Everyday Carry

Ridge Wallet Review

Bernard Capulong
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Ridge Wallet Review

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The Ridge Wallet began its life as a Kickstarter dream, offering a minimalist aluminum wallet with quality craftsmanship and a unique design that breaks away from the run-of-the-mill, cut-and-sewn leather and fabric back pocket bifold wallets we’ve come to tolerate.

Those traditional wallets you can pick up at any department store usually don’t align with many core EDC principles: they often don’t last very long, are needlessly bulky, and are missing modern features and technology. The Ridge Wallet breaks from that with a lifetime warranty and new wallet materials like forged carbon and aluminum to hold your debit cards, credit cards, and business cards in one slim, sandwiched space.

And with online shopping via smartphones verging on replacing our EDC wallets with digital ones, it makes sense now more than ever to slim down to a minimalist wallet like the Ridge Wallet. It’s a distillation of minimalism and durability in wallet form, with a simple yet effective combination of premium materials and hardware designed to convert your bulky leather wallet into a streamlined carry solution.

But because of its strikingly different design, it begs the question — is it a good wallet for your EDC? Find out in this hands-on review of the Ridge Wallet.

Quick disclaimer: Ridge sent me a few sample wallets for editorial consideration for review, free of charge. They’ve also sponsored Everyday Carry in the past, and as of 2022, have since acquired the Everyday Carry organization. With that said, this does not affect my honest opinion presented in this review.

Who is Ridge?

Ridge makes one of the best wallets in the business, having started originally with the Ridge Wallet on Kickstarter. The slim wallet design has only become more popular with the community as the days pass. In many ways, picking up a Ridge Wallet can be a gateway into the larger world of EDC. That’s because the unique design which sandwiches credit cards between metal is so far away from the traditional wallet that it forces people to rethink how they EDC in the first place. That unique design also means that it blocks RFID (radio-frequency identification) signals from the debit cards and ID cards we all carry daily.


Materials and Design

Material Options

Card slots, billfold sections, ID windows—forget all that. The Ridge Wallet strips things down to a minimalist plate-and-band design. Two rigid plates bound together by elastic webbing sandwich your cards into a neat, uniform deck. The plates that make up the chassis are sized and shaped to the same length and width of a standard credit card, down to the same curved corner radius, such that there’s no excess material hanging over the cards. It’s a perfect fit all around. You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the style of plate used in your own Ridge Wallet, including:

  • Anodized aluminum: The standard lightweight metal option
  • Titanium: A premium material that offers more durability than standard aluminum without adding too much weight
  • Burnt titanium: An even more upscale treatment of the Ridge Wallet featuring a design created by using an open flame to add a unique burnt design to the wallet
  • Carbon fiber: Carbon fibers are bonded together to form a unique pattern that adds a touch of class while keeping things light in weight
  • Forged Carbon: The Forged Carbon has a unique look that is less uniform than the standard carbon fiber faceplate, making each one a work of art in and of itself.
  • Gold: When you absolutely, positively, need one of the most unique slim wallets on the market
  • Damascus: This treatment features an etched design that’s reminiscent of the ancient Damascus steels that featured on swords and knives
  • Gunmetal: The blued look of this steel option gives it a unique character, and it accessorizes well with some knives and other everyday carry essentials.

Modular Design

Another benefit of the Ridge’s design is its modularity: by unscrewing the seven fasteners on either side with the screwdriver included in the box, you can swap out faceplates to mix and match colors, replace elastic straps that may have overstretched, install a money clip, a cash strap, or even both.

This design results in a thin and streamlined profile at the expense of robust internal organization for your cards. You only get one central compartment for all your cards, right between the plates. Your cards sit snugly in place thanks to the tension applied by the replaceable elastic strap on three sides of the wallet, with one side open to load and retrieve cards. The materials offer RFID-blocking in this central compartment to protect you from skimmers. If you need to tap your RFID-enabled cards, it’s best to carry them outside of the wallet using the optional money clip or cash strap.

The last significant feature in the Ridge’s design is a dedicated thumb slot at the bottom corner. You use it to push cards out of the central cavity for quick and easy access. The slot itself is shaped and sized just right. Not only is it comfortable to push your thumb through, but it’s also sized big enough to easily locate by feel yet small enough to guide the tip of your thumb through when pushing the cards. This all comes together for a smooth, consistent action every time (once you’ve broken in the webbing).


Using the Wallet

Durability

The Ridge Wallet’s metal design is very durable and will last a long time while providing useful functionality. The elastic band is also designed to be replaceable if you wear it out after years of use. And Ridge backs up all of their products with a lifetime warranty so you can be sure you’ll be covered should anything go wrong with the craftsmanship of the wallet itself.

Usability

Operation is simple but not without its quirks. Loading it up is as easy as prying the two plates open to overcome the tension in the band (which breaks in to be a bit easier over time while still providing enough tension to keep your wallet closed and cards secured), then slotting in your stack of cards. To retrieve a card, you can push out the entire stack from the central cavity with your thumb, thanks to a dedicated thumb slot that exposes one corner of the deck.

There is some learning curve to this: as you push out the deck of cards, the corner of your cards needs to overcome any tension in the band as it passes through it. If you push too much and overshoot, there’s a chance the opposite corner of the deck can be pushed out as well. Combined with the tension of the plates and band squeezing your cards together, your entire deck of cards can shoot out. At best, it’s an inconvenience, and you have to open the wallet somehow and wrestle with its tension again, all while holding your cards to get them back in. Worst case scenario, your cards end up shooting to the ground while you’re in a rush to pay or swipe through a turnstile to catch your train.

With enough usage over time, as you get accustomed to the motion and as the elastic strap breaks in to just the right tension, this isn’t much of an issue. Once you get it down, though, picking the card you need is a simple affair. You can fan out the cards a bit to identify which card is what by looking at the top corner, then pinch and pull out the card you need. 

There is another quirk I should mention when putting a card away. If you have cards with raised lettering (as opposed to completely flat cards like a gift card or some metal credit cards), they can potentially “block” the card you’re putting away. Because the plates tend to completely flatten the deck, there’s very little room for your card to slide over the raised lettering inside. 

To overcome this, just insert your card and apply some downward pressure so it slides in at an angle, then it’ll clear raised lettering. It’s probably best practice to do this every time, since you don’t have a good way of knowing if you’re about to slide a card on top of a card with raised lettering.


How Many Cards Does the Ridge Wallet Hold?

The Ridge Wallet is designed to hold 1-12 cards. While you technically can carry 12 cards, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If you’re coming from a larger bifold, you might already be used to carrying that many cards. But when slimming down to a minimalist option such as the Ridge, be prepared to face a learning curve and potentially make some compromises.

In order to achieve such a small footprint, the Ridge Wallet foregoes any type of internal organization or separation of your cards. As a result, it makes navigating and picking the right card you need out of a stack of 12 cards a bit more difficult compared to knowing which dedicated pocket or slots it's in like you would on a traditional wallet.

On the flip side, having too few cards, such as in the 1-4 card range, might mean you won’t get the most value out of this minimalist wallet. At that point, even with how slim the Ridge Wallet is, it will still add thickness and may be even more wallet than you need. The Ridge Wallet can feel like it’s adding more bulk than it’s removing when you carry so few cards, but it ultimately still results in a very slim carry, even with a smaller deck.

The sweet spot in terms of achieving a slim profile while still being fairly convenient and intuitive to use would be around 5-8 cards, in my experience. Any fewer and you may be better off with a money clip or card holder, and any more cards will have you fumbling through a stacked deck, wishing you had some way to organize it all.


Carry Experience

An important but often overlooked consideration to make when picking an EDC wallet is its feel: how it feels in your hand when you use it, and how it feels in the pocket during carry. The Ridge Wallet is a hard, rigid object, which comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Compared to a soft leather wallet, the Ridge inspires confidence—it feels bombproof. It’s surprisingly comfortable in hand too, thanks to its smooth matte finish and chamfered edges. Nothing on the Ridge feels aggressive or painfully sharp despite its hard lines and right angles.

The Ridge certainly takes up less overall space in the pocket than most wallets, but it can feel “dense." The flat rectangular shape makes inserting and retrieving it from your pocket easy and consistent, with nothing to snag or catch on.

To achieve such a small footprint, the Ridge Wallet foregoes any type of internal organization or separation of your cards. As a result, it makes navigating and picking the right card you need out of a stack of 12 cards a bit more difficult than knowing which dedicated pocket or slots it's in like you would on a traditional wallet.

Also, the rigidity of the Ridge Wallet still might feel uncomfortable for some who prefer a softer, more organic feel to their wallet. The Ridge won’t ever conform to your hand or thigh like a broken-in leather wallet. If you mainly want a comfortable wallet to sit on, the Ridge Wallet is not it. With that said, I don’t recommend sitting on your wallet in the first place (it’s not good for your back, and it’s prone to falling out or getting pickpocketed). The Ridge Wallet is a great way to slim things down enough to comfortably fit in a front pocket.


Pros and Cons

Most of the pros and cons of the Ridge Wallet are two sides of the same coin, with trade-offs here and there. I’m ranking these from an EDC perspective, but it really comes down to your preferences.

Pros:
Cons:
+ Durable
- No organization for cards
+ Pocket-friendly
- Slight learning curve
+ RFID-blocking technology
- Not the most comfortable
+ Modular and user-serviceable

+ Multiple color and material options


Who Is It For?

The Ridge Wallet is a good wallet for minimalists and EDCers who know how to pare things down to the essentials. It works best with around 5-8 cards: any more can feel unorganized, and fewer might not get the most value out of the wallet’s “slimming” effect. It’s also great if you don’t necessarily make payments with your wallet often and can rely on your phone or smartwatch to do it, but still need to carry some essential cards on your person durably and reliably.

The Ridge Wallet might not be the best pick for maximalists who carry a lot of cards, use their wallet to make payments often, and pay for specific transactions using specific cards. The Ridge’s minimalist design lacks the organization to make it easy to find the right card out of a larger deck, but you may be willing to compromise for how slim it can make your wallet overall.

It’s also a great introduction for people coming from a large, bulky, traditional wallet that’s overstuffed with cards and receipts they don’t use or need but continue to carry just because they have the space. The Ridge can train you to rethink how and why you carry the cards you do and reign things into a more streamlined, essential set of cards. It’s also great for those wanting to switch to a front pocket wallet to break the habit of sitting on their wallet.


Which Wallet You Should Buy

You have a plethora of options when it comes to configuring a Ridge Wallet. First, you have your choice of materials: anodized aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber. Next, you have your choice of money clip, cash strap, both, or none. Because the Ridge is modular, you can always add or remove the clip or strap as your carry needs change.

The best Ridge Wallet for most people is the aluminum version with money clip. After handling the three different materials and clip/strap configurations, I think the aluminum version offers the best balance of light weight and durability for the price. It also comes in the most colors, making it more likely for you to find one that suits your style. I prefer the money clip because it’s more rigid and fixed, making it more consistent to use and longer lasting compared to the elastic strap for cash.

The titanium and carbon fiber options are nice but come with the price tag to match. If you want to splurge and had to choose between the two, I like the carbon fiber variant as it feels impossibly light (1.6 ounces compared to aluminum’s 2 ounces) and comfortable in hand. But I know many EDCers have a soft spot for titanium, and it’s also a nice upgrade. Most people can get by with aluminum and save some cash.


Final Thoughts

It’s no wonder that the Ridge Wallet is as popular as it is among the EDC community. It has a rugged appeal, frees up pocket space, and feels like a real piece of “gear” compared to most traditional wallets. If you’re making the switch to a minimalist wallet from your bulky leather wallet, it’s hard to go wrong with the Ridge Wallet. It struggles with managing a large number of cards since it lacks any organization from dedicated slots or pockets to achieve its minimalist, compact form factor. It also has a distinctly rigid feel when using and carrying the wallet, which may not be for everyone. But those are acceptable and necessary compromises to “redefine” the wallet the way Ridge envisioned.

With prices starting at $85 for the aluminum version of the Ridge, this is not a cheap wallet by any means. However, it’s reflected in the premium materials, RFID-blocking technology, modular design, and lifetime guarantee. For that price, especially when you consider that you can replace the elastic and aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber plates that aren’t going to break any time soon, it’s a worthy investment.


Ridge Wallet FAQ

Does Ridge Wallet really work?

The Ridge Wallet really works. You can carry the cards, ID, and even cash that you need to get through daily life.

Is the Ridge the best minimalist wallet?

We think so. The versatility of the Ridge Wallet is unmatched. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty, making it a buy-it-for-life deal.

How much does the Ridge Wallet cost?

A Ridge Wallet starts at $85 for aluminum and can go up to $250 for special editions and packaged kits.

Are Ridge Wallets worth it?

The Ridge Wallet might seem like a big expense for a newcomer, but if you factor in the price of a heavy traditional wallet made of leather from a quality designer, the cost is comparable. But in the end, you get a unique slim wallet that frees up your back pocket and lets you get a head start on putting together a quality EDC experience for yourself.

Is the Ridge Wallet made of leather?

No, the Ridge Wallet is made from aluminum and other metals and alloys.

How does the Ridge Wallet compare to other wallets?

The Ridge Wallet is priced competitively and offers exceptional durability, modularity, and material choice in addition to a lifetime warranty.

Are there alternatives to the Ridge Wallet?

The Trayvax Contour is more of a cage for a set amount of payment and ID cards, while the Ridge can compress down to just one card if that’s all you need. The metal and leather design make it a bit heavier, but it may appeal to people who still prefer the traditional wallet look that leather provides.

The Dango A10 Adapt Wallet is part of a larger system which means it comes with a chassis that is compatible with Dango’s own custom multi-tools. Like the Ridge Wallet, it’s highly configurable, but the multitasking inherent in the design means that you can lose a bit of focus a dedicated wallet like the Ridge Wallet can offer.


You can check out all the material and color options of the Ridge Wallet at their website linked below, and to make it even easier to make the switch, you can use code RIDGE10 at checkout for an extra 10% off your first purchase.

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Discussion (6 total)

BRANDON M FISHER ·
Thanks for the review, as always Bernard!!! I like that your reviews are never biased (even with the free samples) and you always list what's good AND bad about something (pros and cons basically). I was never a fan of the Ridge style wallets myself, but i do recommend the wallets mentioned below!!!

I, myself, prefer the Dango lineup of wallets in regards to the many metal edc minimalist wallets available right now. My favorite of my C1/D1, M1 & A10 collection are definitely my A10 & M1 Rail Wallet. The A10 is really low profile and only slightly bigger than a credit card, and the M1 is great as well, even though it's slightly bigger. I LOVE that you can customize them and make them as compact or bigger as necessary depending on how many cards you want to carry, and the fact that most of their wallets can hold one of the Dango multitools as well.

And I still LOVE having a lot of leather wallets too. My favorite of those is the Craft and Lore Twobit & Port Wallets.

I have a collection of over 50+ wallets, and anymore I ONLY use my Dango A10 & M1 Rail Wallet, and my C+L Twobit & Port Wallets. Everything else is just collecting dust and I love everything about the above mentioned wallets.

For someone who prefers the durability and ruggedness of metal, i can't recommend the Dango M1 Rail Wallet and A10, and the fact that they're modular and have some kind of organization. And if you want the nicest and best leather edc minimalist wallets, look no further than the Craft and Lore Twobit & Port Wallets IMO 😎👍 They use very high quality leather and stitching and will FAR outlast anything from a normal retail or superstore. And again, they have some sort of organization as well, depending on what you carry!!!

I can't wait to see what you review next 😉🙂
BRANDON M FISHER ·
And what i love about my M1 DTEX Single Pocket & Rail Wallet, is how easy it is to retrieve and return the cards, especially in the front where the Dango patented rail system is!!! So easy to sort through those 4 cards and pick what you need. Also, all of the Dango wallets (with the exception of the C01 & P01 leather wallets), have RFID blocking capabilities too, just like the Ridge's. I love how compact the A10 is too. I do wish they come out with a version in the future that has the vertical rail system on the back, like it does on the front, and it would be even sweeter in my opinion, if not perfect, for me anyway 😁

And id love to see a slimmed down version of the M1 Rail Wallet, without the wide sides of it where you can connect it to a neck lanyard or tether, and make it even smaller, like the A10. That would make the M1 perfect for ME hahaha 😂
Elec ·
You can mount both as well. one for cash other for cards/receipts.
Emmanuel ·
thank you for the info, was thinking to do it and just ordered the extension ^^
will place my car key in the elastic side (Renault has credit card format car key)
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