Wallets have always fared well on Kickstarter.com. The Ridge Wallet is a Kickstarter-backed success story and is debatably one of the best wallets to have originated there. The Ridge was created by a father-son Duo – Daniel and Paul Kane – in 2013. The original Ridge wallet was a blend of aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber that could fit the palm of your hand. Seeing the original’s popularity, the makers have come up with several distinct new versions of the wallet.
In this Ridge wallet review, we’ll take a closer look at the newest iteration(s) and examine its carrying capacity, size, and usability. We’ll also compare it to a close competitor (a Trayvax wallet) and see which wallet comes out on top:
The Ridge Wallet Overview
Aluminum, Titanium, Carbon Fiber and Polycarbonate options
86 (length) x 54 (height) x 6 (thickness) mm
Black, Gunmetal, Silver, Gold for the Aluminum version; Burnt and Gunmetal for the Titanium trim; Black/Carbon for the Carbon Fiber version; and White, Red, Blue, and Green for the Polycarbonate trim.
1-12 cars, a cast strap/money clip for folded bills
Lifetime warranty available
Even if you’ve bought several wallets before and know what to look for, picking up a good new wallet isn’t easy. There are a lot of options out there, not to mention the fact that manufacturers often promise the moon and just as often fail to deliver. The Ridge wallet, though, has been around for a reasonably long time and has been used by a large number of people. It has a good reputation, is well-made, and has standout looks.
What should you look for when buying a wallet? You want something that you can carry with ease (it’s always a bonus if it doesn’t make you uncomfortable when you sit on it!). It should have room enough for all your knickknacks. A good wallet should also allow you to retrieve your cash and cards quickly, without having to fumble too much. It should be usable in everyday conditions. RFID-protection isn’t strictly necessary – the feature is only useful if you have an RFID-enabled card.
With that in mind, let’s take an in-depth look at the wallet’s make and usability in our Ridge wallet review:
The Ridge Wallet – at just 84 x 54 x 6 mm – is a tiny wallet. It should easily fit the palm of your hand – as well as almost any front pocket imaginable. You can fit this wallet in with the other items you usually carry in your pocket, like your phone. If you can picture a credit card, this wallet is just a bit longer and wider than that. If you’re used to leather wallets that become super bulky when stuffed to capacity, the Ridge Wallet will come as a breath of fresh air – it will always remain thin even when full. However, the tradeoff is the somewhat limited carrying capacity. Most of us don’t use a lot of paper currency these days, though, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
You can choose between Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, Titanium and Polycarbonate versions of this wallet. Each material type has its perks. The Aluminum and Titanium versions, for example, look very sleek. The Carbon Fiber version is, perhaps, not as easy on the eyes, but it more than makes up for it with its outstanding durability. The Polycarbonate version isn’t as strong or as good looking, but it is still much more durable than ordinary leather and is affordable to boot. You get to choose between a metal money clip and a wraparound elastic band to hold currency bills. The elastic band will eventually lose its stretchiness, and you’ll have to get a replacement. The money clip, on the other hand, won’t – it seems to be the better option. The screws holding the plates together are made from stainless steel so that they won’t rust. All versions of the Ridge offer RFID protection.
The Ridge wallet can hold over anywhere from a single to a dozen cards. It won’t hold any coins or keys, but you should still be able to fit in a paper receipt or two. If you get the version with the spring steel money clip, the wallet will hold a few tightly-folded bills. The elastic version should hold a lot more bills (as well as paper receipts). In true minimalist fashion, the Ridge works best when it holds just a handful of cards and some cash. If you can’t do without all your business cards, insurance cards, membership cards, and hotel keys, you might want to get a bifold or a trifold wallet instead.
The best part about Ridge Wallets is that you don’t have to baby them even a tiny bit. They will survive hard drops, some rain, snow, and adverse weather conditions (the contents inside are a different story, of course). As they are made from metal and carbon fiber, these wallets will age well (or not at all). If you’re tired of wallets falling apart at the seams after some hard use, the Ridge could make for a nice change. You can comfortably carry a Ridge wallet in your back pocket or front pocket. Cards can be flicked out for quick retrieval. The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty with all Ridge wallets, so you know they’re confident about the wallet’s quality at least. If a part happens to break or wear out – like a money clip or an elastic band – you can get a replacement part at a reasonable price on their website. Some users report they have trouble getting to their desired cards quickly; but, overall, customer reviews are very positive when it comes to ease of use.
The Ridge is one of the best-looking minimalist wallets out there at the moment. The Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, and Titanium versions are especially stand out. The Polycarbonate version might not be as tough or as good-looking as the other ones, but it’s still a good buy and will probably still rank amongst the best-looking wallets you’ve ever owned. You get to choose from several attractive colors like Gold, Black, and Red. From some angles, the Ridge looks more like a gadget than a wallet. Being made out of metal, you won’t have to worry about crimps and creases. The wallet won’t get bent out of shape with extended use either. It will maintain its attractiveness for several years, if not a lifetime.
The Ridge Wallet vs. Trayvax Wallets
Trayvax is a well-known, popular wallet maker and a close competitor to the Ridge. The USP of Trayvax wallets are their rugged good looks and outstanding durability. They offer five different wallets types – Contour, Element, Axis, Original, Summit – with different specifications and designs. What would be the outcome of a Ridge wallet vs. Trayvax wallet match up? Trayvax wallets offer a lot more design choices, for one. The Summit wallet, for example, is an ultra-minimalist wallet that’s made from metal and elastic. The Summit is also less than half as expensive as a metal Ridge wallet. The Contour Trayvax wallet is made from high-grade oil-tanned leather and metal. It’s more expensive than the Ridge, has a somewhat higher storage capacity and great durability.
The majority of Trayvax wallets also have an ID display window, which is a necessity for some. Some Trayvax wallets have a higher carrying capacity than the Ridge. The Trayvax Axis, for example, will hold 14 cards and eight bills at maximum capacity. It also has a hidden coin and key pouch. It remains thin and usable even when you fill it up. All Trayvax wallets come with a 65-year Heirloom warranty. The Trayvax Contour comes with a lifetime warranty.
Are Trayvax wallets better than the Ridge? It all boils down to personal taste, in the end. The Trayvax wallet’s hard-wearing good looks might appeal to some, while others will prefer the Ridge’s smooth metal finish. Wallets from either brand are well-made and will stay with you for a good long while. The Trayvax range offers more design options and is the better choice if you’re on a tight budget.
Does the Ridge make a good purchase?
To finish with our The Ridge wallet review, we believe it’s a worthwhile purchase. The Titanium, Aluminum, and Carbon Fiber versions make for a smart long-term investment. If you’re not quite willing to invest that much in a wallet, the cheaper Polycarbonate version might be for you. The Ridge wallet is made with minimalists in mind; go for it if you’re tired of lugging around a bulky leather wallet that’s hard on your back.