If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering getting a new wallet. It’s also safe to assume that you want to make sure you choose a good one, and if that's the case, you’re in the right place...
Wallet Size Matters
If you want to pick the ideal wallet, do a little planning ahead of time. You’ll need to determine what items you need to carry everyday, and this will give you a good idea of what size wallet to purchase.
Start by removing everything from your current wallet. Go through each item one by one and place them in one of two piles. One should be for things that you want to keep carrying and the other should be for the junk you’ve accumulated over the years. This is also a good time to think about anything you should be carrying that you aren’t, like membership and gas cards that you forget to take with you when you need them.
By the time you have completed this exercise, you’ll probably end up with somewhere between 3 and 15+ cards. There’s no right or wrong answer to this, it's just important that you figure out what will work for you. If you are a minimalist, you may want to carry the bare essentials like an ID and 1-2 debit/credit cards. If you’re busy and travel a lot, a wallet with more storage capacity that lets you carry a greater range of different cards will serve you well.
***TIP*** While many people assume large wallets are bulky and uncomfortable, not all wallets with high-storage capacity are designed the same. Look for wallets like the Baurdi Apex that manage to deliver additional storage space while maintaining a thin profile.
Choose the Right Material
You can find wallets made out of everything from duct tape to metal and everything in between. The material you choose will not only say something about you, it will also affect the wallet’s function over the years that you own it.
Leather is King, But Not All Leather Is Created Equal…
When it comes to wallet material, leather is the undisputed king. A well crafted leather wallet offers unmatched durability, exceptional style, and a thin, comfortable design. The problem is that leather quality varies wildly from wallet to wallet, and the majority of the options on the market use low-quality leather that won’t deliver these benefits.
Full-Grain Versus Top-Grain
If you’ve looked at the Baurdi website, you’ve probably noticed that all of our wallets are made from something called full-grain leather. This type of leather comes from the strongest and most durable part of the animal’s hide and is minimally processed. The grain pattern is also very tight, which helps the leather to withstand moisture. Another benefit of full-grain leather is that it continues to look better with time as it develops a beautiful patina with use.
Top-grain leather is processed and sanded to remove impurities. This is done to create a uniform finish, something that is highly valued by large corporations trying to deliver products without any variation. Wallets made from this material tend to feel more like plastic than actual leather. This process also significantly decreases the strength of the leather, so wallets made from top-grain leather will not last as long as a full-grain alternative.
Beware “Genuine Leather” Claims
When you shop for a new wallet, you’ll find many places advertising that their wallets are made from genuine leather without telling you much more about it. Many places use this as a marketing technique to cover up the fact that they are using the lowest quality leather available, so you should be immediately skeptical of claims like this.
If you aren’t going to choose leather, then you probably have a specific reason in mind. Metal is becoming a popular choice for ultra-minimalist wallets and money clips, while there are plastic wallets that offer better water proofing for extreme outdoor use. Fabric wallets can feature unique designs, but usually give off a immature vibe.
Choose a Style
The final decision you will have to make is what style of wallet you prefer. Generally speaking, there are four main styles used for everyday carrying purposes.
The bifold is the most classic wallet made and is simply a long piece of leather that folds over itself one time. Bifolds are available in both horizontal and vertical designs, though horizontal options tend to be the most popular because cash doesn’t have to be folded to be put inside.
Bifolds offer a balance between storage capacity and maintaining a slim profile, so they’re a great option for the typical man and what he needs to carry. Baurdi’s most popular wallet, the Admiral, is a horizontal bifold.
Trifolds are about the same size as a bifold when they’re both open, but a trifold has two folds when closed. This divides the interior of the wallet into additional sections for more storage potential. The problem with trifold wallets is that the extra fold adds a considerable amount to the profile of the wallet, meaning they will be thicker and more difficult to carry in a pocket.
Card holders are the slimmest style of traditional wallets because they don’t open or close, which means no folding is necessary. One side is typically dedicated to holding cards, while the other features a pocket for cash and other necessities. If you are looking for the thinnest and most comfortable option possible, a card holder is the way to go. While many people assume you can’t carry much with a card holder, the Baurdi Agent manages to pack enough room for 9 cards and cash in its incredibly thin design.
Small metal clips that just hold your cash and cards in place are becoming more popular because they barely add any bulk to your essentials. While these shouldn’t replace a traditional wallet in your wardrobe, clips can be a useful backup for when you only want to take a few bills with you. Good times to bust out a money clip are when increased movement would make having something in your pocket uncomfortable. Hiking, biking and running are all good examples.
Choosing a wallet can be difficult, but hopefully this guide has given you the information you need to make an informed purchase. While it can be tempting to go with something trendy or flashy, remember that a classic leather wallet will serve you well for years to come and will look good no matter where you are or what you are wearing.
While you can use this guide to make an informed purchase of any wallet, we’re partial to our own wallets which you can find atwww.baurdi.com. We take pride in our sleek, timeless designs, and the leather we use is the best that money can buy. If you want a wallet crafted by people who care about delivering you the best, then you’ve come to the right place.