A4 three-plate aluminum wallet
Obstructures released the aluminum wallet system in 2013, originally funded through a Kickstarter campaign. The A3 was the flagship model—a three-plate design, with RFID protection, sized for US currency. Over the past couple of years we’ve put thousands of wallets into people’s hands and pockets, and we received many compliments as well as thoughtful, critical feedback. This has driven the design of the A4, our new and improved minimal wallet.
The A4 integrates the same fundamental components of the original A3, while introducing several enhancements and a few brand new features.
Our A3 was designed to hold US currency folded in half. We thought that provided for convenient storage of both paper and plastic money. But it made the wallet rather large. And as countries around the world begin the phase out of physical currency, this larger size makes less sense for many of our users.
Our A2 was designed for the user that wanted a smaller wallet. Just large enough to hold credit cards, it’s as small as you can go with our patented mechanism. But the A2 doesn’t allow for full coverage over your credit cards, which means incomplete RFID protection.
The A4 addresses the pitfalls in each of the previous models.
We've shaved almost a quarter inch from the A3 to achieve the new smaller footprint of the A4. Still large enough to work comfortably with standard credit cards, still large enough to completely shield those cards, and still large enough to hold tri-folded US currency.
We’ve also upgraded the aluminum alloy we use. This means not only superior anodization versus the A3, but the A4 is also thinner than the A3 which amounts to an effective 25% reduction in overall weight. The profile of the wallet has been softened through the corners so that it sits more comfortably in your pants pocket.
Third ring & Capacity
Situated along the bottom edge of the wallet, the A4 now adds a third ring, which increases the overall security of the wallet, while also making it easier to keep the contents tidy. It's no longer possible for cards to slip through the bottom of the wallet. And now the cards square up naturally as they're inserted between the plates. For the users who like to carry cards on the 'outside' of the wallet for fast access, this third ring keeps those cards squared up and secure.
The carrying capacity of the wallet remains unchanged, though the design still allows the user to upgrade their wallet with aftermarket rings for increased capacity.
We've redesigned the tab configuration along the operational side of the A4, allowing for ambidextrous opening. It's a small touch, but one that we feel make the operation just a bit more intuitive and natural for a greater amount of users.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, we've ditched our old o-rings. Not only do we have a superior elastic compound for the A4, we've also moved manufacturers. Our current o-rings are no longer the Buna-nitrile originally chosen for the A3, but a new urethane compound. And they’re made by a manufacturer in the USA, rather than coming from a distributor whose rings come from whoknowswhere.
Not only that, but the urethane is insane. Higher tensile strength than the Buna-N but a lower modulus (this means it’s easier to open, yet still stronger—isn't math great?). It's also more resistant to both o-zone and sunlight which means it's longer-lasting and less prone to failure (and doesn't get shipped to us with a weird sticky preservative goo...).
Perhaps best of all, the A4 is still available in our extensive palette of either colorless or no color. Black or clear of course!