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Thursday, June 02, 2011
Big Skinny World Bifold Wallet with Zippered Pocket Review
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 1:49 AM --- Post#5118684675195731325

The two mandatory items Singaporeans (and perhaps people from other country) bring with them out of home is probably a wallet and handphone. While mobile phones are becoming smaller and lighter, a wallet does not (other than when I spent all the cash inside).

I got to know this brand of wallet Big Skinny that claimed to make ultra thin wallets yet able to contain more than what most leather wallet would. I bought the World Bifold Wallet with Zippered Pocket around five months ago from Big Skinny’s web store. I decided to do the review only five months later simply to give the wallet ample to time to reveal its resistance to wear and tear, so do not be surprised if the wallet in the photos does not look brand new.

Front view.

Inside View.

Back View.

The wallet cost US$25.95 with US$5 shipping cost to Singapore. I got mine at US$15.57 that time during a sale on their web store. Most people could spend S$38 for a leather wallet at OG, but the World Bifold Wallet looks like some cheapskate stuff you can get at pasar malam for S$10 or at most a S$20-ish at Billabong or Ripcurl store, it takes some courage to purchase one to know if it is really worth the money.

Big Skinny claims that their wallets are made from micro fiber material that makes them as durable as leather yet thinner and lighter. Micro fiber is no rocket science in today’s context, but from a common consumer point of view, it seems to be used mainly in athletics's wear and cleaning clothes. Perhaps there are other manufacturers that use micro fiber for wallet as well, but they don’t feature it as explicitly as Big Skinny does.

The wallet is truly thin, with the fabric almost as slim as paper. My Big Skinny wallet with everything in it is still thinner than my former leather wallet with nothing in it. The fabric bends well, meaning to say when closed (with nothing in it) it does not leave a gap near the bending edge like most leather wallet does. Other than that, it’s significantly lighter in weight as well. If you geeks want a value, it measures around 5.2mm in thickness empty. Being thin and light is the main feature of Big Skinny wallet, and no doubt my World Bifold Wallet lived up to its claim.

Empty Big Skinny wallet VS empty leather wallet. Big Skinny is skinnier.

Filled Big Skinny (10 cards, 5 banknotes, some coins) VS empty leather wallet. They are about the same thickness.

The World Bifold Wallet is full of bells and whistles, which are mostly simple enhancements and designs that goes a long way. It comes with six card slots, each one has a generous 8mm excess width after inserting a standard credit card, and you can stuff around four credit card in one slot. Having extra wide slots do not mean the content falls out easily, the insides are laid with a layer of slip proof material, hence you can turn your wallet upside down and give it a shake and most of the time nothing falls out. There is an ID card slot with an oval opening for you to take your ID out easily.

You can stuff a debit card plus a key (showing extra width) nicely into the card slot.

The wallet filled.

There is only one bank note compartment, which is very deep in, you can slot in your Singapore $50 notes in and it fits nicely without its edge coming out. Again there is a layer of anti- slip material to hold the notes in place.

On the insides behind the card slots are two storage slots. Basically they are two large pockets for you to stuff anything your want there. Personally, I use one side to store all my promotional/membership/seldom utilised cards and another side to put some name cards/receipt/notes/tickets etc. These pockets are pretty roomy, you can stuff in quite a lot of junks (which most people tends to) before they are full.

Generous space for the side storage slots.

The back of the wallet houses a zippered coin pouch, which has a flap that expands the compartment upon unzipping. The zip is smooth and durable although the black paint can drop off quite fast. While in the front, there is an oval shaped Big Skinny logo made of rubbery material sewed on it, it is said to aid user grip the wallet out from your pocket as the logo is in the position of your thumb.

The zippered compartment.

The wallet does have respectable durability. After five months of usage, there are no holes, no tears, no moulds, little fraying and the thread stitches are holding on steady. I am considered a rough wallet user, although I don’t do crazy stuff like set my wallet on fire, go swimming with it or dragging it along asphalt concrete, I never took particular care of my wallet. I throw my wallet on my table when I reach home, dumped it into my bag filled with other gadgets, flip it open and close wildly, drop it occasionally onto the floor, squeeze it tight in between my pants and my thigh fats and all sorts of other nonsense. Looking at its condition after five months, I would expect the wallet to easily last for years.

Not quite relevant but the wallet is extremely flexible.

The World Bifold Wallet does suffer from some significant flaws though. The most obvious one would be its aesthetic design. Frankly speaking, it looks like shit. It is probably one of the ugliest wallet for S$38 that I had ever seen. There are no graphical printings on the wallet - it’s just straight all black (or whatever colour you choose to buy). Big Skinny’s logo design isn’t helping with the plain design at all. To top it off, it looks squarish when closed, making me feel somehow uncomfortable about it as most wallets that I had seen are rectangular. The wallet’s appearance makes it look very cheap, where others would easily mistaken it to be some worthless wallet from Bugis Street.

The zippered coin pouch expands too little upon unzipping, my fat fingers are having a hard time digging out the coins I need. Most of the time I resort of pouring everything out, choose what I want and pour everything carefully back in again. It can quite annoying when pressured to pay up in front of a queue. Where the rest of the wallet has its edge folded in then sewed, the expanding joint was not. It results in some fraying of the fabric at that part. Some paint on the pull tab of my wallet drops off too.

Imperfect edges of the expandable joint on the zippered coin pouch.

The micro fiber fabric is prone to creasing too. Often you can see marks from coins and cards imprinted onto the exterior of the wallet. You can see some dings on the fabric surfaces also. The sewing of the wallet is done professionally, but not as professional as some of the other fabric products that I had seen. The sewing is straight but not perfectly straight and untidy double sewing lines and ending stitches could be seen randomly around the wallet.

Excellent sewing but could be even better.

To be picky, the key holder was pretty useless. I tried several keys and most of them simply fell out of the opening easily. It's too floppy to act as an effective bank notes separator too.

The supposed key holder.

Overall, the World Bifold Wallet is one that lives up to its claim of being light and thin. It has lots of user friendly features although it suffers from minor problems with the zippered coin pouch and exterior designs. It would be suitable for geeks, sportsmen, factory workers or anyone who wants his wallet to be made of high-tech razor thin material with the durability of leather, but not for fashionistas or those in suit and gown.

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