Bottom line: The Latigo Leather iPhone Holster is an elegant way to carry your iPhone 13. It features strong, rare-earth magnets that keep everything safe and secure.
Elegant and timeless design
Latigo leather develops a patina over time
Uses strong rare-earth magnets
Ultrasuede lined interior
Roomy and spacious with easy-access cutouts
Takes time to align magnetic closure
No external pocket for accessories
You can always trust iMore.
By default, my traditional carry method for my best iPhone has always been my back pocket. However, as I've mentioned a few times already, regular jeans have been a struggle for me to wear lately as I'm over eight months pregnant. So I am in dire need of more comfortable pants and alternative ways to carry my iPhone 13 Pro around. However, I also want something that looks professional and elegant enough for all situations.
Enter the Waterfield Designs Latigo Leather iPhone Holster. I've been a longtime fan of Waterfield Designs, as the brand is known for its high-quality leather and waxed canvas goods. Some recent releases include the Air Travel Backpack and Mini Hip Sling. While the brand is more about travel bags and the like, it does have a few iPhone-related accessories.
The Latigo Leather iPhone Holster is the follow-up to last year's Ranger Case, so if you weren't a fan of the Ranger, the Latigo could be worth a look.
Waterfield Designs Latigo Leather iPhone Holster: Price and availability
The Waterfield Designs Latigo Leather iPhone Holster can only be purchased directly from Waterfield's site. It comes in three sizes: iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. You also get three colors to choose from: black, acorn, or dark brown (this is what you see in the review photos). No matter which size and color you pick, the Latigo Leather iPhone Holster will cost $99.
Waterfield Designs Latigo Leather iPhone Holster: An elegant and timeless way to carry your iPhone
Like many of its other products, the Waterfield Designs Latigo Leather iPhone Holster is made with full grain leather. However, this one specifically uses latigo leather instead of the regular full grain leather on most of the other products. The latigo leather that Waterfield uses is both chrome- and vegetable-tanned, so the more you use it, the more patina it develops over time. And with the latigo leather, it's been combined with certain waxes and oils to give it an overall strength, durability, and firmness that separates it from, say, the Ranger Case. The end result is a leather holster that is not only elegant but timeless.
Waterfield uses strong rare-earth magnets on both the back connector and front flap. With the magnetic clip, you can easily attach the Latigo Leather iPhone Holster to your belt, pockets, pant waistband, or even straps on your favorite bag. Since the magnets are incredibly strong and require a good amount of force to pull apart, this holster won't be going anywhere once you have it on.
You also have a magnetic, self-finding grommet clasp on the front flap that will securely fasten the flap. Like the back clip, it takes a bit of force to open, and you need to pull it upwards, so rest assured, your iPhone won't be falling out of this holster easily. Since this uses a grommet instead of a magnetic Fidlock, you don't need to pull it down first before lifting it to open, so it's a little easier. Over time and with a little practice, the magnets should be able to find themselves perfectly, requiring minimal effort on your part to close. But like all leather goods, it starts off a bit stiff, so you just need to break it in.
The sides of the Latigo Leather iPhone Holster are a bit tapered and open, making it easy to get your iPhone 13 in and out. Along the bottom is a cutout for the charging ports and speakers. This allows you to charge or use wired headphones without an issue and makes it easy to hear notifications.
The Ultrasuede interior lining helps clean your iPhone screen and prevents scratches. While the holster can fit your iPhone in a relatively slim profile case, Waterfield notes that if the case is "grippier," then it's recommended to have the screen facing you for easier access. Those who like to use bulkier cases should size up when purchasing the Latigo Leather iPhone Holster.
Before Waterfield, I wasn't really a holster fan. I thought most holster-style cases looked ugly, and there wasn't much of an appeal for me. However, Waterfield's Latigo Leather iPhone Holster is another one that I'm a fan of and intend to continue using. It's also important to note that even though this case is made for the iPhone 13 lineup, it is also backward compatible with the iPhone 12 series.
Waterfield Designs Latigo Leather iPhone Holster: It's just for your iPhone and nothing more
One of the things I noticed while using the Latigo Leather iPhone Holster is that when closing the flap, you do need to fiddle around with it at first before it closes. Despite Waterfield saying that the grommet is "self-finding," it takes time and practice to get it that way in the first place. I wish the flap itself had hidden magnets inside, which would automatically close after you remove the phone, rather than a very obvious clasp closure.
Another thing that I've noticed is that the Latigo Leather iPhone Holster will only hold your iPhone and nothing more. This is unlike the Waterfield Ranger Case, which has an outside pocket for small accessories. Of course, if you just want a holster for your iPhone, this is not a problem.
Lastly, there's no doubt about it — this is an expensive little holster at $99. However, Waterfield products are handmade and built to last, so you can expect at least several years, if not more, from this iPhone holster. Plus, unless there's a drastic size change, I can see this case being used for future iPhones, and it can even be used for other similarly sized devices. After all, my iPhone 13 Pro fits my Ranger Case originally designed for the iPhone 12 Pro.
Waterfield Designs Latigo Leather iPhone Holster: Competition
The most obvious alternative for the Waterfield Latigo Leather iPhone Holster is, of course, the Waterfield Ranger Phone Case that I've mentioned several times already. It's the predecessor to the Latigo, and it's made with rich, full grain leather (though not latigo leather). It's slightly less stiff and breaks in easier with time. It features strong rare-earth magnets and a magnetic Fidlock closure on the front, which I actually prefer. You also have a small external pocket with the Ranger that can hold earbuds, cards, or even some cash. It comes in two colors and is slightly less than the Latigo at $89.
Another good option is the ALPAKA Modular Phone Sling, as long as you don't prefer leather. While this is first and foremost a crossbody sling, it also has options for wearing it along your waist through a belt. This sling can hold up to an iPhone 13 Pro Max, and it also has an RFID blocking front pocket for your cards, cash, or other small necessities. There's also no clasp because the front flap is magnetic, and the fabric allows it to simply fall down after removing your phone and close automatically. You also can't beat the price at $35.
Waterfield Designs Latigo Leather iPhone Holster: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a classy leather iPhone holster
- You need something simple and minimalistic
- You don't care about price
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You need to carry more than just the iPhone
- You don't like leather
- You are on a budget
If you enjoy holsters and want a high-quality leather one, then you should consider Waterfield's Latigo Leather iPhone Holster. Since it's made with genuine latigo leather, it has a nice firmness to it, and it's also tough and durable. The strong rare-earth magnets also ensure that everything is secure, and the tapered sides and openings give you easy access to your device. The Ultrasuede interior lining also prevents scratches and even helps to clean your phone.
However, if you're just not a fan of holsters in general, or don't like genuine leather goods, then this one isn't going to be for you. I also actually prefer the magnetic Fidlock clasp of the Ranger Case, which I felt is easier to deal with. Plus, there is no small pocket, so the Latigo Leather iPhone Holster is only meant for your iPhone and nothing else. And, of course, there's no denying the fact that this is a pricey little holster. But you know what they say — you get what you pay for.
Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.