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January 21, 2015
California based designers RC Fibers began life creating money clips and other useful small accessories from high quality carbon fiber. The RC Fibers Hybrid Wallet-Money Clip Combo is the natural evolution from those beginnings, combining a slim pressed leather wallet with a brushed metal or carbon fiber money clip. You may also be interested in our RC Fibers D15 review.
Read below for our review, or view the RC Fiber unboxing and video review.
The Hybrid wallet gets it's name from the combination of the simplicity of a money clip, with the functionality of a fully fledged wallet. The Hybrid is a slim, simple bifold wallet that offers the flexibility to adapt between the times you need a full wallet or when you are really being minimalist and just a money clip will suffice.
The Hybrid wallet comes with two options: firstly, with a brushed metal clip as standard, or with a carbon fiber slim clip as well, so you can switch them as you desire. The carbon fibre clip is the carbon fiber clip option is actually their product the "slim" which is also available for sale individually.
The wallet itself is made from pressed leather which looks and feels of good quality. Though it is not absolutely top of the range, it still has the hallmark of a quality product. The inside is a light coloured, soft textile which has a pleasant texture and contrasts the black leather well.
The metal money clip is simple, but elegant. The brushed finish means it complements the black leather of the wallet.
The optional carbon fiber clip is a stylish addition to this wallet. Though to some it may initially feel slightly plastic, carbon fiber is actually a very sought after material. it is valued for its strength and durability whilst remaining extremely lightweight, and is used in high end vehicles such as aircraft and yachts. RC Fibers clearly have confidence in their product as they offer a 5 year warranty against delamination on all their carbon fiber products.
The RC Fiber Hybrid wallet certainly looks the business. The embossed logo gives a subtle but elegant detail to the leather, which is complemented by the quality stitched finish.
Perhaps it is not the most unusual or individual wallet out there, but the money clip gives an otherwise standard looking wallet something of a unique focal point, which is bound to catch the eye at the till.
The RC Fibers Hybrid Wallet has 4 inside card pockets, 3 on the right and one on the left. Each of these will comfortably hold 2 cards, allowing a total of 8. It is probably possibly to squeeze a few more in, taking you to 10-12, but then you're beginning to push things a little. Besides, why would you want to unnecessarily bulk up a nice wallet?
Notes can then be stored on the inside, held in place by the money clip. There is no real limit to how many notes you can stuff in here, but obviously since they are folded at least once, it will start to impact on the size of the wallet.
The wallet seems well made, and the materials are of a high standard. As mentioned previously, RC Fiber offer a 5 year warranty on their carbon fiber clip, which shows confidence in it.
The only problem I foresee is with the money clip wearing against the wallet. This doesn't seem to be an issue on the outside - I pretty much deliberately tried scratching it whilst moving the metal clip, and it didn't even leave a mark. However, on the inside it is a different story. Already with just a few uses, the clip is beginning to leave marks against the soft inner fabric, mainly at the very top on the bend of the clip and where the clip finishes at the bottom on both of the inside surfaces. It is nothing major as yet, but over time I imagine there will be noticeable signs of wear in these places.
Whether this is something you are happy to live with, given that it is on the inside, will be up to you. I should point out that this effect seems to be much less of an issue with the carbon fiber clip.
The wallet is pretty simple to use, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's easy. Sliding notes into the money clip can be fiddly at times, and I found it was easier when they were folded twice, which obviously contributes to a thicker wallet. British pound notes will fit folded twice, and in fact £5 and £10 notes will also fit exactly with just a single fold. £20 notes will be coming out of the wallet slightly unless folded twice.
The cards fit tightly into the pockets, which means there is no danger of them falling out. However, it also means that they can be a tad more difficult than I would like to slide out. I imagine with time they will loosen slightly and this won't be an issue at all.
Even when packed with several cards and some cash (above we have 5 cards and 2 notes), the wallet remains surprisingly slim. It is certainly not in the ultra slim category of something like a slimfold, but for a fairly conventional leather style, it certainly performs well.
Not really. The wallet itself will offer some very limited protection. The clips do actually deliver RFID protection, but because they are so small, it is unlikely to make a real difference.
The RC Fibers Hybrid Wallet falls in the low end of mid-range in terms of pricing. At around $40, or $55 with the carbon fiber clip, this is definitely an affordable option. Unfortunately, as it is shipped from the USA, you're going to need to factor in an extra $10 dollars to that price for shipping to Europe, as currently there are no UK/EU distributors (though if enough of you get in touch or comment, perhaps we'll see if we can do something about that).
Not the cheapest possible, but for what it offers I think it represents pretty good value.
A simple but stylish wallet that offers one real twist - the money clip/wallet combo. The flexibility this offers is something that will appeal to a lot of people. If you want a wallet with a lot of features and bells and whistles, this probably isn't going to be it. But if you want something strong, stylish and slim, that offers good performance, looks professional and speaks to the minimalist in you, then this wallet is going to be right up your street. And, hey, it's not every day you get to stick aircraft grade carbon fiber around your wallet or in your pocket!
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