Secrid Vs. Ekster [Which is Best?]
The uniqueness of the cascading card wallets is something that attracts a lot of people. There’s something incredibly hypnotic about having a wallet that seamlessly cascades or fans your cards out in a way that makes them easy to access. I’m no stranger to cascading wallets having used them extensively over the past two years. And when it comes to these unique types of wallets, two brands stand out from the rest – Ekster and Secrid.
Compared to Secrid, Ekster are a relatively new brand having found success through Kickstarter raising over $350,000 back in 2015 for their first wallet the Ekster Wallet 1.0. Likewise, Secrid had humble beginnings as a design agency back in the 1990s. It wasn’t until 2009 that they first released their first wallet, The Cardprotector, and went on to become a fully-fledged wallet company from there.
Today we’re going to be looking at the flagship wallets for each brand, the Ekster Parliament, and the Secrid Slim Wallet. Each is fairly similar and has very similar features. Let’s now go into more detail regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each and give our honest opinion on which is best for you.
Functionality & Usability
In general, both wallets have very similar functionality. The mechanisms for cascading your cards out both works the same with both having a maximum capacity of around 12 cards (or 9 embossed). The real differences come in the fold-out leather flap that surrounds the metal mechanism and provide additional card capacity and room for banknotes.
In general, I feel the Secrid Slim Wallet is the better option when it comes to this. Cash is stored in a very clever fold-out compartment (folds out when you open it up) with the two additional card slots being adjacent to each other for better access. The Ekster is similar but doesn’t have a dedicated slot for cash. Instead, they use an elasticized strap that fits around the wallet where cash is tucked and stored underneath. Personally speaking, this isn’t as effective and leaves room for potential slippage.
By a very small hair, I feel like the Secrid Slim Wallet takes this one. It has a slightly larger capacity for cards while also having an innovative way of quickly and easily accessing your cash. That being said, the Ekster does come with RFID Blocking technology that the Secrid doesn’t supply. But as I mention in my article ‘Is RFID Necessary’ I would be too concerned about that.
Verdict: Due to the layout of the Secrid’s leather foldout section, and its usability with access to cash and cards, the Secrid Slim Wallet takes this round.
Design & Quality
When it comes to the quality of each wallet there’s a clear winner in this round. The Ekster Parliament is made from a premium top-grain leather one of the best leather types of the market today. This is advantageous for Ekster as overtime the wallet will fare better from wear and tear, but also develop a lovely patina that gives a unique charm to the wallet. Also, the Ekster is simply a better-looking wallet in my opinion. It has a very vintage and ornate look to it with beautiful curves and a premium feel. This is also echoed in the range of colors the wallets available (more on this later).
The Secrid on the other hand has got quite the quality too it. The standard Slim Wallet is only made from corrected-grain leather. I’ve tried to look into what the term ‘corrected’ means and it doesn’t look good. It basically implies the surface has been changed in some way in order to create a unique appearance and texture and is not natural to the original hide it came from. This is something that is very much evident when you have them both in the hand.
There’s a real clear winner of this round when it comes to the look and feel of the wallet. Although this will probably come down to personal opinion I personally feel the Ekster is a better-looking wallet and gives a really premium look and feel. Along with this the Ekster Parliament wallet also is made from a higher grade of leather, something the Secrid lacks.
Verdict: Ekster takes this round by a landslide. The wallet is just better looking in my opinion and the better quality leather takes the cafe for me.
Each of these wallets isn’t exactly known for their personalization or customization options. For example, if you’re looking for custom engravings or a monogram then you’re best to look elsewhere. That being said, there are some slight variations with the offerings of each wallet from choices available in terms of colors and designs.
For example, the Secrid Slim Wallet is available in a huge variety of unique colors and designs. I counted 55 unique and distinct designs including wallets that come in obscure colors such as yellow, red, and blue. These variations in designs give you the option to really personalize your wallet to your individual style and that’s something not a lot of wallet brands take into consideration.
Ekster on the other hand, although not terrible, doesn’t offer quite as many options. With only 7 different colors available which all take a very rustic and vintage style from a range of brown colors through to creams, and dark blues. These colors definitely stand out and give a premium feel, but the lack of options compared to the Secrid Slim is not even comparable.
Verdict: The Secrid Slim takes this round thanks to its huge variety of different color variations and designs it’s available in. I counted over 50 different models varying from design and color.
As you’d expect from two similar and competing wallets the price tags are near identical with the Secrid Slim Wallet just slightly more expensive at $89.95 compared to the Ekster Parliaments $89.00. That being said, The Secrid also comes in slight variations in design that does increase the price up to a maximum of $134.95. The difference between these two prices in wallets gets you better quality leather (vegetable tanned full-grain) with a unique embroidered pattern on the front.
It’s also worth mentioning that with any wallet in the Ekster range you don’t get the famous tracker card for free. If you want this it’ll cost you an additional $39 if you buy it alongside a wallet. This would bring the total price of the Parliament to $128. But this would suddenly provide the Ekster with many more unique aspects. If you prefer the Secrid there’s no reason why you couldn’t buy the Secrid and use the tracker card with that.
Verdict: This round is a draw. Each version is a similar price and neither are over or underpriced in my opinion.
Warranty & Returns
Sometimes it’s nice to look into the finer (usually boring) details regarding a company’s returns or warranty to see which is best and which is more beneficial towards you. This is especially true if you’re worried about whether or not either of these wallets is right for you.
Secrid seems to offer the slightly better version of all these T’s & C’s combined. With a 60 days return period if you’re unhappy with the wallet you can return it easily without any hassle. In my opinion, 60 days is more than enough, but you’ll have to return the wallet in its original condition or they may not accept it. In the case of Ekster, they only offer a 14 day returns policy which is bumped up to 60 days if you want store credit (which isn’t exactly helpful if you don’t like the wallet).
The warranties are in a similar vein. Secrid offers a standard two-year warranty that can be increased to 3 years if you register the wallet online through their website. Ekster only provides a standard one year warranty which in itself is the worst.
Verdict: Secrid offers a better all-around package for people who are concerned about returns and warranty.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t an extremely close call between these wallets. Overall, The Secrid is better than cash and card storage while The Ekster wallet is overall a better-looking wallet (in my opinion) having the advantage of being made from higher quality materials and leather. The Ekster Parliaments leather is actually one that would develop Patina overtime, while the Secrid leathers, although not bad, is of lesser quality only being made from corrected grain leather (compared to full-grain leather).
The choice is really down to what you personally want from a wallet. Are you looking for a more premium looking wallet (Ekster)? Or one that has better overall functionality and design options (Sercird). For more information on both of these wallets check out our individual reviews (Ekster & Secrid) or check out their official websites using the link below.