We take the top 6 Ridge knock off wallets from Amazon and compare them to the original Ridge Carbon Fiber and Ridge Aluminum. It’s the Ridge vs knockoff to see if it makes sense to try before you buy a Ridge wallet
(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)
We have all seen the advertising for Ridge Wallets and all that they have done. They are everywhere and their design set the pace for a wallet that works well for a sandwich-type design. That said, we know every wallet has knockoffs.
I have always recommended that you try a knockoff before you spend hard-earned money on something you might not like. I have a tool that allows me to see the top-selling products on Amazon by permitting me to see the listing. In this review, we are going to do a comparison between the Ridge and six knockoffs you can get off Amazon. At the end of the review, I will give you my recommendation of the knockoff to try before you buy the Ridge wallets.
The wallets we have in this review are the Ridge Carbon Fiber, the Ridge Aluminum, the UNIKTREND, the Hayvenhurst, the ARW, the Extremus which is kind of tactical and a bonus one, the JNC, and finally the Rossm. Most of the wallets are carbon fiber. The carbon fiber wallet from Ridge is their Carbon Fiber 3K, it is the money clip version that retails for $140. I also have one wallet that is aluminum, and that one I am going to compare to the Ridge Aluminum, which retails for $95.
In regards to the card and the insertion, I am only going to talk about the card fitting. I have a combination of 12 embossed and non-embossed cards, 12 cards is the recommended max in the Ridge, and they go in and fit just fine.
Onto the comparison, the first wallet is UNIKTREND which is priced at $25. This one is aluminum and has the same number of screws. This wallet weighs 63 grams, similar to the Ridge Aluminum. There is no difference in this perspective, except that it does not come with a screwdriver, which means you will need to find a screwdriver, in addition, there are no additional screws in there for servicing. Moreover, it only comes in the money clip, it does not offer the strap option. If we compare the Ridge Aluminum to this one, both have clips and are attached differently. Besides, there is noticeable stress on the material on the back of the UNIKTREND, while, looking at the Ridge, the tolerances are good and there is no stress on the material. From a finish perspective, the Ridge has beveled edges while the UNIKTREND is sharper, and the elastic looks and feels pretty good on the UNIKTREND. It is very close to the Ridge, with no concerns about its usability. It is an exact copy considering a couple of small features, and UNIKTREND does not have a standalone website for support, warranty, or accessories. It is all done through Amazon.
The next wallet is the Hayvenhurst, a carbon fiber wallet that comes with some extra screws. This is their carbon fiber version and it is priced at $23. It is carbon fiber and aluminum, and seeing how that works, the sandwich piece is just the same. In the attempt to see if the wallet can fit the 12 cards, there was a little bit of struggle, but again, not that you would normally carry 12 cards with you. Still, it is always good to test against the incumbent, and this wallet does take it. The difference is that this only comes in a clip, it does not come in a strap, which are both available with the Ridge. The elastic quality is somewhat questionable. It feels a bit different from the Ridge, as the Ridge’s elastic operates easier. The screwdriver is really hard to use and the screws are not screwed in at the right torque as seen in the Ridge, The Philip screw head driver and screws are what they use versus hex. In addition, there is stress on the screw side on the inside of this Hayvenhurst, and it is sewn rather than heat-treated or double-sewn like the Ridge. Hayvenhurst does have a website. It does not sell this wallet, however, they do have a nice-looking Ekster Senate carbon fiber knockoff if you are interested.
The ARW is our next wallet, it is also carbon fiber and has a little screwdriver. This is something you would insert into something instead of just being standalone. It is a hex but does not have the same problem. It is of the same size and weight as the Ridge. Moreover, 12 cards go in nice and smooth without presenting any issues, and they come out just fine as well. The methods of pulling cards out on all of these Ridge knockoffs as well as the Ridge, is either you push one card out, or you pull them out and then go through the stack before putting them back in. If you push it out a little bit, it just has a tendency to blow all over the place, and of course, the cards you use most often you put in the front or the back. The difference with this wallet is that it does not come with a strap option, it is only a clip. The majority of these wallets are only available in a clip version. From the teardown, you can notice how the ARW elastic is only sewn. The Ridge is sewn and heat-treated, a kind of double-sewn, which creates a stronger bond. The elastic on the Ridge is also stronger than the ARW, both based on my unscientific testing. However they both have channels for the elastic, which is present on all of these wallets in particular, and how the clip attaches is only slightly different. The ARW does not have a standalone website for support, warranty, or accessories, so this is kind of a one-and-done through Amazon.
Next wallet in the bonus one I threw in the list, the tactical wall from Extremus. This one is built off the concept of Ridge, but it is a little different and I thought it would be kind of interesting to look at. It has multiple layers so it has the typical sandwich. It is made of carbon fiber as well as on the back, but they add this exoskeleton on the exterior. Other than that, it operates all the same and has got the same way of inserting cards, albeit it is a little bit more of a tooth on it, not as slick. The 12 cards get in there and it handles them just fine. All these wallets have a backstop, and getting cards out is a little bit more difficult. With this wallet, I would say the reason is the interior plates which do not have a slick surface which then creates friction. But other than that, it does look a bit cooler than the Ridge does.
All these wallets are pretty close, so is there a clear winner between them?
The following wallet, the JNC, has nothing on it except of course its purchase tag. In the interior, it looks like everybody is using the same screwdriver together. It looks a little awkward, but this is also hex and only comes in a strap version from what I could tell. This wallet does have a slicker plate as all the others do, thus the 12 cards go right in without an issue and that is what we would have hoped for. Moreover, there is stress in the screw holes in the back of the JNC. The possibility of these screws pulling through over time is higher than in the Ridge where the screws are flat beside the proper tolerances that have been implemented there. Like the others, the strap is lightly sewn and is weaker than the Ridge. The Ridge strap is completely integrated into the assembly and is not just a single strap. Finally, like several of the others, they only sell on Amazon and do not have their own standalone website.
The last wallet on the list is the Rossm. This is a popular one that I wanted to leave for last. It is priced at $30. As we look at it, it comes with everything you would expect typically in comparison to a Ridge, it has screws, replacement screws, it also has a full-featured Ridge screwdriver. It is very much the same type of quality in what it provides compared to the main wallet. None of the other wallets came with any kind of instructions, while this one does and it comes with an optional money clip. So like the bundles you can get with the Ridge, this one does come with a strap and a money clip. One of the things I really like about this one is that it is a matte finish just like the Ridge. The 12 cards work just seamlessly, and about the same type of hold that we get from the Ridge.
The Rossm starts with a strap but also has the clip that is offered. Like the others, the strap is not integrated, it just wraps around the top plate and looks very much like other knockoffs and is a bit weaker for my unscientific approach, still, it is sewn much better than the others. The Ridge strap elastic is fully integrated across the platform; unlike the knockoffs, it pulls more easily. I am unsure if that is an advantage or a disadvantage, but on the Rossm, the strap is easily taken off and replaced with the money clip without needing to take apart the other side of the wallet as done with the Ridge. Rossm also produces direct material competitors to Ridge with the same names, like Forged Ember, Forged Carbon, and various aluminum versions. They are really going after Ridge in all accounts. And they also have a screw list model, which I thought was really quite intriguing. Still, I like the matte version, which is very much closer to the matte version of the Ridge, I would choose it over the glossy version.
If we compare the prices of these wallets to each other, the Ridge is many times more expensive than the cheapest, which are the Hayvenhurst and JNC at $20. The most expensive, which does not really qualify as such, is the Rossm at $30. Can we really call those wallets expensive, to begin with?
So based on a quick evaluation, which one would I purchase as a tester to see if I wanted to invest in the Ridge? If you want a close enough experience to the Ridge, I would go with the Rossm. So for $30, you too can try what a Ridge is all about without dropping a tank full of gas to get one.
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