If you’ve only heard of a single minimalist wallet, there’s a good chance it was the Ridge wallet. It’s held pride of place among EDC enthusiasts for years and continues to push the envelope of style and substance. This is not a normal wallet! In this Ridge Wallet review, you will find out just how well it lives up to its reputation.
The Ridge Wallet is a svelte yet ruggedly built minimalist wallet for the discerning EDC enthusiast. It’s an elegantly simple concept beautifully executed to make your everyday carry of cash and cards sleeker and less cumbersome.
What We Like
Sleek, simple design fits into any scene
Takes up almost no space in your pocket
Available in many patterns and materials
Intuitive to use and easy to access cards
What We Don’t Like
Quite pricey in higher-end materials
Elastic band will wear out
Hard to find a specific card when it’s full
Effectively no internal organization
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Full Review: What is the Ridge Wallet?
The Ridge Wallet was one of the first hard-body minimalist wallets to hit the market. The original model came out of a runaway success Kickstarter campaign and has only gotten better with subsequent upgrades.
Ridge was one of the early pioneers of the now ubiquitous “two panels and a strap” style of minimalist front pocket wallets. With that pedigree, we had high expectations when starting our review.
- Slim and lightweight design holds up to 12 cards
- Available with a money clip or cash strap to carry cash
- Solid panels protect against RFID skimming attempts
- Length: 3.39 in / 86 mm
- Width: 2.13 in / 54 mm
- Thickness (without cards): .24 in / 6 mm
- Weight: Aluminum – 2 oz / 56.7 g – Carbon Fiber – 1.6 oz / 45.6 g – Titanium – 2.5 oz / 70.9 g
- Card Capacity: Up to 12
Design and Style
The Ridge Wallet epitomizes the sleek, compact design and minimalist style that many EDC enthusiasts seek to attain. Elegant in its simplicity, Ridge uses high-end materials precision crafted to provide just the essentials in a modern wallet with no extra bulk or functionality. It’s nothing like traditional wallets.
Holding the Ridge in your hand you immediately notice the quality and attention to detail. The plates are smooth to the touch and have carefully rounded edges that prevent snags in your pocket and help resist damage if dropped.
The seven screws around the edges give it an air of rugged elegance, acting as a striking contrast on lighter-toned or patterned versions. Even the elastic strap was designed with style, disappearing within the plates to provide a firm grip on your cards while staying low-profile.
You can choose from a variety of colors and materials , including titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber, plus a range of glossy, matte, and patterned styles. Of the walllets we looked at for our Ridge wallet review, our personal favorite off-the-wall option was the Tiki wallet. It’s a great conversation piece and a way to show your personality in your EDC. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast you’ll love the detailed Topography series.
The Ridge is just cool. It’s a simple design, beautifully executed, and wonderfully capable.
Ridge Wallet Ease of Use and Options
We know it’s is gorgeous, but no Ridge Wallet review would be complete without seeing if it works. We dug into the Ridge to see how well it sat in different pockets and how easy it was to access your cash and cards.
The Ridge is a true pocket wallet. It’s one of the most minimalist wallets we’ve tested. The dimensions match almost exactly the height and width of a credit card. Unlike a bulky leather wallet, carrying the Ridge in any pocket takes up barely more space than the cards themselves.
Adding a money clip or cash strap adds some bulk, but we still found it very easy to slip into and out of our pockets.
Card Carrying and Access
The Ridge can hold up to 12 credit cards, debit cards, or business cards at a time, though we wouldn’t recommend you stuff that many in. We could get that many digit-less cards into it, but the lack of internal organization becomes apparent as you add more cards.
The sweet spot for us was around five to ten cards on a daily basis. That allowed us to rapidly access our most used cards like IDs, transit passes, and favorite credit cards without making it feel too bulky.
Because it’s basically nothing but two exterior plates and an elastic band, accessing your cards is very easy. You can either slide them up using the finger notch on the bottom and fan them out or pull the Ridge open clamshell-style (though this will wear out the elastic strap faster). But it won’t hold a fat stack of cards or the clip will stretch and degrade.
The same band holds them snugly in place. We had no concerns that our cards would fall or get pushed out in our pockets.
You have two options for cash carry with the Ridge, a money clip and a cash strap. The money clip is, well, a money clip. It works as well as any money clip we’ve used before and is easy to add and remove your dollar bills.
To be honest, we preferred the cash strap. It integrates with the inner elastic that holds the Ridge together and is lower profile and generally more streamlined. Plus, we could slip other things like tickets and notes under it with less hassle than with the money clip.
Unlike a traditional leather wallet that’s vulnerable to card scanners, the Ridge card holder will block the transmitted signal power of scanners. This prevents wireless theft and improves the security of your cards. Honestly, we should all be using RFID-blocking wallets to protect our card info.
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Durability and Reliability
The Ridge is a metal wallet that’s available in various materials, each offering a high level of ruggedness. The base model comes in military-grade aluminum with titanium, carbon fiber, and laser engraved Damascus stainless steel also available.
The panels are held together with seven screws at the edges plus the elastic band that makes the whole system work. After spending a few days with the Ridge, we can confidently say you’d need to seriously work at it to break them.
In our Ridge Wallet review, we dropped it from waist height onto multiple surfaces, including concrete, and saw only superficial scratches. It’ll show some scratches as time goes on, but that’s true of virtually anything you EDC.
Ridge backs up all of its products with a stellar lifetime warranty. It covers the usual manufacturing defects but also has your back in case of the loss of screws or other small components.
The Ridge Wallet warrants that the purchased product is free from manufacturing defects and will function as intended for the life of the product. Your Lifetime Warranty will include Replacement Parts in the event of failure or loss of Elastic, Screws, Inner Plates, and/or Money Clip.
This warranty does not cover scratches, dents, chips and/or scrapes on the Outer Plates; damages caused by accident, abuse, neglect, shock; improper use or storage of the product; unauthorized modifications or repairs.
Under regular use, you can expect years of reliable service from any of the Ridge wallets.
The sole exception to this is the critical elastic band. Luckily for us, Ridge addressed this issue.
Elastic Band Replacement
The original Kickstarter Ridge Wallet shipped with a non-replaceable elastic band. That had predictable consequences. As you can imagine, this obvious point-of-failure tended to fail… a lot. (Which is a problem when you’re spending a preimium on an aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber wallet.)
Thankfully, the folks over at Ridge realized their mistake and now offer replacement bands you can easily swap out on your own. At the time of our Ridge Wallet review, they were $7, not bad at all for a part you’ll only need to swap out every few years to extend the life of your wallet indefinitely.
(For transparency, we did not stress the elastic band to its limit for this Ridge Wallet review, so we don’t know exactly how long they’ll last.)
Who is the Ridge Wallet For?
The Ridge Wallet is for the discerning minimalist, EDC enthusiast, or everyday guy looking to cut down on all the junk we tend to carry in big folding wallets. It’s a functional wallet that’s perfect for carrying everyday essentials while removing the temptation to hang onto extra cards and receipts.
If you’re making the switch from a traditional bulky wallet, it’s going to be an adjustment. The rigid shape of the Ridge will be noticeable the first few times you use it, so if that’s something you’re concerned about it might not be for you.
If you’re someone who needs to carry many cards daily, the Ridge isn’t for you as it only caries 1-12 cards safely. Likewise, if you’re looking for organizational aids, Ridge’s single-slot design probably won’t work out for you. If this describes you, you probably don’t want a minimalist option anyway.
The Ridge is definitely on the premium side for EDC wallets, but the range of patterns and material options, plus its rock-solid construction, make it a good choice in our books.
Are Ridge Wallets Worth the Price?
Let’s face it, the minimalist wallet field is crowded and growing more so every day. One question we get a lot – and something we couldn’t leave out of our Ridge wallet review – is whether or not the Ridge is worth its eye-watering price range.
It’s undeniably stylish, with sleek lines and captivating material options, and it fits easily into any pocket. It’s easy to use and works exactly as designed, but there are plenty of cheaper options out there that are noticeably more functional.
If you’re looking purely for the most useful minimalist wallet at the best price, the Ridge isn’t it, though the lifetime guarantee makes the price a lot easier to swallow. You can find plenty of slim profile wallets at a cheaper price.
It is, however, possibly the best mix of style and function you can get. Too many EDC wallets we see have clear tactical theming to them. The Ridge is designed to be just as at home at a charity Gala as it is at your local grocery store.
Which is the Best Ridge Wallet?
Asking us to pick just one wallet in our Ridge Wallet review is kind of like asking which pet we love most when they’re all special in their own way. From a practical standpoint, the highest-end Ridge Wallet is the 18K gold plated model.
It’s the minimalist choice for the discerning gentleman who wants to rock his EDC even on the red carpet or in the boardroom. That said, it does sacrifice some scratch resistance, what with the shiny gold covering every surface.
Our top pick is a dead heat between the Burnt Titanium and the seriously sexy Forged Carbon Fiber line. They’re both incredibly stylish while still over-engineered to last a lifetime. The carbon fiber, in particular, applies an almost modern art aesthetic to the brush patterning.
Ridge Wallet Alternatives
Looking for a minimalist wallet yet not totally sold on the Ridge? Here are a few of our picks for Ridge Wallet alternatives.
Nomatic is a company built at the intersection of style and versatility. Their sleek wallets are an ingenious combination of stretch compartments capable of holding up to 14 cards plus cash while weighing practically nothing.
The unique design of the Nomatic wallet lets you simply pull a center tab to display and fan out all your cards without having to fumble around. It’s available in a range of color choices to let you match it to your exact style.
It’s also substantially cheaper than even the most value-priced Ridge Wallet.
If you’re looking for a little more functionality in your hard-body minimalist wallet, look no further than the Fantom wallet. It combines durable ceramic-coated aluminum construction with an easy-to-use thumb-actuated lever system to make picking out just the right card a snap.
It offers a range of modular attachments that let you customize your carry for your daily needs. These include a key holder, coin slot, and a money clip.
It’s also one of the few wallets out there that can legitimately give the Ridge a run for its money in style. That’s definitely a good thing, given that its price is comparable to the Ridge’s.
You can find out more about it in our comprehensive Fantom Wallet review.
Ridge Wallet Review Final Thoughts
To sum it up, the Ridge Wallet is a svelte yet ruggedly built slim wallet with a minimalist design for the discerning EDC enthusiast. It’s an elegantly simple concept, beautifully executed to make your everyday carry of cash and cards sleeker and less cumbersome.
It’s incredibly slim, fits easily into any pocket, and still offers quick access to your most-used cards. You can choose from various material and finish options to find just the right look to match your style. It’s the type of wallet that makes your EDC stack unique.