A wallet is one of those things that are universal for all men. No matter your job or how you spend your days, every man needs a good quality wallet.
A wallet carries your cash, debit and credit cards, driver’s license, business cards, keys, receipts, photos of your loved ones, and much more.
Given how big of a role a wallet plays in your everyday life, it's essential that you get one that's up to the task. Obviously, this means a high-quality leather wallet.
While other materials like carbon fiber and metallic wallets are available to experiment with, nothing beats a perfectly manufactured leather wallet in terms of beauty, function, and durability.
However, not all leather wallets are created equally, and if you intend to get the best, there are some key features to look out for:
- The different qualities of leather and how to spot the best
- What makes for an exceptionally built leather wallet
- A feature to protect you from identity theft
In the end, you’ll be able to find a leather wallet that’ll last you a lifetime and perfectly suits your needs.
Table of Contents
1 - High-Quality Leather
The quality of the leather used to make your wallet will be the difference between an okay wallet and a great wallet—what we at Popov Leather call “heirloom quality.”
But how can you tell if your wallet is made from great quality leather? Easy, first examine the words a manufacturer uses to describe the leather in their wallets.
Leather has three major qualities:
- Full-grain leather: The highest quality leather and what you should be looking for.
- Top-grain leather: Also high-quality leather, but has gone through some processing to refine it and remove blemishes.
- Split-grain leather: Sometimes also branded as genuine leather. But don’t let the marketing trick you. This is the lowest quality of real leather.
The best quality wallets are almost exclusively made from full-grain leather.
Full-grain leather is derived from the topmost layer of an animal's hide. This leather is tough, resistant to wear and tear, and develops a beautiful patina over time.
Also, examine the leather itself to determine its quality. Because full-grain leather is harvested from the top layer of hide, it often has blemishes and imperfections, enhancing the leather's unique beauty.
2 - Exceptional Build Quality
The build quality of your wallet is arguably as important as the quality of the leather. After all, with poor technique, even the best full grain leather will yield a mediocre wallet.
When inspecting your wallet to determine the build quality, remember, the devil’s in the details. Even the best-looking wallets might have some quality issues upon close inspection.
The two most obvious indicators of a high-quality wallet are:
- Burnished edges
- Hand stitching
Burnishing refers to the process of sanding down and polishing your wallet’s edges to a smooth finish. The process can be tedious and time consuming, but the results are worth the extra effort.
Burnished edges on your wallet are testament to the manufacturer's attention to detail.
The other feature you must analyze keenly is the stitching as it determines how well your wallet stands up to the tests of time and use.
I recommend that you look out for hand-stitched wallets as this is often a precursor for exceptional build quality.
Take Popov Leather’s wallets, for instance; our wallets are hand sewn using a saddle stitch technique that guarantees a lifetime of use without falling apart. Additionally, we use a Ritza 25 Tiger Thread—the industry standard for quality in leather stitching.
“I’ve owned my wallet since 2017 and carried it in my pocket WITH KEYS every day since. Besides a minor patina, this wallet is still in perfect condition. ”
3 - Compact Design, Large Capacity
Wallet manufacturers often struggle with finding the right balance between functionality and aesthetics.
An ideal wallet must be functional enough for your everyday carry items, sleek enough to look good, and comfortably fit in your pocket.
To get the perfect wallet, you must first think of your lifestyle and everyday essentials.
For instance, consider how much cash and how many cards you need to carry with you, along with your preferred wallet style, and if it suits your needs.
The most common wallet style is the traditional (billfold) wallet, which usually carries about 6–8 cards and a good amount of cash.
If you need to carry a bit more than that, then the trifold wallet is the perfect option, and if a minimalist carry is more your speed, then perhaps a cardholder or money clip is ideal.
Always ensure that the construction offers maximum space without being too bulky, no matter your wallet style preference.
Of course, this is not something you’d need to worry about with a Popov Leather wallet. We employ an exhaustive design process that ensures our wallets are both spacious and compact.
Below are a few examples of my favorite compact wallets with large capacities.
Money Clip Wallet - Heritage Brown
Traditional Wallet - English Tan
Trifold Wallet - Black
"This wallet is amazing. Holds a large number of cards plus bills easily securely and fits in a pocket comfortably."
4 - RFID Protection
With the recent universal access to RFID technology, cards that previously used magnetic strips to transact have become contactless.
But this has also made them more susceptible to unauthorized scanning through RFID skimming. It means you can fall victim to identity theft without even removing your cards from your wallet.
Someone with a remote reader can scan your cards while your wallet is still in your pocket and make copies they can use online to make unauthorized purchases.
This makes RFID protection a must-have feature in your leather wallet—to protect you from RFID skimming.
RFID protection blocks electromagnetic and radio waves from penetrating your wallet and reading your classified card user data, thereby making your wallet more secure.
At Popov Leather, we offer this protection through our Wallet Gauntlet—an RFID blocking card that you can use in any wallet, not just ours.
The RFID blocking Wallet Gauntlet features:
- Protection against malicious data skimming
- Constant security with no need for a battery
- Up to 2cm protection on either side, perfect for any wallet.
- Plastic resin with a matte finish and glossy embossing
Get a Wallet to Last You a Lifetime
So, there you have it. These are some of the special features to look out for in your next leather wallet.
Of course, there are more features such as wallet chains and outside pockets that'll make your wallet better suited to your needs. But the above-mentioned features, I believe, form the foundations upon which heirloom-quality leather wallets are made.
Our leather wallets go through a meticulous design process, resulting in stunning wallets that don't waste space with unnecessary bulk. The end product is beautifully compact and functional leather wallets guaranteed to last a lifetime. No, really, and that is why we offer a lifetime warranty on all our wallets.
“Without a doubt the best wallet I’ll ever own”
Visit our online store today to order a Popov Leather wallet that will last you a lifetime.
Article by Ryan Popoff
Ryan Popoff is the CEO and Co-Founder of Popov Leather. He has absolutely no business background, in fact, he graduated in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. Ryan's leather goods business was born from a hobby at the dining room table and a passion for technology (ecommerce in particular). Ryan calls Nelson BC his home where he's raising his family and enjoys spending the odd afternoon at a local craft brewery.