I went digging recently for another minimalist wallet and boy did I find one. My old one, two pieces of titanium attached with a rubber band, was getting too old and things were falling out. I did a quick hunt and found a few very flat minimalist wallets, but nothing that seemed to be rugged and clever. Enter Trayvax.

I tried the Trayvax Element, a leather and stainless steel monster with a built-in bottle opener and a money clip. The whole thing costs $84.99 and holds up to 10 cards.

The wallet is surprisingly tight when you first open it, but Trayvax recommends soaking the leather in warm water for about 10 minutes and then placing all of the cards you want to stuff in at once. This stretches the leather permanently but doesn’t mean you’ll end up with stuff falling out. A handy strap keeps things intact.

Further, the wallet has a money clip in the back that holds a few bills, and a rear flap protects the cash and the cards. The entire thing is RDIF resistant.

The whole thing isn’t completely minimalist, but it is a clever and interesting design. Because it is made of steel and thick leather it will last as long as a good wallet should, and the dimensions are perfect for a front pocket. Plus it has a bottle opener.

Now that the Trayvax is carefully sized to my cards and getting a little patina from my pockets, it’s becoming a part of my so-called everyday carry. At $84 it’s a bit pricey, but for what you get — durability, RFID protection and the ability to drink without consequence — is worth the price of admission.

By John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

3 thoughts on “Trayvax Element is a beer-popping minimalist wallet”
  1. Have you had one long-term? Within 3 weeks my bank card / chip where scratched up to the point it wasn’t reading in readers and people couldn’t see the numbers on it.this fate likely awaits any card at the back that is in contact with the grommets , yes you can get around this by sacrificing space to putting an old card you can sacrifice in but doesn’t protecting the cards inside safe fall into the you had one job category? Then again they may have changed it in the past 2 years

  2. Nice looking product line. Me, I’ve long since determined my dire criteria for a wallet. Tried many, discarded many. Here’s what I feel are must-haves:

    RFID-theft protected.
    Multiple ‘slots’. Pockets/slots all over. Pockets upon pockets. Pockets pointing every which way. Pockets to segretate different types of plastic cards. I don’t want a Rite-Aid store discount card in the same slot as I do my primary credit card. Multiple pockets triage contents based on purpose/need.
    Pockets for credit cards, should keep credit card info unreadable to prying eyes.
    Entire wallet should be slim enough to fit in front trouser pocket.
    ‘Bill clasp’ to hold ALL cash on the outside of wallet. Never having to ‘dig for’ bills.
    No ‘folding design’. The wallet should NOT have to be opened like a book.
    Lanyard hole to tether wallet to belt loop.
    Plastic window outside wallet for official ID card.
    Ability to slide ID card “with one thumb” from front plastic window (for turnstile scanners to read).
    Some small glow-in-the-dark emblem or logo to find quickly if dropped.
    Some small metal element to make a sound when dropped.

    Basically the whole wallet should be engineered to operate one-handed, in a hurry, at a cash register or at a security checkpoint, when one is fumbling, and distracted, and hands-full.

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