We’ve previously reviewed a number of cases in Marware’s Sportsuit line. However, the company has used the release of the iPod (with video) and iPod nano to significantly redesign the case line. For example, the new versions look quite different, and whereas previous versions of the Sportsuit did not protect the iPod’s click wheel, the current iteration covers the entire face of your iPod with a layer of flexible plastic thin enough to not impede use of the controls. (Unfortunately, while protective, this layer occasionally sticks to the face of the iPod, resulting in a “wet” look that distorts the screen appearance.)
The rest of the Sportsuit Basic is comprised of elastic neoprene which snugly fits the iPod. (The new versions appear to use thinner neoprene than their predecessors.) Other than a small hole in the top for the iPod’s headphone port, the only opening is a flap on the bottom that can be moved out of the way to connect Apple’s dock connector cable to your iPod; the flap closes securely to protect the dock connector port when not in use.
The Sportsuit keeps your iPod protected, but its total-coverage design makes it difficult to to access the iPod’s hold switch. An outline is drawn on the top of the case to indicate the switch’s location, implying that you can move the switch through the case; though possible, it’s by no means convenient.
The back of the case is rigid and hosts marware’s proprietary MultiDapt clip fixture. The case comes with a belt clip, but other MultiDapt accessories — such as car holders, bike handlebar clips, and armbands — are also available. The MultiDapt system is quite secure, but requires something pointy, such as a pen or a headphone miniplug, to release the clip, making switching between accessories inconvenient.
Overall, the Sportsuit basic is a good case, offering complete protection while adding little size. The added bonus of the MultiDapt system makes the case quite versatile at a good price point.–Derik DeLong