Review: Marware SportSuit Sleeve
When Apple redesigned the iPod about a year ago, many people were annoyed at the fact that their favorite case would most likely not work with the new controls. Case manufacturers probably felt the same way, as all of their current products were rendered outdated in the time span of a few hours. Now that a year has gone by, the amount of cases for 4G iPods has increased tenfold, while the cases for 3G iPods have almost disappeared.
We reviewed Marware’s SportSuit Sleeve awhile back, and since then, the iPod’s headphone jack has been moved, video functionality has been added, and the device is considerably different than previous versions. Because of this, the SportSuit Sleeve has also seen a redesign.
Marware’s SportSuit Sleeve is contradictory to all of the above. This simple, neoprene case is essentially the same design as it was more than a year ago. As a result, owners of 3G iPods will find their iPods to fit with no trouble. Owners of newer iPods can take advantage of it, too. Why? The $20 SportSuit Sleeve is a protective case that doesn’t allow you to control your iPod (much like the foofpod and the Paag Pak).
Marware SportSuit Sleeve
Marware SportSuit Sleeve + iPod
Marware SportSuit Sleeve Back View
Available in many colors (black, blue, red, yellow, graphite, and navy), this sibling to the
SportSuit Convertible features a pocket for the iPod and a very small front pocket for earbuds or a cable. The case is made of neoprene, with a vulcanized rubber bumper around the bottom and sides. A flap on the top protects the top of the iPod, and secures in place with Velcro. A cutout in the flap with a reinforced rubber ring allow you to connect your headphones and a remote.
iPods slide easily into the SportSuit Sleeve, and snugly fit inside. Even when turning the case upside-down and shaking it with the top flap open, our iPod did not fall out. The inside is padded and lined with a soft fabric to prevent scratching.
Although using the iPod’s controls or screen is impossible when using the Sleeve, you can always use a wired remote or set up a playlist. The beauty of this case is that it protects the iPod very well, and is fairly universal.
Top-mount accessories can be used when the iPod is in its case if you leave the top flap open. The dock connector is not accessible, but Apple does advise against charging/syncing with an encased iPod anyway.
A belt clip is also including, using Marware’s Multidapt® system, just like the fancier SportSuit cases. The belt clip is one of the better ones we’ve seen, and feels very secure. Two loops allow the use of a belt (not included). Some other accessories include the Slide SwivelKit ($5.95), CarHolderKit ($5.95), BikeHolder ($7.95) Lanyard ($7.95) and Belt ($8.95).
Overall, the SportSuit Sleeve is a no-frills case that looks good, works well, and has a wide range of variety of accessories available. Another benefit is that it works with any full-size iPod made in the last two years, perfect for anyone who has a 3G iPod, but might upgrade in the future.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The SportSuit is an inexpensive case, offers good protection, and adds only a little bit of bulk.
Pros: Well-made, useful design, protective, tons of accessories
Cons: iPod controls cannot be used