The best bit was how soft and pliant the leather was. Often you have to break in a new wallet, but this one was ready to go. I once got a passport wallet from Coach as a present and the thing is still too stiff to really be useful. Another benefit is that though the Passport Cover is not a massive thing into which you'd stuff that half-used gift certificate and punchcard at the local coffee shop, it was plenty big for the necessities of travel: cash, credit cards, ID, passport, business cards, and a space to cram your receipts.
The only knock on the wallet that I could see was that it was just a shake too large for the back pocket of my pants. More than a few had told me to be wary of pickpockets in Morocco (if there were any, I didn't see them) so I was a little reluctant to have that extra bit of snatchable leather sticking out. And because it was pretty warm during the days I didn't always wear a blazer with an interior pocket. But the whole thing fit easily enough into my front pants pocket.
But perhaps the best detail, especially for the uptight graphic designer that I suspect lives inside more than one Dwell reader, you can choose the font for your monogram. The list of typefaces isn't massive, but seeing the old standby Gill Sans filled me with joy. Other options for the modern crowd include Didot 25 pt, Johnston Underground 25pt, and BlairMdITC TT in 19 pt. I couldn't stay away from crazy Eric Gill's finest creation.
All told, the Passport Cover more than did it's job. And the few nicks and scratches it picked up along the way only add to the character. I just hope that I'll get to put it to more use.
Aaron writes the men's style column "The Pocket Square" for the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for the New York Times, the Times Magazine, Newsweek, National Geographic and others.