The Specifics

Who: Ekster is a Rotterdam-based company "inspired by a bird called the 'Magpie', also known as an 'Ekster' in the Netherlands."

The product: Ekster Parliament Smart Wallet (+ Tracker). It's available in four colours - Roma Cognac (pictured in this review), Classic Brown, Nappa Black, and Steel Blue,

What comes in the packaging: The Ekster Parliament Smart Wallet and Tracker Card.

What are they selling us: Ekster promise us "maximum storage and minimum bulk, room for 9+ cards & coin/cash, and RFID protection for 6 cards." Thanks to the Tracker Card, Ekster reckons you'll never lose your wallet.

Things We Liked

Ekster Parliament Wallet

The first thing you'll notice is just how sleek the design is, with Ekster's logo subtly placed at the front, and on the inside. They've managed to add enough personality to the product, without being too loud, which I liked.

The build quality is spot on, with leather for the casing, a tough cash strap on the inside, and an integrated aluminium cardholder, which is the real MVP of the wallet. It can hold up to 6 non-embossed cards or any combination of 4-5 embossed/non-embossed cards - all of which can be accessed via the card slide trigger at the bottom of the wallet. This means you pull out a card in style (and with speed), without even opening up your wallet. It's the kind of gimmick you'd expect to grow bored of after a while, but I've found myself using it a lot since the sample was sent over. And if you're really into security, you'll be happy to know that BlockingRFID/NFC is included.

The storage doesn't end there though, as you have two pockets on the inside, and one on the back - which covers the 9-card storage they promised. For such a slim profile, you won't feel as though you have to leave anything behind.

We were lucky enough to be sent a Tracker with the wallet, which follows the typical protocols of tracking devices: once you download the appropriate app (TrackR in this case) and pair your devices (which is an easy process), it gives you the ability to find your wallet from your phone, or even find your phone from your wallet by clicking a button (a ringer goes off until you find your item).

This is all handled over Bluetooth, which is great for finding items you're in range of, but if you've lost it in the wild, you'll have to rely on the TrackR® Crowd-GPS network, which apparently has 5 million active users. If any of those users happen to come in range of your wallet, you'll be alerted. It's hard to really test that theory out, but online reviews seem positive. My favourite part of the app is the separation alert, which tells you if your wallet and your phone part ways.

The Tracker card is solar powered, with 3 hours of charge lasting one full month. That's certainly a better option than having to buy replacement batteries.

Things We Didn't Like

Ekster Parliament Wallet

If there was a way of having the wallet shut closely together - perhaps by velcro or by being weighted - then this section would be a lot shorter, but sadly there's a slight gap out of the box. I'm guessing that after a few months of being shoved in a pair of tight jeans, the leather will adapt, removing the issue entirely, but it's hard to tell. Outside of that, I struggled to come up with anything remotely bad to say about this product.

Is It Worth The Money?

Given just how important wallets are, the majority of us are happy to buy low and replace as and when - something I've done every couple of years for the past two decades. And while a higher price doesn't always mean a higher quality, the gap from £20 to £100 is certainly larger than the gap from £100-300 when it comes to structure and materials.

With that in mind, Ekster have managed to pack a lot of functionality into the Parliament's price point - which is a couple of notches above average, yet comfortably below buyer's remorse territory. So yes, I believe the Ekster Parliament Smart Wallet represents really good value for anyone looking to own a wallet that will last them well into the future.

You can purchase the Ekster Parliament Smart Wallet (+ Tracker) by heading here. It retails for $119.95, though Ekster is currently having a mini-sale, which means you can pick it up for $99.95. If you're not that bothered about tracking, you can pick up the wallet by itself for £69.95.