Review: Timbuk2 iPod Carrying Case
Pros: A simple and generally protective iPod enclosure that uses a mix of resilient ballistic nylon, plush polyester, and elastic to fit all sizes of iPod, available in eleven colors.
Cons: No access to iPod’s screen, controls, or Dock Connector port when inside; exposure of iPod’s top surface is a scratch damage risk.
Having previously released a series of simple but attractive iPod cases (iLounge rating: B+), bag maker Timbuk2 has recently debuted updated versions with similar looks and materials. Called the iPod Carrying Case ($20.00), the new full-sized 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 gold version.
The iPod Carrying Case covers the entire front and back of an iPod 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 top left side opens to reveal the case’s plush polyester interior, sealing closed only to modestly hold the iPod’s left corner inside. Any full-sized iPod from 2001 to the present day fits in, with headphone port and Hold switch exposed. 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 a bit less protective than its predecessor, this time exposing most of the iPod’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, though we’re glad that the company sealed off the case’s corners.
All in all, the iPod Carrying Case is a slight regression - a good but not great design overall, and not an improvement at a time when other fabric cases have advanced a fair bit. What stands out most from other case designs (and preserves this case’s recommendable overall rating) is Timbuk2’s continued use of boldly colored and resilient ballistic nylon, a material we continue to like and trust to protect our iPods. 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 good attention to overall fit and finish. While not the first cases we’d pick independently for our iPods, these are fine add-ons for the company’s existing lines of messenger and other bags, assuming you have or want one.