3.5 out of 5
No issues found with the build quality.
I did not like this leather, it has a high chemical smell!
The 'Gift Box' is really just cardstock folded into an envelope.
4 X 2 7/8
1-year limited warranty with the typical caveats.
1-year limited warranty with the typical caveats.
Here is a list of Pros and Cons to consider before purchasing
The Alpine Swiss is the most inexpensive wallet we have listed in our review of the best mens money clip wallets and is also available in the most colors.
The Alpine Swiss leather money clip and card holder comes with a "gift box" for easy wrapping. The brand’s logo is also stylish and well-known in stores for outdoor apparel.
So, the Alpine Swiss option looks great and has brand recognition. It would make a perfect, inexpensive but classy gift. Stop reading if that satisfies you.
Now, let’s talk about quality. The Alpine is made from “genuine” leather. Is it leather? Yes. But it’s the lowest quality leather you can use. It's the lower layers of a hide that have been artificially stamped and dyed to make it look like the top layers. In this case, we're also betting that it's bonded leather, which means it is scraps of lower hide layers that have been re-pressed and glued into full sheets. That’s why the Alpine Swiss is so inexpensive. It looks great, but it won’t last nearly as long as full or even top-grain leather.
When we deconstructed the wallet, we found that the the leather is also very thin and stretchable with what appears to be a rubber composite backing overlaid with cloth. This is necessary to help the thin leather retain its shape. The leather itself, however, will start wearing out within a year due to it quality and thinness. The good news is that you could replace it at that time for the same cheap price!
The dye does permeate the entire wallet, and when we scratch-tested it, we found that the Alpine Swiss does wear well. Scratches are visible, but there is little change in color. It has a medium-gloss finish, which gives it a slight plastic sheen and feel. Unfortunately, it does carry the smell of bonded leather, meaning that rather than smelling leather, you'll smell the chemicals used to make the wallet look like leather.
The construction on this money clip card holder is also less than ideal. There are areas in the pockets where the leather notches in, so the cut or stitching wasn't quite uniform. It is also single-stitched with what appears to be cotton thread. Cotton thread is common in cheaper wallets, but won't last as long, and single stitching is naturally weaker than double-stiched construction.
The magnetic clip is strong enough to carry about 8 bills, which is on the lower end of cash capacity. Alpine Swiss advertises a 10-bill capacity, but trying to clip that amount is tenuous. The magnet will connect with that amount not very securely. Any bump on the bills or the clip itself, and the magnet releases. And keep in mind that with this magnetic clip, you still have to juggle your need for carrying magnetically coded keycards.
The Alpine Swiss is also on the lower end of card-carrying capacity, allowing room for only 3-4 cards and a rear ID window. The card slots are very tight, which is a good thing, but be aware that if you try to put 4 cards in at first, the fit will be rather uncomfortable. Start with 3 and then insert the 4th after a couple of weeks, after the leather has stretched a bit. As we’ve mentioned, the plastic on the back is susceptible to tearing and pulling away from the leather. It is the weakest material and subjected to the most friction sliding in and out of your pocket.
The vertical card slots are deep enough to bury the entire card, so retrieving them will be difficult. You'll need to pucker the wallet and put your finger in the slot to slide the card up. That puckering and finger retrieval technique will stretch the leather and stitching on those pockets. The pockets are tight, especially with cards inserted down the line, so you want it to stretch a little, but not by forcing it to do so. A high-quality leather wallet will stretch and relax on its own. With this wallet's design, retrieving cards from the top slot is nigh impossible without removing the cards from the slots overlapping it.
We tested the money clip cardholder's RFID protection and found that it did block higher-frequency cards. Smart credit cards with tap and pay functionality will be protected from unauthorized scans. Because the manufacturer does not specify, and we were unable to test for proximity cards (which operate on a lower frequency), it is highly questionable whether the RFID protection would block building access cards.
The Alpine Swiss leather money clip and card holder has a 1-year limited warranty with the typical caveats.
As for the gift box, it's simply a cardboard box with the branding information printed on it. It does make wrapping the wallet easier, but it isn't stylish or presentable by itself in any way. Rather than calling it a gift box, we would simply call it packaging.
The Alpine Swiss money clip card holder is made in India, but we don't have any other information on leather sourcing or manufacturing practices.
What’s our verdict on the Alpine Swiss model? It’s a budget-friendly, fashionable gift for the man who only needs to carry the bare minimum and does not happen to be a leather connoisseur. The RFID protection does block unauthorized access, but the leather won't last more than a year, and it certainly is not worth the $65 manufacturer's suggested retail price. Is it worth the price it is currently selling for on Amazon? We wouldn't buy it, but we're not you, so you'll have to decide if the Alpine Swiss is worth buying for yourself.
The Alpine Swiss Money Clip Cardholder is part of a larger group of products we reviewed. Click to see a side-by-side comparison: Money Clip Cardholder Wallets
The 5 best passport wallet designs. Rated for materials and durability, capacity and convenience, and overall price value.
The top 5 men's credit card wallet designs for durability, design, and price. Full-grain leather to polycarbonate shells.
Comparing the best leather money clip card holder models from $8.95-95. Full and top grain to genuine leather. Carrying capacity and color options.
A review of the top 5 trifold leather wallets with vertical pockets. Want to know which wallet is the best value for 2018? Check out this article to find out!
The 5 best bifold money clip wallet designs rated for durability, design convenience, purchase options, and value.
The 5 best vertical bifold wallet designs rated for material durability, design, capacity, convenience, and value.