BETTER than the original? Bellroy Apex Note Sleeve REVIEW

This Bellroy Apex Note Sleeve review digs deep into how the new Apex version of the original note sleeve bifold wallet operates and then compares them. With all the hype I think you'll be surprised that there are major differences between them, and one is really better than the other.

(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)

Let’s take a look at the Bellroy Apex Note Sleeve, and then I’ll show you how it compares to the original and the Woven Note Sleeve.

The unique thing with the Apex line, is the leather is heat sealed, no sewing. We’ve talked about how magnets are hard to do. But it looks like Bellroy has figured out a method that helps keep the wallet closed while not being a danger to cards.

If we look at the construction we can see how to open it up. You squeeze the top and bottom in the back and it pops it open. First, the leather is molded, which we can see in the clam shell shape. And by removing the sewing, it allows precision cutting to ensure the wallet minimizes the size and maximizes the fit.

Looking at features, the magnetic closure really is one of those features, it provides a level of security and a simple squeeze opens it up. We look at the card slots on the interior, there are four, two quick access and two archive slots including the pull strap location, with a capacity of 10 cards. Then we have the billfold pocket. This is where additional cards and unfolded cash is stored. The wallet measures 4.4 by 3.5 by 0.7” and weighs 46 grams or 1.6 ounces.

In the card and cash insertion test I successfully placed six card and seven notes. 

Once the wallet begins to be loaded, we begin to see strain on the magnetic closure, which is easy to see in the review video. With note placement, it fits all tall currencies like Yen and Euro. It is designed in Australia and made in either India or the Philippines, I couldn’t find the specific mention for this wallet. It’s crafted from premium, environmentally certified leather sourced from gold rated tanneries in the Netherlands. And in summary, this is a pre molded, precision cut, leather, stitch less construction, heat welded with a precise magnetic closure. That sounds pretty good to me. And it’s re-architected from the original Bellroy Leather Note Sleeve.

Let’s take a quick look at how the Apex Notes Sleeve compares to the original leather and Woven Note Sleeve. So let’s see what we have here. While the Apex may be missing sewing it is still a bit larger than the original Note Sleeve. 

If we open both wallets up, these two are exactly the same. Four card slots with a pull strap slot. 

Where it differs is when we get to the interior of the billfold area. If we look at the Apex, we notice we have no other features, there’s no other card slots, nothing. This is just a billfold pocket. But if we look at the original or Woven Note Sleeve, we see there is another card slot, a hidden card slot and opposite it, another card slot or coin pouch with this security flap. So while we have a very interesting form factor with a magnetic closure added, we’ve lost some significant features between the original and the Apex. 

I did a long-term carry test on the Bellroy Apex Slim Sleeve, which is worth watching. And I’m confident that it has the same findings as we’d see in the Apex Note Sleeve. As with all Bellroy products, it comes with a three year warranty. Now onto the final score for quality, a 4. Still really well made price of 2, considerably expensive. Features a 3, usability a 4, it is very easy to use. And perception a 5. Bellroy has been producing consistently good products for a long time and that gives us a final score of 37 out of 50.

Ranking

37/50

Quality 80%
Price 40%
Features 60%
Usability 80%
Perception 90%

Technical Details

Price

Weight

46

Dimensions

4.4 x 3.5 x 0.7”

Notable Materials

Leather

Country of Manufacture

India

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