Ekster Senate vs Aluminum Cardholder – better or the same?

Does the new Aluminum Cardholder advance the design of the Senate? Ekster Senate vs Aluminum Cardholder reveals that while the same, there are some differences to be aware of.

Does the new Aluminum Cardholder advance the design of the Senate? Ekster Senate vs Aluminum Cardholder reveals that while the same, there are some differences to be aware of.

(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)

We recently reviewed the new Aluminum Cardholder from Ekster and as I mentioned in the full review, it’s essentially the same footprint of the Ekster Senate wallet. But is it?

Today, we’re going to do a comparison between these two wallets. They’re both slim wallets by definition but do have a few differences in features.

The main difference between the two is the backplate. With the Senate, it’s wrapped in leather and the backplate is attached whereas the Aluminum Cardholder, being all aluminum has an aluminum backplate attached via elastic which can be removed. Both support the same number of cards in the box, six cards.

The strength of both wallets is the backplate. What doesn’t fit in the main box easily fits in the back and can accommodate a lot of cards, cash and other types of cards. Designed in the Netherlands, they’re both made in China. The trigger mechanisms are made out of plastic with the backplate on the Senate wrapped in a premium chrome tanned leather by ECCO. Same people that make the shoes. And they have factories in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Far East, and they are a member of the Leather Working Group. They use a technique called DriTan to tan this leather which is vastly different from the traditional methods. DriTan is unique because it uses very little water, and it uses less chemicals to get the final leather that you’re looking at. Traditionally, leather tanning has been around for 10,000-plus years, and it uses a lot of water, which ends up as wastewater, requiring conditioning before it can be released back into the environment.

The Aluminum Cardholder looks like the Senate, but is not leather wrapped. The interior box is made from a 6061-T6 grade CNC aluminum. The boxe on the Senate is also aluminum as well with the trigger mechanism and lift being made from plastic which is inserted in from the bottom.

From a size perspective they’re both the same size with the Senate being slightly bigger due to the leather wrap. The Senate weighs 69 grams, and the Cardholder, 72. I imagine the extra weight can be attributed to the aluminum backplate.

For price, we have the Senate at $79, and the Cardholder at $79, Same price. For card capacity, the company says the Senate can hold up to 10 cards, with 6 in the box. Seven are recommended overall, but you can get more and put, “…large stacks of cash on the backplate,” as expressed on the company website.

With the Senate, I did do a carry test and it performed brilliantly. The thin footprint on the Aluminum Cardholder without the leather, to me, is the perfect Ekster wallet. I don’t like the extra bulk of the leather. I do like leather, but the aluminum is really appealing. The final ratings between the two are the exact same score across both of them with a score of 38.

Ekster Aluminum Cardholder
$79

The slimmed down version of Ekster's popular box wallet, the expanded storage capabilities with the back plate allow everything except coins to be carried.

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Ekster Modular Secretary Bifold
$89

Using magnets, the Ekster Modular Secretary wallet provides a bifold with a detachable card wallet, enabling a 2 for 1 Ekster bifold wallet option for heavy or light carry options.

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Ekster Parliament
$89

A premium leather smart wallet, perfect for slim storage and quick card access. 

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