For this post, we invited guest writer, Adam Zlotnik, to carry both the Ekster Aluminum Card Holder Wallet and Axwell Aluminum Wallet for 30 days. After a month of daily use with both wallets here were his findings >>>
The rise in popularity of minimalist wallets has produced a surplus of brands and wallet styles on the market today. And if you’re looking to make the switch from a traditional bi or tri-fold wallet, finding the best minimalist wallet can seem like a fairly daunting task. There are so many things to compare and take into consideration that going about it blindly can leave you in a state of paralysis by analysis.
Well, if you’ve been doing your research, you’ve likely come across two major industry leaders in the Axwell and Ekster wallets. While each one can be classified as a minimalist wallet, only one truly reigns supreme and is worth switching to.
I've gotten my hands on both the aluminum models of the Axwell and Ekster wallets to do a side by side analysis to give you the final verdict on which of the two you should go with for your next wallet. Let’s get started.
About the Brands
- Ekster Brand Overview -
The folks over at Ekster have been in business since they first launched their wallet design idea in 2015. The idea behind the Ekster wallet was to provide people with a modern alternative to the traditional wallet to support a busy, on the go lifestyle. One of the biggest features that Ekster has manufactured into each of its wallets aligns with its main goal: to be environmentally sustainable. Their solar powered tracking devices that are easily stored inside of the Ekster wallet is one of the biggest ways that they’ve developed a large following of around 500,000 followers worldwide.
Ekster also began creating other products on top of their original wallet that help busy folks with their everyday lives. From laptop sleeves to phone cases, Ekster has experimented with several other products on top of their flagship wallet.
- Axwell Brand Overview -
Since 2017, Axwell has developed an everyday carry wallet that stands up to just about anything thrown at it. With an eye towards longevity, the multi-national Axwell wallet team created a minimalist wallet that simply is unmatched in not only its durability, but also in its security. And the additional products that they produce are directly meant to extend the usefulness of each Axwell wallet purchased. Whether you’re adding the Axwell Multi-Tool Card to have quick access to 23 different tools at a moment’s notice or the Chipolo GPS tracker to ensure your wallet is always within hand’s reach, each accessory that Axwell has developed extends the capabilities of the Axwell wallet.
The design features of durability, adaptability, and security reflect the values that Axwell has in supporting the armed forces of the United States and Canada. In addition to Axwell’s mission of creating a wallet that is unmatched in its capabilities, Axwell takes care of those who’ve taken care of everyone else by donating a portion of each and every sale to charities in both the US and Canada to end veteran homelessness.
Ekster Aluminum Card Holder Overview
The feature that made the Ekster wallet stand out from traditional wallets is the switchblade like way in which you access your cards. Each card is loaded into the card-carrying slot. Once you’ve placed each card into the slot, you press the card carrier down into the body of the wallet. To access your cards, you need to press on the ejection button at the bottom of the wallet and in an instant, the card carrier springs upwards to reveal your cards.
While this feature can be fun to see in action, it does come with some risks. You have to pay special attention to how you carry your wallet as you can accidentally press the button while the wallet is in your pocket and scatter your cards. You also need to be sure to carry the wallet upright, otherwise your cards could spill out of the top of the wallet.
Ekster Aluminum Card Holder
- Material: 6061-T6 aluminum
- Included in Box: Ekster aluminum card holder
- Weight: 3.94oz
- Size: 105 x 60 x 7.5 mm
- Card Capacity: Holds 1-15 cards + bills (1-6 non-embossed cards in cardholder)
- Retail Price: $79 USD
- Theft Protection: Blocks RFID theft
- Warranty: 12-month warranty
- Return Policy: 45-day return policy
Axwell Wallet Overview
Axwell wallets are built with some of the toughest and most durable materials on the market today. This ensures that your cards are kept safe no matter where you are. And each card is kept securely in place by Axwell’s new tear resistant elastic, regardless of the size of the card. While the Ekster wallet advertises that it’s capable of carrying 1-15 cards, that only applies to cards that are non-embossed.
The Axwell wallet can carry 1-12 cards, regardless of the design feature of the cards you carry. This also makes it so that your cards will never inadvertently slide out of the wallet, so you’ll be able to rest assured that once you put your cards inside, they will stay there until you personally take them out.
Axwell Aluminum Wallet
- Material: 6061-T6 aluminum
- Included in Box: Axwell aluminum wallet, cash strap, and money clip
- Weight: 2.60oz
- Size: 86 x 54 x 8 mm
- Capacity: Holds 1-12 cards + bills
- Retail Price: $90 USD
- Theft Protection: Blocks RFID theft
- Warranty: Lifetime warranty
- Return Policy: 50-day return policy
Cons of Ekster Wallet
- The spring-loaded, card-release mechanism is made of plastic making it less durable. If it breaks, the wallet is useless, leaving you helpless to access your cards.
- The Ekster wallet only has a 12-month warranty. If the card release mechanism breaks or anything else falls apart after a year, you need to buy another wallet.
- It does not include additional tools or configuration options out of the box, so tuning or modifying the wallet to your preferences is a challenge.
- The Ekster wallet can’t be customized. What you see is what you get.
- The tension in the card retention feature is not consistent. Cards often fall out of the wallet or get stuck forcing you to remember the optimal arrangement of your cards to keep the wallet working properly.
- The Ekster wallet fit fewer cards than advertised in the cardholder. If you are adding embossed (cards with raised lettering on the surface) cards to the cardholder, they can easily get stuck.
Why the Axwell Wallet is Better
- The oversized finger slot to manually push cards up ensures that you can always access your cards. There is zero risk of mechanical failure.
- The Axwell wallet comes with an industry leading lifetime warranty. If anything happens the wallet will be repaired or replaced for free.
- Each Axwell wallet includes a cash strap and money clip. You can customize each wallet with whatever option you want. And if you need to carry a lot of cash, the Axwell wallet can hold both the cash strap and money clip to carry each bill securely. Or, you can choose to remove the cash strap and money clip to keep the slimmest profile.
- The Mag-Lock™ replaceable Cover Plates not only are RFID blocking, but are also easily interchangeable to give you the customize look you want for your wallet. Axwell consistently releases new accessories every year so you can easily customize your wallet to fit your look and style.
- Axwell’s metal plates are thicker than Ekster’s which adds extra security and durability, making it virtually impervious to being dented or damaged.
After testing out the Axwell and Ekster wallets side by side for 30 days, the conclusion is clear: Axwell is the superior minimalist wallet. Its durability is only matched by the generous lifetime warranty, so once you’ve purchased an Axwell wallet, you’ve purchased a wallet that you can use for life. The manual card access ensures that you’ll never be left stuck without your cards due to a mechanical failure. Each accessory that Axwell produces is specifically designed to extend the utility of the wallet. And each purchase you make has a portion of the proceeds that goes directly to charities that support veterans who’ve gone down range to protect all of us here at home.