The Maverick promises a simpler life, one with room for only three credit cards and an ID.
The Maverick promises a simpler life, one with room for only three credit cards and an ID.
Gear Guy

This Chums Wallet Will Save Your Back

Bright colors and a slim profile make the minimalist Maverick Wallet a hit

The Maverick promises a simpler life, one with room for only three credit cards and an ID.

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Spend a lot of time in the outdoors and you’ll inevitably suffer some injuries. I’m no exception. Over the years, I’ve broken my nose while kayaking in Peru, dislocated my right shoulder falling off a bike, and met with all manner of other unfortunate accidents. But I’ve been lucky that none of them set me back for very long. In fact, my most annoying injury happened indoors while writing about the outdoors. Almost a decade ago, I was laid up for a couple of months with sciatic nerve issues due to sitting at a desk 70 hours a week—on my wallet.

See, my wallet was perpetually stuffed with receipts, old library cards, and prized items like my middle school ID. At its most bloated, it was two inches thick. Like a lot of guys, I kept it in my back pocket, which might have been fine if I’d been on my feet most of the day. But I was sitting for hours on end in front of a computer while working as an editor for a kayaking magazine.

In late 2009, a tennis-ball-size knot formed in my lower back, accompanied by shooting pain from my hip to below my knee. The official diagnosis was sciatic nerve pain resulting from inflammation. As one doctor explained it, sitting on my wallet all day might not have been the only cause, but it certainly contributed. After spending most of that summer on my couch because of the pain, I started carrying my wallet in my front pocket. Alas, even today, I still cram it full of crap.

(Courtesy Joe Jackson)

That’s why I was excited to see the Chums Maverick Wallet ($13) as I walked the aisles of Summer Outdoor Retailer in Denver last month. It caught my eye with the bold colors, but I really fell for the minimalist build. Like all pared-down pieces of gear, it forces you to be more selective, with room for only three credit cards and an ID. The Maverick comes out in spring 2019 and doesn’t have space for cash, which is a deal breaker if you frequently pay with paper. But since adopting Venmo, I rarely have need for dollar bills anymore.

The Maverick was inspired by Chums’ popular Surfshorts Wallet ($10), a nice piece but with a zippered pocket that would surely tempt me to accumulate odds and ends. I like that the Maverick won’t let me hoard change or expired AAA cards.

To be sure, there are other minimalist wallets out there. But the Maverick’s flair, hardy but lightweight construction (mostly ripstop nylon), and $13 price tag made it one of my favorite products at the OR show, even with all the high-end gear on display. In addition to letting you rock skinny jeans, it just might save your back.

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