The iPod mini is a popular “workout” iPod because it’s a bit sturdier than full-size iPods while still letting you carry a good amount of music with you. The problem is how to carry it. A number of vendors make armband holders that fit around your upper arm, but when you use these cases, you can’t see your mini’s screen and you have to “feel” your way around its buttons. Belt clips are OK, but your iPod tends to bounce around — and even skip — when you run. Marware’s SportSuit Runabout instead sticks your iPod mini on your wrist, like a (bulky) wristwatch. You can easily see and control your mini during your workout while keeping it safe and sound.
During testing, I found that although it felt a bit awkward to have my iPod mini on my wrist, I actually did prefer the position to my upper arm and waist for the very reasons noted above. It was easy and convenient to glance down and see the screen, and I appreciated having full access to the controls and screen. And the Runabout’s soft neoprene made it quite comfortable, even when sweating. I also liked the cable management loops on the sides that help you keep your cables under control.
The only drawback to the Runabout is that the iPod mini’s position on your outer wrist makes it a prime target for bumps — you don’t realize how often your hands and forearms brush against things, especially in a crowded gym, until it’s your iPod mini taking the blows. And since the cover of the Runabout is a thin layer of clear vinyl, it’s the one part of the case that doesn’t protect the iPod mini very well. I ended up turning the Runabout so that the iPod mini sat on the inside of my wrist rather than the outside. This gave me all the advantages of having my mini on my wrist while keeping it safe from knocks. –Dan Frakes