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.