An interesting design for a tracking wallet.
A few years ago, I switched my personal finance storage method from a standard wallet to one that featured RFID protection. I wanted to ensure that with the insurgence of EMV (chip and pin) credit cards, I wanted to keep myself protected when I was out in public. At first, I found some simple bifold wallets that had RFID shielding built in and then I escalated my interests to wallets that also had trackers included. Earlier this year, I reviewed the NOMAD Slim Wallet with Tile Tracking and I’ve really enjoyed using it. It’s a lot smaller than I’m used to carrying and since I’ve really liked it, I was open to trying out the Parliament-style wallet from Ekster.
The Parliament is a bi-fold style wallet designed to provide lots of storage but keep a slim profile. Thanks to its special quick card access mechanism, you can access any of your stored cards without even opening it. The wallet comes packaged with a solar-powered tracker card (from TrackR) and has built-in RFID blocking technology. It’s made with premium European leather and is backed by a 1-year warranty. The wallet is available in four different colors – Classic Brown, Nappa Black, Steel Blue, and Roma Cognac.
- Dimensions: 0.59 x 4.1 x 2.5 inch (1.5 x 10.5 x 6.5 cm)
- Storage: Stores at least 9 cards
- Security: RFID/NFC blocking 4-6 cards
- Strap: Multi-purpose, 3 folded bills cash
- Connectivity: BLE 4.0 Bluetooth Low Energy
- Range: Up to 100ft, 30 meters
- Coverage: Worldwide 5M+ Crowd-GPS network
- Solar Recharge: 3 hours of charge lasts 1 full month
- Sound: Built-in Ringer
The Parliament and tracker arrive in black packaging with the Ekster logo embossed on the top. The wallet is in a box while the tracker is in a small sleeve. There are no instructions that accompany the wallet and the tracker, but on the back of the tracker’s sleeve, you will see instructions to visit ekster.com/usermanual to get started. When you visit this page, you will have the FAQ in addition to the user manual for the Parliament, tracker, and other wallets and some installation videos.
At first, I was concerned about my cards staying in place, but I found that only really vigorous shaking would cause the cards to come loose. The mechanism that holds the cards in place is a friction mechanism (as described by Ekster). It holds your cards in place when you put them in the cardholder. It is strongly suggested that you place 6 cards in the card slot at one time (or 4-5 depending on how many are embossed) so that they have a tight fit. I found that with regular, standard use of the wallet though was perfectly fine. The cards stayed securely in place and were released easily with the use of the switch. This wallet is a much different change from the one I was using before as this one will close and lay flat due to the card storage compartment design. I love the inclusion of the multi-purpose strap because it’s a nice way to keep a few dollar bills stored in the wallet.
As much as like the design of this wallet, I have one complaint. The tracker only charges via solar power. There are a lot of slim trackers in the market so I’m not sure why Ekster chose to go with the solar-powered TrackR. The tracker looks great with the wallet, but with it being solar powered ONLY, users are severely limited about how/where you can use the wallet to its fullest potential. When I set up the wallet for the first time, the tracker had to be paired to my phone. That process is pretty simple, but you have to charge the tracker first. I started trying to charge the tracker by setting it up in a window sill, but the window was blocking the sunlight enough that the tracker wasn’t getting a charge. So, I ended up having to put the tracker outside in direct sunlight for several hours before it would pair to my phone. One benefit to the way this wallet is designed though is that you could actually use any slim-style tracker with it.
The Ekster Parliament wallet with a tracking device is a really great way to protect your valuable payment methods as well as keep tabs on it. The premium soft leather that is used to make the wallet makes it feel classy and exclusive. I can recommend this wallet as a ‘smart’ object to carry around your valuables in.