Ekster vs. Ridge: The Definitive Wallet Guide

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 Ridge wallet alternative? 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.


Ekster minimalist wallets


Ridge Wallets

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.

Are Ridge Wallets Functional?

Now let’s talk functionality. The great thing about the Ridge Wallet 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. 

Is Ridge Wallet Affordable?

And finally, the price. Ridge’s cheapest model is $105 for the aluminum going all the way up to $275 for the 18K gold plated. This price point is definitely reflected in the minimalist design and high-quality materials used but definitely out prices many people who can’t realistically afford this.



Ekster Wallets

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.


man holding a standard wallet in left hand and Ekster wallet in right


How Slim Are Ekster Wallets?

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.


Are There Different Models for Ekster Wallets?

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.


person holding limited edition Ekster wallet


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.


available styles of aluminum card holder sitting side by side


How Functional Are Ekster Wallets?

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.


person holding Ekster wallet in right hand and iPhone in left hand


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.

Are Ekster Wallets Affordable?

And finally, the price. Ekster’s wallets start at just $49 for the ultra-minimalist Leather Card Sleeve and go all the way up to $221 for the 18K Gold Cardholder. 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.


Person holding Ekster Parliament wallet


Final thoughts: Is Ekster the Best Ridge Wallet Alternative?

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, when comparing Ekster vs Ridge, both 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.

Shop Ekster Wallets

Ekster creates stylish and quality minimalist wallets at an affordable price. Browse our selection of wallets and card holders now!

Shop All Ekster Wallets


  • What are the top features of Ridge wallets that make them a popular choice among consumers?

    The top features of Ridge wallets that make them a popular choice among consumers include their slim and minimalist design, durable construction using high-quality materials such as aluminum and titanium, RFID-blocking technology to protect against electronic theft, easy access to cards with a convenient money clip, and a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind. Additionally, Ridge wallets are available in a variety of colors and finishes, making them a stylish and functional accessory for everyday use.

  • What are some popular alternatives to the Ridge Wallet?

    Some popular alternatives to the Ridge Wallet include the Trayvax, Dash, Dango, and Bellroy wallets. Each of these brands offers similar minimalist designs with various features such as RFID blocking, multi-tool functions, and different materials like leather or metal. Customers also appreciate these wallet brands for their durability, sleekness, and convenient card organization.


About Ekster

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.

Learn more about Ekster

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