Marware’s Sportsuit Convertible for the second generation iPod nano is essentially their Sportsuit Basic with a handful of extras thrown in. Like its Basic sibling, the Sportsuit Convertible is a solid case; the extras only add value. However, the package as a whole is not without a few minor flaws.
The core of the Sportsuit Convertible is the Sportsuit itself, a neoprene case with a clear-plastic front that leaves the nano’s Click Wheel accessible and its screen visible. After inserting your nano into the bottom of the case, there’s a little flap which covers the iPod’s dock connector, leaving only the headphone jack exposed; you pull the flap out in order to sync the iPod or attach anything to its dock-connector port. The back of the case features a plastic base for Marware’s Multidapt system, which provides compatibility with a number of case attachments, and you also get a rigid cover that slips over the front of the Sportsuit.
Included with the Sportsuit Convertible are two Multidapt accessories, a belt clip and an armband. The armband is easy to attach to the Sportsuit and is made from neoprene and Velcro with a plastic base for your iPod. The belt clip has a nice feel to it, as well, but I found the clip a little trickier to get on correctly, due to the curved shape of the clip’s bottom; once on, it held firmly. Removing any Multidapt accessory requires the tip of a pen or the end of your headphone plug. Other Multidapt options — which include a car holder, a bike holder, and a swivel clip — are sold separately.
The included rigid cover is also made of neoprene, but it’s reinforced to protect your iPod from damage and the elements, which it does well. You slide the Sportsuit into the cover; a neoprene “lip” keeps the cover from falling off. A break in the cover’s edge keeps the headphone jack accessible, but while the cover is on, you won’t be able to access any of the iPod’s controls — the covered Sportsuit functions similarly to a flipcase. You can use the cover in conjunction with either the clip or the armband, if you so desire.
My biggest gripe is with the Sportsuit itself. The top of the sleeve has a little outline of the hold switch, which, in theory, lets you operate the switch through the neoprene. In practice, however, doing so is quite difficult; you effectively need to leave the hold switch off in order to use the case. This, unfortunately, can lead to the iPod getting accidentally turned on in a bag or purse. Using the cover minimizes that risk, but it’s another step to remember.
If the hold switch issue doesn’t bother you, the Sportsuit Convertible is a very nice case that’s got lots of versatility. Price-wise, it’s certainly cheaper than buying an armband, spring clip, and slim case separately, and its protection is thorough and effective.