Been a while since I’ve tried a new wallet. After using the Trove wallet for years, a new cardholder release from Aer (a San Francisco outpost focused on sleek bags and accessories) caught my attention.

The Aer Cardholder as it arrives in its zippered plastic packaging

Wrought of 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon and lined with a microfiber interior, the smartphone-sized wallet is a handsome execution to both hold and look at, and functions well for day-to-day use. Several features set this apart from my default Trove:

  • The wallet is larger dimensionally than the Trove (it measures 5.1” x 3” x 0.2”) vs the Trove’s lean card-sized profile
  • Materials are completely different. Cordura ballistic nylon in this grade is tough and stiffer than the less-heavy duty elastic and leather combo from Trove (and many other slim/minimal wallets)
  • There are three stacked card holders for easy access/common usage on on side of the wallet, which is a 'whatever' for me since I’m typically grabbing only my credit card in nearly every circumstance
  • There is a YKK-zippered pocket that fits damn near everything else, including additional cards, bi-folded US cash, and keys
    • This pocket is also RFID-lined, protecting against skimmers while also permitting cards in the exterior 3-slot pockets to be tappable (e.g., transit cards)

The zippered pocket, while not new to wallets (Bellroy has plenty of options with it), is phenomenally well executed here. It's small and rests almost unnoticeably against the zipline, minimizing its footprint. I’ve been so used to triple/quadruple folding US cash that it’s a great convenience not to have to anymore. And the reduction of a keychain in the summer months (sans winter coat pockets) has been terrific. My only extra daily carry aside from this wallet and my phone is the occasional car dongle when I need to drive. That’s it.

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Overall, the card’s quality build looks like it’ll hold up. The card slots are fine, though it’s much easier to pull out the top card than the others due to the thick-stitched rims (and I do miss the Trove Swift’s pull tab, which at first seemed unnecessary but has grown into a pleasant, tactile luxury). And the zippered pocket is a welcome change — while not elegant, it stores cash, keys, and a few extra cards while keeping the entire wallet profile fairly slim. For the reduction in additional EDC needs alone (especially with limited pockets in the summer), the Aer Cardholder is recommended, and could very well replace any ultra-slim wallet you have if you’re looking for the specific benefits it brings.