SÜLgear: Wearable Wallets Born of Necessity

Andrew Marshall


Scott Goodwin was smack in the middle of a long-distance motorcycle trip and out of gas when he realized his wallet was gone. It was an occurrence the AT section hiker and one-time mountain bike racer had long feared over the course of his adventures, now finally coming to fruition. Scott got home okay, but the setback proved to be the genesis of a new project — ultralight, waterproof wallets made to hang around your neck and keep such things from ever happening again. 

Call it an improvement over the tried-and-true (and risky) ziplock bag method, call it an ultralight’s restless urge to constantly improve his gear, call it what you will — Scott calls it SÜLgear (short for Super Ultralight Gear). Regardless, Scott returned from his unlucky motorcycle trip and his shop, determined to fix a problem he was convinced he wasn’t alone in suffering. 

To realize his idea, he turned to a fabric he’d used repeatedly in his quest to trim ounces from his kit. 

“It's a hell of a lot easier to go up and down mountains when you're not having to carry tons of weight on your back. So I had gone down that rabbit hole of trying to lighten everything up. I had a Dyneema® Composite Fabric (DCF) tarp, a Zpacks pack, and other stuff. But I had no experience [working with Dyneema®] before I started this. Nil. But I did understand that it was waterproof and super strong, and you could bond it,” Scott told Garage Grown Gear in an interview. 

The result is SÜLgear’s flagship product, the Adventure Wallet, a 9-gram (!), DCF wallet designed to hang around your neck. At five inches long and three inches wide, the Adventure Wallet is perfectly sized for your essentials and nothing else. It comes in grey, black, and blue, with a variety of cordage colors, and features bonded seams for maximum protection from the elements. 



“If you go swimming with it, I can guarantee you that some water's gonna get in from the top. But other than that, you’re good to go,” he shared. 

Unlike many of the hikers-turned-inventors whose products grace the pages of Garage Grown Gear, Scott doesn’t have a background in manufacturing or engineering. One thing he does possess in spades? An entrepreneurial spirit, and a solid idea of what it takes to grow a business from the ground up. 

Scott has successfully created and sold two computer-related businesses in the past. His hard work has allowed him to spend the last decade and change hanging out with his kids, mountain bike racing, and, lately, section-hiking southern portions of the Appalachian Trail. 

Once he turned his attention to design, he began to feel his lack of engineering experience. But in the spirit of a true tinkerer, Scott didn’t let that slow him down. He produced dozens of iterations in search of a product that performed the way he wanted it to. A surprising challenge was handling the cordage. 



“You have two eyelets [on the wallet], and if you just run the lanyard through the eyelets, it doesn't take long for the lanyard to rotate around your neck, and then the toggle will end up on the side of your neck. I was like, ‘I gotta figure out some way to mitigate that,’” he mentioned as we discussed his design process. 

After months of tinkering, Scott hit upon a deceptively simple solution, perhaps best explained by looking at a picture. But long story short, it involves cleverly crossing the cordage before running it along the Adventure Wallet’s face. 

In the enduring spirit of ultralight, the final version is streamlined, elegant, and functional — not to mention one of the lightest adventure wallet solutions on the market. Scott took his winning design, invested in tools that allow him to avoid slicing and dicing by hand, and started churning them out from his home shop in Mississippi. Once only a hit with his friends, Scott’s Adventure Wallets are starting to make a splash in the UL world. 



And now that he’s got the design bug, Scott’s pondering what else he could bring to the ultralight world. A dedicated hammock camper, Scott sees room for improvement in that space. But he’s in no hurry, especially if it means rushing a subpar product to market to capitalize on SÜLgear’s momentum. 

“Once I actually get serious about it, I might spend a year making 500 different hammocks until I find something that I actually like. But I won't sell it if I don't like it. I won't just make it and throw it up there and hope that it makes some money,” he said.

“And, you know, I don't know enough about hammocks right now,” he finished. 

“But that’s never stopped me before.” 



Andrew Marshall tried his hand at documentary filmmaking, dorm-parenting 30 middle schoolers at a boarding school, and professional wedding photography before washing up on the rocky shores of outdoor journalism. Since then, he's written for Blue Ridge Outdoors, BikeRumor! ExplorersWeb, The Inertia, GearJunkie, Backpacking Light, and other web and print outlets. He's won multiple Excellence in Craft awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America in such diverse disciplines as writing, photography, and illustration. A committed dilettante with a tendency to be interested in just about everything, Andrew is also a published poet, a chess player (trail name: "Pawn"), an experienced long-distance backpacker, a mountain biker/bikepacker with a tendency to fly over the handlebars, and an extremely slow trail runner. Based in Western North Carolina, he enjoys hanging out with his two-year-old, eating biscuits and gravy, and checking out way more library books than one person could possibly read in three weeks. You can find more of Andrew's writing and watercolor illustrations here



Adventure Wallet by SÜLgear GGG Garage Grown Gear
Adventure Wallet by SÜLgear



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