Concept: 4 out of 5
Execution: 3 out of 5
Yeah, but: It's the Swatch of wallets.
The Long Version: It looks like paper, but it's actually the indestructible stuff used to make things like ultra-strong envelopes and the white clean-room suits that Apple once mocked. Dynomighty is a New York designer take who has taken advantage of Tyvek's printability and used it to create a thin, lightweight wallet with a huge range of graphics. School notebooks, original art, comic books, the first three thousand digits of Pi, or even solid colours and a blank page - there's something for everyone. And like Swatch watches, they're cheap enough that being whimsical won't leave your new wallet empty. I've already bought three of them, and am looking for a couple more.
The material itself is smooth and soft with a slight grain; it almost feels a little bit like leather. While it can be cut, it's essentially impossible to tear, so wear from daily use isn't much of an issue. While it is possible to write on Tyvek, not all pens will work properly, so try it out in an inconspicuous part first. Because the wallet is made by folding a single sheet of material, it's easy to open the flaps that hold it together for a great test surface. I've added an address to my Airmail wallet just to give it that extra bit of authenticity.
The Mighty Wallets have two pockets for bills, with a section in between that they suggest using as a quick-access business card holder. While I suspect that they're just turning a bug into a feature, it does work well and is reasonably secure. Just don't push them in too far, or they'll get bent where the wallet folds, and be careful not to point the pockets at the ground. The inside face has two cut compartments for plastic cards; enough for some people, but compulsive store-points collectors and gift-card users will want to look elsewhere. Credit card, bank card, brand-new drivers license, and my health card - for American readers, that's the one that means I never have to worry about how much it costs if I get sick - all ride up front in these secure inward-opening slots. Extra business cards, video store card, and the like normally go in one of the two bill pockets. At first that's all I thought I'd use the redundant pocket for, but it does come in handy for keeping a set amount aside, or for carrying two different currencies.
One of the great practical aspects of the Mighty Wallet is how easy it is to carry. In addition to weighing almost nothing, it's incredibly thin. After all, it's essentially plasticized paper, and its folded construction is only nine layers thick. The way it's put together is very clever, using only a small amount of glue, and while it's possible to unfold it (and see how it's made) it's secure enough for real-world use. And speaking of security, there's a certain anti-theft appeal of having a wallet that looks like an envelope, a scrap of paper, or a transit map. The counterpoint is that I'll have to be careful not to throw it out during my semi-annual desk clearing: TANSTAAFL.
When full of everything that I like to carry, the Mighty Wallet is still only as thick as my old leather wallet is when it's empty. They're cheap, easy to carry, fun, and can start up a conversation with the cashier. What can be better than that? Even after buying my third - after this review was originally written - I still find myself browsing Dynomighty's designs and being tempted by many of them. While I still have my standard-issue black leather wallet kicking around somewhere, I never really expect to use it again.