The Marware Sportsuit Convertible for iPhone 3G is available and can be purchased in the iMore Store for $34.95. If you are looking for an armband case for your iPhone, this might just be it! Let's see how it measures up after the break!
The Marware Sportsuit is a convertible armband for the iPhone that is made primarily of neoprene for soft, stretchable, secure use. The iPhone is held in place by a faux leather case with a clear plastic front (to cover the screen) and a strong elastic at the bottom (to prevent the iPhone from falling out). The neoprene is laced with Velcro to adjust to any arm size. The armband comes with the ability to remove the iPhone case component to use separate if desired and there is another optional carry compartment for a couple of keys, cash, etc.
When GPS and all of the running/walking apps were announced for the iPhone I was so excited. I thought surely Apple would release their own armband for the iPhone like they have for the Nano and iPod Touch. Alas, this did not happen. Well, thank goodness for companies like Marware for releasing their take on what an armband should do/be for the iPhone.
First things first. if you have any fear or apprehension of the iPhone falling out while running, you can set those aside. The iPhone fits very securely in the accompanying case. The iPhone is held in by the case itself (very, very snug) and the strong elastic at the bottom. There are no snaps or other contraptions to keep the iPhone in place. This elasticity is sufficient. The encapsulating case is attached to the armband via a plastic snap-in option. This plastic clip attaches to the neoprene armband AND a convenient belt clip; that is right, you are done working out and you can remove the case from the armband and clip it right on your belt with the supplied belt clip. Also, the case has a clear electrostatic cover, so the touchscreen is accessible in the case. Very nice indeed.
The armband is comfortable and does not pinch the arm. The area where the iPhone attaches has a slightly curved plastic piece that conforms to the arm. This adds stability and is also the area which the case attaches to the armband. The accompanying carry compartment is also non-intrusive. It is very small and slides onto the armband just about anywhere you want it. I as able to stuff a key, cash and a credit card into it (hey, you never know when running if you are gonna need supplies, buy a paper, or get some additional water).
While exercising, the armband stayed in place, but not without some effort. I want to make it clear that this is through no fault of the armband, but rather the weight of the iPhone 3G (iPhone 4.7 ounces, iPod Touch 4.05 ounces and the iPod Nano 1.3 ounces). As you can tell, the iPhone is clearly the heaviest of the bunch. Because of this, I found I had to make the armband rather tight. The good news is that the armband held securely through my running travels. The downside is that my arm became "numb" from having to tighten the armband securely enough to where it would not slide down my arm. So, to try to circumvent the "numbing factor" of my upper arm, I tried attaching the armband to my lower arm, just below the elbow. This seems to be more comfortable (and don't worry, the running apps still seemed to work OK. Most of them register your movement via the accelerometer, and placing the armband lower on the arm, still gives the iPhone the motion it needs to register your movement.
I really liked the design and flexibility of the armband. I can't say I am a huge fan of the case as a stand alone case, but it works just fine for what it is made for. The added functionality of the additional compartment really makes things easier for carrying more items with you.