Trackable Smart Wallet Is Only Somewhat Impressive

Ta-daaaaaaaaa

Key Takeaways

  • The Esker Trackable Smart Wallet is tricky to use.
  • This wallet won’t fit as many cards as you may want it to.
  • The tracking bits are easily removed.
The Ekster wallet with debit and credit cards sticking out
Lifewire/Evan Killham

"Hey, check this out," I said to the cashier as I reached into my back pocket to produce the Ekster Trackable Smart Wallet.

"Hang on," I said a second later, when I realized that I hadn’t quite dialed in the ideal way to place the Ekster Trackable Smart Wallet into my pocket so I could activate its single, prominent button in one fluid motion.

I’m a regular at this gas station, and the cashiers recognize and accept this level of nonsense from me.

The Ekster Trackable Smart Wallet was now in my hand, and my finger was on the button. I pressed the switch, and a stack of cards emerged from the wallet. They were facing the wrong way, so the cashier could only see one of them.

"There you go," I announced, flipping the Ekster around in a way that I hoped was super casual.

The cashier looked at my cards, which emerged at different heights from the wide slot in the top of the wallet.

"Cool," she said.

Tricky to Manage

Ekster advertises its wallets as "Superslim trackable wallets with instant card access." While I can’t deny the first two things, the "instant" part takes practice. The button that ejects your cards is on a lower corner of the wallet, meaning any normal way of holding the thing puts your index finger nowhere near the mechanism.

The Ekster wallet, with ejection button in the bottom left corner, and tracker card.
Lifewire/Evan Killham 

The solution, barring a redesign, might be to press the button with your thumb while pulling out the wallet, but like so many of my human interactions, I didn’t think of that until the presentation was over and I was sitting at home explaining to my dog why she couldn’t have my lunch.

How Many Cards Am I Holding?

The specifications for the Parliament model of the Ekster, which the company sent me to try, say that it "stores 12+ cards," although it only recommends nine. The aluminum card holder, which I also looked at, boasts a capacity of "1-15 cards."

The number of items you can fit in the main slot depends on how many of them are embossed. Of the five I fit in there, three had raised lettering, which meant I had to alternate which side the numbers sat on so that everything would fit. With fewer embossed cards, I could get one more in.

Front facing view of the Ekster wallet with cards sticking up.
Lifewire/Evan Killham

Both the wallet and card holder have more places to put your stuff, which is where the stated numbers come from, but the whole idea is to minimize your load and simplify your life. This is less a complaint than it is a suggestion that you manage your expectations, because if you can’t whittle down your wallet to five cards, this one may not be for you.

Tracking With Care

The "trackable" bit of the Ekster wallet refers to the solar-charged tracker card (sold separately) that slides into a pocket of the wallet—or straps to the back of the card holder—and pairs with an app to let you track it down if you misplace it.

The app lets you ping the card (if you lose your wallet in your house) and see it on a map (if you lose your wallet on a bus). It may not be the best defense against thieves, since they can easily remove the tracker once they find it, but you’ll definitely be able to locate your wallet in the couch cushions if it ends up there.

It works the other way, too; if you lose your phone, double-pressing the button on the tracker card will set your phone ringing, and the noise is just annoying enough to speed up your search.

The Ekster wallet with tracker card resting on top.
Lifewire/Evan Killham 

Would I keep this wallet in place of my current one? Maybe, though I would definitely need to downsize my onboarding of plastic cards. It’s also good I don’t carry around a lot of cash, since it’s a space hog.

The tech and design on display with the Ekster wallet and tracker are impressive and mostly convenient, and they look and feel great. Are they worth the time I'll spend trying not to look like a kitten attempting to open a bag of potato chips when I retrieve my cards? I haven't decided yet. That cashier just wants the line to keep moving.