Ekster isn't the only player in the slim wallet game. Minimalist wallets are becoming increasingly popular thanks to digital and contactless payments that remove the need for a bulky bifold. There’s also a cultural movement towards minimalism that can be seen in everything from our clothing to architectural design. Another Dutch brand with a cool minimalist design is Ridge. But do their wallets really stack up and if not, what’s the best alternative for Ridge wallet? For this article, we invited guest writer, Nikolas Hoffman, to present the main differences between these two minimalist wallet brands, exposing their unique strengths and weaknesses. Here are his findings.
Ridge is a brand that has created one minimalist wallet model design and stuck to it. Their wallets are comprised of two metal plates held together by elastic bands with either a cash strap or money clip attached to the outside. While the model remains the same throughout their whole collection, you have the choice of super durable metals from titanium, aluminum, carbon fiber, or even 18K gold plated. They also have a wide selection of colors and patterns.
All in all, the Ridge wallet is thinner than most Ekster wallets but doesn't offer the same capacity. Since it is only as thick as the cards you put inside, the slimness will depend from person to person. The maximum carry capacity for a Ridge wallet is 12 cards.
Now let’s talk functionality. The great thing about this design is that you can be certain cards will never fall out thanks to the strong elastic bands. The downside, however, is that it can be difficult to remove cards once they are in because they are so tightly packed. Some might say this defeats the purpose of having a tactical wallet in the first place since it can actually hinder your experience at checkout.
That being said, it does offer one modern feature that’s a necessity for modern wallets: RFID protection. The metal plates comprising the wallet actively block wireless theft so the data stored on your cards can’t be stolen or copied.
And finally, the price. Ridge’s cheapest model is $85 for the aluminum going all the way up to $225 for the 18K gold plated. This price point is definitely reflected in the minimalist design and high-quality materials used but definitely outprices many people who can’t realistically afford this.
Ekster designs minimalist carry essentials to streamline daily life but wallets are truly their centerpiece. While all Ekster’s wallets are incredibly minimalist, they aren’t quite as minimal as the Ridge. Nevertheless, Ekster offers a much more diverse range of products designed to cater to different needs while Ridge has only one wallet model. We’ll get into the different models later, but first, let’s talk thickness.
Ekster wallets are slightly thicker than Ridge’s (depending on how many cards are inside) but the larger carry capacity they offer makes the size increase negligible. The exact thickness of the wallet depends on which model you’re looking at, but they are all still slim enough to fit comfortably in the front pocket of a pair of jeans.
Now to the wallets. There are 4 different wallet models, the Parliament, the Metal Cardholders, the Senate, and the Modular Bifold. All the wallets besides the metal cardholders are made from premium, environmentally-friendly leather, also available in a vegan option. The metal cardholders are designed for ultimate durability and come in 6061-T6 Aluminum or 3K Carbon Fiber.
The metal cardholders include an expandable backplate for extra cards and cash while the Parliament mimics a folio with a fold-over flap giving a more timeless aesthetic. But beyond materials and aesthetics what really matters for a slim wallet is how it performs in daily life.
The functionality of Ekster’s wallets is clearly well thought out for modern life. Their slim wallets contain an RFID-proof inner cavity for cards that has a built-in trigger mechanism. At the click of button, cards are ejected in a smooth, staggered fashion, so it’s easy to take cards in and out of the wallet without fumbling. Other reviewers, like TopDust, agree that the fast card access feature may be enough to put Ekster above Ridge.
Ekster wallets can also be outfitted with a solar-powered wallet tracker that allows the owner to track their wallet on a map using a smartphone. This is an example of an added modern feature that makes Ekster a good alternative to the Ridge.
And of course, the price. Ekster’s wallets start at just $49 for the ultra-minimalist Card Sleeve and go all the way up to $189 for the Fortuna Parliament. So while these wallets are also priced pretty high, reflected in the high-quality materials and smart designs, they offer several products that are more affordable for everyone.
While Ridge looks much more futuristic than Ekster, it lacks some of the high-tech perks that come with an Ekster wallet. Even though Ekster tends towards a more classic leather style, it also offers sleek metal options and always delivers on functionality like fast-card access, RFID protection, and traceability.
Ridge uses incredibly high-quality materials that live up to the promises of durability, but their higher price point doesn’t make as much sense when you take into account Ekster’s high-quality materials, too.
All in all, both Ekster and Ridge make fierce minimalist wallets that work as well for city slickers as outdoor adventures. But when it comes down to choice, functionality, aesthetic, and modern features, Ekster just has more to offer.
Here at Ekster, we're in the business of making your life easier.
We started with upgrading the traditional leather wallet, making it easier to use and harder to lose. Now, we're taking on the rest of your essentials to make each day easier for you.
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