(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)
Today, I’m going to take you through my long-term carry experience with the Bellroy Apex Slim Sleeve wallet. We did a review on this one a while back and it’s become very popular. But before we get into my general assessments, likes and dislikes, let’s do a quick review of the features we have here.
What’s interesting in this wallet is it is a redesigned, re-engineered, re-imagined version of the Bellroy Slim Sleeve. And on the exterior, there are no specific features except how it opens. It is a pinch open. And that is because it has magnets on both sides on the outside lip, you can’t see them, but they’re there. They’re not so strong that they could affect your cards, but enough to keep the wallet closed.
When opened we have two card slots on the left and right for cards and behind those slots there’s an additional card or cash slot on the left, with cash being folded once for most currencies and a pull strap on the slot on the right for additional cards, those you don’t use very often. And with that, we have a quick review of the features of the Bellroy Apex Slim Sleeve.
When I originally reviewed this wallet, I expressed several concerns and questions about a few items, including whether the wallet would completely close because of the magnets in it when after the cash and card insertion test it didn’t close completely, meaning the magnets locked, but the sides did not completely touch. And if that would continue to cause problems, and keep closed well enough when in your pocket. My second concern was around the pre-molding on the front and back. Would it maintain its mold or collapse over time. But over the test, it actually held up very well and the magnets maintained their strength. The wallet never fully closed, but it was never an issue.
And items I found curious in Bellroy’s claim of RFID in this wallet, I put my hotel key into the back of the rear pocket of the wallet, so it was expressly in the outside of the wallet here, leaving on the wallet material between the card and the hotel door key tap area. When I applied it to my door lock, it worked! With that working, and it likely shouldn’t have due to the RFID , I thought to myself, “well, if that works, then what about using my credit card for tap pay?” And guess what? It worked too.
So I’m not really sure about the RFID claim they are making. Fine with me. I don’t like RFID anyway.
As is the case for most Bellroy products, the leather used was very capable, although the puckering of the leather on the inside left pocket I consider a defect. The wallet is designed in Australia and made in either India or the Philippines. I couldn’t find where on the packaging, but I am getting old, as it could be there. It’s made using responsibly produced full grain leather from the Netherlands. That’s the first time I’ve read of the actual country where the leather came from. And you have to give props to Bellroy for experimenting with several aspects of traditional wallet making. Remember there’s no sewing in this wallet at all, it’s a heat melded method to bring the various leather layers together.
For my likes, it sits very nicely in your front pocket. Despite the molded leather, there’s no bulk and you hardly know it’s there. It still upholds everything you expected from the original Slim Sleeve by way of usability and ease of access. The Chinese flu has had me working from home lately, so I’ve been working in my gym shorts most of the day and I really can’t even feel it.
It does take a bit getting used to pinching the wallet to open it, but it becomes second nature very quick. The heat sealing melding of the leather layers are holding up just fine. The bigger concern is because there’s no sewing, whether these layers will actually start to come undone or not will be the long-term thing to watch.
Now for my dislikes. From a usability perspective I have none. The only item mentioned that didn’t seem to perform was the RFID, but I’m good with that. So it’s really going to be a longevity issue with the leather layers. Will this hold up over time?
And there you go, more likes than dislikes. So if you’d like to jump into something a little different, but more familiar than you think, this is probably a good wallet, although it is a bit pricey