The Ridge Wallet, initially launched on Kickstarter in 2013, has grown in popularity over the years. Today, this wallet offers various material options and styles to cater to diverse preferences. In this article, we provide an in-depth review of the design, features, and usability of the Ridge Wallet.
A Long-Term Test: 500+ Days with the Ridge Wallet
I purchased the Ridge Wallet in September 2019 and have been using it as my daily wallet ever since. It replaced my traditional leather tri-fold wallet. Throughout the past 500+ days (equivalent to 1 year and 5 months), the Ridge Wallet has consistently held up well. On a daily basis, I carry a maximum of 5-7 bills using the money clip, though usually no more than 2-3 bills. Additionally, I carry 5 cards.
During this extensive period, we have made two durability updates. The first occurred at the 9-month mark. Overall, the wallet exhibited excellent durability during the initial 9 months, with only minor scratches on the exterior metal plate and minor pilling on the fabric strap.
In February 2021, we conducted our next durability update. The updated images showcased the condition of our Ridge Wallet after 500+ days of daily use. Notably, there were a significant number of new and expanded scratches on the metal surface, along with increased wear and tear on the edges.
It’s important to note that I do not handle this wallet delicately. It accompanies my keys in my pocket, endures tossing on my desk, and generally receives no special treatment. Despite the aesthetic scratches, the wallet remains functionally sound. It is as good today as it was when I first purchased it. However, if minimizing scratching is a key concern for you, I recommend keeping it separate from items like keys, change, and other hard or metal objects.
The durability of the strap is particularly impressive. It has maintained its condition, showing minimal expansion of fabric pilling. We have not experienced any performance issues related to changes in elasticity; the strap still holds the cards snuggly.
What’s to Like
Here are some of the key aspects to appreciate about the Ridge Wallet:
- Compact Size: The Ridge Wallet’s slim and lightweight design is its greatest advantage. Its compactness makes it a seamless transition for minimalists. Personally, I found it easy to adjust to carrying the wallet in my front pocket. The weight and size cannot be understated. No longer needing to carry around a bulky leather wallet was a major win.
- Durability: Despite regular use and exposure to my keys, the Ridge Wallet has held up remarkably well. Surface scratches are the only noticeable signs of wear and tear after 500+ days. The money clip securely holds bills, while the elastic strap maintains impressive elasticity. Although the strap has incurred minimal pilling, there are no indications of potential failure.
- RFID Blocking: While the frequency of skimmers attempting to steal card data is uncertain, the added RFID blocking feature provides an extra layer of security.
What’s Not So Good
There are a few limitations worth mentioning:
- Limited Carrying Capacity: If you’re accustomed to carrying a significant amount of items in your wallet, such as in a tri-fold wallet, the Ridge Wallet may pose a challenge. It has a maximum capacity of 12 cards and 7 bills. As a result, you may need to leave some cards behind when making the switch. In my case, I kept my tri-fold wallet on my office desk for occasions when I required specific cards. Despite the limited capacity, the compact usability of the Ridge Wallet outweighs this drawback.
Ridge Wallet Design: A Simple and Quality Build
The Ridge Wallet boasts a sleek and minimalist design that appeals to many. However, simplicity does not mean compromising on quality materials. Let’s explore the materials and features of this wallet.
What’s the Ridge Wallet made from?
The Ridge Wallet is available in three materials, allowing you to choose based on personal preference:
- Aluminum (as shown in the image below)
- Carbon fiber
Comprising two plates screwed together and held by black elastic bands, the Ridge Wallet’s metal plates come in various colors, including black, navy, rose gold, and gunmetal. In addition, there are multiple colors and designs available at different price points. Here are the additional aluminum finishes available:
- Desert tan
- OD Green
- Raw (no color)
Despite its small size, the Ridge Wallet incorporates several features that set it apart from other smart wallets:
- RFID Blocking: One of the standout features of the Ridge Wallet is its ability to block wireless access to chip-enabled debit and credit cards.
- Exceptional Durability: Built to last, the Ridge Wallet can accommodate up to 12 cards at a time, retaining its structural integrity.
- Ease of Use: The round cutout on the side enables one-finger access to push the cards out, allowing for easy selection.
- Replaceable Parts: All components of the wallet are designed for disassembly and replacement when needed. Ridge offers replacement straps for purchase.
- Cash Carrying Options: You have the choice between a cash strap or a money clip for the exterior of your Ridge Wallet. While they can be purchased separately, one option comes included with the wallet. You can effortlessly switch between the two based on your preferences.
Dimensions of the Ridge Wallet
The Ridge Wallet’s size contributes to its minimalist appeal and functionality. With a depth of less than 1/4″, it ensures secure card storage. Here are the wallet’s dimensions:
- Length: 86 mm (3.39 in)
- Height: 54 mm (2.13 in)
- Depth: 6 mm (0.24 in)
- Weight: 2 oz
Do keep in mind that the weight increases with each card added. With 12 cards and 7 bills, the filled wallet weighs approximately 4.3 oz. If you typically carry your wallet in your back pocket, you may experience some discomfort on that side. The thickness of the wallet could be a contributing factor. If this is the case, opting for a slimmer wallet like the Ridge Wallet may be beneficial. During our day-to-day test, we found the slim and compact design of the Ridge Wallet to be exceptional. It easily fit alongside my keys in my pocket, and I hardly noticed its presence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using the Ridge Wallet
The Ridge Wallet arrives fully assembled and ready for use. Compared to the average leather wallet, it is considerably slimmer and lighter. Simply insert up to 12 debit and/or credit cards into the wallet. The elastic strap adjusts with each card added, ensuring secure storage even when a card is removed for use.
To change from the cash strap to a money clip, remove the screws holding the strap in place. Then, replace the strap with the money clip and reattach the screws. According to the manufacturer’s FAQs, you can even choose to use both cash carrying options. Place the cash strap on one side and the money clip on the other. This may add bulk and weight to the wallet, but it offers the flexibility to carry more cash and/or cards.
Editor’s Note: After using the Ridge Wallet for a few weeks, I decided to replace the money clip with the cash strap. If you frequently use cash, you’ll likely prefer the cash strap over the money clip.
Longevity and Durability
In our testing, we noticed that the more cards added to the wallet, the more challenging it became to remove individual cards when needed. Therefore, the ideal number of cards seems to be around 6-7 (along with a similar number of bills). If you prefer carrying more cash, the cash strap is a better choice, as the money clip restricts space due to the need for folded bills.
However, both the cash strap and money clip can also accommodate additional items, such as extra credit/debit cards, business cards, and IDs. If space is a concern, utilizing both the cash strap and money clip, as mentioned earlier, allows for maximum utilization of the Ridge Wallet.
Note: The RFID blocking protection may affect access cards used to enter buildings, requiring them to be placed in the cash strap or money clip.
Regarding durability, the Ridge Wallet’s materials are not indestructible and may exhibit wear and tear over time. It’s normal to observe scratches and dings, particularly if you subject the wallet to rough treatment. These signs of everyday use are comparable to those experienced by leather wallets that eventually wear out and lose their original appearance.
Is the Ridge Wallet a Good Value?
The initial cost of the Ridge Wallet may be considered relatively high. However, it’s worth noting that there are alternative, less expensive options available (which we might explore in future tests). The Ridge Wallet, constructed with quality materials, is built to last a lifetime. If the wallet truly lives up to this claim, the cost is justifiable. For instance, I’ve owned a $30 leather wallet for 15 years. If the Ridge Wallet reaches such longevity, I will consider it a satisfactory investment.
The company stands by its product, offering a lifetime warranty. However, it’s essential to be aware of the warranty’s limitations, as cosmetic damage, improper use, unauthorized modifications, and lost or stolen items are excluded. Ridge also provides replacement parts on their website. This option proves valuable in case of breakage or damage not covered by the warranty, ensuring continued usability. The included small screwdriver facilitates easy disassembly and replacement of parts as needed.
Although this wallet is primarily marketed towards men, its range of colors and designs can appeal to women seeking functionality in a wallet.
Who Should Purchase the Ridge Wallet?
If you are seeking a minimalist wallet that is durable and designed to last, the Ridge Wallet is an excellent choice. Consider purchasing the Ridge Wallet if you:
- Desire a compact wallet: The Ridge Wallet’s slimness pleasantly surprised me, and it was effortless to carry in the same pocket as my keys. Most of the time, I didn’t even notice it was there. The size of the wallet is undeniably its most significant advantage.
- Want RFID blocking capabilities: With card theft on the rise, RFID technology is an effective way to protect yourself from card cloning. The Ridge Wallet ensures the safety of your cards, regardless of where you are.
- Appreciate the minimalist aesthetic: The Ridge Wallet is perfect for individuals who value functional minimalism. Its range of available colors allows you to show your personality without compromising on your values.
- Don’t carry many items: The Ridge Wallet’s limited capacity for cards and cash suits many users. Cards can be easily swapped as needed, and the wallet easily fits into any pocket or bag.
For more information or to purchase the Ridge Wallet, visit their official website.
- February 26, 2021: Added the 500+ day testing section, based on our 1 year and 5 months of experience with the Ridge Wallet. Updated long-term testing notes.
- June 18, 2020: Included our 9-month test data, durability images, pros/cons, and clarified information in the review.
- October 17, 2019: Published the initial version of this article.