- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: Recycled Firefighter The Sergeant
Rising from the ashes of its previous career comes the battle-hardened Recycled Firefighter Sergeant. But can this wallet live up to the heroic deeds of its past?
Robustly constructed and surprisingly light for the materials used, this is the smallest money carrier I’ve used to date. Due to my already streamlined existing wallet, I knew that to get any use out of this new purchase it would need to lure me even further into carry simplicity.
The first hook was that it’s seriously cool. I mean just look at it! Weather-worn yellow and Multicam may only be a small step away from the usual loop-backed tactical style wallet, but it’s a giant leap away from the traditional black leather billfolds.
Who It Suits
Those looking for a minimal, robust, unique wallet that has a ton of character. It is a conversation-starting item that has a great story to share, so it will thrive in the pocket of anyone who enjoys talking about their gear.
Who It Doesn’t
Someone looking for a clean, subtle, sits-in-the-background wallet. Be warned, when you throw it down on the bar, the RF Sergeant makes a statement.
There’s a weight of shouldered responsibility that the fire hose brings to the table. Each fire hose has seen action, enough to reach the point of being decommissioned in fact. I started off feeling like I should maybe treat it gently, helping it ease its way into retirement. But this feeling was quickly dismissed as I realized that, true to the company’s tag line – “2nd Career Gear”, it wants this new role to prove itself all over again.
“It is a conversation-starting item that has a great story to share…”
The build quality is absolutely solid, there’s no way this thing will fall apart. The unwavering yet moldable structure leaves you confident that your cards are protected. From a hiking point of view, it’s great to be able to chuck it into my pack without worrying about security or scuffing.
“The build quality is absolutely solid, there’s no way this thing will fall apart.”
The diagonal angle to one of the sides allows for quicker retrieval of the cards. I also discovered it allows you to use a Contactless (RFID enabled) credit or debit card without even removing it from the wallet, which is very handy.
The Mil-spec elastic on the reverse is designed to hold banknotes, which it does really well, and it also snaps back securely when it’s not in use. I found a £5 or £10 note fits perfectly when folded into three.
Unfortunately £20 notes won’t fit so well as they are an extra 5mm (0.19″) taller. With dollar bills all being the same size this won’t be an issue for any U.S. readers. I rarely use cash these days, unless I’m going to an event where I’ll need it, so I experimented with a few other carry options. It was perfect for storing the occasional receipt of payment I wanted to keep. I also used it for two key-fob sized loyalty cards and the elastic even holds tight enough that a thin multitool could be stored here too.
The Not So Good
One of the first things I noticed about my Sergeant was that it was still a little rough around the edges. Where the binding tape has been heat-sealed the hard, melted nylon had a slightly sharp finish. I thought it would be easy enough to file it down a little, but decided to leave it for a few days to see how it felt.
“One of the first things I noticed about my Sergeant was that it was still a little rough around the edges.”
I barely notice the slender wallet in my pocket as it is, so any sharpness was completely not an issue (I even have to occasionally check it’s still there). I felt that the melted edge acted as a grim reminder of its past, and scars are sometimes important, reminding us of where we’ve come from. That said, this should definitely be a consideration if you like everything rounded off.
I tested it up to 6 cards in my daily use and felt that was a comfortable limit of the wallet. The website says it can hold up to 8 cards “depending on the unique nature of each product”, which is possible, but I’d recommend aiming to stay around 5/6 cards.
“I tested it up to 6 cards in my daily use and felt that was a comfortable limit of the wallet.”
Whenever you take out a card, even if it’s just one, the hose material stays in a stretched position. This makes it effortless to slide the card back in, but it does leave the remaining cards slightly loose. It did worry me that items could fall out until I realized that, with a squeeze and a rub of its spine, the hose can easily adapt to a new shape. I do believe this just adds another dimension to the already tactile experience of owning the RF Sergeant.
The Sergeant is a strong and slim wallet that wholeheartedly embraces a new career. With a wide array of color variations and products to explore, each often having their own battle scuffs, printed marks or faded coloring, there is truly a unique product for everyone.