Review: DLO Action Jacket for iPod classic
Company: Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO)
Model: Action Jacket
Compatible: iPod classic, iPod 5G
When Apple released the iPod classic, it preserved enough of the fifth-generation iPod that many prior cases worked without modification, and two recently re-released armbands are a testament to that: Marware's Sportsuit Convertible for iPod classic ($35) is almost identical to the prior Sportsuit Convertible for iPod 5G (with video), and DLO's Action Jacket for iPod classic ($30) is similarly almost indistinguishable from its iPod 5G predecessor. Our reviews below are therefore based heavily on the earlier ones, noting differences where appropriate.
Action Jacket for iPod classic is part of DLO’s series of neoprene iPod cases that transform into workout-ready armbands or belt-mounted holders, using an included detachable plastic belt clip and a detachable elastic and Velcro armband. Most of the base Action Jacket case is made from black vulcanized neoprene, except for a clear plastic screen protector, rubber side grips, and a rectangular rubber Dock Connector hole at the bottom. Unlike the prior fifth-generation iPod version of the case, which this now replaces, there isn’t a Click Wheel protector built in, and a hole in the front of the case now lets sweat and other moisture in. Like the 5G Action Jacket, the classic version is a one-size-fits-all design, but this time, it looks good on any-sized iPod classic or 5G.
Unfortunately, other areas in which DLO could have duplicated its newer, more protective iPod touch version of Action Jacket were ignored here. There are still big holes in this case’s top left and right corners, needlessly exposing the iPod’s Hold switch right beside a central Velcro flap that holds the case closed. An equally large hole on the right exposes the classic’s or 5G’s headphone port, while the aforementioned rectangular, rubber boxed hole at the bottom exposes the Dock Connector port; it’s right-sized for Apple cables, but not larger ones or easy use with Universal Dock accessories. Some people won’t mind all of these exposed parts, but other iPod cases, such as Marware’s Sportsuit Convertible, do a much better job of sealing the iPod against elemental and sweat intrusions.
As with its other Action Jackets, DLO includes a single 17”-long armband with the classic version, which like the 5G and touch versions has a slightly softer fabric backing that’s not as harsh against the skin as the bands in some generic iPod armbands. You double it over itself and then seal its Velcro sides together, which works fine to secure the 5G or classic on your arm.
The only other thing to mention here is the Action Jacket’s belt clip, which is a generic but sturdy matching black plastic piece that works fine and rotates around, mostly staying in one place if the iPod’s hanging vertically downwards thanks to pressure created by the top Velcro tab. We prefer the nicer clips used by Marware on its Sportsuit series cases, but DLO’s is fine.
Just like the prior version of the Action Jacket, this updated version of for the iPod classic isn’t a case we’d run out to buy. We were genuinely excited by DLO’s more protective, sharper looking, and more practical iPod touch iteration of Action Jacket, which took a few steps forward from this old design, but as was the case with the 5G Action Jacket, DLO sat on its hands with the classic version—in fact, the Click Wheel coverage has taken a step back. Once again, greater protection, more in-box frills, a better standalone case design, or a lower price would have made this a better option.