Item: Wa-ben Cuben Fiber Wallet
Designer/Manufacturer: Yasutomo 2020
Web URL: http://yasutomo2020.com/index.htm
Year of Manufacture: 2011
MSRP: (US) $46
Listed Weight: 0.69 oz (19.7 g)
Measured Weight: 0.7 oz (19 g)
Listed Dimensions: N/A
Measured Closed Dimensions: 3-5/8 x 4-3/8 in (9 x 11 cm)
Measured Open Dimensions: 3-5/8 x 8-1/8 in (9 x 21.5 cm)
Materials: Cuben Fiber CT9K.5
Pockets: 2 cash pockets, 6 front pockets & 2 internal pockets
Color Purchased: Standard (white)
**This wallet is also offered in black, dark blue, yellow, red, gray, light blue, orange, fluorescent green & fluorescent pink.**
From the website:
This is the world’s first Cuben Fiber wallet! A high-tech sail material, Cuben Fiber CT9K.5 consists of laminates using unidirectional prepreg tape consisting of in-line plasma treated Dyneema fibers spread over mono-filament level films. Cuben Fiber is 30 – 40% lighter than normal Dacron or traditional laminates. This is a very special product!
Yasutomo 2020 is operated and ran by Jason Hung and is located in Hong Kong. Other than these wallets, he also sells day bags and weekend bags on his site. Jason builds these wallets using the standard, or white, colored cuben fiber. However, he has recently started to add in a single colored piece of 0.75 oz Spinnaker cloth in between the outer layer to give these wallets a little color. So, other than the standard (white) color, these wallets are also offered in black, dark blue, yellow, red, gray, light blue, orange, fluorescent green & fluorescent pink. A color for everyone!I first came across these wallets a number of months ago on a post over on Whiteblaze.net. At the time, I must admit that the $46 price tag was more than I wanted to spend. Then, just a few weeks ago I came across these wallets again on a thread over on Backpacking Light.com. This time when I came across the wallets I figured that it was time to replace my current wallet anyway, so hey, why not? So, I placed an order. (There is just something about cuben… 🙂 )
When I made the purchase I had no way of requesting which color wallet I wanted, so I contacted Jason through the “Contact Us” link on his site and requested that I would prefer the Standard (white) color. As well, since he was pretty active on the thread over at BPL I also posted there that I placed an order and my color of choice. Jason returned my email the next day and said a-ok! He also told me that he would ship the wallet out the next day (Monday) but to expect up to a 2.5 week shipping estimate due to security checks while in transit from Hong Kong to the USA. The next day I received an email with a tracking number. Then, 12 days later the postal lady knocked on my door and I happily signed for the wallet! (I will add that since I ordered my wallet, Jason has added a drop down box on his site to specify which color is preferred when ordering. Nice move Jason!)The wallet arrived in a brown envelope as seen in the picture above. When I opened the envelope I found the contents enclosed in a heavy-grade plastic sleeve that was sealed on all 4 sides. Upon opening the plastic sleeve and removing its contents, I found a warranty card which was printed on thick card stock. This card is to be used if the wallet is ever to be returned for repairs or what-not. The Wa-ben Cuben Fiber wallet itself was inside a Spinnaker stuff sack, which is in my opinion an added bonus! Score! A wallet for everyday use, and then one for backpacking…
But first, back to the stuff sack, it is indeed made using the same 0.75 oz Spinnaker cloth that he uses to add color to the wallets. The stuff sack that I received is enveloped-shaped and measures 4-5/8 in (12.5 cm) wide and 5-5/8 in (15.2 cm) tall. On my scale, the stuff sack alone weighs in at 0.2 oz (5 g). The stuff sack closes at the top with a cinch cord which is fed through a sewn channel, except it is a double channel and has a cord coming out on each side. The stuff sack does not use cord locks to lock it closed, but rather can simply be tied closed using the 2 cords which cinch it closed. (The stuff sack can be lightened up though by removing one of the cords, and even more by using a lighter cord.)
As far as the wallet, it is just what I expected. Sexy… 🙂 As expected, the wallet is super light and is super thin. The wallet is standard size, or at least the same “full” size as my other bi-fold wallets that I have ever owned. The stitching is great, but there are 2 spots in which there is a small weave. Although I do not see how it will be a problem with construction, and to be honest, unless looking for it, it is not noticeable.
There is not an ID window in this wallet, so I will have to get used to pulling my license in and out in order to view it rather than just open my wallet and flash it. But this is not a deal breaker for me. There are 3 tiered-pockets on each side of the wallet (for a total of 6 pockets). The pockets are approximately 2 in (5 cm) deep and 3-3/4 in (10.5 cm) wide which I find to be the same size as in my other wallets. My license and other debit cards fit inside the pockets as expected. The pockets hold them firmly in place so that they will not fall out easily but is still easy enough to remove the cards from. (Although, I will say that due to the somewhat slippery texture of the Cuben Fiber, it has taken me a little time to get used to sliding the cards in and out.)
As well, there are 2 internal pockets which are located on each side behind the outer pockets. (This is where I usually stick all the business cards I get, so I was glad to see that they were included on this wallet.)
And let us not forget the cash pockets! There are actually 2 of them (for those that like to separate their bills maybe?) They are both the full width of the wallet however, the inner cash pocket is about 1/8 in (0.3 cm) shorter than the outer cash pocket. This shorter pocket should allow me to easily distinguish between the 2 pockets.
The wallet is quite thin. Without any cards inside the wallet the wallet is about 1/8 in (0.3 cm) thick. This is easily thinner than any other wallet I have ever owned. Even with all of my usual cards inside the wallet, the wallet measures approximately 3/4 in (2 cm). When using the wallet, I have found that I do not even notice I have the wallet in my back pocket. (I also credit this to the wallets super-light weight too.) This is awesome considering with my previous wallet I would have to remove it from my back pocket if driving in the car for long periods of time~ but not with the Wa-ben!)Also, since I opted to get the standard (white) color, the wallet is a bit see-through (as with other versions of Cuben Fiber). Some may not like this simply because others may be able to see what is in the outer cash pocket of the wallet, although I find it to be interesting, and well, I just like the look of plain ole white Cuben Fiber. (Plus, I usually don’t carry cash on me anyway.) However, for those that do not like for others to glance over and see the what bills are inside the wallet, the wallets with the Spinnaker cloth will make the wallet more opaque, thus, more private.I really have been very excited about this wallet since the moment I opened it up. Right off the bat, based on the quality effort of even the packaging material, the whole kit appears to have been put together with care. This alone gives me reason to believe that this is a quality product rather than carelessly thrown together. The wallet itself appears to be well constructed and has proven to be more comfortable than any of my other wallets. And let us not forget, this wallet is much sexier than any of my other wallets. As well, I am also excited about the Spinnaker cloth stuff sack that came with the wallet. (I have plans to turn this stuff sack into my backpacking wallet.)
So, as you can tell, I am happy that I decided to replace my wallet with Jason’s Wa-ben Cuben Fiber wallet. And if anyone out there is looking for a Cuben Fiber wallet specifically, I highly recommend this wallet to you!Thanks for reading!
Disclosure: The author owns this product and paid for it using their own funds.