iPod Cocoon, by RadTech
Posted: 3-Dec-2006

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: RadTech Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Bill Catambay Class: HARDWARE

Overview
The RadTech iPod Cocoon is a semi-rigid clamshell clip case, and includes a secondary transparent skin. The Cocoon for 5th generation Apple iPods 30-60 GB, is a rugged clip case which provides unparalleled protection and access to the click wheel and all ports. The Cocoon is designed for when ultimate protection and versatility are needed.

Each Cocoon includes a size-specific velcro-backed skin which form fit the iPod. The skinned iPod securely attaches into the Cocoon's rigid clamshell. The Cocoon also includes a secure internal pocket for earbuds, ID, cash, etc.. The included high-quality lanyard lets you wear the entire clamshell, or just the skinned iPod, around your neck. A rugged, low-profile spring clip secures the Cocoon to your clothing, purse, carry bag, etc.. The Cocoon is made by an Australian company called
STM, and is distributed in the US by RadTech.

Features

  • Two cases in one; form-fitting iPod skin and rigid clamshell outer case
  • Stylish & rigid compressed EVA outer clamshell with soft-lined interior
  • Skinned iPod mounts easily and securely inside of outer clamshell
  • Available for 5G, nano, mini, 4G, HP, U2, color & photo iPods
  • Comfortable neck lanyard attaches to skin or entire clamshell
  • Earbud, cable & small article internal storage pocket
  • Integrated, high-quality and low-profile spring clip
  • Self-repairing and durable clamshell zippers

Price
The Cocoon is made up of a clamshell case and iPod skins, and both come in a variety of sizes. The clamshell case is sized for the 5G iPod, the iPod Nano, the 4G iPod, and the iPod Mini. The iPod skins are sized precisely for the specific model of your iPod (for instance, while there is just one size clamshell case for the 5G iPod, there are two different sizes of the skins, one for the 30GB and one for the 60GB).

Cocoons for:

iPod 5G - $39.95
iPod Nano - $29.95
iPod 4G - $39.95
iPod Mini - ON SPECIAL FOR $14.95


The Cocoon Exterior

How It Works
Once you have the right size Cocoon and skin for your iPod model, you first slide the transparent skin onto your iPod, making sure that the openings match the display position and controls of the iPod. The back of the skin has a soft Velcro strip attached, which you can then marry up with the rough Velcro strip which is in the back inside of the clamshell case. This securely holds the iPod in skin within the clamshell case. There is a convenient mesh pocket on the opposite side of the clamshell case where you can place small accessories, such as your ear buds, lanyard, and so on. The top of this pocket is secured with a small strip of Velcro.


The Cocoon Interior with iPod in Skin

The clamshell case can be closed and zipped shut with two separate zippers, one on each side of the case. The zippers don't meet, thereby leaving a small slot at the bottom where a dock connector can be plugged into your iPod while it is in the case. This allows you to listen to and/or charge your iPod while it is in the case. On the exterior of the case, opposite the side where the iPod is attached, is a convenient belt clip that can be used to clip the case onto your clothing, bag, or anything else that is clippable.

The Cocoon also comes with a lanyard, so that you can wear the iPod around your neck. You can attach the lanyard to a loop on the exterior of the clamshell case, or you can attach the lanyard directly to the skin to carry the iPod without the clamshell case.


How It Rates
The Cocoon has turned out to be an awesome companion for my video iPod. The clamshell case has an elegant design and softw to the touch, yet it is nearly invincible when it comes to protecting your beloved iPod. I completely trust that my iPod is safe when it's secured in the clamshell. Of course, that doesn't mean that I threw it at the wall, or anything like that, during my tests. The iPod internal electronics can still be disturbed by extreme physics even if the iPod case doesn't get scratched.

The case also has ample room for storing small accessories, like the lanyard and earbuds. It's not going to store your AC or Car charger. In order to provide this extra room as well as the rigidness to fully protect your iPod, the clamshell is bulky, so it's not going to slide in your front pocket like you iPod does. You can use the lanyard with the clamshell case, although it might feel a bit clunky wearing around your neck. The clip on the outside of the case is handy for attaching to your clothing or handbags. Being able to charge and play the iPod while the iPod is secure inside the case is also very convenient. I can see this feature being used at less tame locations, like a construction site or during camping, sort of a "hard hat" for your iPod, while also keeping dirt and dust away.

In less "dangerous" locations, you can take the iPod out of the clamshell and, using the lanyard, wear it around your neck. The skin tight clear plastic wrap does a great job of protecting your iPod from scratches, while giving it the feel of being free (you can now slip it back into your front pocket). The skins are made to fit and very thin, but they do add enough area to the iPod to alter their fit for things like iPod docks where the docking mechanism is also made to fit. You can probably change the dock's adapter to find a fit for the iPod with skin, although if you're already at the largest size (biggest size video iPod), you may have to remove the dock adapter to get the iPod with skin to attach (if that's an option). I also noticed that the string lanyard connector that is attached to the skin seemed a little bit on the flimsy side.

I like the velcro on the back of the skin. This not only fastens it easily and securely to the inside of your clamshell case, but you can place velcro just about anywhere, like your work space or in your car, and use it to hold your iPod in place. This is an excellent side benefit of the velcro and skin.

Summary
The RadTech iPod Cocoon, made by STM, is a fantastic iPod companion that includes a semi-rigid clamshell clip case along with a transparent form fit iPod skin. The Cocoon has sizes for all of the 5G iPods, as well as the iPod Nano, 4G iPod, and iPod Mini. The clamshell case offers outstanding protection for your iPod while allowing you to charge and play it while still in the case. The transparent skin is great for protecting your iPod from scratches while still being able to enjoy the small size of the iPod. The velcro on the skin is handy for securing it to your case, but it doubles as an excellent way to mount your iPod in other places, such as your work area or in your car. The lanyard is nice for carrying and/or wearing either the clamshell case or the iPod with skin only. The only downside to the skin is that it may give you trouble when you want to insert your iPod into an iPod speaker dock. Overall, I really love the affordable Cocoon package, and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to protect their precious iPod while still enjoying the convenience of the iPod's small size.

Pros

  • Two cases for two kinds of uses
  • Clamshell is elegant yet sturdy; protection you can trust
  • Skin is nice low-profile skin tight fit while protecting from scratches
  • Velcro skin backing is convenient for attaching to case and other areas
  • Includes lanyard that can be used on case or skin


Cons

  • iPod skin will alter the fit of your iPod with your iPod speaker docks
  • Lanyard attachment on skin seems a little bit flimsy
  • Wearing the clamshell case around neck is bulky


Overall Rating

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice