Nov 04 2011

WaterField iPhone Wallet Review

So, two weeks ago I retired my no-name, trifold leather wallet and made the leap to using WaterField Designs iPhone Wallet. My initial response was panic as I looked at my aged, inch thick monstrosity and wondered how I was ever going to fit all that crap in the svelte piece of leather and ballistic nylon from San Francisco.

As I started moving cards and info across I was reminded just how cathartic the experience of moving into a new wallet can be. I was also reminded just what a pack rat I am! Most of the stuff making my wallet football shaped fell into a couple of broad categories. First, a staggering amount of loyalty program cards and secondly, stuff I actually needed.

Once I actually got my ID, credit cards, voter registration, medical insurance and a Best Buy gift card I keep meaning to use in, it seemed possible that I might be able to put the namesake of the wallet in there as well…my iPhone!

Construction quality from WaterField never disappoints and this wallet was no exception. The wallet is primarily made of soft leather with a swatch of ballistic nylon along one edge. The opening is securely closed with a YKK locking zipper that covers two sides of the wallet. If you zip something up in here and fold the zipper tab over it is not coming out unless you choose for it to. I really like the security of this.

The intriguing part about the iPhone wallet is the clear window that lets you see your iPhone screen while it is safely zipped up in the wallet! The clear plastic is thin enough that you can actually operate the phone through the plastic without removing the phone. So, if you choose to reply to a text, Google a trivia question answer or ignore a phone call, your phone can still be safely stored inside the wallet.

Siri actually works while sealed in the wallet but when I tried to talk on the phone with it in the wallet, I felt silly holding the wallet up to my head. While I could hear my caller just fine, she said that I sounded like I was underwater. I guess I need to drag my bluetooth headset back out!

Inside the wallet there are two divided credit card pockets and open central section and then a reinforced divider that is wrapped in Ultrasuede. This keeps your phone protected from the other bits in your wallet and keeps it pressed tightly against the clear window.

The wallet is well reinforced so it keeps a thin profile even with the iPhone inside of it. The phone also fits in naked or with the low profile clear wrap case from Goincase I am using to protect the back of the phone. Most bumpers and slimline covers should pose no difficulties.

While ideally suited for a jacket pocket I was surprised at how well the wallet worked in a back jeans pocket with the iPhone in the case. Not my first choice but also not so obtrusive that I would be uncomfortable carrying this way.

Trying to photograph your own back side is a terribly humbling experience.

The only minor complaint I have is that the case does block the ambient light sensor so if you are using your iPhone with auto brightness on, the screen will tend to be a bit dimmer than you might expect.


I love the security of the zipper and being able to see and operate the phone functions while in the case is a really cool feature. The materials are top notch and it is a killer slimline security wallet with, our without the iPhone installed.

Couple that with being made in the USA and WaterField’s exceptional customer service and they have got a winner on their hands…Well, in their pocket anyway!

WaterField Designs iPhone Wallet $39 Available in black or brown leather.

About WaterField Designs
WaterField Designs manufactures custom-fitted, high-quality cases and bags for a full-range of laptop computers, cameras, and other digital gear. All products are manufactured to exacting standards in San Francisco. More information is available on company website.


  1. Nicole Kelner

    I make iPhone Purses and Wallets that are designed for the more fashion friendly. You can find them here if you are interested: http://www.etsy.com/shop/NicoleKelner

  2. Jeff Mac

    They look very nice Nicole, what are they made out of?

  3. Jeff Mac

    I am an unrepentant WaterField fan and the only real reason to look at an Otter is my serious level of klutziness!

    Thanks for dropping by!

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