As hard as it is to take pictures of firearms without highlighting the scratches in their finishes, you would think taking pictures of a plastic wallet to show the scratches would be easier…
Anywise, back in May, the good folks at FlipSide Wallet provided me a test-and-evaluation unit after I sent my old, leather wallet on an unscheduled washing machine excursion. Since then, it has served as my primary wallet, spending all of its waking days riding around in the pocket of my jeans, khakis, and cargo pants along with my County Comm Embassy Elite Pen and the occasional bits of change.
The end result? Well, not a whole lot, honestly. It functioned flawlessly as a wallet. As you can see in the pictures, it held up against the stainless steel of the pen about as well as you would expect – there is scuffing, but I would hardly consider it to be unacceptable level (the pen was even wearing on my leather wallet). The RFID shielding still keeps all of my sensitive, personally-identifiable information stored safely away* (if I actually had any ID cards with radio frequency identification tags in them). The money clip still holds more money than was originally advertised, along with my copy of TN Attorney General Opinion Number 05-154, and my little sheet of backup Google Two-Factor Authentication numbers. The gripper pads that hold my credit card and ID cards in place still grip tightly. The springs that power the release latch and the primary hinge still keep the wallet closed and flip it open with authority, respectively.
1. The exterior finish did wear, but you knew that would happen. It happens with leather wallets too, the only difference here is that you cannot write it off to “character” – after riding around in your pocket for months and moving every time you move your leg, the plastic on the wallet will polish and wear, and just look different. Entropy wins. Get over it.
2. It collects dust inside the little corners and crevices. Again, “normal” wallets do this too, but you can unload them, shake them out, and everything is happy. Well, in this case, unload it, shake it out, and wash it. No, seriously – it is plastic and metal, and a good rinse under the faucet will clear out most of the junk and lint it might grow over time.
3. It does not hold quite enough cards for me. Thanks to Keyring, I need to carry a lot fewer cards than I would otherwise, but some companies (*cough*Victoria’sSecret*cough*RegalCinemas*cough*) only use the magnetic stripes on their cards, not bar codes, and there is no way to consolidate/replicate those. Thanks to our health/dental insurance requiring me to carry four separate cards (which doctors’ offices invariably need to take copies of), my credit and debit cards, my driver’s license, and my two carry permits, I have to periodically use my old Jimi Wallet for random “membership” cards.
However, there is a fix for even that. As you can see in the picture to the right, my FlipSide has a business card clip on its back, capable of holding four business cards, but it does not have enough of a grip for plasticky / credit-card-like cards. Enter the FlipSideKick. Ten bucks nets you a backpack for your FlipSide 2x wallet that can hold another three regular cards, up to six business cards, or some combination of the same. It is not RFID shielded, but that can be useful too – put your proximity cards in there, and just hold your wallet up to the reader, rather than having to take it out to be read.
So what is the conclusion? After six months of use, I would consider the FlipSide wallet to be well worth its price. It is made here in the good old USofA (so buying it constitutes a real “stimulus”), it holds what I really need it to (and I can expand it if I have to), is not any larger than is absolutely necessary, and it holds up to even my somewhat excessive levels of wear and tear. Nothing has broken, nothing has failed, no cracks have developed, and everything works about the same as it did when I took it out of the box. Maybe it is not as classy as your grandfather’s leather wallet, but it has a few bells and whistles even his did not, and I am willing to bet it will last about as long.
(* – My father actually purchased, and still uses, one of these for all of his prox- and RFID-equipped cards at work, and reports that it keeps them safe.)
(Obligatory “kiss my arse” to the FTC: Note the category. Read my disclosure policy. Go away.)