Until recently, the only hardshell iPod case that also provided room for accessories such as your earbuds was the STM Cocoon. But HandyStands has recently introduced their own hardshell case — or, more accurately, set of cases — that offers the Cocoon some competition. Sold as a pair of cases, the iPak SET provides a way to store and protect both your iPod (the iPak) and its accessories (the iPak Accessories Case).
Both iPak cases provide a stiff outer shell that zips closed. The body of each contains 1/4″ to 1/2″ of interior foam with custom-fit spaces for your iPod (iPak) or its accessories (iPak Accessories Case). The front cover is not foam-padded, but instead provides mesh storage pockets.
The standard iPak is approximately 5.75″ x 4.25″ x 1.5″; its foam padding holds your iPod firmly in place — an insert is included to adjust the fit for an iPod mini — and the mesh pocket provides space for your earbuds. Like the STM Cocoon, you’ll need to use your iPod’s remote — or plan your playlists accordingly — since you can’t access any controls without unzipping the case. The Accessory case is approximately 3/4″ thicker and includes foam cutouts for your iPod’s AC adapter and one small accessory such as an iTrip or iTalk. Its dual mesh pockets hold cables and adapters.
Overall, we like the STM Cocoon a bit better than the iPak as a standalone hardshell for the iPod, mainly because it’s a bit smaller in size but offers slightly more room for earbuds and other small items. However, if you’re looking for a way to protect both your iPod and its accesories, the iPak SET is the only game in town.