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Ridge Wallet vs Ekster: A Comprehensive Comparison

Ridge Wallet vs Ekster: A Comprehensive Comparison

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The digital revolution is here, and it's leaving no stone unturned. Daily financial transactions are among the many monetary exchanges that have gone digital, eliminating the need for a bulging bi-fold wallet. Instead, people are opting for minimalist wallets that check the three "Ss" – slim, sleek, and simple. And premier minimalist wallet manufacturers The Ridge and Ekster have certainly gotten this memo.

While both brands enjoy a well-deserved reputation and popularity in the minimalist wallet market, some differences exist between their products. Some of them involve the wallet's overall quality, while others are based on personal preferences.

You might be a free-spirited outdoor enthusiast who needs a rugged and sturdy wallet to withstand the elements and other challenges of your adventures. Or, you could be a fashionista constantly on the hunt for the next big thing in design.

Whatever the case, this guide will help you choose your perfect wallet. It will showcase how The Ridge and Ekster wallets stack up across several categories, including design, functionality, and durability. Compare these characteristics to your priorities, and you'll make a final decision in no time.


Ridge Wallet

Ekster Wallet


Aluminum, Titanium, Carbon Fiber, or Leather

Premium leather, some models have aluminum cardholder





Minimalistic, Metal-plated design

Stylish, Traditional leather design with some modern elements

Card Capacity

Up to 12 cards

Up to 10 cards in the cardholder, more in the leather pocket

Cash Storage

Cash clip or strap options available

Has a cash strap

Coin Storage




No built-in tracker, but Airtag available

Available with Ekster's Solar-powered Tracker Card

Quick Card Access

Yes, using a notch at the bottom to push the cards up

Yes, with a click of a button using patented card-ejection mechanism


Slim design, designed to fit front pocket

Slim design, designed to fit front pocket

Customization Options

Different color options available

Different color and leather type options available



Up to 12 months, extendable with registration

Price Range

Typically $75 - $115

Typically $59 - $79, extra for tracker card

Brand Overview

Before diving into the specifics, let's go back to basics (and the beginning!) Who is behind The Ridge and Ekster, and how did these brands come to be? Learning about their origin and mission can help you choose the brand that best aligns with your values.


While it's still used greatly, the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter experienced peak popularity around 2013 to 2015, serving as a symbol of creativity and innovation. Among the many creators on the platform with a dream and the vision to make it happen were a father and a son, Daniel and Paul Kane.

With the Ridge Wallet as the flagship product, the father-son duo led a smashingly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, marking the official start of the brand. Since then, the company has expanded, both in the staff department (a close-knit team) and the product assortment (men's rings, backpacks, chargers, etc.).

However, their mission has remained the same – to help people carry less and live more.

This mission and the brand's dedication to minimalist design and functionality have resonated with over 2 million people worldwide and earned The Ridge a place on the coveted Inc. 5000 list of America's fastest-growing companies.


Interestingly, Ekster shares the two fundamental components of The Ridge's origin story – the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform and two trailblazing creatives.

The two creatives in question are two young men of Dutch origin, Olivier and Rick, who met as participants in the U.S.'s Fulbright Scholar student program. Tired of the chunky and unsightly bi-fold wallets, they pitched their idea for a technologically advanced wallet to Kickstarter backers in 2015, and the rest is history.

 Since 2015, around 40 team members have joined Olivier and Rick in their effort to take wallets to the next level with smart features and stylish appearance. The brand has also branched out, adding products like phone cases and laptop sleeves.

Around half a million customers have put their trust in Ekster so far.

Product Design

For many people, wallets are all about functionality and whether these items serve their purpose. However, if you're paying good money for a new and innovative product, you'll probably want to ensure its design not only meets your needs but also suits your style.

Ridge Wallet

Honoring the age-old saying, "If it's not broke, don't fix it," The Ridge has stuck to one wallet design from the very beginning. This design is characterized by sleek lines and a minimalist yet impactful appearance that's easily recognizable.

But having one design doesn't mean having only one option. In fact, the reality is far from it. You can choose between numerous color, design, and material options when purchasing the Ridge Wallet.

In the color department, you can go for the timeless all-black version. Or, you can have a fun pop of color in your pocket with options like Basecamp Orange and Flamingo Pink.

The design department is pretty much the same – go for the classic monochrome look or have colorful bunnies, flowers, or Tiki elements adorning your wallet.

As for the materials, you can choose between the following:

  • Aluminum (the company's flagship material)

  • Titanium (impressive strength and corrosion resistance)

  • Carbon fiber (the strongest yet the lightest material)

  • Forged carbon (a lightweight blend of carbon fiber and epoxy)

  • Stainless steel (medical grade 304)

  • 24-karat gold (where luxury meets minimalism)


Unlike The Ridge, Ekster offers more than one wallet design. However, the differences between these designs aren't dramatic. They mainly differ in the addition of an expandable backplate or a cash strap and the texture of the wallet. At Ekster, you'll also find stripped-down versions of wallets that are designed to hold only debit and credit cards.

In terms of color and material options, there's less variety involved. If you're looking for a fun wallet with an eye-catching design, we've got bad news – you won't find anything like it at Ekster.

What you will find is a decent range of colors (primarily monochromatic), from the more subdued black, grey, and brown to more lively pink, green, and blue.

Some Ekster wallets, like the flagship Parliament Wallet and Cardholder, are available in multiple materials, including space-grade aluminum, genuine or vegan leather, and 3K carbon fiber.

Functionality and Ease of Use

Your chosen wallet can look stunning, but if it's not functional and easy to use, all it will be is a useless accessory. With this in mind, let's see how well the Ridge and Ekster wallets perform.

Ridge Wallet

The Ridge Wallet is exceptionally compact. This slim wallet can quickly fit into your pocket or slip into any other compartment (briefcase, carry-on luggage, glove compartment, etc.). But despite its small size, this innovative wallet can fit all your essentials comfortably.

Choose between a money clip and a cash strap if you still have paper bills on hand or store up to 12 cards with stretchy yet strong elastic bands. These bands were designed to grip the cards tightly, so they never fall out but not too tightly to interfere with quick card access.


The Ekster wallets feature the company's proprietary ejection mechanism that allows easy access to your belongings. Click a single button, and your card gets ejected in an incredibly smooth (and fun!) fashion.

For the most part, your belongings will be tightly secured within an Ekster leather or metal wallet. However, it might take some rearranging to prevent cards from falling out.

Ekster wallets are thicker than the Ridge Wallet but still slim enough to fit comfortably into the front pocket of your jeans.


By their very nature, minimalist wallets are geared more toward storing contactless cards. Unfortunately, most of these cards are RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) skimmable. This means that a malicious actor can steal your sensitive information by only standing close to you in public (with an RFID reader, of course). That's why RFID protection is crucial for a high-quality wallet.

Ridge Wallet

The Ridge Wallet is an RFID-blocking wallet, to the delight of any user wary of wireless theft. The metal plates built into the wallet's design actually block your radio-transmitting cards and ID badges from being skimmed. As a result, your personal data will remain safe and secure.

The same goes for your physical belongings, courtesy of tight bands and straps that securely hold onto your cards and money.


Ekster wallets contain an RFID-proof inner cavity for radio-transmitting cards, keeping your sensitive information secure. You can access these cards the same way you would any other – with a click of a button.

As far as the security of your credit and debit card is concerned, avoid placing your Ekster wallet in your back pocket. Your cards can possibly move around and become loose in the wallet. Thus, keeping your wallet in your direct line of sight should alert you if they start slipping out.

If you tend to misplace your wallet, you can add a tracking device (the Tracker Card) for extra security. Pair this device with Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri, and you'll open up a world of security possibilities for your smart wallet.

Durability and Maintenance

Let's say you're delighted with your new wallet's appearance and performance. If so, you'll probably want to keep it for years to come. Otherwise, you're just wasting money. Let's look at the Ekster vs. Ridge battle when it comes to durability and maintenance.

Ridge Wallet

The Ridge Wallet is built to last. And when we say last, we mean a lifetime. These wallets are manufactured using hard-wearing materials and are virtually indestructible. To achieve this desirable result, the brand has extensively tested its products in all-weather scenarios and eliminated flimsy and unreliable parts.

Even better, you won't have to do much to keep your Ridge Wallet in optimal condition. This handy wallet is effortless to clean and requires minimal maintenance.


With Ekster wallets, the level of ruggedness and durability depends on the model you choose. For instance, the carbon fiber models will be your faithful companion through thick and thin. Their leather counterparts, however, might not be as resilient. Genuine leather is susceptible to water damage, scratches, stains, tearing, discoloration, and the list can go on and on.

With proper maintenance, you can offset some of the damage. But the reality is – if you want the elegant and timeless look of leather, you'll have to sacrifice longevity.

Another potential durability issue to note is the inner card-release mechanism. As practical as it is, this mechanism is made of plastic, making it less durable.


Brands can go on and on about the quality and longevity of their products. But if they don't back up these claims with a generous warranty, how can you believe them?

Ridge Wallet

All the wallets in The Ridge's assortment are warranted for life. This rare warranty coverage speaks volumes of the brand's trust in its craftsmanship and design.

The limited lifetime warranty protects you from manufacturing defects. You're entitled to a replacement if any of the wallet's parts (elastic bands, screws, metal plates, and money clip) fail or get lost.

However, the same can't be said if you lose your entire wallet or someone steals it. The warranty also doesn't cover damages (scratches, chips, dents, etc.) caused by accident, neglect, abuse, improper storage or use, and unauthorized modifications or repairs.


Ekster allows you to return your wallet for up to 45 days after purchase, but aside from that, you're only protected for one year. The one-year warranty only pertains to manufacturing defects. Considering that the inner card-release mechanism is made of plastic and will likely break down eventually, this limited warranty coverage is far from ideal.

Ridge vs. Ekster: Price Comparison

Both Ridge and Ekster wallets have a higher price point than the average wallet.

However, Ekster wallets have an edge because their cheapest model is significantly less expensive than The Ridge's most affordable option.

The cheapest model in question is the ultra-minimalist Card Sleeve, which costs $50. The most expensive model in Ekster's assortment is the 18K Gold Cardholder, which costs a whopping $250.

This price is on par with The Ridge's most expensive model. For $250, you can become the proud owner of the 24 Karat Gold, the brand's premium wallet. As for the most affordable model, it will cost you $95.

Although these prices aren't affordable for everyone, they accurately reflect the quality of the materials used and the intricacies of a minimalist design. Consider the purchase of this wallet as more of an investment that will serve you for a long time.

The Ridge Wallet, in particular, requires a higher initial investment. But with the company's warranty and the wallet's incredible design, you're all set for a lifetime.

Ridge vs. Ekster: Customer Reviews and Feedback

Browsing through wallet reviews online reveals some similar feedback, both positive and negative.

Ekster wallets are primarily praised for their aesthetically appealing and convenient design. However, some customers have complained that the wallet deteriorates quickly and looks cheap. Interestingly, many of the one-star reviews have to do with the company's poor customer service. Unresponsiveness to communication and issues with returns are among the most commonly mentioned complaints.

On the other hand, Ridge's customer service is often praised for its exceptional responsiveness and swift action. The wallets themselves are described as high-quality and sturdy. As for the negative feedback, several reviews mention that some colors look different in person than on the website.

Making the Right Choice: Ridge or Ekster?

All it takes is one look at their incredible features to conclude that you won't go wrong with either Ridge or Ekster wallets. For the most part, the choice between these two brands boils down to your needs, preferences, and priorities.

If you prioritize style and a more classic look, Ekster wallets are the way to go. A leather wallet from the brand undoubtedly has a more professional feel.

But if you're all about functionality, durability, and security, you might benefit from buying the Ridge Wallet. Even the baseline RFID aluminum wallet will last you a lifetime and offer a genuine minimalist look and design that can streamline your everyday life. These wallets also look a bit more futuristic, so if that's your style, there's nothing left to think about.

Final Thoughts: Bridging Elegance and Functionality

Effortlessly combining sleek design with practicality, the Ridge Wallet is a truly minimalist accessory that can fit various lifestyles. When it comes to this wallet, paying a premium price means receiving a premium product that looks amazing and lasts a lifetime with minimal maintenance. 

Check out our extensive collection of minimalist wallets and find your perfect pick.


Is Ridge an American company?

Yes, Ridge is an American company. The Ridge Wallet is designed in the U.S. and made in the company's manufacturing facility in Los Angeles.

What is the difference between a Ridge wallet and an Ekster wallet?

There are several differences between a Ridge wallet and an Ekster wallet. Most notably, a Ridge wallet is more durable, easy to maintain, and secure. At the same time, the Ekster wallet can be more affordable and look more sophisticated.

What is the Ridge warranty?

The Ridge offers a limited lifetime warranty on all its wallets.

Is Ridge a good wallet brand?

Yes, Ridge is a good wallet brand. It offers numerous eye-catching wallet styles that are made to last and make your everyday life easier.

About the author
Evan Grimm, Writer
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About the author
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, 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.
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