Long one of our favorite cases for the iPod line, the $30 third-generation nano version of the iSkin Duo combines the shock-absorbancy and full coverage of a silicone skin with a robust, hard-plastic faceplate. With included dust covers for the dock-connector port and headphone jack, virtually no part of the iPod is exposed to the elements, and the transparent window provides some of the best screen protection around. As always, iSkin thoughtfully includes some add-ons like a lanyard that plugs into the dock-connector port and a removable belt clip (complete with a silicone insert for when you opt not to use it).
Unlike earlier models, however, the faceplate is more difficult to put on and take off, and the silicone requires extensive “massaging” in order to fit together correctly. And as much as we liked the dust cover over the headphone jack, it was frustatingly difficult to remove at times. Also, the combination of the case’s two layers adds some bulk to the normally-svelte nano, though it’s still plenty small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket. Still, although the iSkin Duo is somewhat pricier than many other silicone skin cases, it remains an excellent option for those concerned with full-fledged protection for their nano.–Dan Moren