Like many people, I try to recycle and be somewhat cognizant of the trash I generate from just existing in the modern world. I also like to keep my wallet as compact as possible. Surprisingly, these two goals collided nicely when Reborn Rubber offered us the chance to review their wallets made from upcycled wetsuits!
The idea behind Reborn Rubber wallets is fairly simple: they take old wetsuits and neoprene scraps and stitch them into simple, compact wallets. There are two slots on one side, and one on the other, but thanks to the stretchiness of neoprene the company says the wallet can hold up to 10 cards. I have 8 shoved into mine, of varying thickness, because one of my cards is metal, and I also keep the keycard that lets me into my office building in one of the pockets. I have zero issues with sliding out a card if I need it, and everything slides back in smoothly as well. The outer pockets feel like a stiffer material, while the divider material in the middle feels like soft neoprene. It feels very solid in your hand, doesn’t pick up any pocket lint (I’ve shoved it into a ton of pants pockets and random bag pockets for the last week), and it is just compact enough to carry anywhere but still feels substantial enough that you don’t worry about cards falling out of it.
Aesthetically, the wallets look really cool, with contrasting stitching and different colors for the middle material, from black to neon green. If someone saw you pull it out and wasn’t looking closely, I doubt they’d note it was made from a wetsuit material, and they certainly wouldn’t immediately guess it was upcycled out of a prior product. The stitching is sharp and straight, and the whole look is remarkably professional, even in brighter colors. If you’re consistently pulling your wallet out in a business situation, the black on black design would hardly raise an eyebrow, and the brighter colored ones look great as an accent, not a loud statement-using one of these won’t flash you back to your 90s neon velcro wallet.
The wetsuit origins matter for two reasons, not just the cool material concept. One, neoprene floats. So if you’re a butterfingers who drops your wallet near water, you won’t be on your phone with the credit card company frantically canceling your cards in case sharks learn to use Amazon. I did not drop my wallet full of my cards in water, but I did put an empty wallet in water, and I even shoved it down a few times to get it really soaked. Every time, it popped right back to the surface, so I’m fairly confident if you drop this wallet while fishing, you won’t need to wonder which lure works best on a driver’s license.
Second, Reborn Rubber isn’t just making the world a little cleaner by finding new homes for wetsuits. They’re donating 10% of each purchase to ocean cleanup organizations. This means not only is a little less material going to the landfill, but you’ll be helping to preserve nature. So if you’re really (un)lucky, you can enjoy nature AND test the buoyancy of Reborn Rubber, secure in the knowledge the fish habitats are getting cleaner and that you’ll be able to snag your wallet back before a squid steals your identity.
Not everyone can handle a super-compact wallet, but if you’re looking for something minimal and different, Reborn Rubber is an excellent choice. At only $19.99 per wallet, with an assortment of colors, there’s plenty of ways to showcase your style, keep your cards organized, AND save the ocean.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Liked: Compact style; can be stuffed with up to 10 cards; can hold cash and cards securely; many color option; floats; 10% of the proceeds go to ocean cleanup.
What Needs Improvement: Two slots on each side would add to the organizational options.