Review: Timbuk2 iPod Mini Carrying Case
Pros: A simple and generally protective iPod enclosure that uses a mix of resilient ballistic nylon, plush polyester, and elastic to fit an iPod mini, available in eleven colors.
Cons: No access to iPod’s screen, controls, or Dock Connector port when inside. Notable portion of iPod mini’s top corners is exposed, regressing from the company’s prior flap-top design.
In a separate review today, we look at Timbuk2’s iPod Carrying Case (iLounge rating: B), which was a followup to the company’s earlier iPod Case (iLounge rating: B+). This review is almost identical to the newer of those reviews, but notes differences specific to the iPod mini version of the case, which is named the iPod Mini Carrying Case and sells for the slightly lower price of $18.00. Like its full-sized version, the Mini Carrying Case comes in 11 different colors (navy, olive, black, gray, brown, silver, red, orange, gold, light green, and pink), all of which feature the same physical design. We tested the olive green version.
The iPod Mini Carrying Case covers the entire front and back of an iPod mini with ballistic nylon in your choice of colors, and uses black piping for the sides and edges. Two large black Velcro tabs stick out of the case’s rear, together forming a bag shoulder strap or horizontal belt attachment. A small fabric loop on the rear tab can be used to slip a belt through vertically, as well.
A tiny strip of fabric on the case’s top center opens to reveal the case’s plush polyester interior, sealing closed with Velcro to hold the iPod mini inside. Current and first-generation iPod minis fit in, with their headphone port and Hold switch exposed on either side of the strip, plus a few millimeters of the iPod mini’s top metal surface - more than in most cases we’ve tested, and more than the top of the full-sized iPod version of this case. Timbuk2’s logo appears in yellow in the bottom left front corner of each case, and its name on a tag on the back left side.
We don’t have a lot to say about this case beyond that it’s simple and less protective than the older case Timbuk2 developed, this time exposing most of the iPod mini’s top rather than small parts of its bottom side corners, and still neither providing access to the iPod’s screen or controls while inside. Said differently, Timbuk2’s prior top design - a slit that opened as much as you needed it to - was actually a smarter idea than the almost entirely open top of this case, which comes to rest too short of the iPod mini’s top because of the way that it’s cut, though we’re glad that the company sealed off the case’s corners.
All in all, the iPod Mini Carrying Case is a regression from the full-sized iPod version of the case and its predecessor, which is especially noteworthy at at a time when other fabric cases have advanced a fair bit. The best feature of this design is Timbuk2’s continued use of boldly colored and resilient ballistic nylon, a material we continue to like and trust to protect our iPods. Similarly, the company’s variety of colors is a nice change from the generic one- to four-color fabric cases we most often see, and the build quality on Timbuk2 products remains high, with sturdy stitching and generally good attention to overall fit and finish. Apart from the fact that this case exposes as much of the iPod’s top as it does, we would have found it easy to recommend generally to our readers. As-is, it’s a case we’d only recommend to real Timbuk2 die-hards who already own one or more of the company’s products and don’t mind exposing the tops of their iPod minis in order to use a matching case.