Ekster Aluminum Cardholder Review (Best of all worlds?)

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Ekster is hands down one of the best minimalist wallet companies out there today. They have a wide range of awesome wallets (maybe not the Parliament) that fit many different people who are hoping to move away from those thick wallets with hundreds of receipts from six years ago.

Today, I’m going to be telling you everything you need to know about their base model aluminum wallet (which the brand gifted me), which surprised me as having a nicer feel than the carbon fiber cardholder that Ekster gifted me as well a while back. 

I’ll be discussing everything I DO like, but also what I DON’T like about the wallet, so you can decide for yourself if it’s right for you.

What is the Ekster Aluminum Cardholder?

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  • Fantastic card capacity
  • Easy access to plenty of cards
  • Great day-to-day usability
  • Lots of color options available
  • Only a 2-year warranty
  • Fabric elastic band allows external cards to slide around
  • Dimensions: 4.1" High by 2.3" Wide by .29" Deep
  • RFID Blocking: Yes
  • Card Capacity: 1 to 12
  • Cash Organization: Strap
  • Coin Storage: No
  • Weight: 87 Grams
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05/19/2024 07:54 am GMT

This cardholder is exactly what it sounds like! It’s an aluminum-built cardholder meant primarily to hold up to 12 cards (with a cash strap for a bit of cash). The interior of the cardholder can hold up to six cards, which are dispensed out the top by pushing a trigger mechanism in the bottom of the wallet. Each card is fanned out, leaving you easy access to any of the six cards in that portion of the wallet.

You can store those lesser-used cards behind an RFID expansion plate on the exterior of the wallet, which is held on an elastic (cloth-like) strap that doubles as a cash strap on the opposite side of the wallet.

What do I like about this Ekster?

1. The Aluminum feels better than the carbon fiber version.

My first experience with Ekster was with their carbon fiber cardholder (which they gifted to me, and I used it extensively a while back). That is also where I gained trust for the brand as well. However, I struggled a bit with the forged carbon, as the finish ended up looking more like fingerprints than carbon, and ultimately, it felt a bit like plastic (rather than a high-quality material).

I was surprised the first time I picked up this much less expensive option and found that it felt considerably better in the hand. The Aluminum feels cool to the touch and feels much more substantial (but not heavy) than its more expensive carbon fiber alternative.

2. Easy access to six cards (somewhat easy access to the rest)

Just like every Ekster I have ever used, they have one of my favorite ways of dispensing your cards. Other brands like Groove Life and even the Bellroy have a bit more complicated process, rather than the one quick motion of your pinky finger to dispense the six cards.

Once dispensed, those six cards are evenly distributed visually, making card choice easy.

Meanwhile, the additional (lesser-used) cards sit behind an expansion plate. These cards can be pushed out quickly and reinserted behind the plate quickly (but not quite as quickly) without an issue. The edge of this plate is beveled, meaning you don’t have to pry the plate outward to insert the cards; you just push.

3. The cash strap feels better than the old version.

One big change they made recently with this wallet was the addition of a more fabric-style elastic strap to both act as a cash strap and to hold the expansion plate. The old version was more rubbery and also showed wear quickly.

This new one is just as stretchy but feels more like fabric, making for a much nicer and more premium experience (that doesn’t seem to wear as quickly).

4. Very slim profile

The Cardholder series of wallets from Ekster are all quite thin! The only way you can make them any thicker is by utilizing the expansion plates for additional cards, and even then, it is still quite thin.

They don’t have any additional leather or extra bits that cause the wallets to get any thicker than needed.

What do I NOT like about the Aluminum Cardholder?

1. Lackluster 2-year warranty

I am a big fan of warranties, and unfortunately that is not where Ekster in general shines. With only a 2-year warranty, this falls far short from the lifetime warranties (and 94-year warranties, in Groove Life’s case) that are common in the industry. I have no doubt this likely is in response to the less-than-ideal plastic components that are utilized in the card ejection mechanism.

2. Paint shows wear quickly.

The aluminum wallet feels amazing, but that Aluminum is covered with paint. Unfortunately I found that over time, the wallet started to get wear and tear, leaving the shiny metal underneath instead. This made the wallet feel aged quickly, which was a big bummer if I do say so myself.

3. The new cash strap moves too much.

When I saw that Ekster had switched over to a new cash strap, in the form of a more fabric feeling elastic strap, I was quite happy! The more rubbery strap from the Carbon Fiber Cardholder I also reviewed looked worn quickly, and didn’t look nearly as nice as this newer version.

However, this new strap comes with its own downsides. The cash strap may have some rubbery components on the bottom of the strap to keep it from slipping, but I found that it still slipped around consierably more than the older version of the strap.

Who is the Ekster Aluminum for?

This Aluminum Cardholder is going to be best suited for those people that are looking to jump on the minimalist wallet train, but want the wallet to do a little bit more of the hard work for them. While the smallest of the minimalist wallets require you to fan cards out for you, this wallet (which is a bit larger) will fan them out for you, making it a quicker experience.

On the other hand, if you are looking for the smallest possible wallet to keep in your pocket, then the Ekster isn’t for you. It is larger than something like a Ridge Wallet (which you can read more about here), so it might be worth going in a different direction if that is your goal.

Where can they buy it?

There are two great places you can buy the Ekster Aluminum! Either on Amazon (paid link) or on their website! Ekster’s website generally has the best price around, as they run a lot of deals on there.

I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/19/2024 07:54 am GMT

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