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As you might imagine, at Slim Wallet Junkie, we get contacted by quite a lot of different people informing us of their new wallet design. Many of these are good - a few aren't so good. Rarely though, have we seen one quite so deserving of the label 'good' - and that's not just down to the wallet, but the vision of those behind it. The wallet in question: The Steel Wally.
Steel Wally is a brand new wallet that is launching on Kickstarter on the 15th of June. Before we get into the wallet and its features, which after-all is what this site is all about, let's get something really important out of the way; The reason the Steel Wally struck us as such a worthy project is the commitment to make a difference to the world at large with this wallet. For every Steel Wally purchased, the team behind it have committed to donate $5 of the proceeds to The Wayne Foundation. Rather charmingly, the Wayne Foundation, whilst it doesn't mention it specifically (probably for legal reasons), does seem to be as inspired by Batman as you might have hoped! On a serious note though, the Wayne Foundation was set up to spread awareness of and provide support for victims of child exploitation and sexual trafficking occurring within the United States. Whilst there is no reason to pretend this is in any way a pleasant subject to talk about, it is important that it is addressed and the Wayne Foundation does excellent work to support those affected by this horrific industry.
It is refreshing to see a start-up wallet company that is passionate about and actively supporting a worthy cause. OK, now we've touched on the admirable benevolence of this project, let me climb down off my soapbox and we'll talk about the actual wallet itself.
The Steel Wally is a very minimalist stainless steel wallet. Mike and Jake are the designing duo behind the Steel Wally, and Jake's occupation was part of the inspiration behind creating a minimal wallet. He explains "as a functional fitness professional, my job is to help people move as our bodies are supposed to and optimize health and fitness. Millions of men still sit on bulky wallets that they carry in their back pockets. We aim to change that for sake of backs everywhere!".
To fulfill this dream, they created a minimal wallet, consisting of two stainless steel plates, a little larger than a credit card, that are held in place by military grade elastic. This did get me wondering what the military are using all this elastic for... but that is besides the point, the point is that the Steel Wally team are so confident in the durability of their elastic, that they guarantee if for life.
The design of the Steel wally is pleasingly simple and sleek. The edges of the steel plates are rounded and smooth, meaning they not only look the business, but won't be digging into you or cutting holes in your pockets. The Steel Wally logo is marked onto bottom right corner of the front plate, whilst their emblem is on the back plate. Thanks to the use of Stainless Steel, the Steel Wally also boasts RFID protection.
Due to the flexibility of the elastic band, the wallet can hold a varying number of cards, which are inserted between the two plates at either vertical end. This vertical loading system will be handy for chip and pin users, meaning the card could even be used without fully removing it from the wallet. Ease of use has clearly been a feature of the design process, with both panels having cut away access slots on each end, meaning access to cards is quick and easy whichever side of the wallet you are holding.
Another small, but impressive feature is the addition of a small, "easy-pull" tab attached to the elastic band. This allows easy purchase on the band to insert and remove notes. This has been a problem on many wallets that employ a similar band system for cash, making access to notes trickier than it should be, so it is welcome to see such a simple and well though through solution here.
Because of the use of Stainless Steel for the main body of the wallet, the colour and look is largely determined by that, and the rugged appearance of the raw metal gives the wallet a distinct, resolute appearance. There is, however, the scope for a little bit of customisation on the tabs, with 6 different colours being made available for the Kickstarter campaign. These are: Green, Blue, Purple, Orange, Pink and Grey, as can be seen in the photo below.
At less than 3/16in thick, the wallet is certainly on the right sight of slim, but with the strength and virtually unbend-able nature of Stainless Steel, the Steel Wally will keep your cards well protected from bending and breakage, as well as from pesky RFID thieves.
The capacity of the wallet is anywhere between 1-10 cards, with room for plenty of folded notes. Due to it's flexibility, it could hold more than that, but you're going to be losing the minimalist appeal and functionality doing that, and the only wally then will be you! We nearly made it through this whole article without making a single wally joke, so close. For our non-British readers who are confused at this point, here's your clue.
The Steel Wally is due to launch on Kickstarter on the 15th of June. In the meantime, you can sign up to receive email updates on the Steel Wally website.
UPDATE: The Steel Wally is now live on Kickstarter - and has already funded, way to go guys! To find out more, or to pledge, check out the Steel Wally Kickstarter page, or view their video below.