Hands-On With 5 Ridge Wallet Alternatives

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Founded in 2013 courtesy of a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, The Ridge Wallet has gone on to redefine the minimalist wallet category. Its success has sparked a whole slew of alternatives, from direct imitators to new brands trying to create their own takes on a minimalist metal wallet.

We initially compared The Ridge’s wallet to its main competitor, Ekster, back in March of 2022. In the months since then, that’s given us plenty of time to test out more Ridge wallet alternatives—and in this updated guide, we’ll give you the scoop on five different wallets that might be a better fit for you, depending on your everyday carry style.

Ridge Wallet Alternatives - Hands On

How We Tested

Each of these wallets has been “in the field” with us for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, with the goal of ascertaining three main things: Their durability, ease of use, and overall value.

You can’t really get a feel for any of these wallets without going through the motions of removing and replacing cards and cash, day in and day out. So that’s exactly what we did—taking them through the paces of daily use, and not being shy about tossing them around a little bit.

The following reviews for each wallet take each of those wallet qualities into account, as well as provide a general overview of what sort of person we think each wallet would be best for.

Ridge Wallet vs Ekster Wallet
Ekster Wallet next to The Ridge Wallet

Ekster Cardholder Wallet

Since testing the Ekster wallet at the beginning of last year, it has been a staple of the author’s everyday carry—maybe even more so than The Ridge.

And nearly a year on, Ekster’s Cardholder Wallet has held up pretty well. Its metal body shows a few signs of wear and tear but is still entirely functional. That’s after months of heavy use, dropping it on just about every street in downtown Cincinnati at one point or another.

The biggest draw for the Ekster wallet is its switchblade-style function, which does a great job of making me feel like James Bond every time I take out my card to pay for a coffee. That function also makes it incredibly easy to select an individual card for use, which is a big advantage over every other wallet in this review.

The downside here is that the elastic band that holds the Ekster’s back plate on (and sandwiches dollar bills to the wallet’s body) has stretched out quite a bit. It’s not totally unusable, but I have to keep a decent stash of cash strapped in there to make the wallet stable.

Overall, I’m still a fan of the Ekster. But at the time of writing, it doesn’t look like they offer extra bands for sale via their website. And for the price, I would have liked the wallet to remain in peak functional form for longer than it has.

  • Notable Features
    • Flip-out card access
    • Lots of color options
  • Capacity
    • 1 to 15 cards, bills held by elastic band
  • Pros
    • Switchblade-style card flipper is awesome
    • Titanium construction is durable
  • Cons
    • Band stretches out after about six months of use
    • Not great at holding cash
  • Price Range
    • $67 to $99
Ridge Wallet vs Dango Wallet
The Ridge Wallet next to the Dango D01 Dapper Wallet

Dango D01 Dapper Wallet

After giving it a lot of thought, the Dango D01 Dapper Wallet might be my favorite Ridge Wallet alternative.

Why? Because it hits all the right notes, at a reasonable price.

It’s made of lightweight but durable machined aluminum and has a clean design. Its silicone band doesn’t stretch out much, even after being stuffed full of cards and cash for weeks on end. It has nice leather accents for a touch of class. And it has a built-in bottle opener, just in case.

The packaging on the Dango is really top-notch, too. I’d be quite pleased to get (or give) this as a gift.

The only real downside: The Dango Wallet is larger than almost any other Ridge wallet alternative. It’s not super comfortable to hold in your pants pockets, but it works great when stored in a jacket pocket or in your EDC bag. If you usually carry your wallet in your pants pockets though, you may want to look elsewhere.

  • Notable Features
    • Silicone band
    • Bottle opener
  • Capacity
    • Up to 12 cards
    • A few folded bills worth of cash
  • Pros
    • Silicone band retains its shape well
    • Great overall look and feel
  • Cons
    • Fewer color and material options than other wallets
    • Quite large for a minimalist wallet.
  • Price Range
    • $69 across the board
Trayvax Axis Wallet vs Ridge Wallet
Trayvax Wallet next to The Ridge Wallet

Trayvax Axis Wallet

I’ll admit: I don’t think the Trayvax Axis Wallet is for me. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good wallet; just that my “urban professional” everyday carry style isn’t really the right fit for it.

Overall, the Trayvax feels like it’s made for military and law enforcement officers. And in that regard, I can see it working perfectly. It feels darned near indestructible, with heavy-duty nylon webbing throughout that won’t stretch out over time. It has the largest ID window of any wallet we’ve tested for this review. And its attachment point would make it both secure and easy to access while in uniform.

That said, the Trayvax feels awkward for everyday use as a regular guy in the city. The attachment point kind of flops around, and the opening mechanism isn’t entirely intuitive. But for under 40 bucks, it seems like a solid option for tactical everyday carry.

  • Notable Features
    • Bi-fold design
    • Large ID window
    • Hidden coin pocket
    • Built-in attachment clip
  • Capacity
    • 1 to 14 cards
    • 1 to 8 folded bills
  • Pros
    • Nylon and steel construction is about as durable as it gets
    • Seems great for military and LEO
  • Cons
    • Very few color and material options
  • Price Range
    • $39 across the board
Ridge Wallet vs Nimalist Wallet
Ridge Wallet next to Nimalist Wallet

Nimalist Aluminum Wallet

Take one quick glance, and you could easily mistake the Nimalist Aluminum Wallet for The Ridge.

Even side-by-side, the two wallets are nearly identical (if you’re comparing the Nimalist with The Ridge’s aluminum version). They’re slim and lightweight. They have money clips. They have a little notch for you to push your cards out. They’re held together by elastic straps. And they’re both covered by lifetime warranties.

The differences come down to options and price. The Nimalist wallet comes in a lot fewer colors and materials and does not have the option of a cash strap instead of a money clip. But for that narrower range of options, the Nimalist wallet is significantly less expensive: $39.95 at the time of writing, compared to The Ridge’s $95. So if you’re good with the style and colors and materials that Nimalist offers, it’s a very affordable alternative to The Ridge.

  • Notable Feature(s)
    • Almost identical to The Ridge Wallet
  • Capacity
    • Up to 16 cards
    • Up to 20 bills
  • Pros
    • It’s pretty much The Ridge Wallet design at a lower price
  • Cons
    • A lot fewer color and material options than The Ridge
  • Price Range
    • $40 to $80
Ridge Wallet vs Aviator Wallet
Ridge Wallet next to the Aviator Wallet

Aviator Slide Wallet

The Aviator Slide Wallet, winner of a German design award, does a little bit of everything—and it does it all darned well, too. Falling somewhere between the designs of the Ridge and Eskter wallets, it’s a very slick alternative that offers a lot of customization options.

A quick-access pull strap displays your cards with a simple tug, fanning them out for individual selection. That might be my favorite feature of the Aviator, but it’s all built on a solid aluminum frame for durability as well.

The main draw here really is the customization options though. The Aviator is the only wallet we’ve found that can be equipped with an AirTag-ready cash clip, guaranteeing that you’ll never lose your wallet again. You can also choose from a range of card capacities to suit your everyday carry needs and a range of materials for the inner frame and coin holder.

So far, the Aviator’s elastic bands haven’t noticeably stretched much. But I do worry that over time, it will become a little bit too loose for my tastes. Thankfully, Aviator sells the entire range of their parts and accessories individually—making this an ideal wallet for tinkerers and DIY enthusiasts.

  • Notable Feature(s)
    • Small ID window
    • Pull-tab card access
    • Highly customizable
  • Capacity
    • 1 to 20 cards
    • About 4 folded bills
    • A few coins
  • Pros
    • Smooth design with easy-to-use features
    • Very handsome wallet
  • Cons
    • Customization options can get pretty pricey, more than doubling the original cost of the wallet
  • Price Range
    • $85 to $255 (with all customization options included)
Ridge Wallet Alternatives

Final Verdict

In the end, each of these Ridge wallet alternatives has its own strengths and weaknesses, making each wallet a better or worse fit for a certain sort of guy’s everyday carry setup.

The Ekster wallet offers the easiest access to your cards, but its elastic band is prone to stretching. 

Dango’s wallet might be the toughest and most durable thanks to its silicone band, but it’s also one of the largest of the bunch. 

Nimalist’s wallet is essentially a carbon copy of The Ridge, but with fewer options and a lower price tag.

Trayvax’s wallet seems tailor-made for military and law enforcement officers and tactical everyday carry, but a little bit awkward for urban professionals.

And the Aviator wallet blends some of the best aspects of every other alternative into one slim and handsome package with a ton of customization options as well as a full suite of parts and accessories available for purchase.

That said, The Ridge still has the widest range of color and material options—as long as you’re willing to pay a premium to get them. 

So take stock of what’s most important to you, and one of these wallets will surely do the trick.

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