Tough, Lightweight iPad Cases For the Minimalist Hipster


The Bowden and Sheffield cases are tough and stylish
The Bowden and Sheffield cases are tough and stylish

Imagine the scene: You are a student in England, living in a broken-down house further broken down into noisy, thin-walled apartments (or “flats,” to use the local term). One of your junkie friends has sold you a (totally legit, honest) iPad for just £50, and you need somewhere to stash it for both security and protection.

You look around your decrepit kitchen and see a chipboard door hanging from one of the cupboards. You rip it off and attack it with a saw, screwing and glueing until you have a sturdy box for your non-stolen tablet. To close the hole in the top you pull the artists beret you’ve recently taken to wearing from under a pile of dirty laundry and cut it to fit over the gap. Behold! An iPad case.

But what to do next? If your name is Eric Rea, you quickly form a company called Fine Grain, open up a Kickstarter project and start hawking your new invention under the name “BOWDEN + SHEFFIELD Minimalist iPad Cases.”

I kid. First, the cases are made by Eric and his partner Levi in the Rocky Mountains, not in the dreary north of England. Second, they are fashioned from either aluminum (the Bowden) or polycarbonate (the Sheffield) sheets and edged with a choice of hardwoods. The Bowden’s cover and flap is leather, and the Sheffield’s is wool felt, just like that pretentious beret you used in your own lame prototype.

The cases are held closed by magnets, and the felt or leather can be rolled to prop the iPad up for typing. These aren’t the kind of cases that you can keep on the iPad at all times. Instead, you can enjoy the iPad in all its slim nakedness when you use it, yet rely on lightweight protection when in transit.

The Kickstarter part of my story was real, though. Both cases will retail for $190, but you can pitch now and get the Sheffield for $100 and the Bowden for $120. Or you could go the cheap route and start ripping apart the furniture of your disgusting rented apartment.

[Thanks, Eric!]