Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean article! On this shiok Sunday, I’m reviewing some wallets from local accessories label Ed Charly.
Ed Charly specialises in offering minimalist wallets at affordable prices. Currently, the brand has three offerings – Ed Classic, Ed Sleek, and Ed Contemporary – and they graciously sent all three to me for review. Let’s see if they are any good!
Update: I’m pleased to list a curation of Ed Charly products on my new web-store, The Shiok Shop.
Ed Charly – Video Review
For those who are interested in viewing some hands-on footage of the wallets, do check out my YouTube video below!
Ed Charly – the Brand
Ed Charly describes themselves as a team of local product designers that aim to create meaningful products to suit the everyday needs of their customers. The inspiration for the brand first came about when said product designers realised that they had a preference for smaller wallets during short trips overseas. Realising that there wasn’t a minimalist travel wallet that had the functionality of being able to store cash, card and coins, the brand brought their concept to Kickstarter in 2017, where over 340 backers served as their proof of demand.
The brand also emphasizes that detailed thought has been paid to the leather used in their products. As their wallets were originally conceived as travel wallets, the brand sought out leather that would be durable enough to withstand frequent travelling – Ed Charly now offers their wallets in crazy horse leather and saffiano Leather, two of the most robust leather available.
Alright, without further ado let’s delve into the review!
Ed Charly – Ed Sleek
Let’s start with the Ed Sleek – the most affordable of the bunch – in saffiano leather.
In terms of storage, the Ed Sleek holds 2-4 cards, has a dedicated coin compartment, and can hold up to 10 folded bills. I would say that the Ed Sleek is the most pared back as compared to the other two wallets – it’s the most minimalist if you will. The biggest issue here for me was that I could only store a maximum of 4 cards. I would wager that most of us bring more than 4 cards out (credit card, EZ-link card, NRIC, school/work/condo card, name card, etc), which the Ed Sleek would not be able to accommodate for. As such, the Ed Sleek is perhaps best for travel, where you won’t have to bring that many cards overseas.
Other features include RFID protection and a convenient quick access card slot that allows you to easily access your most frequently used card with a quick slide upwards. For me (and I assume I’m not alone) that’s my credit card, so I found this feature handy when I’m making purchases. There’s also a loop at the side for you to attach your keys. Furthermore, the Ed Sleek has a “through slot” for the bill compartment, allowing users to access their cash on both sides.
The Ed Sleek was sent to me in the saffiano leather option. Made popular by fashion label Prada, saffiano leather is known for its cross-hatch texture, as well as its scratch and stain resisting properties. However, I’m not a fan of the stamping here – it comes across as cheap, flimsy, and a far cry from Prada bags. I’ll definitely recommend the crazy horse leather version of the Ed Sleek instead.
Ultimately, I’m afraid to say that the Ed Sleek is probably my least favourite out of the three wallets reviewed. With its 4 cards limitation, it simply wasn’t a viable choice for everyday usage. The saffiano leather isn’t of the best quality as well. The only scenario in which I can foresee myself using the Ed Sleek is during short travels overseas (though that isn’t happening anytime soon), and even then I would probably opt for the crazy horse leather variant instead. Its savings graces are probably the fact that it’s phenomenally slim, and that it has a very affordable price tag of just $35 (after the promo code below).
Ed Charly – Ed Classic
Up next is the brand’s first product, the Ed Classic in crazy horse leather.
The Ed Classic boasts significantly more storage capacity as compared to the Ed Sleek, with the ability to hold 3-5 cards, 10 folded bills, and even coins in its dedicated coin compartment. With the Ed Classic, I felt that it was just sufficient to hold all my everyday items when I go out.
Like the Ed Sleek, the Ed Classic has a quick access card slot for added convenience, as well as RFID protection. Unlike the Ed Sleek, the Ed Classic comes in two options – with a through cash slot like the Ed Sleek, or a regular closed bottom. I opted for the regular closed bottom, and that negated any fear I had of my bills accidentally dropping out.
I really like that Ed Charly managed to incorporate a dedicated coin compartment into such a sleek and minimalist package. The coin compartment is spacious and can store quite a lot of coins. I also found it useful for storing other small items, such as receipts, amulets, etc.
The brand sent over the crazy horse leather variant of the Ed Classic, and I must say that I much preferred it to the saffiano leather. The crazy horse leather feels premium to the touch, smells good, and will patina beautifully over time due to it being full-grain leather. For those uninitiated with leather, leather generally comes in three quality tiers – genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather, in ascending order of quality. In case you’re wondering, the Ed Classic is not made of actual horse leather. Instead, crazy horse leather was named as such because the same form of leather is traditionally used to make horse saddles. Crazy horse leather is produced by applying a specific kind of wax to a full-grain calf leather piece that has been buffed and smoothed out. Over time, the colour and texture of the wallet will alter, giving the piece a unique, vintage look.
All in all, I really liked the Ed Classic. It’s a wallet that packs form and function. Despite having a svelte form factor, the Ed Classic manages to be practical, offering impressive storage compartments for its size. I love the crazy horse leather here as well – the quality is impressive. At just $53 (after promo code below), the Ed Classic is a great value proposition.
Ed Charly – Ed Contemporary
Last but not least is the Ed Contemporary, this time in red crazy horse leather.
The Ed Contemporary holds 6 cards and up to 10 bills. I definitely appreciated the additional card storage, and the fact that there are actually 6 card slots (as compared to having to cram 4 cards into the two slots of the Ed Sleek) was really useful. However, I did rue the lack of a dedicated coin compartment, which was definitely something I enjoyed on the Ed Classic. I ended up having to store my coins in the bill compartment, which is still workable but not ideal.
Like the other two wallets, the Ed Contemporary still features the quick access card slot as well as RFID protection. The wallet also remains slim and minimalist in aesthetic. Like the Ed Classic, there’s the option to choose the Ed Contemporary with a through or regular cash slot, and I’ll again recommend the latter option.
Overall, I would say that the Ed Contemporary is a decent product. I appreciated the 6 dedicated card slots and its slim and minimalist nature. However, it feels a tad like the lost middle child of the lineup instead of being the Goldilock. It boasts just 1 additional card slot as compared to the Ed Classic, yet loses coin storage capabilities. In everyday use, I picked the Ed Classic over the Ed Contemporary almost every time. The only edge the Ed Contemporary has is its slightly lower price of $40 (after promo code below) as compared to the $53 Ed Classic, though unless you’re really on a budget I’ll suggest going for the Ed Classic instead.
Conclusion – so Ed Charly wallets “shiok” or not?
Out of the three wallets reviewed, I liked the Ed Classic in crazy horse leather the best. It’s affordable, crafted from full-grain crazy horse leather that will patina over time, has storage compartments for cards, coins and cash, and comes in a sleek, minimalist package. I’m actually seriously considering changing to the Ed Classic as my wallet of choice. Its popularity is reflected in its sales as well – the original Ed Classic did the best on Kickstarter, with its backers almost totalling that of the Ed Sleek and Ed Contemporary campaigns combined. Sometimes, it’s best to stick with the original.
For those interested in purchasing, Ed Charly has kindly provided my readers with a discount code! Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off all items on their web-store. After the discount, the Ed Sleek would be $35, the Ed Contemporary would cost just $40, and the Ed Classic can be had for just $53. At those prices, I believe Ed Charly is offering some of the most affordable full-grain leather wallets in the local market. If you’re looking for a minimalist wallet, do check out Ed Charly – especially the Ed Classic!
Update: A curation of my favourite Ed Charly products can also be purchased on The Shiok Shop.
View the full range of Ed Charly’s offerings here.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
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P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.