I've always had a problem with wallets. I think this classic clip from Seinfeld explains my dilemma better than I ever can:
Think they made up George's wallet? Nope. There are people out there (myself included) who-for reasons unknown-simply let our wallets get ridiculously thick with a bunch of crap that we think we need, but really don't. Take a look at mine:
My wallet. Call me George. And note the sad absence of cash...
See? It won't even close. When I sit it on the table it slowly curls open like some sort of dying bug. I actually wear my wallet in my front, left pocket (I'm left handed). This is partially because of the thickness, but mainly due to me suffering from "No-Ass-At-All" Disease. My wallet would constantly pop right out of my back pocket.
With this being my current state of non-folding money holder, you can see why I was intrigued when an offer came to review the Clinch Wallet.
The Clinch Wallet
The wallet arrived accompanied by a letter from its creator, Louis Kiss. In this, he states that the Clinch Wallet was born out of losing a credit card at the gym.
"Since I was due for a new wallet," he states, "and couldn't find one that locked in my items and allowed easy access, I decided to invent one myself."
In doing this, he found that storing the credit cards vertically and overlapping them in an "accordion" style allowed for additional storage.
For the record, Mr. Kiss also invented the Grab-It-Pack, an item I looked into a few months back-and I found it to be really cool. This gave me high hopes for the Clinch Wallet.
The Clinch Wallet: This sucker dwarfs a regular wallet.
Okay, the first thing you can't help but notice about the Clinch Wallet is the size. This sucker is roughly 7 ¼" X 4 ¼." Some European wallets are that large, but something this big is somewhat rare here in the U.S.
Then there's the long chain. And then there's the huge "Clinch Wallet" logo.
I'm not off to a good start here. This is... big, loud, and screaming "AS SEEN ON TV!"
But I wanted to give it a fair shot. So I decided to spend a week with it as my wallet. We'd go everywhere together, from bar-to-bar, store-to-store, movie theaters, parks, the beach... and I even told my editor that I'd run it over with my van just to see how tough it is.
So let's take a look at the inside of this little whopper, shall we?
It may be difficult to see in the picture, but the inside of the Clinch Wallet says, "store tons of stuff here." The card holding sleeves are of a revolutionary design.
Essentially this involves arranging the card sleeves in an offset pattern. Instead of stacking them on top of each other, the sleeves are set in a line that runs up the wallet. Several layers of these are available, allowing for storage of up to 30 cards.
But it was next to impossible to insert any cards into certain sleeves. Take my Driver's License, for example. My girlfriend watched me struggling to get it into the wallet and took this picture:
I'm pushing like hell to get this in there...
Granted, Mr. Kiss brings this up in his letter, stating that a "few of the holders may seem a bit tight to fit a driver's license into at first. It's meant to be that way since it prevents anything from falling out. With prolong[ed] use, the plastic will stretch..."
He's not kidding. I became quite concerned that I would mar the mag strip on the back of my cards as I inserted them into the wallet. In digging around I found that the windows for each sleeve were quite strong, very unlike any other wallet I've had. In the past the plastic was almost like wax and would break within a few days of inserting photos or cards.
While initially loading, I would recommend inserting empty gift cards and such to loosen up the sleeves a bit. When you put in your credit cards, they'll still be secured nicely inside-no danger of falling out.
Once I did this, things worked swimmingly. And more importantly, when closed, the wallet was just as thin as when it was empty. Three main pockets provide easy access for the cards you use most. While not in the plastic sleeves, they won't go anywhere due to the angle at which they're stored.
I began to get a bit happy about the Clinch Wallet.
Even though I found the chain to be a bit too much and could have removed it (by either the clip or the snap), I kept it on anyway. It actually came in handy (more on that in a sec).
For the first time in... hell, I dunno... 30 years or so, I found myself wearing my wallet in my back pocket. Why? Because it was so slim it would fit-comfortably! So much so that for the first day I kept forgetting it was there and found myself frantically reaching for my front pocket.
The chain has caused a few issues, including being caught on a chair (twice, actually-tipping it each time), and somehow becoming tangled in my seat-belt.
But it has also tugged on my belt when the wallet fell out of my pocket. I was sitting on a bench and my No-Ass-At-All Disease pushed it out after about an hour.
The only other problem I had was due to user error. There are three long pockets-the type where you would store your dollar bills. Due to being left-handed, I've opened the Clinch Wallet sideways a couple of times. This has caused various papers, receipts, and bucks to flop out and fall to the ground.
Like I said: User error.
But how tough is the Clinch Wallet? Well, as I promised my editor, I ran it over with my van.
If you look closely you can see the tread marks.
So, how do I feel about the Clinch Wallet? I like it a lot.
Sure it has its small problems (the insane tightness of the card sleeves, the chain catching on stuff, and that crazy giant logo), but overall it does exactly what it's supposed to. I can state very comfortably that there is no way any of my credit cards are going to fall out of this thing. And once I cure my clumsiness when opening it, I can think of no problem whatsoever.
And that makes me a happy guy:
Tired of losing your credit cards? Get your own Clinch Wallet here!
Editor's Note: The Clinch Wallet seems be no longer on the market as it seems to have been replaced by the vendor with the Grab It Pack. - The Ultimate Gadget Holder.