Question: Do you associate complexity with value? That is, do you think that an object is worth more if it uses more parts in its construction? No? That’s absurd, right? But try this: the No.002 bag from Clean Everything is made from a single sheet of leather, cleverly cut and folded to form a bag. The price? €289, or $385.
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Works With: iPhone 5
This is the first part of a two-part review. When you see the case I’m writing about, the reason will be obvious. It’s the Castello Davarg Kanam, and it’s a wraparound case fashioned from full grain leather in the good old U.S of A. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that it was thrown together by unionized slackers with one eye on the time-clock: The case is clearly put together with some care.
Why the tow-parter? Because this is a chunk of cow, and as such it’s meant to age gracefully, getting better over time. So today is more of a first look, with a long-term write-up to follow.
Cult of Mac reader Derek Stein put me on to this hot hot leather case for the iPhone 5. It’s similar in intent to the TwelveSouth SurfacePad I re-reviewed on Friday in that it’s a simple wraparound leather cover. The differences are that it looks less functional and much longer lasting.
This is the Bison Tote, and it’s just about the hottest laptop/camera bag ever. Unless, of course, you’re a bison. Why? Because the bag is made from bison skin.
Works With: iPhone 5
Regular readers will know how much I dislike iPad cases, and that I only ever subject my iPhone to the confines of a miniature straitjacket. They’ll also know that I’m a big fan of Skech cases in general. So what happened when Skech sent me some leathery iPhone covers to try out?
Surprise! I (quite) liked them.
The Beamhaus Pocket is a premium leather sleeve for the iPhone 5 that’s “inspired by old baseball mitts, broken-in leather jackets, and long-loved boots.” It’s made from hand-selected leather from the Horween Leather Company, the oldest tannery in the United States, and it’s built to provide your iPhone with complete protection from everyday scratches and scrapes.
On the front of the Pocket, there’s a little pouch that’ll hold up to three credit cards — according to Beamhaus — plus a large cutout at the bottom that allows you to access your Lightning connector and hear your speaker. The Pocket is also lined with suede, which aims to prevent your shiny iPhone 5 from getting damaged as you slip it in and out of the case.
The Pocket is available in black and tan, and it’s priced at $59.99. Read on to find out whether it’s worth it.
Out of all the junk that I own, there are a few objects which I love to use. And I mean “love” on a base, visceral level. These are the things that are so well suited to their tasks that they not only never get in the way, but they make doing that task better.
Works With: iPhone 4/S, 5
When I heat milk and cocoa in my small De Buyer saucepan, alone in my quiet kitchen late at night, I smile when I unhook the pan from its hanger and feel its durable heft; I smile again when I pour the cocoa into a thermos and feel the pan’s perfect balance. Even washing it and hanging it up again is a pleasure.
I also love to use my dented, stainless steel Klean Kanteen “Reflect” water bottle. It’s design is so simple, just two pieces of steel, a silicone ring and a bamboo disk, but it does its job so well that I really do take it everywhere with me. And it’s so trustworthy that I’ll toss it into my bag along with my iPad and never worry about it leaking.
Which is to say, some things are not just well designed, they’re actually wonderful objects in their own right. And Twelve South’s SurfacePad for the iPhone is one of those objects.
That’s right — instead of a case that turns your iPhone into a wallet, Wally, the latest Kickstarter project from Distil Union, sort of does the opposite. It’s a slip of leather that attaches to the back of an iPhone 4 or 5 via something called “micro-suction,” and creates a cavity with just about enough space for three of your most-used cards.
There are plenty of tangle-wrangling, clutter-cutting, cable-tidying solutions out there, but none of them looks as delicious as this one: the Cord Taco.
I was a big fan of the original BookBook case for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, but it did have a number of drawbacks that its creators, Twelve South, needed to address — such as the lack of a camera cutout on the back of the case. With the iPhone 5 version, however, drawbacks have been eliminated.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the BookBook, is a luxury, handmade leather wallet case that’s designed to look like a pocket-sized, vintage book. In addition to carrying and protection your iPhone 5, it carries up to four credit cards and has space for cash.
BookBook for iPhone 5 comes in vintage brown and classic black, and it’s priced at $59.99.