Saturday, May 2, 2015

RC Fibers D15 Wallet and Carbon Fiber Money Clip Review

Venture out of your comfort zone.  Andrew 2 (of Andrew 1 and Andrew 2 on the podcast, GGL's very own version of Thing 1 and Thing 2) always says this.  And with this review I did.  I am not a money clip guy.  NOT. A. MONEY. CLIP. GUY.  Perhaps it is the fact that I want to go against type and NOT be an Italian guy with a wad of cash in a money clip (both because I don't have a wad of cash and because I don't like money clips).  Perhaps it is the fact that money clips generally don't play well with other gear, are heavy, and feel like you are sitting on your keys if you keep it in your back pocket.  So when RC Fibers reached out to me, I was a little hesitant, then I remembered Andrew 2's advice and I said yes.

The kit they sent me included their hallmark item--a carbon fiber money clip--and a sleeve style wallet, much like by beloved Bellroy Card Sleeve.  Suffice to say I am very glad I followed Andrew 2's advice.  The wallet is nice, perfectly serviceable, but it was the ultra light, ultra thin carbon fiber money clip that really spoke to me during the review period.  

Here is the product page.  Here is a written review.  Here is the review sample of the two together (to be given away):


Just the wallet:


Just the money clip:


Twitter Review Summary: Unlike PB&J probably better apart.

Design: 2

The wallet's size and cut are very familiar. The wallet is slightly larger than the Bellroy Card Sleeve, and it has a pocket in the back to accept the money clip.  Finally, the cut of the top most pocket allows you to show an ID without removing it, a huge plus in a wallet.  This wallet is stiffer than the the Bellroy.  The  leather is nice, not too thick and the stitching is adequate (though some contrast stitching would have been a nice visual touch).  When you have something as blingy as high polish carbon fiber to pair with the wallet, the contrast stitching is probably not necessary to bring the bling.  

The money clip is dead simple--a folded piece of thin carbon fiber.  The inside is left matte for grip purposes and the outside is a gleaming jewel of carbon fiber weave.  The design is simple and spectacularly eye catching. More than one person commented on how nice it looked. 

Here is a size comparison with the wallet: 


and here is the size of the clip alone:

Overall the size of both items was fine.  I'd prefer a slightly smaller wallet, but I understand that currency in other countries is bigger than ours.  Other that one issue, there is very little I'd change about the wallet or the clip.  That said, I am not sure how good both things are together.  They are just too thick and while I know its not really going to happen, I was worried that I'd crush the clip.  I get that is the premise of the entire package, but this is a case of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.  The wallet is good.  The clip is good, but both together aren't amazing.  

Fit and Finish: 2

As someone that regularly reviews carbon fiber knives, I have lots of experience with carbon fiber, but RC Fibers stuff is on a different level.  It is, quite frankly, spectacular.  Here is an example of how polished it is:


But more than just being eye catching, its quite functional.  It slides in and out of your pocket easily.  Additionally, the matte finish on the inside of the clip provides lots of traction.

The wallet has a similarly nice finish (no fit issues on the clip, its a single piece so there is nothing to fit together). The stitching is clean and even with no stray threads or frays.  The interior of the leather is quite nice.

Carry: 2 separately; 1 together

I strongly preferred the clip and the wallet separately.  The clip is the most minimal carry possible, even less than my Bellroy.  It added almost nothing to the weight and volume my daily carry.  Similarly, the wallet was only modestly larger than my Bellroy and in some applications I liked the stiffer letter better.  Together, I didn't like the thickness of the clip and wallet.  I also worried that something might pry the clip apart.  

Materials: 2

Two materials, both are quite nice.  The carbon fiber is especially glamorous.  While testing the wallet and clip out I got no less than three different random strangers complementing me on the clip.  It really is quite nice.

Accessibility: 2

Both the wallet and the clip allow a ton of access to the contents inside.  I really do prefer these sleeve style wallets to the bi- or trifold designs.  And money clips, well accessibility is the very reason they exist.

Appearance: 2

I am a definite fan of the look of both pieces and even the two of them together.  Maybe it was a few complements or the shine from the carbon fiber blinding me, but RC Fibers has a classy package here.


No Spiderman wallet here, with enough traditional lines and materials to look adult.

Durability: 2

I am not going to fib you, I have been carrying and testing the two pieces for a month.  I am not sure how sturdy the carbon fiber clip is.  The wallet is leather and we all know how durable that is. But the carbon fiber FEELS durable.  It doesn't show a smidge of wear even on the edges or in the polish.  But keep in mind, a month is not a long term test.

Retention: 1

I wish the diagonal cut of the leather went all the way to the far side of the wallet, as the card in that slot (my ID usually) tended to fall out. It never completely dropped from the wallet, but it got close a few times.  I would imagine that if I used it for a longer time my ID would have surely dropped out. Not a good thing.  The wallet would score a 0 alone.

But then there was the clip itself:


I was sure this would never work. I was sure it wouldn't hold the stuff I jammed in it, especially with cards in it.  It never did.  It wasn't 100% stable, but it was surprisingly good.  When paired together, the retention was even better, as the clip pressed its contents against the much higher friction leather. 

Organization: 1

I am not convinced that pairing the wallet and clip make either better than they are alone, especially with the added thickness the clip and wallet represent. 


Its not bad, with a more refined scale, it would get a 1.5, but I am just not certain the pair together are great and apart, they both have weaknesses.   The clip offers no organization at all, but you understand that going in.  The wallet, while similar to the Bellroy, isn't quite as refined, lacking the pull tab and the secure diagonal cut pocket.

Efficiency: 2

You aren't going to beat a clip for efficiency, its basically ALL storage.  The sleeve style wallet is a little less efficient, but not by much.  This is a high volume storage system.

Overall Score: 17 or 18 of 20

If you are a money clip guy and haven't seen the the RC Fibers' clip, you owe it to yourself.  I also think the wallet is pretty nice wallet, a slightly lesser design, compared to the Bellroy, but a bit cheaper.  Together, they don't offer much, if anything more than they do separately.  The clip is pretty killer and I am not a clip guy.  Thanks Andrew 2.


  1. I love my Z Clip LeMans and this seems similar, but $90 less than the Z Clip.