I skipped the fashionably questionable trend of Velcro wallets in the 90s and went straight to the leather billfold, where it stayed in my back-right pocket wearing holes in cheap jeans and denting my ass over the next 25 years. You could say I was an old soul.
But after years of seeing the Ridge Wallet top the bestseller’s charts here on GovX, I figured I’d bring my misshapen ass into the 21st century and see what it was all about.
Right after taking it out of the box I opened my old wallet and took stock of its contents. The Ridge Wallet invited me to minimize what I carry, simplify my life and get me back to the essentials. So, let’s see here:
Car insurance card? Why carry it, when I’ve got the GEICO app on my phone?
A punch card for a café that’s shuttered due to COVID-19? Gone, sadly.
San Diego Zoo membership card? See above.
Four stray business cards, an outdated health insurance card, and a Target gift card with 17 cents remaining … into the trash it all goes.
Leaving me with just the Marie Kondo’d essentials—credit card, debit card, driver’s license, health insurance card, and my office keycard. Five cards in total, arranged from the top to the bottom in order of most likely to be used. Credit card for buying booze goes first. Driver’s license for proving I’m allowed to buy booze goes second. My Ridge Wallet is now only half an inch thick, over 50% slimmer than my burgeoning Dad Wallet. And I don’t even have kids.
Carrying it in my front pocket instead of my back has taken a bit of getting used to—from the start, I kept feeling like I’d forgotten something when I left the house. But after just a few days of enjoying this slim EDC card carrier as a replacement to my old, bulky wallet, I can say that grabbing it on the way out of the door is now second nature. Exactly the kind of feeling you want to establish with a new entry in your everyday carry collection.
To retrieve a card from the Ridge Wallet, push your thumb into the insert to fan out the contents, then just slide it out. I’ll admit, flipping open a leather wallet and pulling out a card is more intuitive, but considering the cool upsides of the Ridge, I don’t mind the change.
Every Ridge Wallet has RFID-blocking technology built into the frame. RFID stands for radio-frequency identification, which refers to the “tags” credit cards and drivers’ licenses use to store information. Hackers can use skimmers to read the tags and steal entire credit card numbers and other sensitive information from you. But a skimmer can’t penetrate the frame of a Ridge Wallet the same way it can penetrate a leather or a cloth wallet. I figure my info is already out there for the highest bidder, courtesy of our friends at Equifax, but I suspect you can never be too careful in a world increasingly threatened by data leaks and stolen identities. Walking around with the Ridge Wallet offers me a sense of security, even if it’s unlikely that I’ll run into a hacker at the local CVS. It’s about peace of mind, and this thing gives it to me. I’m not about to start wrapping my skull in aluminum foil, though.
Carrying it is also an excuse to use the coin pocket on most of my favorite pants. You know that little pocket that you never use? My Marmot hiking shorts have one. My prAna jeans have one. And at the 2-inch width of a single credit card, the Ridge Wallet fits in there perfectly, which keep the wallet out of the way of coins and keys and anything else I might carry in the right pocket.
The Ridge Wallet is an outstanding upgrade to conventional wallet technology that hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. On top of it being a slick and modern tool I enjoy using every day, it’s got the benefit of simplifying my life and compelling me to only carry the stuff I’ll actually use. I’ll continue to monitor its thickness over these next few months, though. I don’t anticipate the return of the Dad Wallet any time soon.