Amsterdam. 2015. Two friends sat down on opposite ends of a 40-foot, candlelit table in the main salon of a clandestine Dutch castle and decided it was high time the world had a better wallet. First, a Kickstarter was born. Then, Ekster was born.
That castle part: totally made up. That Ekster part: totally not.
Two Dutch students did indeed create a handsome minimalist wallet designed to hold what you need and nothing else, and things took off from there. My Ekster wallet review picks up where the company’s humble roots left off.
Over the last eight-plus years, new tech has been added, materials have been upgraded, and accessories have been expanded. So without further ado, let’s unpack the features, benefits, and potential drawbacks of Ekster’s suite of products.
If you’re reading this Ekster wallet review, chances are you’re already a fan of minimalist wallets (or are at least minimalist-curious). While there’s no shortage of sleek wallets on the market, Ekster is certainly worth a look.
Its O.G. Parliament Wallet is made of sustainable leather and features Ekster’s signature button that pops your cards up and fans them out. Features, add-ons, and materials branch out from there, making these wallets semi-customizable to suit your needs and preferences.
The majority of Ekster’s wallets are either composed mainly of sustainable leather or incorporate the material in the strap. Other options include space-grade aluminum, a super strong, super lightweight 3K carbon fiber, and their latest offering, an 18-karat gold wallet. Ekster is dedicated to becoming 100% carbon neutral and employs environmentally friendly materials and business practices to help achieve that goal.
With varying degrees of nuance, all Ekster wallets carry between one and 15 cards. All of the wallets’ cardholders can hold a maximum of six non-embossed cards or up to five embossed cards, depending on their thickness. The remaining 12-15 cards can be held in place by an outer nylon strap or throughout various compartments.
If you’re the type to save every receipt and expired credit card—whether intentionally or unintentionally—this isn’t going to be the wallet for you. You’re working with a thin, minimalist design that’s meant to carry the essentials and nothing more. Ekster’s flagship wallets have a stark yet inviting presence. But if you’re more of a traditionalist, several of the leather options feature a more classic look. There’s also a Modular Bifold that allows you to carry more but still incorporates smart features like the ability to add a tracker.
The Parliament wallet, Senate Cardholder, and Airtag wallet are all constructed primarily of sustainable leather. As with any product that incorporates premium materials, you’ll find these wallets to be durable and long-lasting if taken care of.
That said, some of Ekster’s leather products also incorporate parts like nylon straps and plastic components that are prone to deterioration at a faster rate than the main body of the wallet. Ekster’s most durable products that are likely to stand the test of time are the space-grade aluminum cardholder and Airtag cardholder, the carbon fiber cardholder, and the 18-karat gold cardholder.
Ease of Use
A major reason for the growing mass appeal of minimalist wallets like Ekster is their versatility. If you’re looking for a wallet you can take anywhere without feeling like there’s a boulder in your pocket, this is a solid choice.
Another feature that helps Ekster stand out in terms of ease of use is its integrated button. Once clicked, it pops up to six cards out of the wallet and fans them out for easy access. Each wallet is compatible with a Tracker Card (sold separately) that pairs with Eskster’s app to help you track it if lost.
Old-school bifold wallets. Money clips. High-end minimalist wallets. Regardless of what you’re looking for, you’ll find endless options at either end of the price spectrum. For the quality of materials and suite of features that Ekster offers, you’ll find its prices slightly north of average in the category—around $90 for the leather and aluminum options (though sales are frequent) and up to $250 for the premium 18k gold wallet.
Competitors like Ridge also offer outstanding quality but fall on the pricier end depending on the model and whether or not you catch a sale. Others, like Axwell and Secrid, come in at similar or cheaper price points but lack some of Ekster’s bells and whistles. Overall, Ekster wallets are competitively priced and should provide adequate longevity for the investment.
What I Like
No Ekster wallet review would be complete without calling out a few standout features.
1. Easy, satisfying card access. Ekster’s standard wallets come equipped with a smartly designed button toward the bottom. One satisfying click fans out up to six cards for easy access.
2. Smart technology. With the exception of the Modular Bifold, all Ekster wallets offer RFID protection. They’re also compatible with Ekster’s Tracker Card which, in conjunction with the app, helps you locate your wallet if you lose it.
3. Ample card storage. Between the pop-up cardholder and various other storage points, most Ekster wallets hold up to 12 cards, with some providing room for up to 15.
Flaws But Not Deal Breakers
Though Ekster’s wallets have plenty of useful features, no product is without its potential drawbacks. While its card-ejecting button is a convenient and innovative option, some online reviews cite flaws with its clicking function or premature component failures. And depending on the thickness of your cards, you may not be able to squeeze in the full number of cards that Ekster’s marketing promises.
What Are Customers Saying About Ekster Wallets
Ekster’s flagship Parliament has an impressive nearly-7,000 5-star reviews on Amazon at the time of publishing. Top reviews cite the wallet as a sturdy, handsome way to purge unnecessary wallet noise. Reviewers also praise the card ejection system as a convenient, easy-to-use feature. Negative reviews, though fewer, complain of the push-button mechanism failing or breaking entirely after less than a year.
From price to durability to features, we’ve run plenty of bases in this Ekster wallet review. The brand’s products are a strong choice if you’re in the market for a moderately priced front-pocket wallet with plenty of bells and whistles. It’s got no shortage of competitors, but customers flock to its push-button card ejection system and sleek design.
Still not convinced this is “The One” after reading my Ekster wallet review? Compare it with these similar alternatives before making a decision.
Both Ekster and Secrid prioritize functional minimalism above an excess of storage space. Secrid also features a mechanism that, once pressed, ejects your most-used cards.
Hayvenhurst Slim Pop-Up Wallet
If you’re into the idea of an Ekster wallet but aren’t ready to pull the trigger price-wise, Hayvenhurst’s products have similar functionality at a fraction of the price. It’s a nice way to dip a toe in the minimalist-wallet waters but likely won’t last nearly as long as competitors that place more of an emphasis on quality.
One of the most well-known competitors in the minimalist-wallet space, Ridge is a solid alternative if you’ve owned a similar product and are in it for the long haul. Ridge wallets are incredibly durable and have solid features, but you’re out of luck if you’re looking for a push-button feature similar to Eksters’.
In relation to similar products and some of the best men’s wallets overall, Ekster is priced fairly for the features it offers and the quality of its construction. My advice is to go into the purchase knowing that it will serve you well for years but won’t last forever.
Ekster wallets are made of quality, durable materials like sustainable leather, space-grade aluminum, and carbon fiber. The rub? While not universal, some customers complain that supporting components like the card-ejection button failed before a year of use.
Any product, Ekster’s included, is prone to scratches if you’re not careful. If you live an active lifestyle and want your daily carry to last, your best bet is to go with Ekster’s space-grade aluminum or carbon fiber wallets.