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Ekster’s Aluminum Cardholder Takes “Minimalist” to the Extreme

Rating: 9/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $80
Ekster Aluminum Cardholder with bushes in the background
Peter Cao / Review Geek

When it comes to wallets, I’ve been a fan of Ekster’s line of cardholders for quite some time. My daily carry has been the company’s vegan wallet for the better part of two years and it’s been great. I have the bar set high with the Aluminum Cardholder.

It’s a fantastic wallet that takes the term “minimalist” to the extreme. It holds half a dozen cards that are all tucked away in this super cool (potentially overengineered) spring-loaded insert at the top. A single click of the release button gives you easy access to all your cards.

Easy Access to All of Your Cards

One of my favorite things about Ekster’s line of wallets is that they all feature a spring-loaded card release mechanism. It works so well. I can’t see myself ever having a wallet without it, regardless of brand. It works every time, and it releases not one, but all of your cards. This makes it super simple to grab whatever you need. And when you’re done, you simply push them all down with a single finger. Easy peasy. No more fumbling trying to unstick your cards from one another (we’ve all been there).

The release button is plastic, but don’t let that fool you. The button is rigid, sturdy, and requires a good amount of force to press. Catching the button when bending your leg the wrong way won’t suddenly release all of your cards. The cardholder’s interior has several plastic ridges on either side that help keep your cards aligned. So, if you decide you only want to carry one or two cards, they won’t end up slanted in your wallet.

The cardholder can hold four to five cards—six if none of your cards have raised numbers. But I wouldn’t push it. The wallet has super tight tolerances and if you over cram the wallet, you’ll risk your cards getting stuck and not releasing. (I’ve been there.)

Ekster Aluminum Cardholder, nature background
Peter Cao / Review Geek

Yeah, You Can Store Cash, Too

You can also attach cash (or extra cards) on the exterior thanks to the fabric rubber band surrounding the outside. I wouldn’t recommend throwing your cards with sensitive information here unless you want people stealing your card information, but tossing a few store cards or membership cards wouldn’t be the end of the world.

If you’re like me and don’t typically carry cash around, it’s worth keeping in mind that adding anything other than cash to both sides of the exterior will make the wallet nearly impossible to remove from your pocket. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Ekster Aluminum Cardholder with a grass background
Peter Cao / Review Geek

To work around this, you’ll need to put all your cards on the same side. Otherwise, it’s perfect for holding some loose cash. Simply fold your bills and slip them in. But, if you’re looking to add cards to either side of the wallet at all times, this wallet likely isn’t for you. Coins? Nah, we don’t do that here. (But seriously, there’s no dedicated spot to hold coins.)

The aluminum body is cool to the touch and very smooth. My particular variant was anodized in a dark gray color which gives it this stealth minimalist look. But if that’s not your flavor, it does come in several different colors, including green, red, and blue. Logos are pretty out of the way but could be seen as a bit “loud,” with “Ekster” printed on the top right side of the wallet and a more monotone logo on the fabric rubber band.


This Aluminum Cardholder from Ekster is excellent, especially if you don’t carry too many cards on a daily basis. On the exterior, you’re able to store cash or other cards giving you some extra flexibility for those emergency situations.

Ekster Aluminum Wallet sitting on a tree
Peter Cao / Review Geek

Overall, the wallet is solid. The aluminum is sturdy, the elastic band that wraps around is super tight, and the spring-loaded release button is a killer feature, making it ridiculously easy to not only grab any of your various cards but to put them away as well. The days of your plastic cards sticking to one another are gone!

There are only two downsides to this wallet, with the first being cost. If you’ve never bought a premium wallet, the Ekster Aluminum Cardholder will seem very expensive. It retails for $80, but you can sometimes find it on sale for $60.

The other obvious downside would be if you need to carry more than half a dozen cards. The Aluminum Cardholder holds five or six cards maximum. If you need something that holds more than that, go for Ekster’s Parliament wallet. It has a flap that lets you securely add two or three extra cards.

Otherwise, the Aluminum Cardholder from Ekster is an easy recommendation from me. It’s minimal, sleek, and of course, made out of aluminum.

Rating: 9/10
Price: $80

Here’s What We Like

  • Sturdy, aluminum build
  • Spring-loaded card release mechanism makes it easy to take cards in and put them back in
  • Holds up to five credit or debit cards
  • Band surrounding exterior allows for secure and easy access to cash

And What We Don't

  • With cards or cash on the exterior, it may be difficult to take the wallet out of your pocket
  • Premium build comes at a cost
  • No dedicated slot for coins

Peter Cao Peter Cao
Peter is a freelance writer for Review Geek. He started out 7 years ago writing about jailbreaking the iPhone and that evolved into writing about general Apple. And now? He’s just writing about tech. He’s written for several major online publications in the past and has written several thousand news and reviews articles over the years. Read Full Bio »