The Andar brand is known for making high-quality leather wallets that can last for ages. With their Pilot model, however, they’ve gone in a slightly different direction to design one of the most innovative quick-access wallets.
In this detailed review of the Andar Pilot wallet, we will go through all the features this unique cardholder has to offer.
Andar Pilot Review
The Andar Pilot is a slim, vintage-looking, minimalist wallet made out of aluminum and leather. It has a single pocket with a capacity of 6 cards, and an optional money clip that can store up to 5 cash bills. The wallet has one of the most innovative features for quick cards access – a spinning wheel with a spring mechanism attached at the bottom of the frame. The Andar Pilot also features strong RFID protection, comes with incredible rugged aesthetics, and can act as the perfect sidekick to your main wallet.
Should you buy the Andar Pilot wallet?
The Andar Pilot is one of the best combinations of style, security, aesthetics, and compactness you can find right now. It’s a metal-leather wallet that throws a unique spin on all other wallets with quick-access mechanisms in them.
It is one of the most popular hard-shell wallets from the Andar collection and can provide immense value for people who love to dress in formal or vintage clothes, but still keep their looks convenient.
At the moment, the Andar Pilot wallet can only be bought from the official Andar web store. It is also one of their oldest and most popular models, so make sure to grab the wallet quickly once it’s available because oftentimes you will have to wait for a few weeks for them to restock it.
Price and value for money
The Andar Pilot will cost you around $65 to $70, based on whether you want the wallet with a money clip or without.
The brand has offered its customers the choice to opt for a cheaper version without a money clip attached to the side if you don’t plan on carrying cash bills in your wallet.
Ordering from the Andar website comes with free U.S. shipping for all orders above $75. Products ordered there are usually delivered in around 5 business days.
If your order, on the other hand, does not reach the $75 threshold, you will have to pay a small fee for the delivery, based on your country’s customs fees. Andar ships internationally as well, so no need to worry if you need the wallet delivered outside the US, as the same shipping policies apply for deliveries throughout the world.
Any questions or remarks about Andar’s products can be addressed to their customer support team, which you can reach through one of these channels:
- the chatbox on Andar’s website
- via e-mail at [email protected]
- their social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook
Warranty and returns policy
The Andar Pilot comes with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty, covering any factory defect that might arise on the wallet in this period.
The company also has a universal 90 days free return policy, during which you can send the wallet back if you weren’t satisfied with it, and you will get a full refund.
The Andar Pilot is one of the simplest cardholders ever made. It consists of a single pocket with a unique quick-access spinning wheel that pops the cards up. You can also optionally mount a money clip to the side of the wallet as well, used to store cash bills or other paper contents you might need to carry around.
How to use the Andar Pilot wallet?
While the mechanism implemented in this wallet is unique, and currently patent-pending, the wallet is still pretty simple to use.
After you stuff the cards in from the upper open end of the wallet, you just roll the wheel found at the bottom left corner, all the cards get popped up, and you pick the card you need.
And that’s it. There is no closing mechanism, nor any complicated system that you need to handle when you need to pull out a credit card. Just roll the wheel at the bottom, pick a card, and push the others back in.
The wallet has some amazing looks for its simple build. It features a clean design in two distinct colors, finished with sharp lines and rustic vintage aesthetics.
Design and colors
The Andar Pilot is designed as a hard-shell metal wallet with one open end at its top side where you store your cards. It has smooth edges at the bottom and an eclipsed form that’s quite handy to hold.
The wallet is pretty tight and slim in size, making it more functional and easy to use.
Its design is split in two, with the bottom half acting as the “naked” black metal part, while the top half is covered in leather. This leather is featured in 4 different colors:
- camel tan
The shell of the wallet is made completely out of anodized aluminum, while the top half is covered in full-grain oil-waxed leather.
The spinning wheel at the bottom is made out of plastic for better friction, while its spring is naturally made out of steel.
Clothing style fit
With its unique design and many color options, the Andar Pilot can easily fit any type of outfit.
The rustic brown and tan colors will perfectly suit people that like to dress in vintage or rugged clothes, especially when it comes to combat outfits and brown jackets. I would especially recommend combining these colors with some casual jeans or light-colored cargo pants.
The black design, on the other hand, will go great with any business outfits or office attire for those who like to dress more formally and watch out for their professional appearance.
Although built quite simply, the Andar Pilot indeed has lots of interesting and useful features.
One of the main things that come as a consequence of the strong aluminum chassis is the RFID protection it provides.
The frame effectively blocks all wireless communications with the cards stored inside the wallet, protecting them from unwanted data theft with the help of the RFID-blocking technology.
Quick-access spinning wheel
The most innovative feature of the Andar Pilot is definitely the quick-access spinning wheel mounted at the bottom left corner of the wallet.
It is a small, spring-loaded plastic wheel that can be spun in only one direction, during which it pushes all of the cards out of the pocket, arranged in a staircase formation.
This feature provides instant access to all of the cards, where you can easily pick the specific card you need at any given moment while you are in a hurry. The wheel can be easily spun even with your sole little finger, making it one of the most convenient quick-access features found on minimalist wallets so far.
Optional money clip
We already mentioned that the Andar Pilot comes with an optional money clip that you can attach to the side of the wallet.
You can opt for the money clip the moment you buy the wallet, where you are given the choice to go either for a “minimalist” Pilot version, or a “money clip” version that is $5 more expensive.
Money clips have become a regular feature on most minimalist wallets lately, as they have time and time again proven to be one of the best ways to store banknotes, besides an enclosed pocket of course.
The clip is made out of stainless steel and is currently available only in black, although Andar has announced they are working on more color options for this feature.
How many cards can the Andar Pilot wallet hold?
The sole pocket of this wallet is designed to hold up to 6 non-embossed cards inside.
Since the chassis is made from aluminum, it’s non-expanding and cannot fit any more than this recommended amount.
How much cash can the Andar Pilot wallet hold?
If you get the money clip version of the Andar Pilot, then you will be able to store up to around 5 cash bills on it, hanging on the backside of the wallet.
Although the aluminum chassis does provide some protection from smaller water splashes and other similar occurrences, the wallet itself is not exactly water-resistant because of its semi-open design.
With one end completely open, and a spring mechanism that can be seriously damaged by any water intake, I would recommend watching how you carry the Andar Pilot around and putting extra care not to accidentally drop it in some body of water.
The Andar Pilot is a very handy wallet thanks to its tight size, with its precise dimensions measuring:
- width: 2.5 in / 6.35 cm
- height: 4.53 in / 11.5
- depth: 0.53 in / 1.35 cm
This wallet has gotten positive feedback from its customers overall, mainly from those that have been looking for a simple cardholder, so they don’t need to carry their main wallet with them each time they go out.
Its slim size, along with the patent-pending wheel mechanism, has made the Andar Pilot an up-and-coming wallet that is only going to get improved with time.
Known issues and problems
Andar is arguably one of the best wallet brands in the world right now. You can expect nothing less than a high-quality, premium product released from their design team. Having that in mind, I’ve noticed a couple of shortcomings in their Pilot wallet that I think you should be aware of before buying it.
The most important issue many users have mentioned is with the leather cover. The stylish piece is glued to the aluminum chassis with what seems like an insufficiently strong glue that peels off too easily after a few months of usage. This will result in the leather completely pealing off the frame in a short manner of time, leaving behind an undisclosed and unappealingly looking black metal.
On a similar note, the chassis of the wallet is also pretty unreliable and can break apart or bend too easily. The chassis is made out of two metal pieces that aren’t screwed in, but instead stuck on one another and can tear apart if you drop the wallet too hard on the ground.
Aside from its build quality, the low capacity of this wallet is also something to make a note of. Carrying only 6 cards may be enough for some, but many people will require much more than that.
How does the Andar Pilot wallet compare to other minimalist wallets?
When it comes to cardholders, there are thousands of options to choose from. Here is a quick rundown of the two most popular alternatives to the Andar Pilot wallet.
Andar Pilot vs Secrid Cardprotector
The Secrid Cardprotector is, in my opinion, the second-best slightly cheaper alternative to the Andar Pilot wallet. It costs from around $45 up to $60, based on which design you choose.
This wallet has the same capacity, features, and overall feel to it as the Andar Pilot, as they are both hard-shell small capacity cardholders made from aluminum.
However, the Secrid Cardprotector is not only using a much different mechanism in its design, but it also comes with a completely different fashion style. It has a quick-access sliding button instead of a wheel and is only offered in monochromatic designs with a much simpler, modern, minimalist approach, unlike the vintage aesthetics that Andar was going for with the Pilot model.
Andar Pilot vs Bellroy Card Sleeve
The Bellroy Card Sleeve is the all-leather-made elastic alternative to hard-shell wallets such as the Andar Pilot.
It costs around $55 and has the same purpose of being a simple, one-pocketed cardholder that’s more of a sidekick to your main wallet, rather than one you would use all the time.
Many notable differences distinguish these wallets from each other. The Bellroy Card Sleeve is completely made out of leather, has an expandable design, and features an additional smaller pocket for cash instead of a money clip.
This wallet also has a pull-tab that provides access to the cards instead of a wheel and comes in much simpler dark-colored designs. You can read all about the advantages and drawbacks of this wallet in my detailed review of the Bellroy Card Sleeve wallet.
Who should not buy the Andar Pilot wallet?
While built with great durability and quick access, the one thing the Andar Pilot wallet doesn’t provide is capacity. This is not the ideal wallet for someone who needs storage for dozen of cards. You would be better off picking something from the list of the best wallets for many cards.
I also wouldn’t recommend this wallet if you use too many embossed cards. Having 2 or 3 embossed cards will drastically lower the capacity of this wallet, and you’ll only end up being able to carry up to 4 cards in it.
This wallet is designed to be a front pocket wallet, among other things. If you are the type of person who likes to carry their wallet in the back pocket, and especially to sit while it’s in there, the Andar Pilot won’t do you any good. The metal frame will be troublesome to sit on, and may even bend a little after a while if you keep putting too much pressure on it.
And finally, even though the design of this wallet is quite simple, not a lot of people will be looking for something so “gadgety”. This wallet is not the best if you want something with fewer tools and features on it, let alone something with a wheel you are going to have to spin every time you need to get a card out.
Who should buy the Andar Pilot wallet?
I would recommend this wallet to people who like to dress in rustic vintage clothes, or some rugged combat jackets in dark brown or tan colors. The aesthetics of the Andar Pilot are a perfect match for such outfits, and I don’t think I’ve seen a wallet that can better complement these types of clothes.
The Andar Pilot is great for people who are looking for a sidekick to their main wallet so they don’t have to carry it around with them all the time. I know how hard it is to get rid of all the business cards, papers, and other miscellaneous stuff that clutter your wallet, and how easier it would be to just buy a second, smaller one that will be used on some occasions.
This wallet is also a great option for those who love cool gadgets and innovative spins on our most used items. The spinning wheel on this wallet is one of the most outstanding mechanisms I’ve seen in recent years, and it can provide a lot of value to some people who need a new, fresh, and unique item in their pockets.
Most of all, however, I believe the Andar Pilot is the perfect wallet for those who appreciate a nice leather design, and like to keep everything in tone with their leather-based wardrobe.
Andar Pilot Specifications
|Max n. of cards||6|
|Materials used||aluminum, leather, steel|
|Height||4.53 in / 11.5|
|Width||2.5 in / 6.35 cm|
|Depth||0.53 in / 1.35 cm|
|Features||RFID protection, quick access wheel, money clip|
|Return period||90 days|