There is no shortage of minimalist wallets on the market. Though most minimalist wallets are designed to carry only a few credit cards. This makes it difficult for credit card points collectors who often carry multiple cards. Though there is hope, which is why I am excited to share our WaterField Finn Access wallet review!
Those of you that watch our videos know that I’ve been using a Bellroy Card Pocket wallet for several years now. I like it a lot, and it seems to match up with my spending habits. Since I use credit cards 90% of the time, I rarely need to use or access my cash. While a lot of people hate folding their cash into thirds, I don’t mind it as much since I rarely use it.
Though a few people have contacted us asking if there are any wallets with the same design that allow you to bi-fold your cash. Fortunately, WaterField makes an excellent wallet that fits this requirement. The wallet accommodates lots of cards and allows you to bi-fold cash for easy accessibility.
WaterField is a company based in San Francisco. They make a lot of practical and beautiful gear. In fact, I own several of their bags and pouches. The bags are designed and made in the US, and are extremely high quality. I consider their products to be high-end, though you’re not paying for a brand name. Instead, you’re getting excellent materials and craftsmanship.
A few years ago, they decided to update their popular Finn wallet with a new version called the Finn Access. I’ll run through the key features of the wallet so you can determine whether it’s a good fit for you.
Key features and highlights
1. Full-grain leather exterior:
WaterField uses full-grain leather in their products. This is a much higher quality than the top-grain or natural leather you’ll find in other wallets. The leather is sufficiently thick, making it extremely durable. Using the wallet regularly will give it a nice patina, which is common when high-quality leather develops a soft sheen. In fact, a lot of people think that quality leather looks better as it ages and develops it’s patina. You can see on my WaterField Staad backpack how nice the leather has aged on the bottom of the backpack from constant use. This wallet will likely look similar over time.
2. Ballistic nylon interior:
The interior of the wallet is equally impressive. WaterField uses a ballistic nylon material in the interior that’s tough and durable. In fact, my WaterField Cargo bag is made from this material and shows very little wear and tear despite being used daily for years.
The interior has two side pockets and plenty of extra space in the middle. In terms of practical use, you’ll want to put credit cards in the side pockets and cash in the center. This might be one of the most important distinctions with this wallet since you can place cash in the center slot by only folding the notes in half. For example, my Bellroy Card Pocket requires me to fold the cash into thirds. It doesn’t bother me since I rarely use cash. However, for a lot of people, this might be a strong reason to consider the Finn Access wallet over other similar style wallets.
3. Locking YKK zippers:
One small feature on the wallet that I appreciate is the locking zipper. When the zipper handle is flat and parallel to the opening, the zipper will not unzip. This keeps the zipper from opening accidentally in your pocket. The zipper also has a hard plastic grip with the WaterField branding, which helps when gripping it. These are small touches that add to the experience and overall quality of the product.
4. RFID protection:
The wallet has RFID protection built into the lining. While I’m not convinced that RFID is a real threat, especially here in the US, it’s a nice to have and provides peace of mind. You may find this feature more compelling if you use a contactless card outside the US.
5. Outside pocket:
This is the primary distinction between the original Finn wallet and the newer Finn Access wallet. The wallet has an exterior pocket that allows quick access without having to open the wallet. This is a useful slot for items you may need while traveling like a hotel key or metro pass. Also, the exterior pocket is not RFID protected. This means that you can use it for a building pass and unlock doors without removing the pass from the wallet pocket.
6. Available in different sizes:
I love that WaterField offers this wallet in three different sizes, depending on your needs. The Compact size, which is what we have, is meant to carry about 20+ credit cards and US cash. The Classic size is slightly larger and can hold most larger non-US notes. The Passport size can fit the largest currencies and even accommodate your passport.
It’s nice to have options depending on your needs and style. For me, I would opt for the Compact or Classic size since I usually like to carry a photocopy of my passport and keep the original in the hotel safe. But if you like to carry your passport while exploring, this can be a great way to do it.
Things I would change about the wallet
In terms of things that I wish the wallet would include, the only thing would be a non-leather option. I know a few people in my life that avoid leather products. WaterField used to offer their products in non-leather options, like their ballistic nylon or waxed canvas. Both are great materials, so I’d love to see WaterField offer them again for their entire product line.
The cost of the Finn Access wallet is $79. That may seem pricey, but keep in mind that their products are extremely high-quality and are manufactured in the US. They also offer a lifetime warranty on their products from any defects in the materials or workmanship. I once had a zipper malfunction on my WaterField Cargo bag, and they repaired it for free even years after I bought the bag. It’s that kind of service that keeps me coming back as a customer.
Have you tried the Finn Access wallet? If so, let us know what you think. Also, if you have any questions, please ask them in the comment section below.