Top 4 Best Minimalist Wallets for Cash and Cards (All Tested By Me)

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Gone are the days when you are expected to carry a thick, heavy, and unwieldy leather bifold in your back pocket (at the sacrifice of your back). The minimalist wallet train has gained steam over the past few years, and I have jumped on board. 

While you used to find me with a massive bifold in my back pocket, you will now find me testing out multiple different minimalist wallets (in my front pockets, and my back is thanking me). In this article, I will share my thoughts on which wallets you should spend your hard-earned cash on.

Why should you trust me? Every single men’s minimalist wallet found on this list has been tested in person by me. Finding the right gear can change your day, week, and year (I’m not joking). Your wallet is something you use every single day, and I want to help make that change for you. You can learn more about how I test products here.

Please Note: The Axwell, Bellroy and Ekster Wallet were sent out to me free of charge by the brand, but coverage was not guaranteed. The Ridge was gifted to me by my family. All opinions are my own!

How do I test these wallets? Testing a wallet should be done outside of a lab. I have all these wallets in hand and tried them out daily. I note what I like, what bothers me, and which I use the most. This article culminates over a year of using these minimalist wallets.

At A Glance

Editor's Choice

1. Bellroy Card Sleeve

  • Dimensions: 4.05" High by 2.79" Wide
  • RFID Blocking: No
  • Card Capacity: 2 to 8
  • Cash Organization: Rear Facing Cash Slot
  • Coin Storage: No
  • Weight: Unknown
  • Easy access to my most used cards
  • Reliable access to lesser-used cards
  • Leather build
  • Attention to detail
  • Worry-free cash storage
  • Compact sizing
  • Larger than some competitors
  • I miss fanned-out cards.
See Price: Bellroy Card Sleeve Read Full Review
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While the Ekster you will find directly below this one was my daily driver for quite a while, this Bellroy Card Sleeve surprised me and quickly took its throne as my favorite minimalist wallet and my new daily driver.

It does a fantastic job at doing everything a minimalist wallet should do by staying compact yet gives excellent access to your most used card at the front, your lesser used cards on the interior (easily accessible via a leather, non-mechanical pull tab), and then simple access to some cash on the rear.

The leather is high quality, and there is some apparent attention to detail throughout the wallet. If you prefer a leather wallet, as of right now, there isn’t anything better out there than this.

Runner Up

2. Ekster Carbon Fiber Cardholder

  • Dimensions: 0.29" by 4.1" by 2.3"
  • RFID Blocking: Yes
  • Card Capacity: 1 to 15 ( 1-6 in main cardholder, additional 9 in backup storage)
  • Cash Organization: Strap
  • Coin Storage: No
  • Weight: 59 - 87 grams (depending on material)
  • Extremely easy to access up to six cards
  • High quality build
  • Expandable storage
  • Easy to access cash
  • A bit larger than competition
  • Moving parts can wear
See Price: Carbon Fiber Cardholder Read Full Review
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While using my Ridge Wallet, I had been highly aware of Ekster; however, I had only had a chance to use one or see one in person once a friend showed me his. That is when I knew that I wanted to look at one in person, and I asked if Ekster would be interested in sending one out and was I glad I did.

This Forged Carbon Fiber wallet has found its way into my pocket as my daily driver (until the Bellroy Card Sleeve above dethroned it). It does a fantastic job combining a compact size (a bit larger than the other wallets on this list) and functionality. 

The trigger at the bottom of the wallet reliably displays my most used cards, but there is still easy storage on the wallet’s exterior to keep my lesser-used cards. Cash is also easily accessible and stored on the opposite side of the money.

It provides easy, high-quality access to everything I want from a minimalist wallet. I highly recommend this wallet. That said, if you are on a budget, their standard aluminum-style wallets are precisely the same, just with a metal build, rather than carbon fiber.

Best Compact Wallet

3. Ridge Wallet

  • Dimensions: 0.24" by 3.39" by 2.13"
  • RFID Blocking: Yes
  • Card Capacity: 1 to 12
  • Cash Organization: Strap or Money Clip
  • Coin Storage: No (accessory available)
  • Weight: 59 - 87 grams (depending on material)
  • Easy access to your most-used cards
  • It looks awesome
  • Extremely durable
  • You can't make it bloated.
  • Compact sizing
  • More difficult to access lesser-used cards
  • It could hold a bit more cash.
See Price: Ridge Wallet Read My Full Review
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I used this Ridge Wallet for over a year as my daily wallet and enjoyed everything about it. Ridge makes a great and simple wallet. Everyone wants one, and it’s fun to show it off. If you are looking for a genuinely minimalist wallet that is flashy and where you don’t have to worry about reliability, this wallet is it.

This wallet has a clean design, only broken up by small screws that hold the faceplate onto the wallet, and you can easily take cards in and out of the wallet. The cards on the outside of your stack are quick to access. However, the cards on the interior of the stack require you to remove the whole stack to access them (this is its main drawback).

Everything is exceptionally well thought out in this wallet, and all materials held up better than expected after a year of consistent usage and living in the same pocket as my metal key organizers.

Most Customizable

4. Axwell Stonewashed Copper Wallet

  • Dimensions: 0.31" by 3.39" by 2.13"
  • RFID Blocking: Yes
  • Card Capacity: 1 to 12
  • Cash Organization: Strap & Clip Included
  • Coin Storage: No
  • Weight: 152 grams
  • Uses real plate of copper
  • No visible screws
  • Swappable face plates
  • Both cash strap and money clip included
  • Quite heavy
See Price: Axwell Copper Wallet Read My Full Review
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If you like everything about the Ridge Wallet, but wish it had higher-quality materials, was more customizable, and was an overall better deal (plus you have yet to buy into the marketing hype), this Axwell Stonewashed Copper Wallet might be for you.

This wallet uses two thick pieces of copper plating on the exterior of the wallet. While this adds plenty of heft, I found that the weight was not noticeable in my pocket and didn’t cause any issues. However, when the wallet is in use, you have a true feeling of quality and weight that the Ridge doesn’t have.

As for actual usage, it works like the Ridge, where you store your cards between two plates of metal held together by an elastic band. It’s simple and works every time.

What should you know when shopping for a minimalist wallet?

1. Different Available Materials

While most bifold wallets are made strictly from leather and cloth, minimalist wallets are made from various materials. My top choice on this list, in particular, is made primarily from forged carbon fiber, the Ridge Wallet is made of aluminum, and the Axwell features copper. 

You will find even more wood, plastic, steel, and materials. You will want to decide what works and feels best for you, as you likely can find a minimalist wallet with whatever material you prefer.

2. Ease of access

Your old bifold has one thing going for it: the ease of access to every card you own, as it has an individual pocket for each. However, minimalist wallets generally stack your cards on top of each other for storage, which makes finding the right card a bit of a process (which looks like sifting through your cards). 

You will want to ensure you account for that in your purchase. If you wish for an easy-access minimalist wallet, you might enjoy the Ekster I use at the top of this list above.

3. Price point

While cheaper minimalist wallets are out there, the ones you can count on tend to be a higher-priced option, many of which are north of $100. Make sure to set a budget for yourself and stick to that.

4. Different designs

While older wallets all tended to follow the same pattern, minimalist-style wallets are free to test whatever design they prefer. The most popular method is two plates of metal held together by an elastic band; however, you will find others where cards are pushed outwards to you via a button. 

You will also find minimalist cloth (front-pocket wallets) similar to bi-folds, but they have cards on the outside rather than hidden inside. It would be best to decide what works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions


Minimalist wallets are the future of what a wallet should be. They hold your cards and cash effectively and require you to rethink exactly what you must keep in your wallet (goodbye years old receipts).

The Ekster Cardholder is a great wallet and has won its spot at the top of my list of best minimalist wallets. Meanwhile, the Ridge and Axwell wallets make fantastic alternatives and should be on your shortlist of wallets to take a closer look at.

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