Your author has spent three fabulous weeks becoming intimately acquainted with the military olive Obtainium – a stylish, minimalistic, metal wallet for holding your money, credit cards, or whatever else people stuff in their wallets.
Just the facts
The Obtainium, features a simple open-top clamshell design, and an O-ring/bridge system that keeps your wallet’s cargo from falling out of the open top. The O-rings are basically industrial-grade nitrile rubber bands. The wallet itself is made out of anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum. The bridge is made out of plastic. It is capable of holding more credit cards than you will ever need to carry. There Obtainium comes in four different colorways: military olive, platinum gray, gold bar and black (which features an ultra-hard coat).
Your author is not the most graceful of gents. He has fantastic reflexes, but most of his possessions end up put through each of the seven hells. As such, I would say that the level of abuse that the Obtainium suffered while I was putting it through its paces was from moderate to severe. I kept it in my pocket with keys, handfuls of coins, pens… you name it. It has was dropped on a gravel driveway once, onto tiled floor once, and onto the bamboo flooring of my office more times than I can count. At the time of writing it shows no signs of abuse.
The video below gives a good demonstration of the durability of the finish.
The interior of the Obtainium is a little more delicate. While my O-rings are still intact, they will wear out over time. It ships with an extra set, and O-rings can be purchased separately. Almost one month into the test, they show absolutely no sign of wear and tear. If you treat them well then they should last for a long time. The Obtainium website suggests that you load your cards from the back in order to avoid damaging the rings.
With my review model, the bridge was the weak link in the equation. I pulled on it and it folded like a cheap suit. As it turns out, the cause of the issue was a manufacturing defect and the company has offered free bridge replacements to those who were affected. If you have a defective bridge, but avoid pulling on it directly, then it should not cause you any problems. If you do have issues, hit them up for a replacement.
The build quality of the Obtainium is outstanding. The first thing that struck me was how smoothly it opened and closed – it offers just the right amount of resistance. John Adams, the creator, notes that the friction will diminish over time, but not to the point that it affects functionality. As for the build quality, the metal is nice and thick, but not so thick that it becomes heavy. It feels substantial in your hand, but hardly causes a bulge in your pocket. The finish is flawless.
This wallet is great for holding credit cards and okay for holding cash. I live in Japan, which never really jumped on the credit card bandwagon, so I tend to carry a lot of cash around. With Japanese banknotes as large as they are, things get a little complicated. The supermarket line is no place for origami. My solution has been to carry my cards and large-denomination bank notes in the Obtainium and to keep my coins, phone and small-denomination bank notes in my Waterfield Designs Finn. By virtue of the fact that it is made out of metal, the Obtainium blocks RFID transmission – which is great for security, but seems like it could be a bit of a hassle if you use a RFID keycard to get into your home (which I do). The trick, is to keep your key card at the back of your card stack. Slide it up a few inches (without opening the wallet) and the RFID antenna can do its magic.
I love my Obtainium and will use it forever. That being said, it is infinitely better suited to carrying cards than cash. If you use cash for most of your shopping, then that is something to consider. That being said, as someone who uses cash for almost everything, the Obtainium has been perfect. It separates the big stuff from the small stuff and keeps my cards in order. There is no going back. I was a little disappointed with the strength of the bridge, but the folks behind the wallet have identified and addressed the problem – so I am not going to fault them on it. All-in-all, it is a nigh on perfect little metal clamshell of holding.