning it the title of my daily drive wallet.