Price: $39.99 (available soon from Amazon.com)
Requirements: iPhone 4/4S
TiP Rating: 4.5/5 stars
The Trax case by Skech’s motto is “reinventing the wheel” and that’s exactly what’s been done. Using recycled rubber from old tyres, they’ve designed a case that not only helps the environment, but also does a great job of protecting your iPhone.
I like green technology, and environmentally friendly products. At least – I like the idea of them. Often times you get recycled paper, organic clothing or free range shoes, and you not only get charged an excessive amount, but the quality of the work is shoddy. It’s like their mindset is “hey, we’re helping the environment, no one said we had to do a good job.” And that is part of the reason I rarely buy eco gear.
That being said, when I saw Skech had come up with an idea to use old tyres to make a case, I was intrigued. The box it was shipped in was a brown recycled cardboard that reeked of eco-love, along with a really thin plastic shelf inside to hold the case during transit. All materials in the packaging can be recycled. The case itself is made of tyre tubes then stitched to a felt interior. The case has a flip cover with a magnetic tab for securing shut.
On first looks it seems very well made. The rubber is tough and extremely durable – let’s face it, a rubber designed to last thousands of miles on the road travelling 50mph, will easily handle a year or two in your pocket or being thrown around. The camera cutout at the back ensures you have access to your camera. Your phone is inserted by sliding it in to a plastic cradle. The plastic sides are very well engineered and fit your iPhone’s antenna perfectly. Sliding it in and out is very simple, and yet the clips hold the device firmly in place.
The case can also act as a temporary wallet replacement. Let’s say you’re going out for a meal and don’t want to carry your purse/wallet, you can take a couple of credit cards in the case by inserting them inside the cover. The outside is also really grippy, meaning no more slipping off edges, or sliding around. Practically, this case is fantastic. And considering what it’s made from, the guys at Skech have done a great job of turning it in to something relatively attractive.
The biggest drawback for me is the extra bulk. It’s wide, chunky and feels like it doubles the thickness of my iPhone. Sure, it fits in my pocket, but if I wanted this much extra girth, I’d fit a battery pack. Perhaps I’m being to harsh. Overall, the case does its job well, and I really struggle to find any genuine fault with it. It’s a really great accessory, and certainly worth considering if you veer towards the recycled/quirky gear.