I first have to preface this review by stating that the Filofax Chameleon is a discontinued model, which is a right shame because it is very unique. You can still find it at a few online shops and Amazon or eBay but it may be a little difficult to come by.
When I first got into using Filofax back in October last year, I did not realise how fast some models and cover colours were getting discontinued. I had seen the brown Filofax Chameleon at Kinokuniya (Malaysia) and was rather attracted to it but I did not get it straightaway because there was only one left and it was in a pocket size (I wasn’t into using pockets at that time). I thought of purchasing it online at a later date and that was when I realised it was not widely available. So I went back to Kinokuniya to pick it up.
The Chameleon is made out of cow leather with a reptile skin print. It looks more like a snake-print to me but a chameleon is supposed to be a lizard. Anyway, they are from the same classification.
I got it in the brown shade and it has a subtle two-toned sheen to the leather. I generally don’t fancy reptile print on most accessories but this one is quite different because the leather feels soft and textural at the same time. It’s rather unique actually.
The interior left consists of 5 credit card slots and a long vertical pocket and the right size has a zipped pocket. It also has a long horizontal slot on the back that spans across the entire planner. The back slot is only available in the pocket size. The pen loop is half elasticated but it doesn’t expand much and I can only insert slimmer pens in. It will not fit any of my 3-barrel multipens.
I thought of using it as a wallet/planner combination when I first got it. But after inserting a few cards, cash and coins with the planner pages in, the darn thing wouldn’t close. I tried minimising and took out a couple of cards and several pages but to no avail. I did not even pop in many coins. That was when I concluded that it will not work as a wallet for me although I have seen many people successfully use it as a wallet so don’t let my experience put you off.
I really enjoy using it as a pocket planner. It’s small and lightweight enough to take with me. But you do need to like using pocket sizes in order to fully enjoy this planner because the pages are much smaller than a personal or A5 sized. It lies relatively flat from the get go and I didn’t have problems writing in it.
I have been using a Midori Traveler’s Notebook system since February so I have more or less stopped using my Filofaxes. But I am keeping the Chameleon just in case I go back to using a ring-bound format again.
Overall, I think it’s a great little planner but it’s a bummer the model is discontinued. I have to admit I prefer it slightly over the Malden (egads!) because the leather print is different and I like touching the textured surface (it’s weird, I know). If you intend to hunt this down, I’d recommend watching a few YouTube reviews first to gauge if it will suit you. This baby is not cheap as it is made with full leather.
Planner Dimensions (Pocket Size):
Ring Mechanism: 15mm