Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gear Closet: Kenu Highline for iPhone 6

Awhile back I posted a review of the Kenu Highline, a product that was designed to bring a measure of safety and security to your iPhone when used in the outdoors. The concept behind the Highline is that it acts as a safety line of sorts for your smartphone, keeping it from being dropped while carrying it with you on your outdoor adventures. I found it to be an amazingly simple product that served a good purpose, especially as more and more of us carry our mobile devices with us no matter where we go. At the time of my review I was using the Highline with my old iPhone 4S and found it provided a nice extra level of extra security. But since then, I've moved on to the new iPhone 6, which my version of the Highline wasn't compatible with. Fortunately, Kenu has released an updated version of the product, bringing some nice refinements along with it.

The original version of this product that I reviewed months back was simply a leash made of Kevlar and wrapped in plastic that attached to the 30-pin charging port on the base of the iPhone. The other end of the leash was wrapped around a connecting point, such as a carabiner, zipper, backpack loop, or something similar. This allowed you to use the device freely, without fear of actually dropping it. Should the iPhone slip out of your hand, the leash would catch it before it fell more than a foot or so.

The new version of the Highline uses the same basic principle, but now comes with a more secure attachment that plugs into the iPhone 6's smaller Lightning port. Kenu calls this the Lightning Lock, and when it is plugged in, it certainly feels plenty safe and secure. The elastic leash still has the same Kevlar core, which is tough and resilient, while still allowing the user to move their phone in any direction, making it easy to snap photos, send texts, check social networks, and so on, without worry that you'll accidentally drop the device.

As a measure of extra security, the iPhone 6 version of the Highline also comes with polycarbonate case to help protect the phone even further. This thin, lightweight shield easily slips on and off the iPhone, and doesn't add any undue bulk to Apple's sleek and beautiful gadget. As someone who doesn't like to wrap his iPhone in a case of any kind, I found this to be one of the best options I've come across for a protective case that doesn't make the phone feel overly large. It also provides extra grip not only for the Lightning Lock, but for your hand too. The larger iPhone 6 can be tough to hang on to at times, so addition of the case will be a welcome one for many.

The Highline costs just $29.95 for both the leash and the polycarbonate case. Considering the cost of a good case alone is often in that price range, the addition of the safety loop seems like a real bargain. The Highline for iPhone 6 has just started shipping, and would make a great holiday gift for the iPhone user in your life who also happens to be an outdoor enthusiast as well. Kenu is also continuing to sell previous versions of the product for both the iPhone 4 and 5 too.

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