In this hands-on review of the Ridge metal wallet, I’ll share my thoughts to help you decide if it’s a good wallet for your EDC.
The Ridge wallet is arguably the most popular metal wallet right now. But is it really worth the hype?
In this review, I’ll be taking an honest look at the Ridge wallet. A couple of weeks back, I switched over to the Ridge from the Dash 3.0, which has been my everyday wallet since I got it about a year and a half ago. I was curious to see how a metal wallet would differ from a leather or, in my case, canvas wallet.
This review will go over my experience putting the Ridge through its paces, and I’ll also give you a rundown of the features so you can decide if the Ridge is right for you.
Ridge has made a name for itself thanks to its massive online buzz and bevy of influencer sponsorships. Chances are you’ve seen one of their ads on social media.
The brand is massive now, but it had truly humble beginnings. The original Ridge wallet debuted on Kickstarter in 2013 when the father/son team of Daniel and Paul Kane had the idea for a slim and hyper-functional wallet to replace the overstuffed bifold of yesteryear.
Their idea was that most wallets are too bulky. Most guys don’t use all that space, and the average wallet silhouette is just too big. With that in mind, the Kanes hit the drawing board and came up with the first version of the Ridge, which raised over $266k during its time on Kickstarter.
In the eight years since, Ridge has become one of the most well-known wallet companies on the market, and their wallets have gone through several iterations and improvements.
I got my hands on the latest version of the Ridge, so let’s take a look at the wallet itself and see why it’s so popular.
Ridge Wallet Overview
The Ridge is advertised as a sleek, minimalist wallet, and it truly is. The wallet is composed of two outer plates, an elastic strap, and screws to hold everything together. That’s it.
This aluminum sandwich is the same size as a credit card, which is just about as small as a wallet can get. Weight-wise, it’s in between a regular leather/canvas wallet and a phone, so you won’t be noticing this in your pocket throughout the day.
Using the wallet is simple. You stick your cards in, and the wallet’s elastic expands to accept them.
The half moon cutout exposes about an inch of the cards, and pushing in on this section causes the cards to emerge from the other side, where you can then fan them and grab the card(s) you need.
For bill storage, you can choose from either a cash strap or a money clip, both of which are located on the back of the wallet. The strap is slimmer while the clip offers quicker access. I opted for the cash strap, which is nice and snug. Both the strap and clip can hold several quarter-folded bills.
Obviously, the Ridge is a rugged and durable wallet, so it’ll withstand just about anything you throw at it. It would take a lot to break it, so unless you have a habit of driving steamrollers over your wallets, you’ll probably get a lifetime of use out of the Ridge.
The aluminum pulls double duty; it not only provides sturdiness but also blocks RFID signals. Ridge also offers wallets made of titanium, stainless steel, and carbon fiber.
The wallet weighs a paltry 2oz and measures 86 x 54 x 6 mm. Its compact size makes it ideal for your front pocket or even breast pocket.
The Ridge arrives in a minimalistic white box that’s reminiscent of Apple’s box designs. The box isn’t too much bigger than the wallet itself, so it’s nice to see that Ridge hasn’t fallen into the trap of using excessive packaging.
In the box, you get not only the wallet but also a small Torx screwdriver along with additional screws. You also get a quick start guide, a card, and a sticker.
I’m really pleased with the matte olive color I chose. It makes the wallet look and feel like it’s fit for the military, but at the same time, it’s also a timeless earth tone.
While using the wallet is simple, it can take a little getting used to because it’s so different from using a regular wallet. The optimal hand position to use (see below) didn’t come naturally to me, but after using it a few times, I got the hang of it.
I tested the wallet in two different ways. First, I used it as an everyday wallet. I normally carry only two cards on a daily basis, but I find myself getting into my wallet quite a bit, so I was able to extensively test the Ridge’s operation. Aside from the initially awkward hand positioning, I found the Ridge easy to use.
At first, fanning several cards proves to be a little tricky.
There’s a fair amount of friction involved since the cards tend to stick together. But after a few uses, you get a feel for how much pressure to use, and it’s convenient to be able to fan out the cards and return a card to its spot without having to fuss or fumble around.
Although the Ridge can hold up to a dozen cards, I found that it works best when it’s at about half capacity. And this makes sense—after all, the wallet is supposed to be a minimalist option.
The people who will get the most out of the Ridge are those who don’t usually carry much in their wallet and just need a way to organize and streamline what they do carry.
At max capacity, the Ridge becomes a little unwieldy. If you have several cards in the wallet, sticking one back in can be a little tough due to the pressure. And although I haven’t tested the Ridge long enough to confirm this, I suspect that using 10-12 cards would stretch out the elastic much more quickly.
The cash strap can comfortably hold several bills, and you can stuff it pretty full without adding too much bulk. Ridge says that both the strap and clip can hold 15-20 bills, although the strap can expand to fit a few more.
The strap’s snug elastic does a good job of keeping the cash from bulging. However, access is somewhat of an issue, so if you find yourself reaching for cash on a regular basis, you’ll probably want to opt for the money clip.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can switch between the clip and the strap. The installment procedure is dead simple and can be completed in under five minutes. You can even have the best of both worlds by purchasing a wallet with a cash strap and adding a money clip to the front of the wallet.
It’s nice to have the ability to fan out several cards and get exactly what you need without having to dig through your wallet. That accessibility is one of the Ridge’s strongest suits.
The build quality is top notch, and it’s clearly made to last. If you’re used to carrying around cheap leather wallets, the Ridge will surprise you. You barely feel it in your pocket, yet it’s built like a tank.
The Ridge genuinely doesn’t have many cons. The only big con is that it might not fit your needs, so before you dive in and buy one, you should make sure you’ll get the most out of it.
If you regularly carry 4-7 cards and want a tough wallet that barely takes up any pocket space, then the Ridge is right for you. And really, this category is the vast majority.
On the other hand, if your wallet usage is different from that, then the Ridge might not be a good match. For example, since I usually carry just two cards and rarely carry lots of cash, I found the Ridge to be overkill for my needs. It’s a great wallet—it’s just not for me.
There’s no doubt that the Ridge is one of the most hyped wallets on the market right now, and I’ll admit that I approached this review with a healthy dose of skepticism.
But after using the Ridge for a couple of weeks, I see why everyone loves it so much. This is a simple, utilitarian wallet that doesn’t mess around. It’s well-built and allows you to downsize your EDC.
If you have pretty typical wallet needs, then the Ridge is absolutely worth a look. The days of bulky, overstuffed wallets are over, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!