Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review: Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet Product Link
Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet Product Link
In decades of carrying a wallet, I've never lost one. But I've never found one I liked, either. Some look great at a big cost in functionality, and some are functional but don't have the look I want.  Sometimes it seems like it's too much to ask for a well made wallet that doesn't make me look like a biker or hipster. I don't want to look like anything.

This review sample was either purchased from GoingGear or Amazon. Honestly, I don't remember which for this wallet, and both are great sellers. Maxpedition seems to be one of the brands that Amazon is kind of hit and miss with.


Product Description


This is a rugged, bi-fold wallet made of the same ballistic nylon that Maxpedition uses for most of their other products. The wallet is secured by a large strip of velcro, and features a beefy zippered coin pocket on the outside, and lots of little cubbies and another zippered pocket on the inside. 

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Top View

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Bottom View

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - All the Way Open

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - American Design


Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Hard Use Gear Tag


Official Specs (From Amazon)


  • CMC Wallet
  • Closed: Empty Size: 5" x 3.5" x 1"
  • Divided bill fold area for 2 different currencies
  • Various slots for ID and credit cards
  • Zipper access coin pocket in rear


Initial Impressions


It's got this huge zippered coin purse on the outside. I like that the zipper looks really sturdy, but it's a bit much, and I'll probably cut off the zipper pull and replace it with a small piece of paracord or something. Opening the wallet up, boy is the Velcro loud! I mean having everyone around you stop and look at you loud. There does not appear to be any danger that the wallet will accidentally come open. None. I thought it would be a deal breaker, but I'm used to it now, and it's nice knowing that everything stays put in my wallet.

Getting past the Velcro, the first thing I noticed was a little pocket with another beefy looking zipper. The pocket is nice for some small tech items, such as an SD card or thumb drive. Really nice, but definitely another candidate for a paracord zipper pull.

Thoughts of the annoying Velcro quickly vanished as I saw that this is well laid out for a wallet. I keep my Rat Wallet attached to my electronics bag. It has some EDC and tech knick knacks in it, but I couldn't tell you exactly what it's supposed to be. This C.M.C. wallet doesn't have an identity problem--it's a wallet.

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Velcro 1


Build Quality / Finish


For not being made in the USA, you would never know it. I'm not sure anything currently made in the USA can even rival most of Maxpedition's products. Whatever they are doing, they are clearly doing right. The ballistic nylon coupled with the double stitching and over-sized zippers make this thing ridiculously rugged.

After a few months, mine started fraying the Velcro in a couple small places. I would probably consider it normal wear and tear, but this model has enough extra Velcro material for about 4 wallets, so I doubt it's anything that will ever give me concern. After I took the photo below, I cleaned up the frayed parts with a pair of scissors and it looks much better now.

Other than that, the build quality is excellent, and the fit and finish is good overall. I doubt anyone will decide to love or hate it based on the build quality or finish, unless they get a bad one. By now I have a few of their products, and they are all built like tanks.

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Velcro 2





Coin Pocket


The outside coin pocket is pretty good sized. There's lots of room for change, but beware: putting change in this pocket quickly makes the wallet bulky. The pocket even expands a bit, which also makes it look at first glance like a defect in the way the zipper lines up.

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Closeup Of Coin Purse Zipper


Inside Zippered Pocket


The inside zippered pocket has a nice beefy zipper, just like the coin purse. It's not very large, and probably better suited to very compact and flat objects.

On the outside of this pocket are three little elastic pockets that Maxpedition claims is for memory cards, but they don't seem very well suited for that. I still haven't found anything useful for these little pockets. For memory cards and other small gadgets, I just use the zippered pocket.

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Closeup Of Inner Zipper Pocket

Divided Bill Fold


This is a neat feature, and keeps two sets of bills separate from each other. And for the times I just have one set of bills, the back pocket keeps it snug, as shown in the photo below. It makes it very hard for your money to accidentally come out. The photo below also shows the extent of my riches.

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Closeup Of Bill Fold

Card Slots


The CMC wallet has 3 card slots. Each slot is a pretty good thickness, easily holding several cards. This is my favorite feature of the wallet because the slots are so well designed. The cards stick out just enough to see what they are, but sit deep enough not to be in danger of falling out. The slots are also a little wider than most of my cards, so they probably fit just about any card-shaped object you want to put in there.


Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Closeup Of Card Slots 1

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Closeup Of Card Slots 2


Other Pockets


There are a couple extra card-sized pockets tucked into either side of the wallet: one under the card slots and one under the zippered pocket. I use one side of it for my business cards and the other side for other people's business cards.
Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Closeup Of Other Pockets

Usability


I've carried this wallet daily for about a year, so I'm confident that I know its strengths and weaknesses. For example, the zipper pulls are really annoying, and I often fantasize about cutting them off with wire cutters and putting some sort of cord on it instead.

The dual bill fold area is something I actually use regularly for keeping my pay-the-bills money separate from my play money. In all my time owning this wallet, I have not found a good use for those elastic pockets. They aren't in the way of anything, so right now they are just for decoration.

Day to day, most of what I get at in the wallet is cash and cards, and this wallet is easy to get at everything, and most of the time I will have a few bucks change in it, which I routinely do my best to keep to just what I need. 

The CMC has held up well to my daily abuse. I've seen it called "over designed" by some reviewers, and I guess that depends on how rough you are on your gear. As someone who seems more abusive than most of my material possessions, I really like the rugged ballistic nylon design, double stitching,

Conclusions


This is a well designed and executed wallet. It's a tad bulky for me, but I'm not parting with it, since it's so close to being my ideal wallet. The loud velcro is sometimes disconcerting to nearby random people when I open it, but the flip side is that I have no worries that the wallet will accidentally come open. It routinely gets shoved into backpacks, luggage, jackets, etc., and it's great knowing my money and credit cards are always safe.

For EDC use I currently have no plans to replace this wallet, though I will probably get one of their smaller wallets for situations where I need to travel light and only need my ID and a few bucks, say at a hotel bar. But for day to day use, the CMC is mostly a pleasure to carry. Sometimes if I want it to be a little less bulky, then I'll take the change out. And sometimes when I travel I will bulk it out with extra change for the parking meters, extra cash, memory cards, etc. At that point it's usually in a backpack or duffel bag.

Whatever I have in it at the time, this wallet is never far from me. If they made a slightly less bulky version with slightly less Velcro, I think it would probably be the best EDC wallet in existence. It sill might be. I think I will try the Urban model next, for those times by the lake, where there's no parking meters. From the product photos, it looks like it goes easy on the Velcro, so we'll see...

Gallery


Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Brand New Next To EDC Organizer Pouch

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - Closeup Of Tags
Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - EDC Friends 1

Maxpedition C.M.C Wallet - EDC Friends 2


5 comments:

  1. die painfully cretin.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Getting one for my birthday next week, I think it might be too bulky though as I usually carry one card, driving license and a few bill only. Good review though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I still carry mine every day. It is a little bulky sometimes, though.

      Delete
  3. Got it at last, a green one. Agree with your review including the fact that it's just too thick. A Micro would probably have suited me better. However I based my choice on your review amongst others and am pleased enough with it. Better too much capacity than not enough and it's secure and built like a tank. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete