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Simplified Everyday Carry: Leather iPhone Wallet From Pad & Quill

After a year with my iPhone 5 on its last leg, I finally gave in and traded up for the iPhone 7. Needing a new case and rather than go the typical hard case route, I eventually landed on a leather iPhone wallet from a company called Pad & Quill.

The model I chose (Bella Fino) has simplified my daily routine, improved the usability of my iPhone, and looks fantastic!

Before I dive into the details, I want to tell you why I decided to use an iPhone wallet vs. a traditional hard case.

Why I decided on an iPhone wallet over a case

leather iphone wallet pad & quill bella fino back pocket

At first, I thought having my phone and wallet all-in-one would be too cumbersome. But after realizing that my current set up wasn't ideal, I was open to experimenting with other options.

I'd been carrying my phone in my front pocket since the flip phone days. But as phones got larger and my wardrobe became more fitted, front pocket real estate was at a premium.

With my old iPhone 5 in my front pocket, it was uncomfortable to sit down. And when I upgraded to the larger iPhone 7, it became impossible.

Since my phone was going to spend a good deal of time in my hands or on a desk anyway, I figured why not just get a wallet case that's easier to slide in and out of my back pocket?

It also simplified my morning routine. Now that I work in a gym, I'm typically wearing athletic clothes so my usual pocket check routine didn't apply anymore.

Check out my wallet case from Pad & Quill here

With a wallet case, I have everything in one place. I can just grab my phone and keys and hit the road. No more worrying if I put my wallet in my bag or left it on the dresser again.

Why I chose Pad & Quill for my iPhone Wallet

leather iphone wallet pad & quill bella fino open

Once I decided to go with a leather iPhone wallet, I researched the hell out of it.

While many of the options out there looked really cool at first, closer inspection and reading reviews revealed some deal-breaking flaws.

Some had functionality issues with ports and cameras. Some use a type of glue to “finish” the edges of the leather that peel up in a short time and others were just plain garbage.

Then I found Pad & Quill. They have a rather different and concise view on consumer products.

“We don't think the market needs another purveyor of cheap crap.”

Pad & Quill

I totally agree with that statement, so I did a little digging to find out how they put this concept into practice.

Here are the benefits of buying Pad & Quill products that impressed me most:

  • 25 year leather warranty
  • 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee
  • Lifetime warranty on wood cases and components (even if you drive over it with your car)
  • All products made by hand using real materials
  • Customizable color choices (I went with Whiskey and Deep Sea Blue)

With Pad & Quill standing so strongly behind their product, I figured there was no risk in at least trying such a great looking accessory.

Worst case, I could always return it and get my $60 back if I weren't totally happy.

Pad & Quill Leather iPhone wallet – quality and aesthetics

leather iphone wallet pad & quill bella fino logo

As this photo illustrates, the full grain American leather used on the Bella Fino is beautiful. It has a deep luster without the cheap shiny appearance of corrected grain leather.

Mine was a bit darker than I expected (unless in direct sunlight), but Pad & Quill assured me that the color was within the expected range.

Like most leather products, the color varies depending on the light. In the sun, it takes on more bright honey tones and under artificial light, it's more of a muted dark chocolate.

After having my wallet for a while, I actually prefer the current color and wouldn't trade if for a lighter one.

Just be aware that you might not get a color exactly as it appears on your screen.

leather iphone wallet pad & quill bella fino packaging

The packaging, which looks like an invitation to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is the first hint at the over-the-top quality of this product.

Rather than leaving the edges of the leather unfinished or piped with a sealant, all the layers are folded over and sewn together perfectly.

To protect your device, Pad & Quill added a rigid layer in-between the exterior leather surface and the lining which provides structure without adding too much bulk.

leather iphone wallet pad & quill bella fino thickness

As you can see from the this photo, every crease is laser straight and there isn't a stitch out of place.

Of course, you'll upgrade your phone before you see a fraction of the 25 year warranty, but it's comforting to know how confident Pad & Quill is in their product.

Pad & Quill Leather iPhone Wallet – Functionality

Let me describe what it's like to use the Bella Fino iPhone Wallet on a daily basis.

leather iphone wallet pad & quill bella fino construction

Storage capacity

This iPhone wallet holds my iPhone 7, four cards, and a few folded bills which is perfect for most daily needs.

All I have to do before leaving the house is grab my phone and keys and I'm set.

In the hand

Since upgrading to the iPhone 7, cellphone usage has become a two-handed affair. The added size of this wallet makes the phone easier to handle and hold onto.

The thin case I had before caused it to keep dropping into my lap when I was attempting thumb gymnastics across the expansive screen.

Phone security

Peeling off the wax paper reveals the 3M clean release adhesive which allows you to remove and re-stick your phone whenever you want.

The adhesive isn't visible when installed and makes your phone look like it's just magically staying in place.

I held my wallet by the corner and shook it like a dog with its favorite chew toy to some curious onlookers to demonstrate just how well it sticks.

If you switch cases on a daily basis, I recommended that you grab an extra adhesive pad (about $5) with your order for when the original eventually wears out.

Camera, ports, and buttons

leather iphone wallet pad & quill bella fino camera cut out

Since the Bella Fino sandwiches the phone rather than cradle the edges, there aren't any issues with buttons or ports being blocked.

It took some practice, but I've learned to adjust the volume without opening the case by pressing the up and down buttons through the soft spine.

Also, the camera cut out is large enough to not effect the field of view or flash and high enough to protect the lens from scratches and drops.

Is an iPhone wallet from Pad & Quill right for you?

leather iphone wallet pad & quill bella fino patina

Maybe you'd rather pay one time for a high quality product rather than keep replacing throw-away items.

Maybe you want to simplify your everyday carry and are ok with having your phone in hand or on the table.

Or perhaps you just get a kick out of well-made leather products that age beautifully.

If any of those reasons sound good to you, then I strongly suggest you look into Pad & Quill because I've been extremely pleased with their product so far.

Pad & Quill also make accessories and cases for most Apple products as well as messenger bags and full leather backpacks. They come with the same outstanding warranty and are worth a look.

If you aren't blown away with the quality, functionality, and aesthetics, you can always send it back within 30 days for a full refund.

Buy the Bella Fino from Pad & Quill for $60 here 

If you do buy this wallet, get used to people asking questions about it and wanting to hold your phone for closer inspection.

All the best,

Nate

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Jon
    January 4, 2017 at 11:01 am

    I recently switched to a leather iPhone wallet myself and have no plans to go back. I often left the house with my phone but would forget my wallet. Combining the two was surprisingly enlightening.

  • Reply
    Nick
    January 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    The last time I tried one of these (also Pad & Quill) was for my iPhone 4S. It was meant to look like a little Moleskine notebook. The problem was that once I put in 2-3 credit cards/ids into the slots, the things would bulk out to an unnatural degree, like a mini George Costanza wallet. I returned it. Maybe they’ve gotten better, but my guess is that more than a few cards in this thing will have a similar effect, making it hard to totally replace your wallet.

    The other thing for me is access to my home screen, I wouldn’t want to constantly have to take the extra step of opening the case to glance at it, in the meantime displaying my id and credit cards to anyone around. I had a Pad & Quill case for an iPad I used to own and it was top-notch, they make great products. As far as wallet cases like these though, unless you only plan to have your ID and 1-2 cards, it’s probably not ideal. Not to mention cash which is always good to have, but here you would need to fold it and stick into into a card slot.

    • Reply
      Nate
      January 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Mine stays pretty compact even with 4 cards and a few folded bills that have a separate space under the cards so it is a complete replacement for my wallet. Opening the cover really isn’t a big deal and if you hold your phone like most people do, no one will be able to see your ID unless they’re lying on the floor.

  • Reply
    Eric
    January 4, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    I had one of their linen iPad cases that I used for years. I loved the look; they really make a great product.

  • Reply
    Arthur
    January 6, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Hi Nate! That is beautiful! I have an iPhone 6 and I am in the process of switching my old darkened silicone hard case to a sleek leather case.

    Anyway, I’m curious if the colour of the wallet should be matched to our shoes and/or belt?

  • Reply
    Jeremy
    January 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Have you looked into DannyP. It doesn’t offer camera ability from the wallet, but I have found it to be less bulky.

    • Reply
      Nate
      January 14, 2017 at 7:15 am

      Not that one specifically but I did look at similar wallets. They looked really cool and slim but I didn’t want to have to remove my phone every time I wanted to use it so I kept searching.

  • Reply
    Arkash
    January 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Hey Nate, great article. I’m a physiotherapist and I see a lot of patients who come into the clinic with SIJ problems (pain at the bottom part of the back) from daily habits that put the pelvis in an uneven position like sitting down with a wallet in their back pocket. I read you are already having problems with your back so this new habit may make it worse.

    • Reply
      Nate
      January 23, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Thank you for your concern Arkash but I don’t actually sit on this wallet. Whenever I sit down I take it out and put in on the table or car cup holder.

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