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ItzKitz SportsBand Case

Mon Oct 9, 2006 - 11:22 AM EDT - By Jay Gross


The SportsBand case for the Palm Treo is built for active people. You know the type – or maybe you are one. Diurnal jogs – before noon, even. Treadmills, gym memberships, perspiration. While you’re pumping up your lats, running your laps, and logging those cardios, you still want your Treo handy to take calls from the CEO, to keep track of appointments with your personal trainer, and to provide musical inspiration (MP3 style) during those 10-K training runs.

Okay, maybe you’re one of those types, but I’m not. I log my cardios reaching for the computer’s mouse, exercise my jaws a lot more than my quadriceps, and pay the price in incessant diets riddled with guilt.

So, to review the ItzKitz active case I enlisted my neighbor, who is one of those active types. I checked out the case thoroughly, took the pictures, used it in my walks (ahem) to the local restaurants, and then passed it along for further testing. It’s been out jogging, running, walking, and biking, and the verdict is in.

The SportsBand is a tidy little windowed case permanently attached to a wide Velcro armband. Generously long, the band fits adult arms, even some impressive iron-pumping biceps – those sweatier ones at the gym. Smaller people (ladies? 90-pound weaklings?) might have to resort to wearing it on a thigh, as the grabber part of the strap provides only about three inches of leeway to cinch it in place. The target side of the Velcro goes all the way around, however.

It’s tempting to whine for more leeway, perhaps an adjustment loop and a buckle, but that would add weight and complexity, and as it is, the case is gloriously simple. A little more grabbing Velcro, however, would make its one size fit more arms.

The SportsBand is at home on upper or lower arms. If your activity entails substantial arm movement, like jogging, and if you’re using a wired headset, you might want to herd it northward. The case’s construction (and the Treo’s) will withstand the jostling, no problem, but you’ll look unfashionable waving all that wire around as you jog.


The first hurdle on the track, so to speak, isn’t the wire, but getting the Treo into the case. At first attempt, it’s a pain. You have to iron out a few essentials by trial and (mostly) error, before you get the hang of it. First, lay the case face down and open its back flap – that’s the large one with strong Velcro-inspired attraction for its other half.

Lay that flap back and you’ll see a triangular slot that looks too narrow for the Treo to pass through. It is. Yet, that’s where you insert your Treo into the case. The material has some “give” so it’ll fit fine, but you have to master the art of holding the triangular flap out of the way (It has to fold over the Treo to make the closure) as you push the phone into the pocket.

Although the case might look symmetrical, it’s not. Note the position of the opening for the Treo’s antenna on one side and two smaller openings on the other. It won’t work upside down.

Don’t complain about this arrangement - it’s for the best. Small, tight openings, including the one for the Treo itself, unify the case with the phone and provide not only the best protection, but also the most comfortable feel while you’re working out, running, whatever. In this respect, the manufacturer has done excellent design work, though it might initially seem otherwise.

The first time I put my Treo 700w in the case took a blood-pressure-elevating six minutes. In two or three tries, however, it took only half a minute. My neighbor was able to whip his Treo into the case in less than ten seconds after using it for a couple of weeks. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see him do it.

With the Treo nestled cozily in its pocket, fold the Velcro flap over it and flip it over, face up. You might need to push and pull the leather around a bit, so the keyboard and screen line up with the case’s full-length window.

Thoughtfully, the leather side panel is soft enough to permit using the volume and side buttons. In addition, the case has rolled-edge cutouts for the Treo’s earphone jack and microphone. These are in slightly different places on Treo 650 and 700 models. The company makes versions of the SportsCase for each. In truth, the 650 will work fine in the case intended for Treo 700p and 700w, but the microphone opening will be a little off from where it ought to be. The review unit is the 700 model.

All this means you can use your Treo to listen to music while you jog, using either Bluetooth or wired headsets. You can make and take phone calls easy as non-fat sugar-free pie, too.

Word to the wizened: if you’re going to jog in traffic, as many people do here in this downtown area I call home, consider using only one earphone, so your other ear can hear shouted warnings and horns blowing to let you know you’re about to be road kill.


Overall, the SportsBand feels carefully made of good materials well chosen for the task. The leather portion, though there isn’t much of it, has a particularly nice, soft feel. The stitching is tight and neat, and all edges have a finished, quality look. Using the stylus on the screen through the thick vinyl window won’t be a picnic. However, the tradeoff is superior protection.

The case’s Velcro closures have a reassuring, super-strong snap, and are likely to keep the SportsBand in place during activities far more strenuous than my sedentary bones are willing to contemplate for very long. It’s a sturdy, well made product.


Multiple levels of padding in any Treo case give me the warm fuzzies, and ItzKitz has generously laid on the layers in this one. The screen is protected by a vinyl-like window, which permits viewing the display and using the Treo, even its keyboard (with some patience). The antenna sticks out, but there’s so much padding around it that a tumble won’t be much of a worry. For best results, however, don’t drop it!.

Made of water “resistant” materials, the SportsCase offers excellent protection from reasonable amounts of moisture, but it isn’t water “proof.” You probably won’t have to take cover in a rain, but don’t plan on doing any diving. The case will fend off a quick splash, but best not to tempt disaster. Besides, what are you doing out there jogging in the rain, anyway?

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