Review: Bellroy Travel Wallet

By David Flynn, August 22 2013

Frequent flyers and business travellers like to travel light.

And some of us, we love to travel light – with every trip an opportunity revise and refining the art of streamlined packing and ‘carry-on only’ to near Zen extremes.

For me, that includes my wallet – or rather, wallets.

There’s a travel wallet containing my ‘airport and flight’ stuff – passport, necessary frequent flyer cards, boarding pass plus a small stash of cash for when I hit the ground.

Then there’s my everyday wallet, which I slim down the night before a flight to contain just the essentials I’ll need on the road.

The Bellroy Travel Wallet ($120, from Bellroy.com) is a stylishly savvy attempt to roll both of those into a single wallet with undeniable appeal to the ‘travel light’ set.

It’s a bifold wallet that, when closed, is slightly larger than your passport – and when opened, has just about the perfect number of slots and nooks for what you need, without tempting an overload of stuff you don’t.

That’s part of the Travel Wallet’s pitch: it’s a form of ‘practical minimalism’, although there’s nothing stopping you from a quick Operation Slim-Down of your own wallet before you fly (Bellroy actually has a few great tips to share on this).

In the case of the Bellroy Travel Wallet, you get an easy-access pocket for your passport –  thankfully, one that’s fat enough to take the 68 page passports favoured by business travellers and frequent flyers.

Opposite this are four slots for your most-used cards, and using the Travel Wallet on a few recent trips this seemed about the right number: my frequent flyer card, credit card, a travel money card plus prepaid travel card such as London’s Oyster or Hong Kong’s Octopus.

Tucked behind those, in the first of two wide billfold sections, are three more slots for extra cards (one of which which I found ideal for stowing my hotel room’s keycard).

There’s a tiny fourth slot at the far end which at first glance seems tailor-made for a SIM card, and thus tailor-made for the globetrotter – just don’t try to slip a microSIM in there, as it’ll be a devil to get back out again.

The Travel Wallet’s passport-dictated size gives it the advantage of coping with large banknotes, and plenty of them.

A small silo in the middle of the Travel Wallet contains a compact pen for filling in all those departure and arrival forms.

Made from leather and constructed with plenty of attention to detail, the Travel Wallet is available in smooth black or a lightly-grained cocoa which will ‘age’ more naturally if you’re into the weathered Indiana Jones look.

And Bellroy’s three year warranty is testimony to the company’s faith in their products.

So is this the only wallet a traveller needs? It will depend on your own travel habits, including where you’re going and what you’re doing.

It’s well suited to a jacket where you can slip the wallet in a pocket and keep it sitting flat. But I wouldn’t use it to replace my everyday wallet if I’m just wearing jeans and a shirt, as the last thing I want is for my passport to get bent out of shape in my back pocket.

The rest of the time, however, the Bellroy Travel Wallet proves to be pretty much a perfect travel companion.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

StuParr

StuParr

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 169

I use a Bellroy wallet. I'm really impressed by its quality. This one looks great.

Vaughnus

Vaughnus

21 May 2012

Total posts 4

Bought one of these bad boys before a recent international trip, it was great. I used it in conjuction with my usual slim wallet.

aaron12

aaron12

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Apr 2013

Total posts 2

I use one of these as my wallet every day with a little notebook in the passport pocket - easily the best wallet i've ever had.

Southland

Southland

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

31 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

If I post do I win one LOL

Don Quixote

Don Quixote

06 Jun 2012

Total posts 7

I got one of these for Christmas and I've been using it ever since. 

I was on the road for two and a half months in the US and EU and I used this as my sole wallett. I love it. I can keep it in my back pocket when I'm wearing jeans and doesn't cause back problems. I kept my local SIM card safe while I was on the road too. 

I still use it back home for the same reason. 

Doubleplatinum Banned

Doubleplatinum Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 558

I wonder who just got a freebie from Bellroy?

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2337

Joshua, if you think my opinion as a professional journalist of 20 years' standing would be swayed by a 'free' wallet supplied in order to review it, then maybe you haven't been reading AusBT very long...

watson374

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

...and that, ladies and gentlemen, is a show of just how damn good the wallet is.

David, do you know how long a Bellroy wallet is supposed to last?

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2337

Watson - I don't know, but check back with me in 5-10 years! :P

sietes

sietes

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Aug 2013

Total posts 1

I've been wondering whether to get one of these for a while now. Based on this i'm gong to order one today. Thanks for the great review.

AnthonyvB

AnthonyvB

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Plantium

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 120

Thanks for the article - as a frequent traveller I will look into this brand (thanks everyone for the reviews below).  Also, nice to see an article  in the "Travel Gear News" section, they are few and far between. 


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