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Over the years, I have grown to enjoy wallets. In the beginning, it was a bi-fold in my back pocket. Then it was a cloth front pocket wallet, and about a year ago, I stumbled upon my first minimalist wallet (the Ridge Wallet) as it was given to me as a gift. From then on out, I have stuck to minimalist wallets and have yet to look back.
The biggest competitor to the Ridge Wallet I had been using was Ekster, and I knew that. After a friend showed me his Ekster, I knew I had to reach out to the brand and see if they could send me their Forged Carbon Fiber Cardholder to look at, and they did!
Even though they sent it out to me free of charge to check out, I did not guarantee coverage, and all opinions are my own.
Why should you trust me? Having the right EDC gear is imperative, and I have set out to try all different types of everyday carry equipment. This includes wallets (I currently have four different ones in this room). After testing so many wallets, I want to help you find the right one too.
What is the Ekster Wallet?
- 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
What do I like about the Ekster Wallet?
1. Easy access to my most used cards
While most minimalist wallets have relatively easy access to cards, the Ekster levels this up. I had concerns with a competitor’s wallet where I had difficulty getting to cards outside of the two on the sides.
Ekster’s push button card release displays all your most used cards out the top of the wallet, so you can quickly remove the card you need.
You never have to pull all the cards out of your wallet to get to the one you need. The only time this happens is when you access the external.
2. It’s relatively lightweight.
Carbon fiber is lightweight; there isn’t any way around that. After testing quite a few different minimalist wallets now, I like the weight of my Ekster wallet.
3. It doesn’t let me carry more than I need
This is more of a characteristic of minimalist wallets in general. However, the lack of storage is a good thing. Gone are the days of carrying around 5-year-old receipts, coupons, and random junk you didn’t know what else to do with.
The Ekster does a great job of keeping to the necessities but holding them well. Your wallet should have cards and cash. It fits both well and keeps them highly accessible. You can’t carry coins, and you can’t take receipts, but why would you?
4. I like the way it looks.
The Card Holder series from Ekster, including my Carbon Fiber version, look fantastic. They keep minimalistic styling, but the seamless card holder, the money strap, and the additional plate on the exterior all come together to create a stylish, high-quality, compact design that works well together.
It has a tactical feel to it and a more urban design. I like it, and I think you will too.
Where does the Ekster fall short?
1. Forged carbon looks like fingerprints
I am a massive fan of forged carbon fiber (since I enjoy automotive so much); however, after I started showing off my wallet to other people, I found that most people didn’t even know what forged carbon fiber was, and they immediately thought it was a bunch of fingerprints all over it.
You’ll want to remember this, as you may opt for the standard carbon fiber weave if you show this wallet to friends. If you aren’t too into that, I like how it looks, but I know what it is.
2. The Ekster is Larger than my Ridge Wallet
My first minimalist wallet was the Ridge Wallet (read my review here), and it has taken a bit of getting used to the size of the Ekster. While the Ridge Wallet is the same size as a debit card, the Ekster takes longer to account for the spring mechanism that pushes the cards up and out of the wallet. While it is only a minimal difference in size, it is noticeable in your pocket.
Who is the Esker wallet best for?
The Ekster Wallet is a more up-market style wallet and is perfect for those who don’t sacrifice a bit of bulk to access their cards quickly. You also won’t mind shelling out a bit more cash, to store your money, as these are by no means inexpensive wallets. This is THE BEST minimalist wallet on the market today (from what I have tested).
Who should NOT buy an Ekster Wallet?
You should NOT buy an Ekster if you are trying to make a minimalist effort. Other, smaller wallets would be a better option for you. These wallets are also quite expensive, so only purchase them if you can afford to part way with a reasonable amount of cash.
Is the Ekster or Ridge Wallet better?
While this is up to your preference, the Ekster Card Holder is the better bet.
Both of these wallets have their reasons for existing, and there is a good reason why they both lead the pack as leaders in the minimalist market, the push-button access to your most used cards is a much better build than what the Ridge has to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
After extensive usage, the Ekster Carbon Fiber Card Holder is my top choice for a minimalist wallet and available wallets. Its high-quality build, quick access to up to six cards and great aesthetics make it well worth its asking price point.