Despite the increasing popularity of payment systems tied to our smartphones (and smartwatches), everyone still needs a wallet. We’re not quite in a cashless society yet, and there’s still plastic to carry around—ID, transit passes, credit cards, memberships, and others. I’ve had an assortment of modern takes on the minimalist wallet, including modular versions made from carbon fiber. But nothing beats a well made, old-school leather wallet. I always go back to them. And they don’t come much better than the offerings from Nodus.
I’ve had the opportunity to review some smartphone cases from UK-based Nodus, and they are fantastic. They offer minimalist protection combined with the warmth of premium vegetable tanned leather and handy features like their integrated magnetic Micro Dock. Each is also embossed with a way-cool octopus logo.
The company also makes wallets, and they sent me a selection to try out.
Like those smartphone cases, the Nodus wallets are hand-crafted from full grain vegetable tanned Italian leather. The stitching on each is precise, with no loose threads. Everything is slim, yet strong and with that warm feel of high-quality leather that just gets softer with use. Each of the wallets has a nod to our high tech world with RFID blocking and one unshielded pocket that supports contactless payment. And yes, each is embossed with the Nodus Octopus logo. If you’re looking for gift ideas, they also come very nicely packaged with a lined box and a cloth bag—no clamshell plastic packaging here…
The samples I received show the wide range of offerings from the company.
The Hifold Coin wallet ($105.01) is the most versatile. It still manages to be quite slim but offers four card slots, a pull tab to access a pocket where you can stash up to eight additional cards, plenty of space for paper currency, and it also has a zippered coin pocket. Here in Canada, one-dollar and two-dollar coins are common, so that coin-carrying capability is quite useful. This is the model out of the three I received that I prefer.
The Lowfold Wallet ($91.88) is an interesting design. In an effort to be as compact as possible, it’s just 3.0-inches tall. That means currencies like American and Canadian will fit exactly, with no wasted space. It also has slots for three cards, plus a pocket that can fit up to eight more. There’s also space to stash a key—for those who don’t use a keypad, key fob, or smartphone to unlock their door.
Finally, Nodus also sent a Compact Card wallet ($65.63). This is the ultimate approach for minimalists, at just 3.8-inches by 2.5-inches. In that compact space, you can fit two to four cards, a few folded bills, and a key. I like to use this one when I’m taking the dogs for a walk or hiking. My driver’s license, health card and a credit card, and maybe $10 just in case are all I need, and I hardly know it’s in my pocket.
The prices are higher than the leather wallets you’ll often find discounted online. I think the Nodus versions are well worth the premium if you want a wallet that combines a highly functional design with a minimal profile, premium leather, and the durability and quality of hand craftsmanship. These are wallets that look great, feel great, and are built to last.
Nodus wallets (and smartphone cases) are available directly from the company’s website, and the versions I tried out are offered in Chestnut Brown (my favorite), Ebony Black, and Dark Teal leather.
Disclosure: Nodus provided wallets for evaluation but had no input into this review.