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Review: Marware SportSuit Sleeve for iPod video

by on August 15, 2006

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.

The latest version of the SportSuit Sleeve takes some of the old and mixes it with the new. This simple, neoprene case is essentially the same design as it has been since the first version rolled off the assembly line. Unlike previous versions, owners of older iPods are left out in the cold due to the moved location of the headphone jack cutout.

Marware SportSuit Sleeve

Marware SportSuit Sleeve (Flap Open)

Marware SportSuit Sleeve (Back View)

Available either black or blue, this simplified version of 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 an “orca skin” front pocket for earbud storage. A flap on the top protects the top of the iPod, and secures in place with Velcro. A notch in the flap allows you to connect your headphones or other cable.

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 screen is impossible when using the Sleeve, you can use the buttons on the Click Wheel through the case (although actually choosing songs is out of the question). The beauty of this case is that it protects the iPod very well, and is fairly universal.

Most accessories cannot be used while the iPod is in the case. 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 current incarnation of the SportSuit Sleeve is just as good as its predecessor. It’s a no-frills case that looks good, works well, and can still be customized to your liking (at least with various clips).

The One-Sentence Verdict™

The newest SportSuit combines value, simplicity, and protection.

Pros: Well-made, useful design, protective, tons of accessories
Cons: iPod screen cannot be used, controls limited
Rating: 9/10

The Facts

Product: SportSuit Sleeve
Company: Marware
Platform: iPod (5)
Price: $19.95

This post has been filed in iPod, Mobile Devices, Reviews