Zenlet 3 Pro and Zenlet 2 Plus

Update – Issues After Only Days of Use (May 9th, 2024)

First of all, I want to state that I still stand by my review below. I did not change it.

That said, unfortunately, after a few days of use, I encountered a technical issue with my new Zenlet 3. During regular use, a small metal pin fell out, and the top sliding mechanism (for the cards) became unstable. Fortunately, I managed to hold onto the pin – especially as I was traveling. The wallet was still usable, but it felt unstable, and the otherwise smooth mechanism became notchy.

I immediately contacted Zenlet support and informed them about my issue. They answered within the same day, but only provided me with a link to a YouTube video, outlining how to (dis-)assemble the wallet. I do appreciate the fact that they have these technical videos, as they clearly speak to the fact that this is an engineering-driven company. Unfortunately, the video did not reference the pin in any way.

Zenlet 3 Pins

Nevertheless, I was able to reinsert the pin and “fix” the wallet. Doing so, the other pin also fell out, leading to a rather tricky and finicky repair process. Unfortunately, the whole mechanism does not feel as stable and secure as it did before. I am fairly certain that the pins will fail again.

I contacted Zenlet about this issue and asked for further assistance. It might very well be possible that my unit has some suboptimal tolerances or similar and that others are fine. In any case, I am now waiting for them to offer a solution.

Original Review

The Zenlet (Zenlet 2 Plus) has been my wallet of choice for the last four years.

Rather than producing traditional wallets, Zenlet, a company based in Taiwan, produces minimalistic metal cardholder wallets with clever features. In 2020, when I was looking to move away from the traditional, primarily cash-based, wallet, I found the Zenlet and loved it ever since.

It’s minimal, has useful features, is quite rugged, and also serves as a great conversation starter. While cardholders have become more commonplace, even in Germany, calling a metal block a wallet still confuses quite a few people! Of course, in the good way!

All of that said, the Zenlet 2 is not a perfect product by a long stretch: Some components of my Zenlet, including the “Tap & Pay Compartment” as well as the “Horizontal Compartment” (storage) failed over time and, for example, I found adding tap and pay cards very tedious. Nevertheless, the Zenlet held up well and despite its shortcommings, I was not able to find something that would suit my needs significantly better.

In 2023, Zenlet announced a new series of wallets, and I immediately pledged on Kickstarter. They promised a very similar wallet with overhauled features and mechanisms based on user feedback.

In essence, they delivered on exactly that promise. The Zenlet 3 is an example of iteration done exactly right: They managed to systematically improve on every issue the older model has without fundamentally changing the product. Especially given the nature of the product – a wallet – I am very pleased with the fact that they managed to keep everything that was great about the old model.

Please be aware that this is an early review. I received my new Zenlet 3 Pro a few days ago, and while it seems very well engineered, I cannot yet make any claims about longevity. This is important, as some of the mechanisms, including the mute storage, have become more technically complicated.

Different Versions and Upgrades

When looking at the Zenlets, it is important to keep in mind that they offer a range of products with different features. Here, I am comparing my old my old Zenlet 2 Plus to my new Zenlet 3 Pro.

Within the Zenlet 3 Series, the Pro – in my mind – is the closest match to my old Plus and also the model to get. In particular, the Pro is the first model in the range to feature a storage compartment. To me, this is one of the killer features of the Zenlet wallets. The Pro Max keeps the storage but adds a secondary “tap-go” module for an additional 15 to 20 Euros.

The Zenlet 3 Pro is currently sold for about 139 Euros without shipping and import taxes. That is quite steep, and there are clearly cheaper options available. However, I consider the Zenlet a premium product and comparing it to some of its competitors, e.g., the Ridge, the price is not far off.

The regular Zenlet 3, in my opinion, is a different story. Without the storage compartment it is still 103 Euros, and I do not believe that the value proposition really holds up. That said, the design of the whole range is rather unique and this might be just enough to convince you!

Zenlet 3 Pro vs. Zenlet 2 Plus

As I said before, the Zenlet 3 Series is, in essence, a great upgrade of the old model. While there are subtle new features (mute storage) and upgraded mechanisms, the new wallets are still Zenlets.

While the shortest possible review might just be “Everything is better than before”, I want to point out two specific features that I enjoy the most:

The New Storage Concept (Mute Storage)

To me, the storage component is one of the most compelling features of Zenlet wallets. There are many cardholders, but for me, the Zenlet is the one integrating storage the best. Whether you use the storage compartments for cash, a key, or something completely different, it is nice to have a safe place to keep some small items aside from cards.

The new storage concept (mute storage) is vastly superior to the old one. Aside from the fact that the new design effectively mutes the wallet, the new mechanism works very well and can be operated single-handedly.

That said, in my opinion, the rubber inlets somewhat reduce the size and use-cases of the storage compartment. I am also unsure regarding the logevity of the inlets – time will tell.

Zenlet 2 Plus Storage

The old storage slid out to the side and looked mostly like the card storage. Unfortunately, over time, the mechanism failed on me. While my old storage compartment still holds on to the wallet, the sliding mechanism has given up over time.

Zenlet 3 Pro Mute Storage

The new “mute storage” has a new mechanism and opens up to the top (or the bottom). Even with multiple coins in it, the wallet is perfectly silent! This, compared to the old one, is truly an achievement and a fantastic feature. In the picture above, I have highlighted the bill holder; coins would usually go on the other side (see below).

Zenlet 3 Pro Mute Storage

Magnetic Modules and Custom Panels

I always loved the tap feature – having a card put in a place where you can tap the whole wallet to pay or share information – but I hated the old (Zenlet 2) mechanism. The old mechanism, which I am not going to go into, was tedious and, at least in my experience, error-prone.

The new mechanism is as simple as it is clever. You can place a card (or two with some models) behind the interchangeable and magnetically secured side panel(s). This way, the tap-card can be changed quickly and is not stored alongside all other cards.

Zenlet 3 Pro Mute Storage

I also love the option of replacing the panels. Personally, I am using a leather panel, which makes the wallet a little less cold and industrial while keeping the core aesthetic.

Unfortunately, my only issue, at least so far, with the Zenlet 3 has been with the default cover. I was not able to remove it, being careful and using appropriate tools, without leaving a small mark on both the original panel as well as the wallet itself. However, it might be possible that this was just my unit and that the panel was, for some reason, particularly stuck on there. In contrast, the replacement panel – leather, in my case – can be removed easily.


On a more general level, I am questioning whether I still need a wallet or not. Payment-wise, my phone (and other devices) serve me quite well. However, I still need to carry some physical cards (e.g., my ID and driver’s license) as well as some cash – whether I like it or not. My old Zenlet, including all of its issues, served me very well, and I am more than happy to have found a better replacement. If Zenlet had not released their new series, I would have most likely ordered another Zenlet 2 Plus.

In conclusion, as someone who truly enjoyed his old Zenlet, I believe this is a perfect and welcome update and upgrade. That said, those who did not like the old one, especially in terms of design and functionality, most likely will not be convinced by the new one either.