Pros: Good protection on all sides, matching detachable lid works well, choice of colors, the safest choice for workout purposes.
Cons: Still bulks up the iPod mini, isn’t as stylish as the Jam Jacket Pro mini.
Marware SportSuit Basic, Convertible, Runabout and Safari
Marware is now shipping the black-colored SportSuit Basic, a $24.95 case that is almost identical to the Action Jacket, save a few particulars, the more interesting $34.95 workout version called the SportSuit Convertible, a middle-of-road $29.95 wristband variant called the SportSuit Runabout, and an entirely different fur-covered $19.95 pouch design called the SportSuit Safari. Each case has advantages and disadvantages; only one scored an iLounge Excited rating. Note that this review is excerpted from a longer combination review of all of these products, see the separate Marware mini case reviews for additional details.
The Convertible version of the SportSuit won us over, adding five iPod mini-matching colors and two smart extras to the Basic.
First is a detachable velcro hard protective lid, which attaches to the top of a slightly modified version of the Basic case, shielding the entirety of the mini’s face and providing strong anti-shock protection. A small Velcro latch on the bottom lets the Convertible operate like a flip-open case – if you want it to. Second is a pouch within the detachable lid, large enough to hold headphones or keys while you’re exercising.
Coupled with Marware’s armband, which feels better-made and looks at least slightly nicer than DLO’s, the SportSuit Convertible is a very good workout option – perhaps the best available for people who jog in inclement weather conditions or places where iPod mini face and/or anti-shock protection would be important.
(Only the Convertible version of the case features rear straps to hold the armband in place; Marware’s included detachable beltclip integrates substantially better with the Convertible than DLO’s almost afterthought nub did with the Action Jacket.) Black and iPod mini-matching color choices further elevate Marware’s option above DLO’s, and won female nods of approval when we were testing the case.
The Convertible is on the fine edge of our Excited rating. Despite outdoing the look of the Action Jacket, it’s not the most attractive case we’ve seen, but it looks better serving its purpose than any other neoprene case currently available, and offers better protection overall than the Jam Jacket Pro mini.