One of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld is the one where George Costanza has his massive exploding wallet. He decides to pack away every receipt, coupon and who knows what else in there to the point where he can barely fold it closed. While my wallet isn’t quite so outrageous, I do suspect it might contributing to my back problems and poor posture. It’s about time I made a change.
After making my intentions known via social media that I was shopping around for a great slim wallet, I was approached by Allett to take a look at what they had to offer. Boasting “the original thin wallet,” Allett features a number of wallets that are handcrafted in San Diego, California and they are all designed to be as thin as possible without sacrificing usefulness.
I was provided with two wallets to review: one for men with RFID protection and the other for women with more space for more cards. Both are leather on the outside and nylon on the inside. The overview video I embedded above should give a good sense of what to expect from these Allett slim wallets.
Allett RFID Sport Wallet
To achieve the remarkably slim profile of their wallets, Allett took several measures. First, the materials themselves are thinner. The SoftTech Nylon is a “weightless rip-stop material” while the leather is made with Napa cowhide. The leather, as I mention in the video, is quite soft and supple. Secondly, they’ve reduced the number of layers in the wallets to minimize bulk. This is largely accomplished through the pocket placement.
With most men’s wallets, the card slots are top-loading and you typically get three or four on each side. That’s a lot of material. The Allett RFID Sport Wallet ($39.95) only has two card slots and they’re both side-loading. This minimizes the material needed.
While it might appear that you only have room for two cards, each slot is said to accommodate up to five cards. That’s a bit of a stretch, but I could get three or four cards in without too much trouble. Access to these cards isn’t quite as convenient as a more traditional layout. I would recommend putting your most used card toward the back as it’s the easiest one to slide out.
I will say that this wallet is very slender. In fact, it’s thinner “fully loaded” than my old wallet was completely empty. You won’t want to put too much cash in here, though, as it doesn’t really close as well after you have more than about a half dozen of our polymer Canadian bills.
I didn’t have an opportunity to test the RFID-blocking technology at play here, so I’ll just have to trust that it works. All in all, I’m very impressed with what this little wallet can accomplish. I cannot stress enough just how thin it is. Getting used to carrying fewer cards and only accessing them through side-loading slots will take some getting used to, but that’s a small price to pay to avoid Costanza Syndrome.
Allett Women’s Original Slim Wallet
The Women’s Original Slim Wallet ($44.95) from Allett takes fundamentally the same idea as the men’s variant and applies it to a larger overall package. Instead of having just two side-loading card slots, you get a total of four side-loading card slots. You will notice that the design is such that there is no overlap between these slots, providing for the thinnest profile possible.
There’s still the same Napa leather here, except in aquamarine (it also comes in other colors), and the same SoftTech Nylon on the inside. The use of nylon, even if it is higher-grade nylon, does cheapen the overall feel of the wallet. In terms of function, it’s still great. The four slots can take up to a total of 24 cards and, unlike the Sport Wallet, the Women’s Wallet has two bill areas, as well as a zippered coin enclosure.
How fashionable this women’s wallet is compared to designer brands is a matter of personal preference, just as relying solely on side-loading card slots can require a shift in usage patterns. When you consider just how bulky a typical woman’s wallet is, the Allett option could be fantastic for a night on the town when you only want to carry a tiny purse and still have access to most of your cards.
Both the men’s and the women’s Allett slim wallets force you to think about your wallet in a different way. Instead of carrying around every debit card, credit card, store card, loyalty card, business card, receipt and coupon, you’ll need to slim down and take a more minimalist approach. I still look forward to the day when I can rely on my smartphone entirely. Until that day, a skinny wallet will have to do.