Iterating on a Good Thing
The team behind what I've called (and remain firm on) the best slim wallet available have taken to Kickstarter to rev up funds for the next phase of its wallet, which they call Trove Swift.
The fundamentals of the original wallet remain intact:
- It's virtually the same physical size as its predecessor
- It retains the same two layers of bonded, full grain Italian vegetable-tanned leather
- The same (from what I can tell) tight, high-quality elastic
- Same composition of three separated slots for cards, cash, Instax photos, business cards, and so forth
- A reversible design that permits versatile options for storing different kinds of slim materials
What's different, however, is one of the available slots access to stored cards. As the creators state on their Kickstarter page:
Our backers and customers over the last three years have given a lot of feedback on the TROVE Wallet, they love the versatility of having 3 separate compartments, the quality of materials and workmanship and the compact and minimalist aesthetics. The TROVE Swift retains all of the qualities our customers love about the original wallet and adds a quick access pull-tab. We know everyone has that one card that they use everyday more than others, and we wanted to improve the speed and accessibility by adding the Swift pull-tab.
To confirm, the single, obvious differentiation between this version of the Trove wallet is the pull-tab. I was actually surprised by this when they graciously sent me a review unit. So let's get this out of the way: this is an impressive pull-tab. They summarize having tested several different materials for the ribbon and the pull-tab itself, finally landing on a union of polyester ribbon and coated metal tab. The ribbon feels like a micro-sized version of a belt buckle of the smoothest variety, and the feeling it provides when you glide it out of its resting place is a tactile pleasure. At 0.3mm thick, it's indecipherable as part of the wallet's in-pocket feel, and the tab itself only juts out slightly once a card or set of cards are placed in the one slot it functions in.
As a functional pull-tab, it far out-performs and out-feels the pull-tabs in Bellroy wallets, and a week in, feels entirely up to the task of long-term viability.
But is a pull-tab what the Trove needed?
Honestly, it brings nominal value to the wallet's design and functionality. It's not unwanted or unwarranted -- the feature is squarely about improving accessibility of a favorite set of cards. But of the two core slots with easiest accessibility of cards, neither caused any problems pulling the cards out in the original version of Trove (those front-facing cards in a stack prodded out just enough to easily grab with a finger). The more difficult-to-access single-slot (I'll call it the slot on the "bottom"), is actually where I think a pull-tab would have been more useful. This slot is typically where I dump my RFID office access card and another one or two rarely used items. But because of the tightness of the wallet, that tends to be where it's a little more difficult to stick a finger in and extract a card.
Where the pull tab does benefit the user is when you need to extract cash. While I usually don't carry any currency, if I do, I always fold it three or four ways to fit into one of the two easier "top" slots, and jam it into the crevice. With the cash resting against a card in the pull-tab slot, the feature works great -- the cash pulls out swimmingly.
Other Miscellany to Note:
- This version of the Trove seems to be, at least initially, limited to a set of monochromatic colors (all of good taste). Perhaps a "build your own" option will be coming later on.
- It's only available on Kickstarter, but as of this writing, they've exceeded their goal and aim to ship by the end of the year.
- Based on this review unit, though, it's in perfect working condition, and I have to imagine it's just a matter of scaling up production and materials to ship to customer demand, but I wouldn't worry about there being any quality assurance issues whatsoever.
Overall, the Trove Swift is an excellent iteration on what I continue to deem the best slim/minimal wallet you can buy. Whether you care for the pull-tab or not, Trove still is the right choice.