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We’ve done a lot of wallet reviews on our site. Most of them have the same general requirements, like the ability to carry a lot of credit cards. However, even though I carry a lot of credit cards in my daily life, I only carry a few cards and cash when traveling abroad. So today, we’re looking at a more minimalistic option with our review of the Nodus Compact Card wallet.

The Nodus Collection

If you’re not familiar with Nodus, check out our review of their Compact Coin Wallet. They are a company based in the UK that makes a lot of quality items that we use in our daily life. Things like wallets, phone cases, and tablet cases. They use full-grain vegetable-tanned leather that is ethically and sustainably produced and sourced. I was impressed with their Compact Coin wallet, so I was excited at the opportunity to review their more minimal Compact Card wallet.

Close-up of Nodus Compact Card wallet's chestnut brown vegetable-tanned full-grain leather and branding
The Compact Card wallet is significantly smaller than my normal daily wallet

While Nodus sent us this wallet to review, I want to emphasize that this is not a paid review. We’re not being influenced to review this wallet in any way. As always, we want to ensure the integrity of our channel, and be able to share our honest opinions and thoughts.

Highlights of the Nodus Compact Card wallet

1. Capacity for up to four cards:

Nodus Compact Card wallet with metro card in the RFID-free pocket
The front RFID-enabled pocket is perfect for metro passes, work badges, and hotel keys

The wallet has two exterior pockets for cards. Both pockets can accommodate multiple cards. However, you’ll probably want to keep one of the pockets dedicated for an RFID-enabled card, like a metro pass or hotel key. This allows you to use the card while in the wallet without it clashing signals with other RFID-enabled cards.

Cash goes in the middle flap, though requires tri-folding in order to fit. The middle section can be used for additional cards too.

2. RFID protection:

Nodus' included instruction for using the RFID enabled pocket on the Compact Card wallet
Nodus includes instructions on which pockets are RFID-enabled and protected

The wallet features one RFID protected card slot allowing you to keep any contactless or sensitive cards protected from radio skimming. In the past, I’ve been dismissive on the threat of RFID, especially in the US. However, the issuers have recently relaunched contactless cards in the US. I still don’t think that RFID skimming is common or widespread, but having the protection while traveling is good peace of mind.

3. Key slot:

Close-up of Nodus Compact Card Wallet key slot
The Compact Card wallet features a unique and useful key slot

Like the Compact Coin wallet, this wallet has a slot for a key. I love this feature! You never know when you’ll need to carry a spare key, bike lock key, or room key when traveling. I’ve only seen a few wallets with this feature, so I was pleased to see it with this wallet and the Compact Coin wallet.

4. High-quality leather:

Close-up of Nodus branding and leather on the Compact Card wallet
The leather is full-grain vegetable-tanned Italian leather with texture

The wallet features full-grain vegetable-tanned Italian leather. I know I’ve mentioned with other reviews, but quality leather is not only more attractive and durable, but also tends to age well by developing a patina. Many people (including myself) feel like aged quality leather looks more attractive than new leather. The leather also has texture that makes the wallet stand out, giving it a luxurious look and feel.

5. Thin and compact size:

Nodus Compact Card wallet next to iPhone X
Compact Card wallet next to an Apple iPhone X

This wallet is extremely thin and perfect for front pocket carry. The wallet is 3.8 inches or 96 mm tall and 2.5 inches or 64 mm wide. Even fully loaded, the wallet maintains a thin profile making it ideal for front pocket carry.

6. Packaging and branding:

Close-up of Nodus Compact Card wallet's chestnut brown vegetable-tanned full-grain leather and branding
The quality is apparent even with the discreet and clean branding

Nodus’ octopus logo is discreetly iron-branded at the bottom of the main card pocket. It’s tastefully applied and doesn’t distract from the minimalist design.

Nodus packaging for wallets
The box is colorful and features Nodus’ octopus symbol/logo

The packaging is very clean and functional. Like Compact Coin wallet, the Compact Card wallet arrived in a microfiber pouch inside of a nicely decorated cardboard box. The box art features the Nodus brand symbol. I mention the packaging since it might be a consideration if you plan to purchase this wallet as a gift.

Nodus Compact Card Wallet and microfiber case with branding
The wallet arrived in soft microfiber pouch

Purchasing the wallet

The wallet is available on Nodus’ website for around $65 USD or £50 GBP. The wallet is available in multiple colors, including chestnut brown, ebony black, and dark teal. Nodus also offers free worldwide shipping for orders over £30.

Drawbacks of the Nodus Compact Card Wallet

Close-up of Nodus Compact Card Wallet key slot and notes pocket
Some may find tri-folding notes to be a hassle

In terms of drawbacks, I know some people prefer to keep their notes bi-folded instead of tri-folded when traveling. I completely understand that preference. However, the tradeoff is that you get a much smaller wallet by tri-folding your bills.

Final thoughts

For me, I think I’ll be using this wallet as my go-to travel abroad wallet. I still carry a ton of credit cards in my daily life, so I use a wallet that has more card capacity. However, when I travel, I carry cash, one credit card, a debit card, a copy of my passport, and an ID in my pocket. I do carry additional cards and cash, but I leave them in the hotel safe along with my passport. This wallet is able to carry all those items with a slim and discreet profile. I think that it’s also a great gift idea for a traveler in your life who could use a smaller and simpler wallet while exploring new destinations.

How many cards do you carry when you travel abroad? What are your thoughts on the Nodus Compact Card Wallet? Let us know in the comment section below.

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