REVIEW: Ekster Senate Cardholder

Senate Cardholder | Slim Leather RFID Blocking Cardholder
My wallet of choice the past two weeks was the Ekster Senate Cardholder in Black

The Senate Cardholder can be Purchased Here

It’s been a couple of weeks since I reviewed my last wallet, and I’ve been using a product from another newer player to the men’s wallet market. Ekster, a brand boasting high quality materials in the slimmest, most fashion forward wallets I’ve stumbled over in awhile. They also advertise optional tracking cards that can be used to prevent you from losing any of their wallets, however I did not have the luxury to try this item at this time. Ekster makes 2 products I see tremendous value in, the Senate Cardholder, and the Parliament Wallet.

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been using (and abusing) the Senate Cardholder, a sleek pop of cardholder with a simplistic mechanism allowing for easy card access, but with the addition of an elastic money band & additional card slot makes more a new set of opportunities while keeping form minimal and function high. Overall I give the Senate Cardholder a score of 7.5/10.

Capacity

As you know by now if you’ve been reading my reviews, capacity is by far the most important feature I look for in any wallet on the market. It’s tremendously important to have everything you need within an arms reach, and when this can be accomplished without added bulk, I’m impressed. The senate cardholder allowed me to store 5 cards in the main pop up compartment, and another 1 card, and 3 business cards in the additional card slot on the money band slide. I was also able to store 5 bills in the money band. All things considered this is plenty of space for most people’s day to day needs, however it did leave me wanting more in terms of space for 1-2 additional cards, and more than the 2 business cards I was able to fit. That being said, with this wallet being only 3 inches by 2 inches, and less than an inch thick, I’m extremely satisfied with what I was able to fit into this extremely compact space.

Size & Bulk

While we touched a bit on size and bulk in the capacity section, the size and bulk of this wallet was what truly set it apart. To be an ideal front pocket wallet, the wallet can be up to 5 inches long, but never more than 3 inches wide. Thickness should always be under 1.5 inches to fit well in the front pocket. Now the Senate Cardholder, even when fully loaded came in at around 3/4 of an inch thick. Based on what I was able to squeeze in, I am impressed. Ekster really earns top marks for their ability to make a compact wallet.

Card Grip

This is an area of wallet use that I’ve always found particularly important, and in my experience this is where most pop up style wallets fall short, particularly when you get into metal credit cards, without the usual embossing of a plastic card. The Senate Cardholder impressed me in this regard for the first while, however closer to the end of the 2 weeks I was using the cardholder I found that my metal card could come slipping out with force, though the plastic cards were gripped tightly, and I have little to no concern about keeping my cards secure in this wallet for day to day use.

Ease of Access

Nothing on the market can provide ease of access quite like a pop up style wallet, as you can see in the photo below, a push of the bottom on the bottom and your 5 most used cards pop right up, so you’ll never have to dig around in the pockets of your wallet to get to that credit card you’re looking for. Everything you need with this wallet is available with the mere push of a button (literally).

Ekster: Senate Leather Card Holder Wallet - RFID Blocking - Quick Card  Access: Amazon.ca: Clothing & Accessories
The Button on the Bottom Easily Pops up the 5 Cards in the Top Slot.

Quality of Materials

The Senate Cardholder truly impressed me directly out of the box with the high quality feeling of their genuine leather, and the craftsmanship making their pop up design as smooth as a warm knife through soft butter. I know that was a terrible analogy, but the wallet truly does seem quite impressive directly out of the box with the feeling of their materials and the clearly outstanding workmanship that went into the production of this piece.

Warranty

Ekster offers a 1 year manufacturer warranty on their wallets, which while inline with many industries in the consumer goods space, the majority of new higher end wallet makers are offering more thorough warranty options that compete against the warranty offered by Ekster.

Additional Functionality

With the addition of the money band to allow for cash, and the extra card pocket, this wallet does exactly what you’d expect for the most part, and with its minimalistic style, there isn’t much surprise to be had. However Ekster also offers the optional add on of a tracking card, ensuring you’ll never lose your wallet again.

Pricing (Value)

The Senate Cardholder is priced at $79 USD, which unfortunately is one of the few downfalls I’ve found in this review. The wallet shows value for the money, however it doesn’t gain a distinct advantage over any of it’s competitors in the price arena.

Overall, this is a wallet I would be extremely satisfied to be using continually, and I truly can’t wait to try Ekster’s other product, when the time for that comes. I give the Ekster Senate Cardholder an Overall Score of 7.5/10.

The Senate Cardholder can be Purchased Here

Until Next Time!

REVIEW: Fantom S Aluminum Slim Wallet

My product was the Fantom S (8-13 Card version) in Red, with a Titanium Money Clip

Today marks about a week now I’ve had the opportunity to play with one of the most exciting new wallets on the market. The latest product launched by Ansix Designs here in Canada is the new Fantom Wallet.

With 3 different card capacity options housed inside a sturdy aluminum frame this card has good pocket feel, and weighs virtually nothing while making itself even more functional with the additional of the pop out toggle lever along the shortest edge. This lever fanning the cards out for easier access is definitely a plus to the overall functionality.

Overall I rate the Fantom S an 8/10, with strong performances in some of the key areas we’re looking at, however it did have a couple of minor issues that you’ll see as we delve in further below.

Card Capacity

This particular model boasted a capacity of 8-13 cards, which seems realistic with the number of cards I was able to fit into the card holder segment of the wallet. I did find it to be a bit slick when I had only 8 cards in the wallet so I’m not sure I would trust only having 8 in this particular model. I maxed out the amount of space in the wallet at 11 cards, however 4 of those were embossed cards so we give them a thumbs up for the accuracy of their card capacity and the realistic numbers they’re advertising.

Size and Bulk

The slim build of this wallet was what truly excited me about the concept of it, weighing in empty at less than 50 grams! That is astonishingly light for a wallet with this level of capacity. Once I fully loaded it up, it still feels like one of the lightest wallets I’ve ever had, and fits well into the front pocket with almost no added bulk. That being said though, I do find that the design of the wallet with the lever on the end, makes it slightly longer than I would have liked in an ideal world, but they get 2 thumbs up for the slimness and minimal bulk of this wallet.

Card Grip

We touched on my feeling of card grip in the card capacity section of the review already, but let’s go over this a bit more. The grip on my cards seems to be sturdy so long as I have at least 8-9 cards in the wallet. If you go below the minimum capacity for your specific model, then it does tend to be lacking in the grip of your cards a bit. I also found that the last card in the wallet, closest to the quick access latch had to be a plastic card. When I loaded my metal American Express Platinum into the final spot for the easiest access, I found that it was a bit slick and began to fall out a couple of times due to the lack of grip with a metal on metal contact. I would love to see some way to have better grip on the metal credit cards, though that won’t be a major issue for most people.

Ease of Access

The Fantom S makes accessing most of your cards as easy as fanning out your cards with the top level, and grabbing the one you want. That being said, I would love for the cards to fan a bit more, however with 12-13 cards in the wallet there is limited room for fanning out that many cards and I understand why the wallet is the way it is. I also have to keep my metal credit card in the second slot which makes the access a little bit slower than if it were in the primary spot, but I change wallets multiple times a week and I’ve been going strong with this one for over a week, so thats a great sign!

Additional Functionality

So what makes this wallet special other than it’s ability to hold my cards? Let’s talk about that. The Fantom wallet is available in a model with a coin holder, though in COVID times I did not opt for that model so I can’t comment on it specifically. My biggest issue with this wallet comes from a functionality it was NOT designed to have. I found it to be tedious that the card holder compartment in this wallet could not hold any business cards. However I found a way around this by keeping my business cards in the money clip, though they do get bent and scuffed up in the pocket, tarnishing that pristine condition you desire when handing your business card to a potential client, none the less I found a way to carry them, which is more than I can say for many of the wallets I’ve tried. In the money clip I keep 5 business cards and 3 folded bills at any time and it maintains a tight grip on all of it, so they’ve done good work with the money clip on this wallet. Interestingly I had to screw on the money clip myself as it came packaged separately from the wallet itself.

Quality of Materials

The quality of this wallet feels phenomenal. The metal finish feels very high quality, though I have managed to scratch it within this first week of owning it, but the wallet comes in a variety of finishes other than metal, so I’m sure theres a finish out there to fit the needs of anyone.

Warranty

This is where this company really goes above and beyond to back their product by offering both a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects AND a wear and tear warranty garnering a 50% discount on a new wallet when returning the worn out wallet.

Lastly, Price

I paid $72 USD for this wallet, plus an additional $9 for the shipping. I found it to be tedious that I had to pay in USD (I paid roughly $108 Canadian including the $10 Signup Discount) considering the wallet shipped from within Canada, however I do see the value for money. At $108 CAD I would expect a wallet of high quality and excellent function, and I feel that for the most part, I received that. Down the road I will likely try and review the company’s new Fantom R model, which is more expensive, and I will likely write a second review on the quality of this model as well after some time using the wallet.

In Closing

As we said this wallet scored an overall rating of 8/10, with excellent card capacity, a phenomenal warranty, and high build quality. The points deducted were for the lack of a functional business card holder, and the slippage occurring with my metal Amex card.

I would not hesitate to recommend this wallet to anyone looking for a slim front pocket solution, provided that the steep price tag isn’t prohibitive.

The Fantom S can be purchased at http://store.fantomwallet.com/

Wallet Reviews for the Everyman

Hey Everybody,


Welcome to the new home of something I’m passionate about, wallets! I’ve been collecting for a long time, and throughout all of this time, I tend to rate my wallets based on a number of criteria. Recently, it occurred to me that I can use these ratings and this set of criteria to help other people find the best solutions for themselves.

Over the foreseeable future, we will be going through and making a number of reviews of different wallets available on the markets to men! I always like to look for the newest, greatest thing available, and while sometimes this may be the best option for one person, it may not be the best for the next.

We’re going to rank every wallet we review on an overall scale of 1-10. To achieve this 1-10 rating, we will be going through the following aspects of the wallet to determine its viability, and suitability for the average man’s lifestyle.

  1. Card Capacity – We all have a number of cards we debate whether we need day to day because they just add bulk, so we’re going to talk about what the true capacity is for each wallet we look at.
  2. Size and Bulk – Personally I find the threshold for a wallet that fits the front pocket well to be less than 3 inches in width, or height (whichever is shorter based on the dimensions of the specific wallet.
  3. Card Grip – Because nobody wants their cards falling out of their wallet.
  4. Ease of Access to Main Cards – We all have 1 or 2 cards that we use everyday, and you want to be able to access those cards quickly and conveniently.
  5. Quality of Materials – What is the quality of the material the wallet is made of, and will it stand up to day to day use and abuse.
  6. Warranty – If Applicable
  7. Price – How does the price stack up for the function that you get for it.

With all of that being said! Don’t forget to follow the blog to see the newest reviews right as they come.

I look forward to sharing my passion with everyone!