Carl Friedrik is known for high-quality, luxury goods and all their wallets are excellent. The new Walden bifold wallet review adds the best of the Swanfield wallet, but adds an easy to use billfold pocket and pull strap card storage slot to the Portugal made Italian leather offering.
(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)
We’ve reviewed some incredible wallets from Carl Friedrik, and today we’re looking at their newest release. The vertical bi-fold, Walden.
As we’ve seen with other Carl Friedrik wallets, they come in nice, gray packaging. The simplicity is really nice. The color of the box is really good. It comes in a cognac color and is pre-broken in, meaning it’s already folded. For features, we can see we have an external billfold pocket. Looks like we have a pull strap. On the exterior, we have a wraparound billfold pocket, capacity of five plus notes. It’s very low profile, so you are easily able to have access to cash.
If we go to the interior there are four interior card slits, not slots. Unfortunately cards inserted run into each other, with them stacking, not staggered. Due to this, it’s difficult to gain access to cards behind the front card and limits capacity to 1 maybe 2 cards each slit. On the interior side we have a pull strap that pulls cards out that are inserted for lesser used cards with a capacity of up to 3 cards. And finally, there’s a ticket slot right in the front. It’s an actual slot and could be used for a quick access card, but you run the risk of cards possibly falling out.
For overall carry, four cards are a good minimum, with reasonable being six. The company recommends up to eight cards, plus cash. From a quality perspective, this is designed in London and made in Portugal. This can be personalized with various colors, font sizes, and other location placement on the wallet. It’s a full grain veg tanned Vachetta leather from Tuscany, Italy. And this leather will age and patina beautifully. It uses a single filament thread that provides very strong and durable performance over time. The lack of support threads, at stress points, is something that’s a little concerning and isn’t consistent with what we see in the Swanfield wallet.
Let’s look at the differences between the Walden and Swanfield. The Swanfield is made in Italy. The Walden wallet, and all other Carl Friedrik wallets, are now made in Portugal. As you can see, at every point we have stress point sewing that’s done on the Swanfield. It’s double stitched to ensure that we have very, very good outcomes. The edge treatment on Walden is painted, whereas the Swanfield wallet has a very hard edge finish, called the “brush edge” treatment. From a pricing perspective, it’s $150 dollars. From a usability perspective, the low profile billfold pocket on the exterior makes quick access to cash. It has a small notch on the front, which provides thumb access, instead of trying to dig, and it’s deep enough to handle all currencies.
Now let’s look at the interior slits. This is not uncommon with Carl Friedrik wallets, but you can see that they stack, they don’t stagger. So, if you want to have access to cards in the back, you’ll need to dig behind the front card. And with the cards stacking on each other, instead of having individual liners, means cards will be rubbing against each other, causing wear.
It measures 3.9 x 3.4, x 0.6”. And it weighs 58 grams, or two ounces. My perception of Carl Friedrik is they’re a Swedish company formed by two brothers who found that their needs and quality of products they wanted couldn’t be found in the market. So, they created the business themselves to make this happen. They provide a 100-day trial and lifetime warranty on their products. That indicates they have confidence in their products, and they’re really excellent products.
Now onto the final score. For quality, 5. The construction, the materials, the details are fantastic. Price, a 1. This is really expensive in my mind. Features, a 3. It does provide all the features you’d expect from a well formulated bifold wallet. Usability as a 4, even though there are some issues with cards going into the pull strap slot. And perception a 5. Again, great company, great products, wonderful reputation. And that gives us a final score of 38 out of 50.