Chicago Comb Co. Model No. 2 Carbon Fiber Review
Chicago Comb Co.’s Model No. 2 is a sturdier travel comb than many on the market, courtesy of its strong carbon fiber construction.
- Fits inside a small toiletry bag
- Lightweight but durable
- Built-in loop for hanging
- Short handle
- Fine-tooth only
- May be too small for long or thick hair
0.25 oz (7.1 g)
4 in x 1.25 in (10.2 x 3.2 cm)
We hear you: the compliments on how neat and professional we look in our reviews reassure us that we’re on the right track with our hygiene. One of the tools we use for our upkeep is the good ‘ol comb. Sadly, many of the ones we’ve tried don’t meet our standards for durability.
The Chicago Comb Co. has a lot of combs (surprise, surprise), many of them made of strong materials that put plastic to shame. In this review, we’re testing the Model No. 2 Carbon Fiber. Not only is it durable, but it’s also lightweight and very compact—all ideal traits for a travel comb. We’ll also cover how the comb handles compared to its size since it is still a travel-sized comb. Now, let’s jump in and comb through the finer details in this review.
Materials & Aesthetic
As the name suggests, Chicago Comb Co. uses carbon fiber for this comb. But that doesn’t mean it has that distinct carbon fiber look. The striped and weaved pattern we typically see in this material is missing. Instead, it’s simpler, though a bit plasticky at first glance because of how unassuming the finish looks. Trust us, though; looks are deceiving because this is anything but plasticky.
The construction feels stiff, despite being as thin as roughly three credit cards. There’s very little flex down the length of the body and alongside the teeth. Carbon fiber is one of those high-end materials you usually only see in aircraft and fast cars, and we can see why; it’s overkill for a comb—and we dig that. At 7.1 grams or 0.25 ounces, it’ll hardly make a dent in your baggage allowance.
In terms of looks, they’ve made a few artistic touches that make it look a bit stylish. First, the overall shape is rounded at the corners, making it look sleeker. Second, there is an integrated loop in lieu of a long handle. At the risk of sounding a bit pompous, we’d dare say this comb is one of the better-looking ones out there without looking over the top.
Carbon fiber aside, Chicago Comb Co. does make their comb in other designs and materials. At the time of writing, stainless steel and titanium options are also available. Additionally, you can get the combs with leather sheaths and custom engraving. The former is a bit extra for us, though; we’d rather keep the extra bulk down.
Usage & Features
A huge part of how good the comb feels to use is its design. While we’re no ergonomics experts, we can tell you that having a handle on a comb helps. The problem with having a handle is bulk—the enemy of any compact toiletry bag. For some context, look at it next to other combs we’ve used while traveling.
Other travel combs get around the problem of bulk by having a folding handle (like the Muji Folding Travel Comb seen above). However, most of what we’ve seen has plastic construction that doesn’t feel as strong as the Model No. 2’s carbon fiber. Plus, a two-piece design that folds together is more susceptible to breaking than a single-piece design like the Model No. 2.
So, it’s durable and compact—two traits that are enough to put the Model No. 2 in our toiletry bag. Outside our toiletry bag, though, the Model No. 2’s loop comes into its own. It’s large enough to hang off a carabiner, a backpack loop, or a random twig sticking out of a tree. It’s not something we’re too nitpicky about, but when you’re short on table space, being able to hang your gear is super convenient.
The size for men’s use is quite versatile. It’s about the right size to get the job done, whether we need to comb hair or tame a beard. The ergonomics is about what you’d expect from a comb with just a loop for a handle. Those with larger hands may struggle by needing to grip it past the loop and over the teeth. Meanwhile, those with longer hair may find it uncomfortable to use for extended combing sessions. As such, your mileage may vary when it comes to handling.
As for the comb itself, the teeth are relatively fine, with very tight gaps. Unlike some combs, the Model No.2 doesn’t include an additional course half. It’s a personal preference based on your hair.
The bristles also feel stiff since the comb is made entirely of carbon fiber, making it comparable to wooden combs and leagues ahead of plastic ones. This stiffness helps comb through thick hair, making sure that the comb’s direction is dictated by us, not the hair’s resistance. Furthermore, firm bristles like these eliminate the need for a cover, so folding combs don’t get a leg up in that regard either.
Plenty of travel combs will make you go, “Oh, it will do in a pinch.” The Model No. 2, on the other hand, feels more industrial, more tool-like, and less toy-like. The lack of a full-length handle means users may struggle to comb through longer hair. The small size is a tradeoff, but one that’s well worth it for travel. It’s compact, combs well, and is durable—it checks all the right boxes for us.
- Lack of a handle is something to get used to
- The ring makes it easy to fidget around with it
- Very granular teeth and very rigid too
- Love the small, packable size
- Round size ensures it doesn’t get snagged coming in and out of pockets or dopp kits
- Combs hair well—what more can you ask from a comb?
One note here is that the comb teeth feel a little stiffer due to the carbon fiber. This is great for durability, but it provides a slightly different feel to a traditional plastic comb.
Beard has grown out in the last couple of weeks, so it’s been nice to keep things in check.
At the time of writing this, the Model No. 2 has made it onto 2 of our Packing Lists.