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Bellroy Apex Slim Sleeve; cool, new, disappointing?

The Bellroy Apex Slim Sleeve wallet ventures into new visual, functional and manufacturing design. Blazing the path for what we could begin to see in the future from Bellroy, there are some shortcomings and a disappointment in the quality.

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

Today’s review is on the Bellroy Apex Slim Sleeve. This is a re-architecture, redesign, and different construction methodology of the Slim Sleeve wallet. Instead of using their standard packaging which is like an envelope, this particular wallet comes in a sturdy box. This is due to it being from the new Apex line, which coordinates with their marketing campaign. The packaging also includes instructions of how to use the wallet.

The wallet uses a pinch open method and stays closed using well designed magnets that are not too strong to make it difficult to open, nor does it put your cards at risk of demagnitization. There is absolutely no stitching on this wallet. This is achieved by using a heat sealing process on the different layers of leather. The leather is precision cut, molded, then heat sealed. By removing the sewing, it allows for precision cutting which ensures the wallet is kept to a minimum size and maximizes the fit because there are no margins needed for thread. There are no features on the exterior of the wallet. On the interior, there are card slots on the right and left hand side. Behind the left card slot is a rear pocket which is great for folded cash. There is a sturdy nylon pull strap behind the right card slot where you would put additional cards. It is simply designed and meant to be very minimalist.

I was able to get five cards inside, one in each of the front slots, in addition to three in the pull strap area. Cash is folded once and stored in the pocket area. US currency works fine, as well as the 20 Euro and lower currency denominations. The Yen does not work unless you fold it twice. Reasonable carry on this is six cards. The company recommends six to eight. However, by just inserting five cards and a few slips of cash, the magnets will grab when you try to close the wallet, but they are not strong enough to keep a good closure, there is still a gap between the two sides, which is somewhat disappointing. I was also disappointed in the quality of the leather on the wallet I received, the left hand side card slot leather is puckered, which I consider a defect, considering the price you’re paying.

The wallet is designed in Australia and made in either India or the Philippines. The packaging didn’t indicate the specific location. It is crafted from premium environmentally certified sourced leather from gold rated tanneries in the Netherlands. The company is pandering to the mass paranoia by adding RFID as it doesn’t make any sense to be adding additional material while trying to make it as slim as possible.

The Bellroy Apex is priced at $129 which is a bit expensive considering the quality of the wallet. There is a three year warranty on their products.

It measures 4 x 3 x .6” and weighs 37 grams.

This is an interesting experiment, and I’m sure Bellroy is testing the technology to see how it will hold out over time. I commend Belroy for trying something different. It is hard to go out and do something that is a risk.

For the final score: For quality, a 4, price, a 2, features, a 3, usability, a 3 and perception, a 5. That gives us a final score of 37 out of 50.

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