It’s one of those ‘solves the problem you didn’t think you had,’ sorts of wallets. I knew I had a problem needing solved, but I didn’t realize the Bellroy Elements Sleeve could be so damn useful and solve so many problems.
That may sound a bit over-excited, but it’s true. I went into the Elements Sleeve thinking I could get some great use out of it for backpacking trips. A sleek way to keep a bit of cash and credit cards handy, I’ve ended up using it for cycling, hiking and everyday outings when my slim fit pants were just a little too slim for a normal wallet. It even came close to replacing my normal wallet!
In terms of capacity, the Elements Sleeve is great for quickly stuffing cash, a few credit cards, a key, even a small memory card. I found it comfortably held about five to seven folded bills along with three cards without feeling too stuffed. Even with a key and memory card in the back pocket, it didn’t bulge out; they’ve somehow made the wallet into a TARDIS, it certainly seems bigger on the inside. And, every time you put it in your pocket, you hardly feel it there.
The coolest part about the Bellroy Elements line is the water-resistant leathers. The Elements Sleeve was perfect for me, since backpacking, hiking, or cycling can all involve a bit of moisture from time to time. Whether from rain or snow, even sweat on the inside of a pocket, the sleeve doesn’t soak or stain with contact to water. Sealed seems also prove handy in keeping your cash on the inside plenty dry. While not the end of the world if that does happen, not having a soggy wallet at the end of the day can be pretty handy and comfortable.
Also, being resistant to water also keeps the wallet looking new, instead of stained or dried out over time. The leather feels silky smooth, and is just beginning to soften up after quite a few trips of use.
For me, it did take a few uses to get used to. As the design is a bit different than traditional wallets, features like the pull tab aren’t completely intuitive. Pushing in a key, as well as cards into the main compartment, causes the tab to recess, something I hadn’t figured out until recently. At first I was using a pinky to push the tab in if I had taken a key out without putting anything back in. Silly me.
There’s an owl hiding in this wallet.
One thing I’m not a big fan of is the pull tab itself, or at least the back pocket for keys. It only happened once, but after being jostled around in my pocket, my key came loose from the pull tab liner thing. I spent a few minutes fishing out the key, as once it was loose from the pull tab, it was freely floating in the back of the wallet. Not a deal breaker, but a feature I think could be improved, if only slightly.
If you’ve got the bucks and are looking at something quick and easy for trips where space is important, I wouldn’t hesitate to grab the Elements Sleeve. Price may make it a bit out of the reach of some, but if you do decide to go for it, you get all of what you pay for. Great looking and water-resistant leather, space for exactly what you need and nothing else, all in a package that feels great and backed up by a sweet 3-year warranty. Worth it.
Disclosure: I received this product from Bellroy for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.