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Admit it: there was a time when you thought having a bulging, ripped-at-the-seams bulky wallet filled with cash and credit cards was a symbol of status. Not terribly practical, huh? Nowadays, the design, durability, and material that go into producing your wallet is far more important than how many bills or business cards it can hold. That’s the thought process behind the products offered by The Ridge Wallet, and in this review, we’ll dive into the best wallet and other accessories provided by this company.
Ridge Wallet – The Background
Daniel Kane and his father, Paul, started Ridge Wallet with the help of the website Kickstarter back in 2013. The idea to start the company was born from Daniel’s frustration at having to use rubber bands to keep his wallet closed. He was able to harness that frustration and turn it into a hugely-successful business.
The entire concept is based around carrying only what you need with you on a daily basis, in a sleek carrier that will last you nearly a lifetime. And voilà: the Ridge Wallet collection.
Not only is their product line sold via their website; they also sell their wallets and accessories in stores and malls all across the United States. For now, let’s take a look at the wallets in their line before we move on to some of the other products.
The Ridge Wallet Review
As of right now, there are three (3) main types of wallets offered, categorized by the material with which they’re made: there’s the Aluminum, the Titanium, and Carbon Fiber.
Dimensions and Weight
All three of the wallets in their line feature the same dimensions: 86 x 54 x 6 mm, the ideal size to carry in your pocket or a backpack, or keep in the center console of your car. What varies, however, is the weight, material, and color selection of each.
Aluminum: Overall weight of each Aluminum wallet is 2 oz., and the weight of each does not change based on whether you order a wallet with the cash strap or the money clip (more about these features below).
Titanium: Overall weight of each Titanium wallet is 2 oz, and like the Aluminum, the weight of each does not change based on your desired feature of a cash strap or a money clip.
Carbon Fiber: The lightest item of the line, the Carbon Fiber wallets weigh an overall 1.6 oz.
The Aluminum wallet has the most varied array of color choices, with two of them (Tiki and Tropical) more patterns than colors. The Titanium and Carbon Fiber wallets are more of the no-frills items in the line, but are nevertheless as attractive as they are sleek. These colors are correct at the time of writing, but Ridge are adding new color options and combinations all the time.
Aluminum: Black / Gunmetal / Matte Olive / Navy / Raw / Matte White / Tiki / Tropical / Rose Gold / Gold / Desert Tan / Celeste
Titanium: Burnt / Gunmetal / Matte Black / Matte Cobalt
Carbon Fiber: Carbon Fiber 3K / Forged Carbon (Note: both of these wallets read as black; Forged Carbon refers to the manufacturing process that blends the carbon fiber with resin)
The relentless durability of all three kinds of wallets is what keeps people coming back to the brand. All three wallets come with a lifetime guarantee, and if you feel your needs are not being met, Ridge Wallet will allow you to return your purchase within 45 days.
On either side of all the wallets, you’ll find an elastic strap that is as tough as it is expandable. This strap keeps all of your cards in place and keeps them from falling out. It’s this design that allows you to keep one or 10 cards in there at the same time without fear that you’ll lose any.
Aluminum: The Aluminum wallets are made from anodized aluminum, which is three times as durable as regular or standard aluminum. The anodizing process increases the thickness of the material, but also makes it impervious to rusting, flaking, chipping, and other forms of wear and tear.
Titanium: All of the wallets in this collection are fashioned from Grade 5 Titanium, which is an alloy (meaning two or more metals are used to create the material), making it harder and much more durable than regular, standard titanium. (source)
Carbon Fiber: Of all three in their wallet line, the Carbon Fiber wallets are by far the strongest, even if they are the lightest (Carbon Fiber has a higher strength to weight ratio than Titanium or Aluminum).
The Carbon Fiber 3K is designed from woven fiber, which makes this wallet resistant to heat and thermal expansion. It also makes it incredibly durable, and gives it a cool looking design. Forged carbon is made from pressing carbon fiber filaments together for an even more durable product because of its fiber strength.
The Ridge Wallets cater to those who, simply put, are tired of bulk, of not being able to fit their wallets in their pockets, or who have lost money because of a faulty or a loose money clip. Your preference in buying these wallets is going to come down to design and color, as there is not much difference between them when it comes to their reliability and durability. The most obvious difference will be in the weight (barely an ounce, however) as well as the features: the cash strap versus the money clip.
Ridge Wallet: Cash Strap or Money Clip?
There are some who prefer to go the traditional route and choose a wallet with the money clip. Many have been turned off of this feature from previous wallets, as the clips over time have a tendency to become weaker and your money can fall out. Not so with the money clips on the Ridge Wallets.
They are sturdy and feel like they are physically pressing the money into the back of the wallet. If you place your money in the clip and run your finger down the length of the cash, it’s not going to move.
I have the money clip myself and sometimes the presence of the money clip makes it a tad difficult to move the wallet in and out of their pockets, as the clip can catch on the lip of their pants. For this, some have replaced the money clip with the cash strap.
The cash strap is like a hug for your money, and this is the feature people tend to go with if they’re carrying more than just a few bills around. Because it’s expandable thanks to the elastic band, you can fold up your money or store a larger amount than you would with the money clip. In both cases though, your dollar bills aren’t going anywhere.
**TIP – you can outfit any of these wallets with BOTH the cash strap and the money clip. Why lock yourself in? You can purchase each separately and add them to the wallet of your choice.
Another feature that customers – especially those who travel often – will enjoy is the RFID blocking technology. Each wallet is manufactured to keep your ID and your credit card information safe.
On all of the wallets, you will notice a half-moon shaped cut out. This cut-out is important in that it allows you to push up your cards over the top of the wallet. The cards will appear at the same height, which is easy if you need the first or the last card in the “deck”, so to speak.
**TIP: If, however, you need to access a card that is in the middle, all you have to do is press the cards out at an angle by pushing more towards the back of the cards than at the front. This will create a sort of fan shape (below), and then you can extract just the card you need.
Repeat this step when you go to replace that card into the wallet in its original position.
The Bottom Line
If you’re drawn to the minimalism of these sleek wallets, and care about the safety and security of your cards, IDs, and money, then this is the wallet for you. Ridge wallets are a no-frills solution to the bulky wallet that you’ve been walking around with or trying to stuff into the smaller areas of your car or bag.
While they tend to be more expensive than your traditional wallet, keep in mind that you’re paying for the high quality materials as well as the peace of mind that your cash will be kept snug.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does The Ridge Wallet Come with a Screwdriver?
Each wallet you purchase will come with a small screwdriver for two main reasons : (i) this will help you to tighten the screws used to manufacture your wallet should they become loose for whatever reason, but also (ii) the screwdriver also allows you to take apart your wallet if you want to change out, for instance, your money clip for a cash strap.
What Type of Screws Does The Ridge Wallet Use?
The Ridge Wallet uses Torx “star” screws. A Torx screwdriver is provided with purchase.
Does The Ridge Wallet Scratch Easily?
Easily, no. It can of course be scratched like any flat piece of metal (or leather for that matter) but I’ve dropped mine plenty and its never been an issue.
Is The Ridge Wallet Uncomfortable To Sit On?
Absolutely. But we strongly recommend not carrying your wallet in your back pocket anyway as there are all sorts of issues with that.
How Much Cash Can The Ridge Wallet Hold?
Like all minimalist wallets, the idea is to carry less cash! Nevertheless, either the money clip or cash strap versions should comfortably be able to hold 15-20 bills
Does The Ridge Wallet Have a Tracker?
There is no built-in GPS tracker, and Ridge does not sell one directly. There are credit card sized trackers that would fit inside the wallet, but we think the metal plates would interfere with the GPS reception. Instead, try Ridge’s own AirTag attachment that sits outside the Ridge wallet
But Wait, There’s More!
Despite starting on Kickstarter as Ridge Wallets, they have expanded and now sell more than just wallets. We’re very excited about this – read on for more!
The series of phone cases offered by the company are solely for iPhone users (sorry, Samsung). In total, there are six different phone cases offered on their website: four are iPhone card cases which only differ in color and size, depending on the iPhone model you have. The other two are shockproof card cases, which also only differ depending on phone model. All six options weigh 0.5 oz and come with a one year warranty. It should be noted that none of the phone cases offered feature RFID-blocking pockets.
Standard vs. Shockproof
The standard, non-shockproof phone cases can hold up to two cards snugly at the back of your phone. They are also fashioned with oil waxed full grain leather, and come in two colors: brown and black. The brown one in particular has a cool, rugged feel to it. In terms of sizing, the cases are true to form depending on the phone you have, and when you slip it into the case, you won’t find that the buttons on the side are blocked, as can happen with some cases.
The shockproof phone case comes in three colors: OD Green, Black, and White. Like the other case, it also can house up to two cards in the back pockets for the true minimalist in you. The bumpers that surround the phone are made from TPU, or Thermoplastic Polyurethane, which is a rubber-like substance that protects the phone should it fall or drop from a relatively high surface. TPU is the more preferable material when fashioning shockproof phones, even more so than silicone.
These Cases Are Perfect For …?
So who is using these phone cases with only a two-card capacity? People who are on the go or are in no need of a wallet to carry cash or multiple cards at once will like these cases. You might be someone who only really uses their ID and one main credit card, or you might be someone who doesn’t mind switching your cards out depending on where you’re going or what you need in a given day.
Just make sure that one of the cards in your phone is your ID. This is also ideal for someone who prefers electronic forms of pay (think Samsung or Apple Pay) in lieu of carrying around cash and multiple credit cards.
Whether you consider yourself a frequent traveller, an avid hiker, or just someone who needs a bag for a weekend-getaway, Ridge has you covered. They feature eight different products in their bag line, pertaining to four categories: two commuter backpacks, two classic backpacks, two weekenders (which look like duffel bags), and two travel kits. In each category, they offer one that is weatherproof and one that is ripstop.
Commuter vs. Classic Backpacks
The weatherproof commuter backpack comes in black and is manufactured using waterproof 600D nylon, making it as durable as it is impervious to water damage. The ripstop version of the backpack is made using a strong fiber that will not continue to rip if the material should tear. It is offered in navy or olive.
This commuter backpack names its target audience in its title. It’s perfect for people who are on the go and do not want the fuss of a big bag, especially those who commute by public transportation. If you’re someone who likes to take their gym clothes and water bottle to work, even better. It has a pretty impressive capacity and still affords you a little wiggle room for things like a water bottle, an extra pair of shoes, and your lunch.
You can choose to get either backpack with the additional power bank featuring an external USB port if you need it. Both come with a hidden RFID-blocking pocket, a shock-resistant laptop holder, a luggage strap, and a water bottle holder. The dimensions of the two backpacks are 18 x 12 x 6 inches and have a 20L capacity.
The main difference between the commuter and the classic backpacks seems to be the amount of pockets and the dimensions. While the commuter backpack has more pockets and thus more organizational ability to keep your items separate, the class backpack has a 22L capacity and measures 17 x 12 x 5.5 inches. Like the commuter, the classic backpacks are offered in black for the weatherproof and in navy and olive for the ripstop.
It doesn’t stop there! Ridge also sells multi-tools, mobile power sources, and some cool miscellaneous gadgets such as a bottle opener, a wallet-sized multi-tool, and some wearable swag.
Then there’s this pen:
And this key chain:
They also feature some advice on slimming down your wallet and some tips when it comes to minimalist travel. We’re big fans of that!
We’re big fans of this brand and it’s great to see them be successful and expanding beyond their roots. If you’re interested in comparison-shopping though, we wrote an article comparing the Ridge, the Dango and the Trayvax that you might like to browse too.