With Stowaway for iPhone 5 ($35), Incipio seriously refined the concept of its earlier iPhone 4/4S credit card-holding case. The new version is much slimmer and cleaner-looking, using a design that matches the rest of the company’s iPhone 5 lineup rather than Silicrylic. It’s a smart move, and the result is a practical solution for those who want to ditch their wallets.
Stowaway is thicker than many standard iPhone cases: measuring 0.53” deep, it’s 0.08” thicker than the company’s Faxion but an impressive 0.17” thinner than the original Stowaway, thanks in part to the iPhone 5’s own thinness. This is a difference you’ll feel, and while Stowaway is somewhat thick in the hand, it’s not unpleasant—comparable to an iPhone 4 or 4S in a traditional case. It’s worth noting that the camera and flash are more deeply recessed than in most cases, but in our testing, that didn’t affect our images. Also worth mentioning: Stowaway is made of the same rubber and glossy plastic combination as Faxion, with the same button protection and three openings along the bottom edge. We really like Incipio’s consistent styling across the line.
Incipio says Stowaway is made to hold up to three credit cards or IDs in the flip-open compartment on its back. Connected to the body with a rubber hinge along the right side of the case, the door is just about the same length as the iPhone 5’s aluminum back, and there’s no way for the cards to slip down in front of the iPhone 5’s antennas. The door clips securely shut, alleviating our concerns that cards might fall out too easily, but it also opens without a hassle, and can alternately serve as a landscape orientation kickstand. Normally, opening the hinge would reveal a bare iPhone, possibly waiting to get scratched by items traveling inside and outside. Thankfully, Incipio includes film for the back of the device, plus screen film to prevent both surfaces from being scratched. Four rubber nubs on either short edge grab the cards so they’re not loose. A sliding motion is necessary to get them in place, and though this may take a little getting used to, it works.
We can confidently say Stowaway is our favorite iPhone wallet case to date: Incipio really did a great job with this design, iterating successfully on prior efforts. The look and feel are nice, and its star feature—holding credit cards—works very well. Not surprisingly, it’s thicker than a standard case, but that comes with the territory, and reduces your need to carry a thicker, separate wallet. Although three cards may not be enough for everyone at all times, this is a very smart and well-executed solution for those who can make do with that many. It earns our A- rating and high recommendation.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPhone 5