Trayvax Venture Billfold Review
The Venture Billfold from Trayvax has a professional look, though we find it severely lacks in holding and maintaining currency in more ways than one.
- The Horween Leather is durable
- CNC machine-crafted aluminum is lightweight
- Three dedicated card storage spots give access variety
- Magnetic closure isn’t secure when wallet is over half-full
- Non-U.S. bills can poke out of the top
- Money can crinkle in the middle of the billfold
3.34 oz (94.7 g)
3 in x 4.125 in x 0.5 in (7.6 x 10.5 x 1.3 cm)
Aluminum, Leather, Nylon
Upon the first examination, the Trayvax Venture Billfold is a Frankenstein-Esque wallet that combines the tactical look we’ve come to expect from Trayvax with the wallet your dad had when you were a kid. In doing this, they cut out many features we’ve come to know from them as a brand, and we can’t help but wonder how that will affect usage. Let’s find out!
Three primary materials make up the Venture. The easiest to notice is the Horween Leather, which comes in Black and Brown at the time of writing. It has TRAYVAX imprinted on one line with MADE IN USA below it. We have the Brown model on hand, and it looks very professional. The metal poking out piques our curiosity, though—what kind of wallet is this?
The metal is 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum crafted with a CNC machine. There are two pieces—the large rectangle part that acts as the wallet’s structure and the top closure on the opposite side.
You might be wondering how those two elements come together. They’re fastened into one using braided nylon thread, which looks very professional, durable, and hasn’t frayed in testing.
The billfold closes using a magnetic closure. We mentioned two pieces of metal earlier—each has two magnets, one on each end, enabling the two sides of the wallet to stick together. The closure has a lip on it to ensure it doesn’t pop off easily. Without the overhang, the billfold would open accidentally much more often.
There are three places for cards in the wallet. The first is a slot in the aluminum that you can see from the front side when it’s closed. The window is there so you can push the cards up, find the one you need, and push the rest back down. You can’t get them out without opening the magnetic closure at the top, which stops them from falling out without opening the wallet but can be annoying when you want to grab something quickly.
There’s another place for cards between the aluminum and leather on the interior. The cards can come from either side but are easier to access from the middle of the billfold.
The last slot for cards is in a small leather slot on the interior. It doesn’t have a bottom, but the wallet ends, so there isn’t anywhere for cards to slide out in that direction.
There’s just one place for paper currency, and that’s in the billfold behind the leather. American money fits inside okay, but taller cash from different countries will poke out of the top, which we aren’t digging. Not only is it a big no-no to show off how much cash you have on you, but it doesn’t look very sleek, either. When you have money inside, the bills can fold awkwardly in the middle when you close the wallet. It isn’t the biggest deal, but this isn’t the wallet for you if you like crisp bills because of that minor detail.
Trayvax says online that you can put up to 9 cards and 20+ bills in the wallet, but we determined that this isn’t the case, at least easily. Instead of converting our research study into paragraph form, here are the configurations we tried and how they went down.
- 20 bills in the billfold and nine cards dispersed evenly in the three card storage areas:
- We can barely close the wallet; if we do, it pops open immediately.
- 20 in the billfold and six cards between two card storage areas:
- It’s a little easier to close now, but it will still pop open on its own if you handle the wallet.
- 20 bills in the billfold and three cards in one card storage area:
- The wallet closes pretty quickly now and doesn’t pop open.
- 20 bills in the billfold and no cards inside:
- The wallet closes correctly and doesn’t pop open at all.
- 15 bills in the billfold and nine cards dispersed evenly in the three card storage areas:
- The wallet is hard to close but stays closed for the most part once it’s secured properly.
- Ten bills in the billfold and nine cards dispersed evenly in the three card storage areas:
- The wallet is relatively easy to close and stays closed without issue.
- Five bills in the billfold and nine cards dispersed evenly in the three card storage areas:
- No issues closing the billfold or with it popping open.
- 0 bills in the billfold and nine cards dispersed evenly in the three card storage areas:
- No issues closing the billfold or with it popping open.
When we had no bills and nine cards inside, we noticed that the cards’ thickness made it hard to close properly. Adding things make the wallet wider, so it’s hard to get the lip to latch over the other side of the billfold. It isn’t an issue if you only have a few things inside. But if you use your wallet to transport a ton of cards, every business card you’ve ever received, and monopoly money just in case you run into a game—this wallet might not be a good pick for you.
All jokes aside, this wallet doesn’t strike us as a great travel option due to this issue. You can’t add a ton of things, which is something that happens when you’re traveling. It’s easier to bring big bills to start your trip, but after paying for a 2.50€ gelato cone with a 50€ bill, you may be scrambling to fit your change into the wallet.
The Venture measures 4.125 inches by 3 inches (10.5 cm by 7.6 cm) and is roughly a half an inch (1.3 cm) tall without anything inside. It feels pretty bulky in your pocket, but it will fit into most jeans or sweatpants’ pockets. It will be a tight fit for women’s pants—if it fits at all. It feels at home in a sling or your daypack, but most often, we like to have our wallet where we can access it quickly, which is a downfall of this model.
It’s pretty hefty, too, coming in at 3.34 oz—not a huge deal for most folks, but this is not your best bet for a one-bag travel wallet.
The Original 2.0 Wallet is also from Trayvax and is one of our favorite wallets, so we figured it was worthy of a quick side-by-side shoutout.
The Original 2.0 is lighter (72%), smaller (85% of the surface area), and more minimalistic than the Venture.
The Original 2.0 has an eye to attach it to things or to attach gear to the wallet, which is a Trayvax staple. The Venture doesn’t have that feature and doesn’t have a bottle opener like the Original, either.
The Venture does have a few things that its sibling doesn’t, though. The leather wrapping is very professional, and the ability to open like a billfold is a quality some folks look for in a wallet. The Venture is much less tactical looking than the Original 2.0, which is either a good, bad, or moot point depending on how you look at it.
It seems like Trayvax is trying to make an entry-level wallet for those who might feel that their other offerings are too tactical—but they’ve cut out a few features that made their other offerings unique and usable. The Venture is clumsier than its predecessors and doesn’t hold what it advertises, which is a big bummer as far as we’re concerned. If you’re looking to jump into Trayvax, this might not be the wallet to try.
- The top closure is unique and feels firm but may take some getting used to
- Leather is thin but feels durable and looks nice
- Closure can be loud, which we don’t love
- Magnetic closure works when wallet is close to empty but can be finicky when full
- Horween leather is durable and looks professional
- Aluminum shows no signs of wear but can be loud to close