This is a review of a few wallets from a cool startup in Maine. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised as I was.
First, I got two quick disclaimers:
- I was sent these sample wallets, for my honest review.
- I’ve been travelling a lot to Maine lately.
Wait, what? Those 2 things aren’t related. But #2 has me writing this from the heart. When the mailman delivered a couple wallets and I saw they’re from Peaks Island, Maine, located just outside Portland, I was stoked. More on Maine later – for now, check out these four wallets.
Four Wallets, Four Styles
I got four wallets from Flowfold. All of them give an early impression of lightweight strength.
The Minimalist: card sleeve for the bare essentials
The Traveler: standard tri-fold wallet, but super light. Thin but tough.
The Navigator: for your passport, 2 nation’s bills & a several cards. Keeping it light.
The Vanguard: standard bi-fold, my favourite for simple style and feel.
My 2 Cents on Each
You got some pictures and some thoughts. But nothing beats having your hands on these. So, let me give you some of my thoughts, based on hands-on experience.
When the brand manager offered to send a few wallets, I was open to the idea. When I saw their styles online, I was interested. And, when I got them in hand, then I was convinced. These wallets are, in few words, thin, tough, and very lightweight. But their mass doesn’t suggest weakness.
On the Minimalist, this wallet is for the quick grab-and-go, with the bare essentials. It is obviously for when you’re needing to keep on your just the minimum. Now, their website specifies “6-8 credit cards and a few bills.” Personally, I found 6 cards and one folded bill are the max I’d want to force in. And a good thing that it will still snugly hold in just 2-4 cards, without worry.
On the Traveler, this was a pleasant surprise. It held as much as a tri-fold can, but still felt only like a bi-fold in the back pocket. You know, when I was a young buck, I loved tri-fold wallets, how they held so much, -I was somebody special with a huge wallet! But now, as a much older guy, I don’t want to feel like I’m sitting on a small book. No worries- the Traveler delivers exceptionally there – it holds plenty, but the wallet itself hardly takes any space. Pictured above is the “black pearl” style.
On the Vanguard, this thing is thin – it’s almost like a minimalist in the hand. But it’s a bi-fold. I end up switching personal wallets and using this one for good. Pictured above is the wallet in Heather Grey, which is my favourite style of all sampled.
On the Navigator, Now we’re talking to people with a passport to carry. You can just barely see my passport included in the above picture. The Navigator sleeves the passport on the right, while cards, bills are on the left. Note, there are two areas for bills, if you wish to different currencies separate. Overall, and I sound like a broken record, the wallet is deceivingly lightweight, but it has obvious strength. Definitely the biggest of all, tipping the scale at a whopping 31 grams or 1 ounce. Ha! – the sugar I put in coffee weighs more than this wallet.
Overall – for all these wallets, I keep on about how light they are. Naturally, after you put in all the cards, etc, your wallet will have some weight to it. But it is nice the wallet itself adds almost nothing. Most people choosing a heavy leather wallet only mean to double how much mass in in their back pocket all day. When I’m driving, walking or riding a bike, I much prefer feeling only the necessities.
Me & Maine
Like I say above, I’ve been travelling to Maine a lot lately. For the first time in several years, I am over the 330+ day “outside the US” rule. Meaning, I spent more than 30 days within a 12-month period within the US – ruining tax exempt status. But I digress… back to why these wallets are cool.
In a few words, life and the people of Maine are sweet, simple and easy going. In fact, when you drive into Maine, the road sign says it best: “The Way Life Should Be.”
From their literature and site, you learn that Flowfold is based in Peaks Island, Maine. Where is Peaks Island, you ask? Peaks Island is a small but popular island reachable by ferry from downtown Portland. Knowing the Flowfold concept originated from Maine, it tells me that these wallets “are the way a wallet should be.” (yeah, a bit cheesy)