It’s not difficult to make a good iPod armband. But certain companies are decidedly better than others, especially when dealing with the iPod nano, as the most recent crop of armband accessories demonstrates. Today, we look briefly at new options from Capdase, CoverCase, Nike, and Speck; this review covers CoverCase’s Dual SlimSkin Silicon Case with Armband ($13).
Once in a while, something really cheap-looking shows up for testing, and we find it hard to assign a rating because it’s also really inexpensive. Such is the case with the Dual SlimSkin and Armband set, a budget-priced third-generation iPod nano rubber case with a detachable armband, cleaning cloth, and film screen protector. Sold in black and gray or two-toned pink, the cases’ matching adjustable armbands take inspiration from Apple’s perforated, Vulcanized neoprene design, but are an inch wide versus Apple’s nearly 1.5” wide iPod nano Armband, and have other small cheapening touches.
If the Dual SlimSkin was sold for the same $30 price as Gecko Gear’s Nano Sports Armband, it would be in a lot of trouble: both cases uses relatively forgettable cases and detachable armbands, but Gecko’s are unquestionably nicer looking and better designed for your arm. The Dual SlimSkin looks cheaper, but at least bothers to protect the nano’s screen, and though the armband is smaller and flimsier-looking, its breathable design and simplicity are a contrast with the considerably larger, bulkier Gecko pack-in.
Both cases suffer a lot in our view from their lack of iPod nano protection: workouts tend to be sweaty, and neither of these cases provides adequate coverage for nano’s bottom or Click Wheel, a problem most other armbands solve—albeit often at a higher price.
So what most heavily impacts Dual SlimSkin’s rating is the recent release of Capdase’s Sport Armband for iPod nano, which sells for around the same price and offers a considerably more protective, cleaner looking design. True, SlimSkin can be used as a case when it’s not being used as an armband, but both parts reek of cheapness and, as functional as they may be, don’t inspire confidence with their lax attitude towards production. Consider them only if you’re on a budget and not concerned about sweat or elemental intrusion.
Company and Price
Model: Dual SlimSkin Armband