(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)
You might remember the much-lauded release of the Bellroy Flip Case, their new hard case wallet. As a new release, it might have been a bestseller but not everyone loved it and lots of feedback came pouring in. My initial review was not very kind either. Bellroy has now introduced a new and improved version, their version two where fixes have been made, apparently. But what has really changed? And if so, did it actually improve the wallet?
In my original review of the flip case, I was a bit disappointed. This version two is designed in Australia and made in India. It is a slim molded hard shell design and it has two magnet sections close, one on the front for quick access and one in the back for archive cards. It is made from premium ECO10 leather that is on the outside, over the shell that is a molded plastic from 100% recycled plastic bottles. The interior lining is plastic all the way through and this provides RFID protection, and why not?
I got both versions one and two in the shipping box and I will carry out a comparison as I get into them. The first thing I want to point out is that the original, version one, can take up to eight cards or seven cards plus folded bills, while with version two, they get very specific because it is all part of the description in what they are trying to portray in the changes that were made. When we pull both of the wallets out of their respective packaging and look at the design, we can notice that it has not changed. It is exactly the same on the exterior, including all the dimensions and access methods. There is no external apparent change, instead, all of the changes occur in the interior. That is understandable because they are not trying to create a brand new wallet, rather, it is an improvement of what they already ship, and this was their brand new wallet.
To open them up, I pulled out the inserts, as we will refer to them because there is the specificity that is important. Looking at the quick access card, the difference that we can see is that version two is missing the microfiber lining that we have in version one. Version two has only hard plastic. If we look at the rear, we face the same kind of concept. Version two is missing the microfiber lining, and the divider section has become very low, it is still existent in version two but not as high as version one. This is related to a usability aspect. What this means is that with version two, cards that are placed in there will now begin to rub against the plastic, which is fine because cards are there to be used, however, it is not meticulously managed. If you care about this, then yes, cards that are against this plastic will have more of a rough surface to deal with. But we still have the microfiber on the exterior of the flaps in both sections.
The middle section is where all that magic and the changes that they put together really come into play, and it has everything to do with the center section and the changes we just talked about. We removed the microfiber in the front on version one and measured its width, or thickness, and found it to measure 1.8 millimeters thick. In version two, after they have implemented the change, the thickness has become 0.9 millimeters. This change has reduced the thickness of the center divider between version one and version two by almost one millimeter. A non-embossed card is 0.7 millimeter in thickness and an embossed card is 1.07 millimeter in thickness, which means that the gain from version one to version two is essentially the thickness of one complete card.
Did any of these nip and tuck surgeries do anything for the card and cash capacity? Well, based on what we just discovered, I think it will, but how much exactly?
The product description for both versions indicates the ability to carry 8 cards. Unfortunately, that is not possible in the version one wallet, but it is handled perfectly in version two. The improvements they opted to provide were all on the inside by reducing bulk on the interior structure, thereby providing the advertised capacity and better fit for cards. But was that all that was needed? I think there are other problems that I addressed in the initial review which are still glaring, and I suggest you read it here.