Marware’s Sportsuit Basic for iPod nano is a neoprene and plastic case that’s similar to DLO’s Action Jacket. The Sportsuit is very slim and the neoprene has a nice tactile feel to it; once inside, the controls are accessible through the large plastic window that makes up most of the front of the case. On the other hand, the hold switch is nearly inaccessible: There’s a light gray outline of the switch on the top of the case, implying that you can access the switch through the neoprene — Marware’s Web site says the Sportsuit boasts “easy access to hold button” — but I found the task to be quite difficult. There’s a small hole in the bottom of the case for the headphones, but I found the sponginess of the neoprene sometimes caused my headphone plug to pop out part of the way. It’s also a little tough to get the nano into and out of the Sportsuit, which you do via an opening at the bottom. The neoprene is stretchy, but the fit is very snug, and a little neoprene lip inside the case, which you pull over the bottom of the nano to “close” the case, is difficult to grip.
The Sportsuit also includes Marware’s nifty Multidapt clip system, which lets you attach a variety of accessories. I like the idea of the system: There’s a mount on the back of the case to which you can attach a number of accessories. The Sportsuit includes a simple plastic belt clip, and you can also get a car mount, a bike mount, a spring clip, or a swivel clip, though each will run you at least another $5. (Marware also sells a Mobility Pack that includes the car, bike, and swivel mounts for $20.) Removing the clip from the case reduces the weight and profile of the case even further though the plastic slide mount itself is permanently attached. A quick tip: The end of a headphone plug is the perfect size for depressing the clip’s release tab.
The Sportsuit Basic is a worthy competitor to DLO’s Action Jacket if you can deal with the difficult-to-access hold switch and don’t need to take your iPod out of the case frequently. The Multidapt system is particularly attractive — though it adds to the case’s overall cost — to those who use their iPod in a variety of settings.–Dan Moren