Distil Union Offerings

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The wallet hunt continues – plunging me deeper into the depths of consumer madness. The past week, I’ve been tangoing with the wares of a South Carolina outfit named Distil Union. The ModWallet Kit grabbed my attention like a pit bull on a mailman. Two leather flaps, magnets embedded, and a slew of accessories to shove between them: money clip, multi-tool, card holders, and yes—key holders. On paper, it was the Holy Grail, a treasure trove of functionality… and I was itching to test this beast.

The build quality? Magnificent. As good as Bellroy, probably better. The leather is as smooth as Sinatra’s voice, the stitching as precise as a sniper’s aim, and the whole thing screams “no compromises.” Clean, simple, modern design. This wallet isn’t just a product; it’s a love letter to craftsmanship and wallet nerds.

But the real question: how does it perform in the wild? I sandwiched two key holders and a money clip between the magenetic leather flaps. This gave me enough room for my six cards, some cash, and the indispensable keys. The organization is top-notch with color-coded nylon straps making it easy to access my most commonly used cards and ample “attic” space for the cards I don’t use as much. Cash is a breeze to reach, and key storage is about as good as it gets for a wallet. Plus, the whole thing becomes magnetic, sticking to anything metal. Sounds gimmicky, but it’s surprisingly handy.

The damned thing is as close to perfection as I’ve come across, save for one glaring flaw… It’s too big for front pocket carry. Packed tight, it measures around 3 inches by 5 inches by 5/8 inches thick. A slim, elegant back pocket companion, but too bulky for front-end stashing. This epiphany sent me spiraling into a deep funk, mourning the lost potential of this otherwise stellar wallet.

Distil, of course, has a smaller offering for front pocket carry—the Wally Bifold. The Wally shares the ModWallet’s DNA but lacks the modularity. Same accessible card slots, same fantastic money clip, and the same bulletproof build quality. But no modularity means no key organization. This brought another wave of despair, but the usability of the Wally was too tempting to ignore. I had to test it despite my burning need for a wallet that included key storage of some kind.

To be honest, it’s the best user experience I’ve ever had with a wallet. By design, everything is so damn accessible and the innovative magnets keep it slim, compact, and secure. It’s a god damned marvel of wallet engineering.

Maybe it’s time to abandon keys altogether and embrace the future with smart keyless locks for my office and home? My mind is whirling with new possibilities…

You can learn more about Distil here. And no, they didn’t pay me shit.

Thread Wallets

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In the midst of a frenzied hunt for the elusive key-holding wallet, my journey led me to the doorstep of Thread – a brand that seems to have conjured its very own cult of recognition at breakneck speed. Intrigued, I delved into the realm of their offerings while on my quest.

Their flagship, the Elastic wallet, is a marvel of minimalist design. Two loops of tightly woven elastic, united by a split ring, promise to cradle your cards and cash in the slimmest embrace imaginable. They boast it can snugly house up to 8 cards plus cash, which is no small feat for such a diminutive contraption.

Yet, as I grapple with its practicality, two gripes emerge from the shadows of admiration. The elastic, taut as a bowstring, demands a deft touch as the number of cards swells beyond a meager few. And alas, the seams of my own specimen already whisper tales of wear after a mere week’s dalliance. A $16 dalliance, mind you – par for the course, perhaps, but disheartening nonetheless.

But fear not, for Thread offers salvation in the form of the Vertical Wallet. A kin to its elastic sibling, but fortified with leather, structure, and the holy shield of RFID protection. This, my friends, is where the true alchemy lies. Though not as svelte as its elastic cousin, it compensates with a judicious blend of utility and elegance. The keyring loop, a masterstroke of ergonomics, and the leather’s sturdy backbone render the cards within far more compliant to my demands.

Then, there’s the Bifold Wallet, a commendable contender in its own right. While it fails to meet my particular needs (no key solution), its $30 price tag earns it a nod of respect. And craftsmanship? Like the other offerings, you won’t go out of your way to criticize it, but you won’t write home about it either.

In summation, Thread emerges as a beacon of sagacity in the tumultuous sea of consumerism. Their wares, though not without their minor flaws, exude a certain pragmatic charm. A panoply of colors and patterns beckons, ensuring that one’s allegiance remains forever fleeting. For now, the Vertical Wallet reigns supreme in my pocket, but who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Bellroy All-Conditions Card Pocket

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In the ceaseless hunt for the perfect wallet, I veered from the treacherous shores of disappointment, ditching the chintzy allure of Chum’s Surfshort for the rugged promise of Bellboy’s All-Conditions Card Pocket. A leap from one end of the spectrum to the other, one might say, but such is the nature of this odyssey.

Bellboy, known for their meticulous craftsmanship, didn’t disappoint in the construction of this zippered marvel. With its aquaguard zipper and pre-molded structure, it’s a fortress for your cards, cash, and keys, boasting two card slots and a pocket with a built-in key loop. On paper, it ticks all the boxes for functionality and sleek design.

Yet, as I delved deeper, I found myself at odds with Bellboy’s polished aesthetic. It exuded an air of propriety that clashed with my wilder sensibilities. It lacked that spark of personality, that rugged charm I crave in my gear. It felt as though it rolled off an assembly line, pristine and perfect, devoid of the human touch that gives an item soul.

And the battle with the aquaguard zipper? A relentless skirmish, a daily struggle against the forces of waterproofing. While it may suffice for occasional card access, the constant jousting for my keys left me weary, longing for a more intuitive solution.

In the end, Bellboy’s creation stands as a testament to quality and functionality, but it’s not the companion for my journey. The search presses on, fueled by a relentless quest for that elusive blend of form, function, and untamed spirit.

More details here.

Chums Surfshorts Wallet

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My current wallet stands as a testament to modern craftsmanship – the Matter Bifold by Pioneer Carry. Constructed from a material that straddles the line between refinement and ruggedness, it’s weathered five years with the grace of a seasoned veteran, still boasting a sheen that defies its age.

However, winds of change have blown my way. The daily driver car I now pilot demands a minimalist approach to my carry. With my car’s keys now integrated into my phone, my once bustling key organizer finds itself with only two companions. Thus, the call for consolidation echoes through my mind.

In pursuit of this elusive amalgamation, I embarked on a quest for a wallet that could house not only my cards and cash but also these lone keys. A minimalistic marvel with a key ring or organizer within easy reach became the Holy Grail of my search. Yet, such treasures prove scarce in the realm of consumer goods.

Enter my first acquisition in this odyssey: the Chums Surfshort Wallet. A relic of adolescent design, its origins in China lend it a craftsmanship of middling quality. Yet, despite these shortcomings, its design exudes a magnetic allure that has garnered a fervent following.

Compact in size, it belies its capacity, accommodating up to 15 cards and a bounty of bills. But what truly sets it apart is its exterior key ring and dedicated pocket, a godsend for my pared-down carry needs.

Indeed, the Surfshort Wallet checks all the boxes, save for one. For when I draw it forth from my pocket, a sense of youthful nostalgia washes over me, reminiscent of family vacations long past. It makes me feel like a 12 year old again… and not in a great way. So, the hunt continues… But at only $12, it’s hard not to reccomend this offering from Chums.

Details.

Liquid Wallet

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I am on the hunt for a slim wallet that also features a Key organizer for two keys. Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot out there, but I did find this. Ordered… and will report back.

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cote&ciel

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Another day, another bag… I’m in love with the way this bag handles variable loads. Gives it a space suit vibe of sorts.

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The Cargo Works EDC Backpack

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Cargo Works is tiny bag company that makes bags and sleeves aimed towards the Mac user. I’ve used their sleeves on my MacBooks and iPads for years and they are unbeatable in both utility and build quality. Great prices too…

Anyway, they recently dropped a new EDC backpack and it looks to be pretty damned great.

Check it out.

Nanuk 935

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If you need a hard case carryon but don’t want to spend $1000, this is your best option. For just over $200, you get a bag that is more durable than any fancy aluminum job and only a tad bit heavier. I’ve been traveling with mine for a bout a year now and it’s pretty damned hard to beat. Fits GoRuck packing cubes fine.

Details.