Ekster Cardholder vs Groove Wallet (Which would I CHOOSE?)

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Minimalist wallets are genuinely revolutionary in the gear we keep with us on a day-to-day basis. They lower the amount of junk we have in our pockets and help us get our cards and cash out quickly, not to mention they look cool and show off our personality just that much more.

Regardless, two of the biggest names in the industry are Groove Life and Ekster. Both offer cardholder-style wallets that push six cards out the top in one quick motion. That said, outside of that, they are quite different, and each may not be for everyone.

Because of that, I’ll be putting each of these wallets through their paces in seven different categories, and let you know exactly which one is for you, and which I’d choose for myself.

Quick Note: Both the Ekster Aluminum and the Groove Wallet found in this article were gifted to me to check out. However, all opinions are my own (which is why I’m not always totally nice).

What is the Groove Wallet?

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  • Very high quality
  • Simple internal mechanism
  • Satisfying click when it is engaged
  • Compact sizing
  • Small Capacity
  • Hard to get cards in and out of front pocket
  • Metal can damage things in the pocket
  • Dimensions: 3.89" High by 2.48" Wide by .27" Deep
  • RFID Blocking: Yes
  • Card Capacity: 1 to 9
  • Cash Organization: Strap or Money Clip
  • Coin Storage: No
  • Weight: 98 Grams
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This wallet is where a cardholder meets a leather wallet (at least if you have the “Go” wallet portion). The cardholder portion of the wallet can handle up to six cards, which are pushed out utilizing a plate that you push upward, and they are then fanned out individually for you access easily. 

Meanwhile, the Go portion of the wallet is an added leather accessory that gives you additional space for two cards and a cash strap (I highly recommend this addition).

What is the Ekster Wallet?

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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 minimalist wallet is one of the largest names out there right now! It’s a high quality cardholder that utilizes a push button that fans up to six cards out the top of the holder (just like the Groove Wallet). The wallet also comes with an elastic (has a fabric feel to it) cash strap, which stores cash on one side of the wallet, and an RFID blocking card expansion plate on the other, which can handle another six cards.

1. Styling & Aesthetics (Winner: Groove Wallet)

Both of these wallets have their redeeming qualities when it comes to aesthetics. However, the Groove Wallet wins out in this category for me. Groove Life has done a fantastic job at blending the leather Go portion of the wallet with the metal cardholder portion. It is quite seamless (figuratively anyways), and I think people who particularly like bi-fold style leather wallets but want to make the switch over to a minimalist wallet will be happy that this wallet exists.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Ekster is a great-looking wallet. The Aluminum is high quality and feels great in the hand. The fabric/elastic strap looks nice (even if it causes the expansion plate to move around a bit), and it is definitely a minimalist styling.

That said, I think overall, the Groove Wallet is a clear winner in this category.

2. Build Quality (Winner: Groove Wallet)

Both of these wallets utilize an aluminum build, and all components are honestly around the same quality standards. However, the Groove Wallet utilizes fewer plastic parts in the cardholder mechanism portion of the wallet. The Ekster has a plastic button that you push in, and it engages the cardholder to flip out the cards, which adds quite a bit of complexity and plastic to the build.

Meanwhile, the Groove Wallet uses a metal plate to push the cards upward. Both wallets use a similar plastic rod on the interior of hte wallet to push the cards upward, however the Ekster has a few extra components, while the Groove attaches that rod directly to the metal exterior plate.

3. Card capacity (Winner: Ekster)

While the Groove Wallet would likely be my #1 pick of about any wallet I have tested, it finds its way into storage due to this one category. The Groove can handle six cards in the cardholder portion (just like the Ekster), however it’s extra card storage can only handle 2 cards (really only one). This means you can only handle up to seven cards at any pointo in time.

On the flipside, the Ekster can handle six cards in the cardholder portion, and then an additional six (to eight) in the expansion plate portion, for a total of twelve cards.

I need to keep more than seven cards on me at any time, so outside of testing the Groove Wallet, wallets like the Ekster find their way into my pocket more often.

4. Durability (Winner: Groove Wallet)

I have found that the Groove Wallet is considerably more durable than the Ekster Wallet for two different reasons.

  1. The Groove Wallet seems to have better durability against nicks and scratches. After just a couple of weeks, the Aluminum Ekster started to see some paint damage. Meanwhile, the Groove Wallet doesn’t show any wear or tear on the metal portion, and only the leather is showing wear (and in this case, it’s a good thing because, you know, leather). If you do really like the Ekster, I’d recommend jumping up to something like the Ekster Carbon Fiber (which the brand also gifted me, and I’ve tested here).
  2. The Groove Wallet is considerably less complicated and uses fewer plastic components. I discussed this quite a bit more in-depth in the build quality portion of this article, so I’ll reference you back there for more info on this subject.

5. Overall Usability (Winner: Ekster Wallet)

If you take the card capacity portion of the issue out of the Groove Wallet, I still would say that the Ekster is going to be your better bet when it comes to every-day usability. While the actual card holder portion of the wallets are similar when it comes to card access, the cash strap I found to be easier to utilize, and the expansion plate was easier to get cards out of.

Now, of course, the Ekster is slightly longer (as it has the push button at the base), but I didn’t overly notice the additional height, and it was well worth that extra size.

7. Warranty & Returns (Winner: Groove Wallet)

This category is handily won by the Groove Wallet! Groove Life offers a 30 day return policy and a 94 year warranty (essentially a lifetime warranty). Meanwhile, Ekster offers a 100 day return policy, and a 2-year warranty.

Unfortunately, I think a warranty is considerably more important than a return policy (especially since both require like-new condition), so the Groove Wallet is a better bet when it comes to warranty.

Who are these wallets for? (Final Verdict)

Both the Groove Wallet and the Ekster Cardholder are competing for the same segment of people. That is anyone willing to spend a decent chunk of change on a high-quality, minimalistic wallet. If you are looking to cut down on bulk in your pockets, along with thos six year old receipts, then both of these are a fantastic choice.

Now, if you are looking for the BEST metal wallet and have no plans on having any more than six or seven cards, I would not be hard-pressed to recommend the Groove Wallet (honestly, of about any wallet I have reviewed). However, if you are someone who needs more than six or seven cards, the Ekster is a fantastic option.

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
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
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