Gear Review -- The Jimi Wallet

The Gear Junkie: The Jimi Wallet
By STEPHEN REGENOLD

Small and translucent, rigid and smooth, the Jimi is “the wallet for people who hate wallets.” That’s according to Mike O’Neill, the San Francisco cyclist and entrepreneur who founded Mr. Smith Inc. to create this plastic money holder a couple years back.

O’Neill’s creation—a slim and unobtrusive case that holds credit cards, your driver’s license and some cash—is made in the USA and constructed of recycled polypropylene. It measures 4.25 inches high by 2.6 inches wide, just slightly taller and wider than a Visa card.

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The case is a clamshell design, opening on its integrated plastic hinges, which the company says will hold up to one million opens and closes. Inside there is a slot for four credit cards on one half and a money clip on the other half—the essentials and nothing more.

The removable money clip, which is made of polycarbonate, holds a single card and three double-folded bills. You can snap the money clip out of the case and pocket it alone for those trips where you only want to bring cash.

Though not waterproof, the Jimi (www.thejimi.com) clicks shut and seals off your important stuff inside from moisture. O’Neill developed the un-wallet to stash in his bike jersey while riding. “If you get a bit frisky and sweat through your shirt, your cash will not get soggy,” he said.

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Available in nine colors, from clear to a deep ruby red, the Jimi costs $14.95. It is about 9/16 of an inch thick and strong enough to withstand the abuse a wallet might typically take: Sit on it and the case will not likely crack.

But while you can put it in your back pocket, O’Neill recommends keeping the Jimi up front in a hip pocket. A lanyard hole on top lets you don the Jimi on a loop of string around your neck if desired.

For me, the Jimi works for in-town bike trips and in daily workaday life. The case limits the amount of clutter you can collect, forcing you to manage receipts, bank slips and extra cash instead of stuffing it all inside a billfold.

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I put the svelte case in my pocket and forget it’s there. It holds the minimally required currency and cards to go about daily life, organizing and protecting your collateral from the moisture and mismanagement that might occur when things are crammed alone in a pocket.

“Think of the Jimi as a more robust version of the ubiquitous snack-sized Ziploc bag,” O’Neill said.

(Stephen Regenold writes The Gear Junkie column for eleven U.S. newspapers; see www.THEGEARJUNKIE.com for video gear reviews, a daily blog, and an archive of Regenold’s work.)

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