Why you should ditch the velcro and sport a handmade leather wallet.
Up until about 6 years ago, I was carrying around a very nice wallet from a messenger bag company that touts its ballistic materials. It was a good wallet, with plenty of pockets and room for my cash. Then I noticed that every time I sat down, my back would start to hurt within minutes. I could also tell that things were getting out of alignment, and I was walking a bit funnier than I normally do.
One day, I sat down in a chair without my wallet in my back pocket, and it hit me: the wallet was causing much of my back pain. The thing was stuffed with just about every credit, debit, membership, and license card I owned. Add in a few bills of cash, and several notes and receipts, and I had a recipe for pain. I needed something better, something that would allow me to pare down what I carried with me everyday. As the years passed on and I started carrying less cash with me, I knew what I had to do: find a wallet that would simplify my everyday carry and allow me to keep what I need in my front pocket.
After some searching on Etsy, I found a very nice leather card wallet that would fit in my front pocket and only allow me to carry a few cards and some cash. It was like a brick was lifted from my seat. It was a revelation. It was life changing. A year or so later, I wanted to make my own wallet with features I wanted, in a quality leather that matched my style. That’s when I designed The Caribou wallet.
To this day, it’s the only wallet I carry, and I’m never looking back.
So, what makes a good wallet? I have some ideas. But first things first: Please, for the love of all that is good, ditch the velcro closure wallet. Gentlemen, we are adults. Let’s have a little composure and style here. Your wallet doesn’t need to be fancy, but it should be durable and stylish, with some flair added in.
Some features you should look for in a leather wallet:
Quality materials - Leather can be tricky for those without the knowledge to know what to look for. Manufacturers like to use terms like “genuine leather” to trick you into thinking it’s higher quality than it is. I advise you to look for full grain leather; Instead of scraping off the top of the hide and stamping in a pattern like “genuine leather,” full grain is the entire hide. You get the natural look of the leather without compromising integrity.
Secure stitching - If you do your shopping, you’ll notice that most small makers of wallets will hand-stitch them with a saddle stitch using high quality thread. A saddle stitch is an interlocking stitch that won’t unravel even if a loop is cut. It’s incredibly strong, and if done right, looks fantastic.
Long lasting - Leather is a natural material, and it’s extremely durable. Over time and use, it takes on a patina that is prized among those who appreciate it. If cared for, leather will last for many, many years. And, many times, leather can be repaired and reconditioned. It’s a truly versatile material.
Beautiful - A high quality leather is beautiful. Because it’s a natural material, it takes on a patina over time and use that can’t be matched for its sheer eye-candy quality. Among leather goods aficionados, patina is a source of pride that showcases the quality of the wallet.
Status symbol - It’s no secret that handmade leather goods cost a bit more than what you’ll find at your local big box store. And why not? It’s not mass produced by machines stamping out thousands per hour. For those who find this important, handmade leather goods come with a level of status you won’t find with a blue-light special.
Minimalism - As cards and contactless become the de-facto methods of payment, carrying less every day has become more important to more people. For me, it was a combination of back pain and wanting to carry my wallet in my front pocket that led me to paring down what I carry. Whatever the reason, minimalism is a trend with paying attention to. It's just better to own fewer, better things.
A quality, handmade leather wallet will almost always outperform anything you can find at a big box store. The care and attention that we give to each of our wallets is something we take a great deal of pride in. Makers always want you to enjoy your wallet for years to come, so we only choose the best leathers, threads, and manufacturing techniques to create something you’ll love for years to come. So ditch the velcro and step up to a leather wallet you’ll never forget.