In the past, when cash was the primary payment method, big, bulky, bifold wallets were the best option for most people. But times have changed. Cards and digital payments are being used more than ever, and cash is slowly being phased out, ushering in a new age of slim, minimalist wallets.
And when it comes to slim wallets, brands like The Ridge and Aviator lead the way. Designed to be sleek, simple, and strong, both The Ridge and Aviator wallets feature high-quality materials, minimalist designs, rapid-access card slots, and extra features, like RFID protection.
So, if you're looking for a super slim wallet with amazing build quality to keep your cards safe, you may be drawn to both of these brands. In fact, since they're so similar in a lot of ways, you may not know which one to choose. That's where this Aviator and The Ridge comparison guide comes in.
Below, we'll put The Ridge and Aviator side-by-side, comparing their wallets in several key areas. We'll take an in-depth look at both brands' histories, along with the overall quality, design, value, and functionality of their products, giving you all the info you need to make the right choice.
About Aviator Wallet
The Aviator wallet company was founded in Germany, specifically in the little Bavarian town of Alzenau, by a pair of business partners and cousins named Andi and Thorsten. The pair saw how the use of money and cards was changing, how the old, bulky wallets of the past simply weren't good enough.
They also saw a distinct lack of slim wallet alternatives for modern men and women. So, in 2014, they got to work designing a new minimalist wallet with a slim profile and strong metal outer plates themselves.
They wanted to make something small enough to slip into a pocket, but with enough space to hold debit cards, credit cards, and even a bit of cash, if needed. They spent a lot of time fine-tuning their design and developing prototypes before launching a Kickstarter campaign to gain investment.
The campaign was a big success, and many people were drawn to Aviator's focus on high-quality materials like aluminum and carbon fiber plates, along with their sleek designs, reasonable price tags, and handy features, like optional cash clips and coin holders.
Price Range and Models
Price-wise, Aviator's metal wallets can range from as low as $69 for the simplest models up to over $400 for the most elite, limited-edition models. With such a wide price range, it's relatively easy for customers to find an Aviator wallet that fits their needs.
When it comes to models, Aviator offers a wide range of material options, from carbon fiber to aluminum, wood, and titanium, too. However, it doesn't go overboard with lots and lots of different designs. Instead, this brand keeps things simple with just three main models:
Aviator Classic: This is the simplest and most minimalist wallet from Aviator. It can store between four and 11 cards standard, with a scratch-resistant metal shell and a simple thumb window that lets you slide your cards out with ease.
Aviator Slide: The Slide is Aviator's flagship product. It has won awards for its design, with space for up to 20 cards in total. It also comes with a coin holder, RFID protection, and a handy pull strap to provide easy card access.
Aviator Slide One: Finally, we have the Slide One. Like the Slide, this model features a pull strap for quick access and space for up to 20 cards. It's only suitable for cards and bills, with a super sleek design and no coil holder or change pocket.
About Ridge Wallet
Just like Aviator, The Ridge is a family business. It was started by the father-and-son team of Daniel and Paul Kane. Like their German counterparts, the Kanes felt that thick bi-fold wallets simply weren't a good fit for the modern era. They wanted to make something different.
So, in 2013, a full year before Aviator launched, Daniel and Paul got to work on some prototype wallet designs. They wanted to create something sleek, and slim, but also strong, with an attractive design and smart features, perfect for everyday use.
They launched a Kickstarter campaign to show off their idea, and instantly received a lot of positive attention. The campaign was a smashing success, and The Ridge has gone from strength to strength since then, becoming a leading light in the minimalist wallet space.
Indeed, The Ridge has become so popular, it's inspired a series of knockoffs and Ridge wallet alternatives, with other companies trying to copy the idea and cash in on The Ridge's success. Many users enjoy this company's focus on the very best raw materials, high build quality, ease of use, and durability.
Price Range and Models
In terms of cost, the average Ridge wallet can be purchased from $76 up to around $195 for the top-end options. However, the higher prices are mainly reserved for exclusive designs and aesthetics. So, no matter whether you buy a cheaper or more expensive option, you get the same quality.
Like Aviator, The Ridge isn't the kind of brand to make dozens of different designs and hundreds of models. This company doesn't want to flood the market or confuse customers with unnecessary items. Instead, it has just one main wallet design.
The classic and original Ridge wallet is a super sleek, streamlined creation. It features a main cardholder space that can hold up to 12 ID or credit cards. It can also be customized to include either a handy elastic band cash strap for cash and cards, a money clip, or both. There are also AirTag wallet variants.
Customers can also take their pick from a range of high-quality materials when selecting a The Ridge wallet, like aerospace aluminum. Plus, The Ridge stands out for its great range of designs, with everything from simple matte black models to decorative options with fun, colorful plates.
Direct Comparison: Aviator vs. Ridge Wallet
So, we've seen the basics of Aviator and Ridge, but now let's see how they compare head-to-head, looking at some important Aviator and Ridge wallet differences buyers need to be aware of.
Design and Functionality
In terms of design, Aviator is very similar to Ridge in a lot of key areas. Both brands focus on slim profiles and minimalist designs, with sleek wallets offering rapid access to various amounts of cards and cash.
However, there are some key differences. Aviator wallets feature either a thumb window or pull strap to provide access to your cards. Meanwhile, The Ridge opts for a sleek, curved indent on the side, along with optional cash straps and clips.
Both methods work well, but users may favor the simpler and more intuitive Ridge wallet user experience. It tends to be a little easier when it comes to thumbing through cards and quickly grabbing the one you need.
In addition, both brands have a notable difference in aesthetics. Aviator wallets tend to come in plain and solid colors, like gray, red, or black, with only a small range of simple themed special editions. The Ridge wallets are regularly available in a much wider range of colors, patterns, and styles.
Material and Durability
Both The Ridge and Aviator make men's wallets with high-quality materials. However, it's The Ridge that goes above and beyond the call of duty, with aerospace-grade aluminum, TA2 titanium, and medical-grade stainless steel.
In terms of durability, Aviator wallet reviews note that this brand's wallets are capable of lasting for years of use. The same can be said of The Ridge wallets. The Ridge wallet can be a wallet for life, with enough strength and durability to cope with all the knocks and bumps of daily use.
Price and Value
In terms of price, The Ridge and Aviator wallets have similar entry-level price points around $70 to $90. However, as you work your way up to the top-end designs and models, the costs rapidly add up for Aviator wallets, while staying more affordable with The Ridge.
Add-ons and optional extras tend to cost much more with Aviator. For example, it typically costs around $35 to add a cash clip, up to $75 for a carbon fiber coin holder, and so on. In contrast, The Ridge has a simpler, better value pricing structure, without lots of hidden or additional charges.
Customer Service and Warranty
When it comes to customer service and warranty, both The Ridge and Aviator offer lifetime warranties. They also both provide detailed FAQ sections and video guides on their websites to help new users, along with email support for The Ridge and live chat support available with Aviator.
Aviator has a 14-day refund and return policy, but The Ridge goes further, with a 99-day refund option and even free return postage.
User Reviews and Feedback
When it comes to The Ridge and Aviator review scores, both brands perform well with customers. Buyers love the durability and exceptional build quality of The Ridge. When comparing the Aviator wallet vs. other brands, users also tend to favor Aviator's impressive, customizable designs and strengths.
The Verdict: Choosing Between Aviator and Ridge Wallet
It's clear that Aviator and The Ridge both make some of the best minimalist wallets around. They've got a lot in common, sharing similar design philosophies, and both can appeal to similar types of people. They also both have notable advantages.
Aviator wallets, for example, offer more space, capable of holding up to 20 cards compared to The Ridge's maximum of 12. Meanwhile, Ridge wallets are made of stronger materials and available in a broader range of designs. So, if you have lots of cards, opt for Aviator. If you want a beautiful and long-lasting wallet, The Ridge might be a better pick.
Join the Minimalist Revolution: Pick Your Perfect Wallet
Overall, whether you opt for an Aviator or The Ridge wallet, you're sure to get a great, sleek, simple product to keep all your cards safe and sound. If you're ready to make the upgrade from boring bi-fold wallets, check out The Ridge collection today.
Is there a better wallet than the Ridge?
When it comes to Ridge wallet vs traditional wallets, The Ridge consistently outperforms the competition, with the best materials and user experiences. However, the best wallet for you will depend on your needs.
Is the Aviator wallet good?
Yes, Aviator wallets are well-made, and when it comes to Aviator wallet pros and cons, there are more advantages than downsides. They're slim, minimalist, durable, and easy to use.
Is Ridge Wallet an American company?
Yes, The Ridge is an American company, founded by a father and son team and based in Santa Monica, California.
How many credit cards fit in a Ridge wallet?
Up to 12 cards can fit inside a Ridge wallet.
Evan Grimm is a practical writer, blogger, editor, and knowledgeable up-and-coming authority in the outdoor realm. His best-known content is published on Bowhunting.com, The Alaska Frontier, and Exodus Outdoor Gear. He and his family reside in central Alaska, where daily common sense and practicality are necessary. His commercial pilot and aircraft technician certifications make him focus on what is relevant and solidly provable. You will find him writing or proving more content.