Sunday, February 28, 2021

AKEENi XSTO Wallet - 8 Card

My search for a perfect minimalist wallet continues until I came across with the AKEENi XSTO Wallet. I haven't heard anyone who dislikes about their wallet from the web and I decided to give it a try.

I made my order online through AKEENi's website. The process was easy and smooth. The shipment (by USPS) was immediate and I received my package about 12 days (from United States to Malaysia) after my purchase.

The packaging is neat and simple with its tagline "The Last Wallet You'll Ever Need". You could see the color of the wallet you purchase from the perforation of the box.

This is a jet black, 8 card wallet with carbon fiber business card cover. There is an instruction paper on how to stack the cards, fold cash and insert business cards. Also included is a code which will entitle me for 10% discount for the next order.

There are 4 types of card capacity wallet which AKEENi offers; 4, 6, 8 & 10 card. I opted for the 8 card version (USD 66). They also offer various colors to choose from; jet black, navy blue, forest green, rhino gray, forest white, dessert sand, crimson red, electric purple, atomic orange, light blue, dusty rose, bright pink, neon green and plum.

For upgrade, I had include the carbon fiber business card cover (USD 8) which I think complement the overall aesthetic of the wallet.

The wallet consists of 2 main parts. The main frame is made with premium aerospace aluminum and high durability finish.  The frame is about 91mm (length) x 55mm (width) x 19mm (thick)

The second part is the stainless steel plate which also act as the spring as we can see later. 

The front of the wallet resembles the hull of a catamaran. The rails are located on both sides of the wallet.

To stack the cards, just slide the cards into the wallet from either side until they are centered and click was heard.

I can fit in a total of 8 cards (rail), 8 notes (cavity) and 5 business cards (rear) into this wallet. With fully embossed cards, it can fit 7 of these type of cards into the rail.

I also manage to find another application for this wallet. I can stack the PAMP gold bar which is packaged in their original card. For this 8 card version, it could easily accommodate 3 PAMP cards.

The rail has some clearance at the edge (one on each side, diagonal to each other) which allow it to flex when the cards are inserted.

This is one of the main feature which make this wallet stands out from the rest. This design prevent the cards from wearing down due to the friction with the rail. A wallet with rigid rail system would wear down the edges of the cards as I had with other minimalist wallet.

I have some concern of the repetitive flexing of the rail as metal fatigue could occurs over a long period of time and usage. AKEENi give a functional lifetime warranty for its wallet and I am sure the XSTO wallet will last a lifetime

The cavity between the stack of cards and the stainless spring can be used to store cash. I have no problem storing my national currency (Ringgit Malaysia) in it.

However, I did some experiment with other larger notes such as 200 Swiss Franc (from the eighth series) and 100 Singapore Dollar.

By folding according to AKEENi's instruction, The 200 Swiss Franc is slightly larger to fit into the cavity. The note will still fit into the cavity by folding it in another way although this will take up more space in the cavity. The 100 Singapore Dollar on the other hand was just able to fit into it.

The rear of the wallet is used to store up to 5 business cards but it can also be used to store up to 3 cards (credit card, IDs, driving license). The stainless steel plate beneath it acts like a spring and create the necessary compression force to hold the cards securely at the rear.

Hence, it is capable of accommodating up to 11 cards for this 8 card version wallet.

AKEENI has an interesting background story to tell. On 26th July 2018, their manufacturing facility was destroyed by Carr Fire and almost everything was decimated.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a single prototype wallet was found and this gave them hope. 

From there, they proudly built the original Stow wallet in California and grew from strength to strength and transform the original Stow wallet to XSTO Wallet. There is nothing like a great comeback. 

This is definitely the last wallet I will ever need. It is functional and stylish. What else can I ask for as the wallet can carry cards, cash and business card in such a compact frame.

AKEENi really nails it with their design and I will definitely get another one for my wife and son.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Dango A10 Adapt Wallet

As we move towards to digital payment, the way we carry our money/cards has also evolved. We carry less cash and coins nowadays. With this latest trend, the design of modern wallets has transformed from the traditional bifold leather wallets to a more minimalist wallet made from metal.

After much online shopping, I came across Dango Products and decided to try one of their metal wallets. Most of their wallets design are inspired by the open identification badge and IDs.

Dango ship their products with Fedex and shipment was fast. It arrived in bubble wrapped envelope within 4 days from United States to Malaysia.

This is what comes with the package; a product catalogue, container and the A10 chassis clip (sold separately).

Inside of the container is the A10 Adapt Wallet chassis (USD79), an instruction sheet and a paracord lanyard. The chassis come in crimson red, champagne gold, slate grey, satin silver and jet black. I opt for champagne gold.

The A-Series of the wallet (A10 Adapt Wallet) is a modular wallet with interchangeable parts and adapters. This make the A10 wallet more versatile and the add on can be attached to suit the user needs.

The A10 wallet chasis is made of machined 6061 aerospace grade aluminum and anodized. The A10 is equipped with Dango' unique patent quick release rail mechanism on both sides of the wallet that allow easy access to cards.

The chassis is lightweight (2.3oz) with dimensions of 104mm (length) x 68mm (width) x 13mm (thick)  and is made fully in the USA.

On the front side is a single card (not RFID protected), vertical oriented cavity meant for displaying identification, badge and any cards that needs scanning.

On one side of the chassis is a horizontal cavity holding up to 4 cards that us protected by a removable aluminum RFID plate.

The A10 Adapt Wallet chassis on its own is capable to hold a maximum of 5 cards in total; 4 cards (including embossed cards) on the back and 1 card on the front. 

For a new chassis unit, the rail will be a tight fit where I notice some card wear in way of the edges which come in contact with the metal rail. The problem will go away after a few uses and card slides.

When I draw out a card from the lowest layer (the one closest to the back plate), the card is unable to be inserted back to the original position. It will have to be inserted in between the other cards.

After repetitive cards sliding over the time will cause minor displacement of the edge of the rail which will keep the cards in the rail. With a rough shake, the card will be dislodged from the rail.

This part of the rail can be adjusted by using a screwdriver to nudge it inward. This will displaced the edge of the rail inward and keep the card firmly in the rail.

When I gripped the chassis in such way, the surface of my palm is actually rubbing the card and this could cause card wear in the long run.

We still need to carry some cash with us for emergency use or in case some vendors still did not accept any digital payment. Underneath the front card slot is some gap to keep some cash. With the notes folded twice, I could easily fit 3 notes into it.

The A10 Chassis Clip (sold separately for USD 15) can be easily installed with a single screw (2 stainless steel screws and Allen key come together with the clip) to hold extra items like cards and notes. With the clip attached, the total thickness will be about 20mm.The clip can be use to attach the chassis to a belt or pocket.

Neck lanyard can also be fitted to the chassis and this would make a cool ID display.

For size comparison, I had put the A10 chassis sided by side with the conventional bifold wallet. The A10 chassis is smaller and thinner compared to an empty bifold wallet.

With the clip attached, the thickness is now about the same as the empty bifold wallet.

It is about the same size and thickness with a card protector holder which can hold up to 8 cards.

Size comparison with Oppo Find X1. The A10 chassis can also be attached to the phone with the A10 phone adapter plate (sold separately).

To increase the card carrying capacity of the wallet, additional accessories such as the A10 pull pocket adapter (USD 35), A10 single pocket adapter (USD 25), A10 bifold pocket adapter (USD 35) and capsule slide (USD 49) can be purchased separately. This could easily make the whole set cost more than USD 100.