At a Glance
At the other end of the water-protection (and price) spectrum from the iN3 is iFrogz's iBagz (; $12), which the company describes as "water resistant bagz." And, spelling aside, that's pretty much what the iBagz is. Instead of a rigid case, the iBagz is essentially a thick-plastic bag with a waterproof seal and a pass-through headphone connector. You open the bag, insert your iPod, connect iBagz's cable to your iPod's headphone jack, and then seal the bag up tight. The sealing process works much like a dry bag you might take on a kayaking trip; you close two Ziplock-like closures, roll down the top edge three times, then secure the top with a strip of Velcro.
You connect your headphones to the dangling headphone jack on the outside of the bag. The bag's plastic is thin enough that you can still control your iPod, including scrolling using the Click Wheel. You can even use an iPhone's touchscreen through the iBagz. However, the iBagz's headphone plug doesn't fit the iPhone's recessed headphone jack; you'll need a headphone adapter. Even then, you'll be able to use the iPhone only as an iPod; the iBagz's headphone cable doesn't pass phone/voice signals. I also found it to be a minor hassle to get an iPod--especially full-size models--into the bag and connected.
iFrogz claims the iBagz is made of "commercial grade heavy-duty plastic to withstand puncture by sharp edges and foreign objects"; it did indeed feel tough in my testing. On the other hand, because it's a simple bag, the iBagz offers little protection from shock or crushing. (Although the iBagz is big enough that you can actually fit a smaller iPod--nano, shuffle, or mini--inside its own case inside the iBagz.) An included adjustable lanyard lets you wear the iBagz around your neck.
Although the inside of the iBagz stayed dry during my bathtub test, iFrogz advertises the case as being water-resistant, not waterproof. In other words, this is a simple, inexpensive accessory designed to keep your iPod dry in "splashy" situations--in the rain, by the pool, while boating, etc. And it does that well, despite its obvious limitations.--Dan Frakes