Model: iVolution Stripes
Price: $100 (+ shipping)
Vaja iVolution Stripes for iPhone
Having already reviewed Vaja's iVolution Top Holster, Top SP Holster, and Top Crystal 2 for the iPhone, there's no need for us to extensively discuss the company's latest version iVolution Stripes ($100) -- it's the same case with a new color scheme. Our brief review below covers what's new in this otherwise familiar design.
The original Top Holster is amongst the only flip-style iPhone cases we’d actually consider using. Though we’re not fans of the idea that iPods or iPhones, particularly the touchscreen devices, should have their screens or other key components obscured, Vaja’s sleek puffed leather and hardshell design is just plain attractive, especially as you can pick its color from a collection of 38. You get coverage for the entire iPhone save its top, camera corner, and side controls, as well as thin slits at its bottom; the only non-trivial inconvenience is that you need to flip a lid open every time you want to use the device.
Vaja enhanced this Top design with SP, which for a $10 premium added a single racing stripe in a second color, then released GT, which for a $15 premium added twin stripes of the same color. Now Stripes has come along for a $30 premium, adding three stripes that can be individually color-customized to your choice of colors, along with a fourth color that will fill the sides next to the stripes, as well as the case’s entire back.
There isn’t a lot to say about the Stripes design except to note that Vaja hasn’t attempted to make the stripes completely identical or centered, like SP or GT; instead, the center stripe is thicker than the others and skewed right, while the leftmost stripe is second in thickness, and the right stripe is thin. It’s fashionably offset, rather than traditional, which some users will like and others won’t. The case preserves the soft-feeling, attractive Caterina leather found in most Vaja cases, and has the company’s signature metal logo on front, plus Vaja embossing on its interior. Just like the company’s other designs, there’s absolutely no question that you’re paying for—and getting—utter class. A belt clip and text or graphic personalization can be added for extra charges.
Having seen many of Vaja’s customizable leather cases over the years, iVolution Stripes isn’t a major change—it’s Rasta, revisited and more customizable, only on a case design that’s less convenient. Like Crystal 2, you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth the added price of admission over a SP or GT case; we like the color customization option a lot, but would have preferred a different stripe pattern, with more symmetry or separation a la GT. This is purely a matter of individual preference, though; if you feel otherwise, or are just looking for the most customizable leather case on the market, Stripes is expensive and less convenient than the company’s standard iVolution design, but more protective and still worthy of consideration.