ridge vs ekster

Ekster Vs. Ridge

[The Ultimate Wallet Showdown]

You’ll be hard-pressed to find two bigger names in the wallet world than Ekster and Ridge. Both companies first found fame through highly successful Kickstarter campaigns both raising $350,000 and $266,000 respectively. One of the biggest questions we get asked on a daily basis is which wallet is best – The Flagship wallet of the Ekster Parliament, or the quintessentially classic Ridge Wallet. Today we’re going to put these two wallets through a series of tests and rank each head to head in terms of design, quality, longevity, functionality, and more. 

The History of the Wallets

Before we get into what each wallet could offer you I personally think it pays to understand the history of each brand and what each brand is trying to achieve/why they were created in the first place. 

The Ridge was first launched in 2013 and was one of the first wallets of its kind that took an alternative approach to what a wallet should look like. Up until then, most wallets on the market were traditional bi-fold style wallets most likely made from leather. Ridge’s attempt to reinvent the men’s wallet as we knew it was a massive success and they quickly became one of the largest independent wallet brands in the world. 

Ekster came onto the scene slightly later, and again, tried to reinvent the wallet in their own unique way. This utilized the now-famous cascading or pop-up card mechanism that has taken the world by storm. 


Look & Design

The first thing to note is the designs and overall style of each of the two wallets. These wallets are very different from one another and really serve a different audience based on what you want/need from your wallet. Understanding the differences between the two will make your decision of which is best easier and provide you with a daily carry experience you enjoy. 

The Ridge is a wallet designed with a slim, minimalist, and compact size in mind. As a society, we’re rapidly moving away from cash and Ridge has capitalized on this with a wallet that serves those who tend to carry much less. Its design is essentially two metal plates that hold cards in between with a money clip on the back for bills. It’s a design that exploded in popularity and has become a sort of icon in the wallet world. It’s modern, sleek, and lends itself to those who enjoy aesthetics similar to 

On the other hand, the Ekster Wallet has a much more complex design, combining the traditional aesthetics of a wallet with modern functionality. Ekster was one of the first brands to utilize and promote the pop-up mechanism that has now become a staple on the wallet market. 

Overall, it’s impossible to really compare the designs in an objective way. You should know based on your own style and tastes which wallet looks better to you. I’d say the Ekster has a more universal appeal as it keeps a more traditional design using attractive leather. That being said, a more modern design will definitely stand out and Ridge has created a timeless piece of creative and innovative design fit to stand the test of time. The choice is really yours. 


Design & Quality

Before we go into detail regarding the potential longevity of each of these wallets let’s make one thing clear. Both the Ekster and Ridge are fantastic pieces of engineering and quality that use premium materials. Because of this, I’d say you could do a lot worst than considering their of these wallets. That being said, this article is all about the competition so let’s go into a little more detail about the materials and how long each wallet is likely to last with years of daily use. 

The Ridge Wallet is made from a combination of metal and elastic. The metal/material you choose is down the specific model but it comes in a range including aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. Although each material has various unique advantages, one thing is clear among them all – metal is hardy and durable and this results in a wallet that has the potential to last a lifetime with proper care. Ridge also provides additional tools 

The Ekster, on the other hand, is a much more complex design, made from a combination of metal, internal components, leather, and elastic. Because of this, The Ekster Wallet is much more prone to degrading or failing whether that be the leather fraying or the internal pop-up mechanism breaking – this is only natural. The more materials and the more complex design, the more likely something is to go wrong. That being said, Ekster still made and produce their wallets with the utmost care and attention to detail. 

We wanted to test both the Ekster and Ridge to see how well each compares in terms of durability and potential longevity. Both these wallets aren’t cheap, so having a wallet that could potentially last you a long time without its visibility degrading, or breaking, is important. The Ridge has a slight edge, only because of the simplistic nature of the wallet’s design. There’s simply much less that can go wrong with the wallet. 


Functionality & Utility

One of the most important aspects of any wallet is how well it functions and the capacity and storage means the wallet has. After all, even if the wallet is well made, it’s only going to be as useful as how it performs as an actual wallet. It’s meant to carry and store cards and cash. Both Ekster and Ridge perform very well in this regard, but again, both serve a very different demographic based on your wants and needs. 

The Ridge is a minimalist-sized wallet and with a smaller size comes generally less functionality overall. The idea is simply to store your cash and cards in the most compact way possible allowing for decent storage in a wallet only sized at 86 x 54 x 6 mm. This makes the wallet compact, functional, and easy to carry for a streamlined everyday carry experience. In total, the Ridge Wallet can store up to 12 cards and a decent number of bills using an elastic or money clip on the reverse side. 

The Ekster on the other hand is aimed at people who carry slightly more but want a more intuitive way to carry cash and cards. The Pop-up mechanism provides a very intuitive and comes with additional storage on the outside thanks to its leather components. In total, the Ekster Parliament wallet can store up to 15 cards in its pop-up area and additional cards in the leather portion of the wallet. This is also where any physical cash is stored.

Overall both wallets do a great job of providing fantastic storage for their respective users. If you’re someone who tends to carry more than 6 cards then I’d probably say the Ekster is the better choice. Likewise, if you’re more cash-heavy and carry significantly more credit/debit cards then the Ekster is also a fantastic choice. It really comes down to what you carry and what you want from your wallet. But both are great choices. 

Sustainability & Ethics

As the world of business changes, companies are being forced to aline more with the needs of the world. Climate change is something that will affect us all, and consumers are looking to do their part in purchasing products with a more sustainable and ethical consideration for the world, and the people, around us. With that said, let’s now take a quick look at what both Ekster and Ridge are doing as businesses to help mitigate and of-set the potential effects of climate change. 

When it comes to the Ridge Wallet I was very disappointed in their lack of interest in anything related to sustainability or ethics. While browsing through Ridge’s official website I couldn’t find any sort of material regarding Ridge’s pledge or commitment to positive environmental, ethical, or sustainability. This was pretty damning to me as someone who does take pride and respects businesses that do follow through in promoting change. 

On the other hand, you’ll find Ekster take the exact opposite approach to Ridge in the way they source, and manufacture their wallets. Ekster has an entire section of their website dedicated to their so-called ‘road to sustainability which outlines their commitment, standards, and business practices towards environmental and carbon concerns. Ekster is certified climate-neutral and has pledged to offset 100% of its carbon emissions in 2021 and the future. They are also striving towards becoming a B-Corp Company which means Ekster will function on the premise that collectively, we have the power to create the future we want to live in – an amazing feat if they can achieve it. 

This might be the only round that is so one-sided. Ekster has a clear goal and commitment to sustainability, while Ridge has taken a more frugal and near non-existent approach to doing what is right for the world around us, not just for profit means. Ekster wins this round hands down.

Brand Perks

One aspect that is often overlooked is what sort of perks, or company advantages, the brand provides outside of just their product. We’ve already talked about the likes of sustainability and ethics, but want to write a little more regarding both Ekster and Ridge’s warranty, returns policy, and customer service. Let’s dig in. 

The Ridge wallet and all of Ridge’s products come with a lifetime warranty. This protects your wallet against manufacturer defects and potential wear that can come from prolonged use over time. Think of it as insurance against things like screws breaking and elastic snapping. What this warranty doesn’t cover though is any damage caused naturally that is not part of the manufacturing process. For example, if you happen to scratch or damage one of the metal outer plates that’s your fault and won’t be covered by the Warranty. Other features and protectin provided by Ridge include:

  • Shipping Times: 1-2 working days (1 day delivery with prime)
  • Returns Policy: Refund or exchange within 45 days of purchase.
  • Discounts: Available throughout the year (up to 20% off)

Ekster, on the other hand, is not quite as lenient when it comes to their warranty. They offer a standard one-year warranty that covers any manufacturer defects. Similar to Ridge’s if something was to fail, most likely the cascading card mechanism, then they’ll cover it. But 1 year isn’t really enough in my opinion, and if any issues were to occur down the line, unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do. 

  • Shipping Times: 1-2 working days (1 day delivery with prime)
  • Returns Policy: Full Refund within 45 days of purchase.
  • Discounts: Available throughout the year (up to 20% off)

Overall, Ridge is a clear winner in this category. Their lifetime warranty provides great peace of mind and combined with their fast shipping and frequent discounts pave the way for a fantastic shopping experience from a customer perspective. Ekster is by no means bad, but they’ve unfortunately been put up against someone who understands the importance of the quality and longevity of their wallets. 

Final Verdict

Overall, when it comes to choosing between either the Ekster or Ridge there’s very little in it. It’s very hard to pick between two wallets designed for the needs of very different people The Ekster, is best for people who want added functionality, ease of use, or a vintage design. While the Ridge is best for minimalists, those who want to carry less and want a wallet to last a lifetime (in part thanks to its amazing construction and lifetime warranty). 

Each wallet has its perks in each of the areas we’ve discussed. It’s now up to you to decide which wallet is best suited for your individual needs. For more information on each of these wallets visit their respective official websites using the links below. You can also check out our other articles regarding both the Ridge and Ekster with the links below. 


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