Leather Wallet or Carbon Fiber Wallet: Which One Are You?

Wallet design is experiencing a renaissance after going unchanged for decades with new experimentations in shape, size, and material. And that’s largely because the last few years have seen massive changes in the way we, as a society, pay for things. Remember when you’re Mom would buy groceries using a check from the bank? Thankfully, those days are behind us. But as we move into a more digital and less cash-focused way of life, figuring out which type of wallet fits with your lifestyle can be tricky. Today, we’re covering an old-school classic, the leather wallet, and a brand-new type of wallet, the carbon fiber wallet, so you can find out which one is right your you. Are you team leather or team carbon fiber?


Person’s hands holding an iPhone with Chipolo tracking app and Ekster Bifold wallet with tracker card

Leather Wallets

Leather has been the go-to material for wallets going back hundreds of years, and while the design may have changed from coin satchel to bifold, the choice of using leather has remained the same. This is thanks to leather’s unique combination of beauty and functionality. Not only does leather look and smell good, but it’s durable, long-lasting, and naturally water resistant.

But whether leather is right for you depends on how you want your wallet to perform. While leather is a durable material, it certainly isn’t the most durable, and thus comes with some weaknesses. The main one being that leather requires precise care to keep it looking good for a long time. This might mean investing leather care equipment, like a soft brush and a good leather conditioner. Secondly, even though leather is naturally water resistant because of oils present in the hide, it is not entirely waterproof. So you must be careful to not get it too wet or dirty, since leather wallets are notoriously hard to clean.

That being said, leather wallets do carry a certain old-world aesthetic that other materials just can’t imitate. Depending on the way you like to dress, a leather wallet may match better with your current accessories, such as watch, belt, or pair of shoes. Leather wallets are also available in a variety of designs, from classic bifold to ultra-slim trigger wallet. So whether you typically need space for lots of cash, or just your essential few cards, you can find a leather wallet with the perfect carry capacity.


Our slim leather wallet pick: The Parliament

  • fast-card access at the click of button
  • RFID protection
  • holds 1-12 cards plus cash
  • made from genuine full-grain leather in vegan, matte, and luxury styles
  • pair it with a Tracker Card to make it unlosable


Our leather bifold pick: The Modular Bifold

  • classic bifold with slim design
  • inner magnetic cardholder with RFID protection
  • holds 12+ cards and 10+ bills
  • made from genuine full-grain leather
  • pair it with a Tracker Card to make it unlosable



Person’s hands an open RFID blocking Parliament wallet with cash in the cash band

Carbon Fiber Wallets

Carbon fiber is quickly becoming one of the most popular materials for modern wallets. Ultra-lightweight and ultra-strong, this metal is known for it’s applications is aerospace engineering, motorsports, and competitive cycling. For our purposes, this means your carbon fiber wallet is can be very strong, like iron, without the extra weight that other strong metals have.

Being metal, carbon fiber wallets are very easy to clean, simply use a sponge, paper towel, washcloth, and whatever cleaner you want. Carbon fiber wallets are extremely durable and entirely weatherproof, it can withstand intense heat, cold, light, water, and doesn’t bend easily. If you’re looking for a wallet that can take a beating then the carbon fiber wallet is right for you.


carbon fiber cardholder wallet made from durable metal, can hold 1-15 cards and cash


Carbon fiber wallets have a much more minimalist and futuristic appearance than leather wallets, and don’t come in quite the range of styles. Most carbon fiber wallets are slim cardholders, and while almost all provide room for both cards and cash, carbon wallets do not generally come in bifold designs. The upside is that a carbon fiber wallet will be much slimmer than a leather one, perfect if you’re looking for a slim front pocket wallet.

A carbon fiber wallet is also likely to match much better with your accessories if you’re into a more modern style. Available in both normal carbon and forged carbon fiber, these wallets have an industrial, monotone, feel to them. But the modernness goes far beyond just looks. Carbon fiber wallets also offer wireless theft protection by naturally acting as a Faraday cage, so the data cannot be stolen off your cards.


Our carbon fiber wallet pick: The Carbon Fiber Cardholder

  • fast-card access at the click of button
  • holds 1-15 cards plus cash
  • RFID protection
  • made from top quality carbon fiber
  • pair it with a Tracker Card to make it unloseable


Man’s hands holding camera and RFID blocking aluminum cardholder


  • What are the top brands known for their high-quality real leather wallets?

    Some of the top brands known for their high-quality real leather wallets include Coach, Michael Kors, Fossil, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, and Prada. These brands are renowned for using top-notch materials, expert craftsmanship, and timeless designs that make their wallets durable, stylish, and luxurious. Investing in a real leather wallet from one of these brands ensures you will have a long-lasting accessory that adds sophistication and class to your everyday carry.

  • What are the strength properties of carbon fiber and why is it considered a durable material?

    Carbon fiber is known for its exceptional strength properties, including high tensile strength, stiffness, and resistance to corrosion. It has a tensile strength five times that of steel, while being much lighter in weight. This makes it an ideal material for applications where strength and durability are essential, such as in aerospace, automotive, and sporting equipment. Additionally, carbon fiber is considered durable because of its high fatigue resistance, meaning it can withstand repeated stress without degrading. This, coupled with its low thermal expansion and excellent chemical resistance, makes carbon fiber a highly durable material that can withstand harsh environments and constant use.

  • How is carbon fiber made and what is the process behind its production?

    Carbon fiber is made by heating acrylic fiber to high temperatures, causing the fibers to carbonize. The fibers are then chemically treated to increase their strength and stiffness. The carbonized fibers are then woven into a fabric, which is then impregnated with resin and cured in a high-temperature oven. This process is repeated several times to create layers of carbon fiber that are then molded into the desired shape. The result is a lightweight and incredibly strong material that is used in a wide range of applications, from aerospace to sports equipment.




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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