We take a look at the Bellroy Slim Sleeve vs Note Sleeve, both in the new woven material. A quick feature review of these bifold wallets provides insight into what features would be best for you. If you’re interested in the Premium or Designer editions of the Slim Sleeve, we have those too.
(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)
In this review we will be performing a comparison between two popular Bellroy wallets, the Bellroy Slim Sleeve and the Note Sleeve which could be characterized as two brothers, one who loves fast cars and the other who loves trucks. A standalone review for each wallet can be found in the description below. The Bellroy Slim Sleeve comes in a charcoal and a lichen, which is kind of a tan color. We have the charcoal for our review and it is kind of like a race car. The Note Sleeve is in the lichen color and from a comparison perspective, this one is more like a truck.
Aesthetically, Bellroy continues to present different visual and tactile embellishments such as the accent stitching around the logo which is stamped, versus being a raised one like seen in other particular wallets. Both wallets are good looking, so the choice becomes a matter of taste, do you prefer fast cars or a nice truck.
We will carry the comparison of both wallets side by side and will share my preference.
The wallets are designed in Australia and made in India or the Philippines, depending on the factory. They are made of a durable water-based fabric that is 100% recycled nylon. With these color options, it is made from the Bellroy Baida Nylon, which consists of a heat-treated yarn. It creates a very crinkly finish which provides a tooth to it. This makes it water-resistant which is quite nice.
Starting with the Bellroy Slim Sleeve, the exterior has no particular features. It has reinforcement that strengthens the bridge where the pull strap is located. The interior has two primary card slots, it holds a space for cash that can take pretty much anything folded once other than the high denominations of euro and yen. On the opposite side, we have a card slot for archive cards that is accessed with the pull strap. The company recommends up to eight cards, whereas the leather version of the Slim Sleeve can get up to 12.
The Note Sleeve, on the other hand, does not have any reinforcement on the exterior because it has the billfold pocket, and can handle all currencies. It gets to be a little tight, but I do not see that as a disadvantage because I do not like a lot of extra space in the billfold pockets. This has been measured, cut, and created perfectly for that. Into the billfold, it has a nice pocket for cash and a card slot. This interior card slot is for your secret card. It has another pocket for coins or keys with a security flap that goes over it and prevents the content from falling out. The interior has a quick access card slot, two additional card slots on the opposite side, as well as a pull strap.
If I compare the pull straps to each other, unlike the Slim Sleeve, the Note Sleeve has no reinforcement on the bridge. The material is strong, but often, many pulls tend to rip the bridge in pull strap wallets. The reinforcement on the Slim Sleeve provides a great solution to prevent that kind of ripping from occurring.
One of the main differences between these wallets resides in the number of slots. The Slim Sleeve has four card slots, while the Note Sleeve has five, including the little secret slot in the billfold pocket area. Both wallets have pull straps, and I do not think that the reinforcement has a tremendous impact because of the quality of the material.
For cash storage, the Slim Sleeve requires cash to be folded once. The Note Sleeve requires no folding. The taller currencies, then yen and the higher denomination euros do not fit in the Slim Sleeve unless you fold them twice, thirds or quarters. However, they do fit nicely in the Note Sleeve. From a coin perspective, the Note Sleeve has coin storage, whereas the Slim Sleeve does not have that capability. There have been some folks saying, “Well, we have coins that can fall out and that little flap doesn’t do a whole lot there.” Well, I am putting in some currency, and it is nice, snug, and tight, but it fits, including the tall currencies that we have with yen and euro. We tested it with some beefy coins, some pounds, and we also had a half dollar in there. It could take a little effort, but you will get it done. We have inserted some cards just for the sake of adding some content. It was a little full, but the coins were not going to fall out. They push against the top, and that is precisely why the flap is right there. The price of each of these wallets is reasonable. The Slim Sleeve is $69 and the Note Sleeve is $79. Fast cars, nice trucks.
From a usability perspective, what are the things to consider between each wallet?
The Slim Sleeve is noticeably smaller in size than the Note Sleeve, which is an outcome of the feature sets. The Note Sleeve is bigger and very easy to use overall, it accommodates cash folded over once, which sticks out a little bit but it does not interfere with the spine. Besides, I like it because it provides a way of grabbing the currency to pull it out. Some people prefer cash to be completely in.
From a design perspective, the material used in the Slim Sleeve’s pull strap is very nice and very firm, but I love the texture. There are all kinds of textures and the amazing color contrast in this wallet, as well as the Note Sleeve, make them attractive. The Note Sleeve features’ placement makes it a very easy wallet to get into, even with a billfold pocket. It provides a great use of quick access card slots and an excellent placement of the pull strap, unless you are left-handed. As mentioned, there are no issues with the coins coming out if you are using the wallet properly, and no issues with the card slot either because the little secret compartment holds the cards quite snug in.
From a size perspective, the Slim Sleeve goes in the front pocket just fine. It has a size that would fit in your shirt pocket. The Note Sleeve has a good size too, it works great in both front and back pockets.
The final scores of these two wallets are detailed in the standalone reviews, but the Slim Sleeve came in at 38 and the Note Sleeve at 39, both great scores.