I don’t know about you, but I take a minimalist approach to my everyday carry. I don’t want to add more gear to my everyday carry, but instead want to find ways to reduce how much I carry.
You’d think any wallet would work. They’re small and compact, right?
If you’ve ever carried a traditional bi- or tri-fold wallet, you know that you can cram tons of unnecessary stuff in there.
What’s more is that traditional wallets are carried in your back pocket. However, as everyone who has carried one of these wallets knows, this eventually leads to bad posture and lower back pain.
You can try to carry a traditional wallet in your front pocket, but for most people they’re going to be too big and bulky to do that comfortably.
I knew all of this too well, which is why I was so excited when I came across the Decadent Minimalist Kickstarter campaign. When I saw their wallet, I knew I had to have one.
My wife surprised me with one of their wallets a few months after the campaign ended. I’ve been carrying a DM1 ever since.
Special Deal: Click this link to get a 15% discount on your Decadent Minimalist wallet. Note: This discount doesn’t work on Amazon, only on the Decadent Minimalist store.
The Decadent Minimalist Story
What makes the Decadent Minimalist story interesting is that the intent wasn’t so much to start a business as much as it was to complete a school assignment and earn a grade.
Erik Moon, who invented the DM1 wallet, took a mechanical engineering class at Stanford. One of his assignments was to create a product that solved a real-world problem.
Erik set out to create an alternative to the traditional leather wallet. He designed a metal wallet using SolidWorks CAD and planned the machining on HSMWorks CAM. His prototype was a slimmer, sleeker, and lighter wallet that would be machined from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum.
Erik designing the first version of the DM1 wallet in SolidWorks CAD.
Image by Erik Moon via his Kickstarter campaign
He created a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 to ask for backing so that he could start manufacturing the wallets. It’s not clear what the original goal was, but considering 1,375 backers pledged $91,893 and they surpassed all the stretch goals, it’s clear the campaign was a success.
As the saying goes, the rest is history.
Decadent Minimalist is still selling wallets today. In fact, I met Erik at the Portland Blade Show in October 2018. By then I had been carrying my 8-card aluminum DM1 for 2-3 years, so obviously I’m a fan.
And one of the reasons why I like it so much is because of its design.
The DM1 Wallet Design
The original DM1 is a patented design. It’s so unique that other companies have tried to mimic, if not outright steal their design.
The wallet is not much wider or taller than a credit card which helps to reduce bulk. The materials they use, which includes aluminum, nickel, and titanium, helps to reduce weight.
Erik says that he hates using rubber bands, Velcro, and straps. He also refused to develop a wallet that required screws or fasteners when it was possible to create the wallet out of one piece of material.
What Keeps Your Cards from Falling Out?
The DM1 doesn’t use rubber bands or straps, so what keeps your cards from falling out?
There are two elements that keep your cards secure. The first are the two sides, which are channeled. The channels have a small lip or edge that keeps your cards together.
The second element is the opening where you insert and remove your cards. There are two detents, one on each side, that keeps your cards from sliding out.
I find the detents interesting because they feel like rollers. The edges are so smooth that removing and inserting your cards is effortless.
Here you can see the size difference between the 8-card (top/black) and 12-card (bottom/copper). You can also see the channels on the left and right side and the front of the detents that all help keep your cards secure.
The best part is when you insert your cards. Once they get pass the detents, you will hear and feel a very satisfying “click.” This click is how you know your cards are secure and will not fall out.
All edges are machined within a ±0.002” (two-thousandths of an inch) tolerance. When you insert your cards, they will not have much wiggle room. However, the tolerance is forgiving enough that it takes just a little pull to break your cards loose when you need to use them.
It’s a very thin line between having your cards falling out or it being impossible to remove them from the wallet. Decadent Minimalist walks that line just fine.
It’s what separates them from other minimalist wallets on the market.
How Do You Remove Cards from the Wallet?
One of the questions people asked Erik when he launched his Kickstarter campaign is how you pull cards out from the wallet, especially the cards in the middle.
This is easy to do. There are two ways you can go about it.
The method I use is that I start with my top card, which is my drivers license. I push that card out first, probably 1.5” to 2”. Then I do the same with the second card, then the third and so on, until I find the card that I want. Then I use my middle finger to pull that card out while simultaneously pushing the top cards back in.
The method Erik says he uses is to pull the entire stack of cards out about 1/4″. Then, starting with the top card, you push each one back in until you get to the card you want. You’ll use your thumb and index/middle finger to pull the card the rest of the way out.
Either way you go, you’re simply shuffling cards. Finding the card you need will be easier to do if you keep the same cards in the same order (as I do) in your wallet. At the very least, keep the cards you use the most at the top and the ones you use the least at the bottom.
It’ll take you a few tries to figure it out, but it’ll become second nature the more you use the wallet.
Choose from 3 Decadent Minimalist Wallet Models
There are 3 types of Decadent Minimalist wallets that you can buy. The following are your options, in order from least to most expensive.
DM1 – Aluminum
DM1 wallets in aluminum. The wallet on the bottom is a 12-card in copper. The one on top is my black 8-card wallet that I’ve had for 3-4 years.
This is the wallet I have. It’s the model where you’re going to have the most options as far as size and color are concerned.
Here are the different sizes you can buy.
Here are the colors you have to choose from.
- Hard Anodized Black
- Hard Anodized Gunmetal
- Black TFC
- Olive Drab Green TFC
- Flat Dark Earth (FDE) TFC
Keep in mind that the size/color combo you want is subject to availability.
These wallets are the lightest of the three options (13-25 grams). This is the way to go if you want to minimize the weight of your everyday carry.
DM1 – Nickel
The DM1 Nickel wallets are made from a single billet of aircraft grade aluminum and then are nickel plated. The nickel wallets weigh 14-27 grams depending on which of the following sizes you decide to buy.
DM1 – Titanium
The titanium wallets are the heaviest of the three wallets weighing anywhere from 20-42 grams. The following are your size options.
And you can buy them in the following finishes.
- Black (DLC hard coated)
I’d recommend buying the 5- or 8-card (in whatever metal you want), especially if you plan to buy the money clip too (because that will take up one card slot).
If not, just go with a slightly larger size than you think you need. I’d rather have more room for cards than not enough.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that the prices are the same for all the wallets except for the 12-card. The 12-card wallet is $10 more.
Decadent Minimalist Wallet Accessories
Decadent Minimalist also sells a few accessories to go with your wallet.
DMC Money Clip – You can choose from the titanium option, which will come in two finishes, stonewashed or brushed. Or you can get the stainless steel clip, which is what I have.
Back when the stainless money clip first came out, there weren’t any color options other than black (and they were always sold out). However, they do have a couple of color options now. Those options include: brushed, black TFC coated, satin, olive drab TFC coated, and flat dark earth (FDE) TFC coated.
Brushed and stainless steel money clips.
Privacy/RFID Cards – Their blocking cards are designed to protect 2 NFC enabled credit cards. You can also use their blocking cards as a way to shield your ID/credit cards from nosey people.
Engraving – You can add text to your wallet. There is room for 35 characters on top and 25 characters on the bottom.
My Experience Using Decadent Minimalist Wallets
I received one of the 8-card aluminum DM1 wallets with a stainless steel money clip as a gift 3-4 years ago. I saw it on Kickstarter and told my wife about it. And like the rock star that she is, she surprised me with one for my birthday.
Before that I carried a traditional wallet, which was big and bulky. It took me a few days to get used to carrying the DM1 and carrying it in my front pocket.
Once I got used to it, though, I totally forgot it was there.
One of the things I love about the wallet is that it forces you to be selective about what you carry. It’s an 8-card wallet, which was reduced to 7 cards because the money clip takes up a slot. This left me enough room to bring 3 debit cards, my ID, medical and Costco card.
There’s just no room for anything else.
A couple years later I met Erik at the 2018 Portland Blade Show. After chatting with him a little bit, he said he’d send me a 12-card wallet and money clip to review.
The 12-card DM1 was noticeably bigger than the 8-card, at least for the first few days. In fact, I wasn’t sure I’d get used to the larger wallet.
But I did. It took a couple of days, but now it’s like the wallet’s not even there.
There’s a good chance that I’ll go back to carrying my 8-card wallet. I prefer the black finish over the copper. However, since my 8-card has some wear and tear, I may decide to splurge on the brushed or stonewashed titanium DM1 instead.
My Only Issue with the DM1 Wallet
The Decadent Minimalist wallet isn’t perfect. I do have one issue with it. Well, not the wallet. It’s the money clip. When I first got it, I thought it was poorly designed.
The money clip has a big hole on the opposite side of the clip. When you insert your cash, it has a tendency to catch on the edges of the hole. This makes it tougher to insert your money (neatly).
When I saw Erik at the Blade Show, I accidentally put him on blast about it in front of other potential customers (sorry, Erik!). Then he explained why he designed it that way.
The money clip has that hole in it so that, if the clip loosens up or is ever bent in the opposite direction, you can bend the clip back through the hole to tighten it.
This totally makes sense to me in theory. I say “in theory” because I’ve never had to mess with the clip. Your mileage may vary, though.
Erik gave me a suggestion for how to deal with the money clip. He suggested sliding your bills in from the bottom corner of the clip with your bills sideways (the clip running left/right over the presidents’ faces).
I don’t care to keep my cash like this because my cash sticks out a little on each side of the wallet, even when I fold it into thirds. It’s not nearly as “clean” looking, and the corners can catch on your pockets and possibly pull the money from the clip when you put your wallet in your pocket.
There are a couple of things I like to do instead.
One thing you can do is keep a receipt in your money clip. Just keep that over the hole in the clip. It will cover the edges so that your money doesn’t catch the edges as you slide it in.
You can do the same thing with your bills. For example, keep the bigger bills ($50s, $100s, etc.) on the bottom, covering the hole in the clip. Then keep the bills you use more often on top of that.
Either option works great.
You can also just learn to deal with it. It’s not that big of an issue. After a few tries you learn how to get your money in without it catching too bad. It’s only a problem if you’re OCD about it like me and want your cash sitting nice and neat in the clip.
I’d still choose this option over using straps or a rubber band.
Check Out the Decadent Minimalist Wallet for Yourself
The Decadent Minimalist wallet is a great option if you want to remove the extra bulk and weight that a traditional wallet has from your everyday carry.
These wallets look great and are durable too. And they’re manufactured here in the USA.
I do receive compensation if you buy a wallet through the link below. However, this review was not paid for. I’m also not biased in any way.
Remember, I’ve been carrying my DM1 long before I met Erik or started this website. And I plan to carry it (if not buy a new one) for the foreseeable future.
If you decide to buy one, use this link and you’ll save 15% off the listed price on orders of $51 or more. The discount will automatically apply at checkout.
Important! The discount will not work on Amazon. You must use one of the links on this page and buy the wallet from the Decadent Minimalist website for the discount to work.
That’s all there is to know about the DM1 wallet. If it sounds like your type of wallet, click here to visit DecadentMinimalist.com to check them out for yourself.