A sleight of hand contemporary wallet that emphasises efficient card handling for minimalists. The Ekster Senate imposes a careful selection of cards to use daily and as a result, removes a clutter of cards and bulkiness. The GPS tracker card works solidly if you’ve left the Senate behind, and a card slider system that makes it an absolute pleasure to carry. This wallet is lightning.
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Breaking the Ekster Senate Down
In its simplest state, the Ekster Senate is super compact. less than a cm thick (0.85cm to be exact) and not much thicker than a couple of cards stacked together, it takes on a top-loading form wrapped in Dutch/ German premium leather. The packaging is classy and minimal, housing the Senate and bundled multi-purpose strap with tracker. You can get it on its own or with the options which I’ll detail later.
I like the modularity element of the Senate, simple to use additions that slide into place with ease. Leather feels great in the hands, textured and comfortable thanks to the rounded sides that place into the palm of my hands effortlessly. When all the components come together, it still holds a slim shape. There’s a bit more personality when you add the stretch elastic strap with the Ekster logo, staying in place securely.
Besides the Steel Blue leather that I have with me, you’ll also find it in Roma Cognac, Classic Brown and Nappa Black. The colours have an air of sophistication with them, aging gracefully from the leather with time. Now the card slider system? simply awesome. The cards slide in and at the push of the trigger, all cards slide up with good visible space to identify and take out. I’ve tested it dozens of times and it consistently performed superbly. This is a super-fast wallet that strips away the tedious handling of a traditional one.
Premium Style & Execution
You’ll notice a lack of any place to store your coins… the Ekster Senate is simply not made for that. But it does hold a few notes tri-folded or an additional card. The Senate is designed for cards first and foremost, so it’s forgiven for the fiddly exercise of storing a few notes. One or two is fine however and still holds a minimal, clean aesthetic which is appealing in itself.
As to how many cards it can hold? The card slider holds 5 at a push, but 4 cards is ideal. Any more and it doesn’t slide well, a bit too cramped. I can add a card under the strap otherwise, so you’re looking at 5-6 cards total. In all honesty, that’s still more than what you most likely use on a regular basis – a transport card, debit card, driver’s licence and a credit card or backup card. Possibly a rewards card. That’s really it.
Compared to a traditional bi-fold wallet I used prior, the immediate improvements in card access and handling is substantial. I love pushing the trigger with any finger (no different than the side buttons of your smartphone), and taking the card out with the other. It’s effortless for the everyday schedule. What I really like about the Ekster Senate is the combined capability of working at a sleight of hand pace, while looking attractive at the same time.
While the Ekster Senate is a very fast and capable wallet on its own, the GPS tracker alongside the TrackR phone app completes it in terms of security. Of course, prevention is always the best method, but if you find yourself misplacing the Senate without a clue where to start, the GPS tracker card can be a life saver.
Together with the optional but worthwhile multi-purpose strap, the tracker card slots snuggly into the rear, left out of sight but always at work. The sleeve lets the solar panel on the GPS card absorb light to self-charge, with just a few hours enough for a month. No cables needed like the predecessor which is great.
Pairing is simple with the free TrackR app you download from the Apple Appstore or Google Play Store, connecting at the press of a button through bluetooth. It requires location on to work, but once paired you’re set. Turn it on when on the move and you’ll see the Ekster Senate pinpointed on a map should you lose it. Tracking was reliable and worked well, making this a no-brainer addition together with the Senate.
While smartphone payment systems like Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay allows us to skip our cards entirely for small purchases, the tactility of holding a real card is something that is amiss. Contactless cards accelerate the way we use them, however the stumbling block is the way our wallets store these cards. Fiddling with the multiple pockets, cards and closed design make these cumbersome to use.
With that in mind, the Ekster Senate is an exceptional adaptation of the traditional wallet, bypassing a lot of those small pains that accumulate over time. The leather and colours uphold the premium status of the Senate, while the few cards it holds, intently means you only carry what you really need. What sets the Senate apart is the card slider system which is exceptional. The sweet spot for holding cards is a modest 4 cards with 5 at a push, but add the strap and you can hold a few notes and cards for added utility.
The mechanism needs to wear into itself at the beginning, but after, it triggers beautifully. It’s a pleasure to use and makes handling cards satisfying to deal with again. If you need just that little bit more storage, the Ekster Parliament is worth a look. Otherwise, you’re looking at one fast, beauty of a minimal carry.