Have You Carried the Saddleback Leather ID Wallet?
Editor's Note: In this series, we revisit tried-and-true EDC classics from over the years to see if they hold up alongside today's latest and greatest, and recommend the best gear to carry instead if they don't.
When shopping for EDC gear, it seems like you can't make two clicks without running into a minimalist wallet. They're everywhere these days, in every material and configuration and style, and color you can think of. But this wasn't always the case. Before the age of metal plates and elastic bands, there were few options for trimming down your back pocket brick of a wallet. And while slim wallets did exist, few got it as right as Saddleback's iconic ID Wallet.
What Is It? Why Was It Popular?
Saddleback took a simple concept and executed it to perfection. They put together thick, tough, full-grain leather (that developed a great patina over time) with strong pigskin lining and marine-grade thread and cut it into a minimalist design, giving you wallet that could easily slip into your front pocket.
It was intentionally sparse: one ID pocket slot with a cutout (with no plastic that could get cloudy or crack), and a card slot behind, both of which eventually expanded to hold up to 12 cards once broken in. This designed encouraged you to think about what essentials you really needed day to day, as you couldn't fit every card, receipt, or tchotchke into it like you could with a bigger wallet.
Should You Still Carry It Today?
Absolutely. It's still a wallet that sets the standard of efficient design, and it doesn't get more efficient than a thick piece of leather cut to the perfect functional size. No more, no less. Its use of quality materials guarantees its longevity, and a wallet that's aged gracefully with patina is unmatched for adding character to any carry.
You can't go wrong with the Saddleback ID wallet. It's got a classic design with quality enough to last a lifetime, and they sure don't make them like they used to.
If the Saddleback isn't exactly what you're looking for (or looking for something a bit different), you're in luck. Since its release, a lot of other brands have entered the market, and some have even done their own spin on the leather front-pocket wallet. Of course, you can take your pick with all the aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber plate-and-band style that's everywhere from Kickstarter to Amazon too. We've listed a few of our favorites below.
- Trayvax Element: A modern mix of metal and leather, with the same bombproof feel as the Saddleback.
- Bellroy Micro Sleeve: A fresh take on the front pocket wallet with a sleek, utility-driven design and operation.
- SilentPocket Simple Wallet: A dressier, slim cardholder option with added RFID security.
I'm sure quite a few of you probably bought a Saddleback ID wallet a while ago and still carry it today. Did you ever carry one? How’d it work out for you? Are you still using it today, and if not, what did you replace it with? Let us know with your comments.