Review: Waterfield Designs Sooper Dooper
Pros: Easily navigate your iPod while it stays put inside the case. Good design and adequate protection.
Cons: Needs clear vinyl protection up front and get rid of those melted stitch points. One of the more expensive cases.
The much sought after and well designed Sooper Dooper case is an excellent example of form follows function.
This case offers access to all that the iPod has to offer while providing protection against scratches, fingerprints, and the occasional bang against the not-so-iPod-friendly object. The iPod is inserted into the case via a Velcro flap on the top of the back panel. Carefully slide in your iPod, making sure the Velcro doesn’t come in contact (this is just asking for scratches) and gently pull the case’s corners over the iPod, Velcro the flap closed and your iPod will never have to go naked again.
A protective flap is provided on the front of the case, open the flap and you’ll notice the large opening on the front panel. Now you can easily control your iPod while it rests in its new home, no need to pull the iPod out of its case for what needs to be the standard on designing any iPod case. But, this case is not perfect. The large opening leaves too much of the iPod’s surface exposed to the elements. It provides no protection against an inadvertent fingernail or object from scratching the delicate surface. I would have liked to have seen a protective layer of clear vinyl sewn into the opening, just enough to cover the LCD and surrounding areas…leaving a round opening for the scroll wheel. The cover flap also has a small pocket to stow your iPod’s earphones. Just make sure the earphones are tucked in all the way, so they don’t carelessly scratch your iPod’s pretty face. This is another reason why a clear vinyl cover would make sense.
At the top of the case, there is a slit, providing access to the Firewire, headphone port, and the “Hold” switch. If you have big fingers, trying to operate the “Hold” switch will be a bit of a challenge, hope you have fingernails long enough to slide it “on” and “off”. Waterfield Designs might consider a more standard opening for access than just a hemmed slit in the fabric.
Like most iPod cases, there is some type of belt loop/clip provided on the back panel. The Sooper Dooper comes with a detachable belt clip with a push-button feature which secures the clip to the post on the back of the case. Once the clip is secured to the post, it won’t slide off, unless you release the clip by pushing the clip’s button and sliding it off yourself. If you want to hang the Sooper Dooper around your neck or mount it in your car, XtremeMac.com sells a kit which includes a neck landyard, flexible auto mount, and a swivel mount for attaching the case to any hard surface.
Fit and Finish
The fit is right-on snug. The case fits very well, even the round corners of the iPod are snug in each corner. Unlike any other iPod case fabrics used, the Sooper Dooper is made of ballistic nylon and Playball (a plastic, weaved mesh on the sides and bottom). The back panel is contructed with a coated open mesh, allowing the iPod to dissipate any heat, this according to the description on Waterfield Designs’ website. The inside of the front cover flap is made up of a plush synthetic material, soft to the touch, and won’t scratch the iPod. Overall construction of the Sooper Dooper is tight and stitched very well. This case should last for years in daily use.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed within the inside of the back panel, the mesh had some stitch points where the ends were melted. This resulted in small sharp edges which could possibly scratch the Pod’s polished metal backing. I would strongly recommend Waterfield Designs sew a soft, cloth lining into the inside to prevent the melt points from causing any cosmetic damage to the iPod.
At $40.00, it’s expensive, but despite its short comings, the Sooper Dooper comes out on top as one of the few cases on the market giving you easy access, protection and good looks in a well-designed package. Overall, it’s a nice case for the iPod. Though it may not have the padding of Neoprene cases, having access to all the iPod’s features is important. So far, this is the case in which I carry my iPod in every day. XtremeMac.com sells a similar case made of leather, but with a reinforced front cover flap and clear vinyl on the front for added protection and functionality.
I’m concerned about the sharp melt points on the stitching in the inside of the Sooper Dooper case. For now, I’ve layed a small piece of cloth inside the back panel to protect my iPod against any possible scratches. I hope Waterfield Designs reads this review and makes a couple of updates to dub the next Sooper Dooper case, the Sooper Dooper Sooper iPod case.