The Sportsuit Convertible is Marware’s Sportsuit Basic with additional accessories. As we noted in our review of the Basic, Marware redesigned their Sportsuit line of cases for the iPod video; the current iterations look quite different and cover the entire face of your iPod with a layer of flexible plastic, thin enough to not impede use of the controls. However, this plastic occasionally sticks to the face of the iPod, giving it a “wet” look that distorts the screen appearance.
The rest of the Sportsuit 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.
Additional accessories are a strong selling point of the Convertible over the Basic version. A rigid lid offers more protection as well as a small pocket, but the elastic band used to hold it over the iPod is more difficult to use than bulkier alternatives such as snaps or velcro. An armband is a great addition for exercising. On the other hand, there isn’t a good place to attach the included hand strap to the case, making it fairly useless.
Overall, the Sportsuit Convertible is a good case, offering complete protection while adding little size. The added bonus of the MultiDapt system, rigid cover, and several accessories makes the case quite versatile at a good price point.–Derik DeLong