I have always resisted so-called “minimalist” wallets. I was using a small-ish wallet up till recently when I got Nik’s Minimalist Wallet #1 from Tom Bihn. I have been using it for a few weeks now and here is my experience so far.

First Impressions

When I got it, I was thinking I could use it as a namecard holder, but found that namecards don’t fit. It does say so in the item description that only UK-sized namecards fit, not ones for US, and apparently not Japanese-sized ones. I proceed to transfer the contents of wallet to the new one. I had some ID cards in plastic covers, but that wouldn’t fit, either. It fits exactly the size of a regular-sized card, nothing more. That means reward cards here don’t fit too. I guess they really wanna keep it compact.

Japanese namecards don’t fit.

How I Use It

So, the main reason I stayed away from minimalist wallets was because most of them don’t come with a coin pouch. I figured that if using a minimalist wallet meant I had to get a separate coin pouch, then that’s wasn’t being very minimalist. But because Nik’s Minimalist Wallet could be closed and secured with the elastic band, it was secure enough to have coins in them. I had no problem keeping them in place, but because I put cards and coins in one side of the wallet, if you take out all the cards, it’s hard to put them back in with all the coins there and needs quite a bit of adjustments.

To access the coins, I usually let them slide out to the middle and take the ones I need.

At first, I folded my notes twice and put it in the slot separate from the one with coins. But now, I fold the notes just once, keep them separate from each other, and let them stick out so I can quickly pull them out. Works pretty well so far.

I have a habit of scanning all of my receipts and organizing them with Evernote, but with this wallet, instead of keeping a day’s worth and scanning all of them at night in a go, I scan them the moment I get them and toss them away right after. 

My full set up with 6 cards. 3 loyalty cards, a credit card, a bank card and a driver’s license.


The wallet, with it’s space constraints, results in a light wallet and there is practically no sign of a budge putting it in your front pocket, even in pants with the thinnest of materials. It’s just so simple and, well, minimal in design with just two slots in all black. It’s just so much less noticeable than normal wallets that I was afraid it might be easier to lose. There is just so little to think about when using it. There is a small brand tag on the inside of the wallet that I wish they would exclude, but it was significantly less branding than their usual logo.

Great for runs. I had to really angle it so that a slight budge would form in these Outlier’s Ultra Ultra track pants.

This was one of those, I thought I couldn’t do it but actually could, cases. I got used to using it after about 3 days and I just can’t go back to a regular-sized wallet. I would definitely recommend this wallet although would really love if they would make one that fits Japanese namecards.

Here are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure!

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