About the Owner

My Journey

My name is Ser. 

Consultant Engineer by trade. Snowboarder, martial artist, and gamer by hobbies.

I grew up in Eastern Europe in the Communist era. My memories include my dad waking up at 4am to join the ration queue for bread and milk (meat was a luxury that we did not often enjoy), climbing 12 flights of stairs by candlelight as there was limited electricity, showering with cold water stored in the bathtub, and being unable to get quality clothes, medicine, and other items that I now consider essential. 

Fast-forward some years, and the Communist era was finished. I graduated high school and progressed to university, becoming a successful Project Engineer at a construction company during my studies. Suddenly, I found myself with some money to spend. 

So, I spent it.

Material World

Beautiful clothes, expensive gadgets, luxurious foods. I bought a lot of things, even accumulating some debt in the process.

In the Communist era, if you had stuff, you were worth stuff, and I carried this broken mentality into adulthood. It got me nowhere.

My material possessions started to become a burden. Part of my job meant that I had to travel to various countries around the world. I had a vast array of products that catered to every superficial need and want you can imagine. To maintain my reliance, I would even buy multiple versions of the same items to store in the countries that I frequented. 

What’s more, it seemed that nothing that I bought satisfied my needs on a long-term basis. I was buying things, they were breaking or becoming surreptitiously obsolete, then I’d have to buy them again. A constant drain on my finances. 

On top of that, my life was clutter and I began to realise that all this stuff wasn’t contributing to my happiness in any way. It was actually decreasing from it. 

This encouraged me to take a stand. 

A New Mindset

Ser in New York | About | Rugged Ratings
That’s me…in a place, you’ll easily recognize.

To solve these problems, I had to develop a set of rules that would correct my broken behaviors and circumvent the abusive product-purchase cycle that was currently in place. But not just rules. I needed a whole new mindset that would change my relationship to products, spending, and money. 

I wanted to only purchase products that were either extremely durable or #BIFL (Buy it for life). This term refers to products that, due to certain qualities they possess, meaning they theoretically do not have to be purchased again for the duration of the buyer’s life.  

Products had BIFL credentials if it met one or preferably ALL of the following criteria: Rugged, Repairable, Upgradable and Multi-Purpose.

RauggedRatings.com | #BIFL Criteria

Results…

It started to work. Pretty soon, my house became uncluttered and started looking tidy all the time. I was saving money too, suddenly being able to afford the things that really mattered, like incredible experiences with people I loved, and having a financially unrestrained future. I was producing significantly less waste, and supporting companies that valued sustainability whilst punishing the ones that didn’t.

It should be noted that: I am not a true minimalist. I am not free of vices, I don’t live like a monk, and I am not a savings freak.

But I’ve managed to find a comfortable mid-point between the mindless consumerism that surrounds us, and experiencing all the luxuries and conveniences that contemporary life can offer – without breaking the bank.

That’s when I had the idea for this website.

RuggedRatings.com

On this website, we will gather and collate information about all the very best products in the world that align with the RuggedRatings mindset.

 Rugged, Repairable, Upgradable, Multipurpose and therefore long-lasting products that save our planet, your time, and your money. 

The Team

We will scour every corner of the web using gold-standard research and data-collection methods combined with first-hand user reviews to determine the absolute best of the best and bring them to directly to you.

Jake Grave Gear Testing
Jake Grave | Ex-Military.
Products Research & Testing
Sarah Santos Marketing Manager
Sarah Santos | Perfectionist & Marketing Manager
Aleks Zielinski Associate Editor
Aleks Zielinski | Hardcore Geek & Associate Editor
Arianna Heinemann Account Manager
Arianna Heinemann | Goal Setting Freak & Account Manager