Pros: Looks pretty good, serves intended purpose better than most competitors.
Cons: Face of iPod is exposed to the elements and possible drop damage. Inexpensive and rides on the fine edge of feeling like it.
We’ve tested and knocked our fair share of iPod exercise cases, but we’ve finally found one that’s good enough to recommend. Teski’s Roadie accomplishes what Monster and Tune Belt didn’t accomplish with their exercise offerings, namely providing a nice looking case that also does a good job of attaching to the user’s arm and holding the iPod. And its pricetag – $19.95 direct from Teski’s web site (at a regular but not common price of $29.95) – makes it a perfect alternative to the other, inferior options.
The Roadie consists of four pieces: a white rubberized front shell, a hard (thin plastic) black back shell, an elastic and velcro armband, and a hard plastic belt clip. Only three of these pieces are intended to be used at once – the belt clip and armband are interchangeable, while the front and back shells snap together to enclose an iPod. Smooth, rounded holes are left for the iPod’s top and bottom ports, and the face of the iPod is left entirely exposed, though vaguely protected by a couple of millimeters of elevated rubber lip across the front edge.
Unlike the Tunebelt, the Roadie’s arm strap looks good and holds firm. The slightly pliable elastic stretches enough to accommodate any arm size, and multiple pieces of Velcro are designed to reinforce the band’s grip by providing multiple adhesive sites. Pull the arm strap out and the back of the case has a deftly designed, snap on belt clip that locks in and detaches nicely.
Even though the materials they chose aren’t expensive, Teski’s design makes the most of the Roadie’s components. Because of the two-piece central case design, the company has been able to offer a pack of three replaceable colored front covers (Clear (Transparent), Black and Sport Orange) for an additional $9.95. The rear cover is a bit on the thin side, though not dangerously so, and when the two halves are snapped together, they form a good seal specific to the size of the iPod inserted inside. Still, we would have preferred some sort of transparent plastic protection for at least the screen, which would have made the iPod less susceptible to damage in a fall on an uneven surface. The rubberized front will absorb some shock, but not prevent abrasions.
With its transparent molding, Monster’s iSportCase is a cooler looking case, but Teski’s is the one we’d want to work out with. If you can find it for $19.95, consider the Roadie a highly viable touring companion. Teski offers the Clear (Transparent) in its 3 color pack.
Jeremy Horwitz is a consumer electronics fanatic who practices intellectual property law in his spare time. His recent book, Law School Insider, has been called the “best book about law school -ever,” and he continues to contribute to Ziff-Davis electronic entertainment magazines.
Company and Price
Price: $29.95 (on sale for $19.95), iPod Roadie top color 3 pack $9.95 (white, orange and black)
Compatible: iPod 3G