Nomad Rugged iPhone Case review: Elegant protection

Nomad's basic Rugged Case has no bells and whistles but it does have quality construction and six foot drop protection. It's constructed from polycarbonate, TPE, and American Horween leather yet maintains a slim profile.

The Good

  • Slim and light
  • American Horween leather
  • Six foot drop protection
  • TPE bumper
  • Microfiber lining
  • Professional-looking

The Bad

  • Limited colors
  • Pricey

Thoughtful design

Nomad Rugged iPhone Case: Features

Nomad's Rugged iPhone Case is a basic case that is thoughtfully designed. Its polycarbonate body is melded with a TPE rubber bumper, lined with smooth microfiber, and wrapped in American Horween leather. The TPE bumper is flexible enough to make putting on and taking off the case easy, plus it provides a bit of grippiness so the phone doesn't slip out of your hand.

But if it does slip out of your hand, the case is designed to withstand damage from drops of up to six feet. The bumper is raised just enough above the screen to protect it if the phone is placed face down. Embedded rubber button covers protect the Sleep/Wake and volume buttons. Cutouts for the camera, Lightning port, mute switch, and speakers ensure full functionality with the case on. Wireless charging works too. It's a pretty slim case.

Nomad sources their leather from the Horween Leather Co. in Chicago, an American leather tannery founded in 1905. The natural vegetable-tanned leather will develop a patina over time. In addition to the Rustic Brown shade shown in the Amazon links, it is also available in Black. Nomad puts all their branding on the inside of the case, so there is no logo on the outside.

Looks and function

Nomad Rugged iPhone Case: What I like

Many cases are more for protection than fashion, or more of a fashion statement than a protective cover. I like that Nomad's Rugged case has it all: ruggedly handsome good looks, quality materials, careful design, and phone protection. You don't have to make a compromise. You can use this case on your next outdoor adventure, or wear it with a suit at the office. It works everywhere.

Quality doesn't come cheap

Nomad Rugged iPhone Case: What I don't like

At $45 dollars, you're spending a pretty penny on this quality case. Personally, I think it's worth the price, knowing that you're getting quality craftsmenship. After all, it's protecting a phone worth about 20 times its price. But I realize that it's definitely on the luxury purchase side of the spectrum.

I'm also a little dissapointed in the limited color selection. Nomad's Rugged case only comes in brown and black. I'd love to see a wider variety of colors in the future. Maybe someday we'll see one in that beautiful Natural color Nomad just launched?

Top-notch case

Nomad Rugged iPhone Case: Bottom line

Nomad's Rugged iPhone Case is classy, elegant, slim, well-constructed, and protective. It combines excellent materials: strong polycarbonate body, flexible TPE rubber bumper, soft microfiber interior, and American Horween leather back. You can't go wrong with this case.

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.