Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Gear Closet: Beeline iPhone Case

One of the most crucial pieces of gear that we own these days is without a doubt our smartphones. While many of us try to deny it, they truly have become a central part of our day to day operations. These gadgets not only play a significant role in keeping us in touch with the important people in our lives, but deliver a great deal of other invaluable functions as well. For instance, our smartphones maintain our calendars, provide important updates and information about what is happening in the world around us, and generally help us to navigate through life. They also have taken a role in tracking our fitness, as well as recording our adventures through photos and video. In short, a smartphone pretty much goes with us everywhere these days, and considering the important information they hold – and just how expensive they are – it is vital that we keep them safe. It is for that reason that most smartphone owners wrap their precious devices in a protective case, although even that can't always save them from disaster.

That's where the new Beeline Case for iPhone comes in handy. It not only provides a tough outer shell that protects your phone from accidental drops on hard surfaces, it quite literally has a lifeline that could save it from complete destruction. The designers behind the Beeline have cleverly installed a self-retracting kevlar cord with a tough carabiner on it so that you can always secure your device no matter where you are and what you're doing.

Judged on the merits of the case alone, the Beeline is a good choice for someone who leads an active lifestyle. It enshrouds the iPhone in a layer of protection that will keep it safe from typical daily activity, including the occasional accidental drop. The case features a hard outer shell, as well as a shock-absorbing inner-lining, that work together to keep your expensive gadget safe from harm. As you would expect, the Beeline still provides full access to the power and volume buttons, as well as an unobstructed view for the all important camera.


I appreciated the fact that the case the rubberized outer coating of the case made it very easy to grip. I never felt like I was in danger of dropping it, which isn't the case with some competitors. I also like that it fits snugly around the phone, but isn't too difficult to remove. It is a bit on the thicker side however, which may turn some iPhone owners away, but when you consider that it is meant to be used in active pursuits, such as climbing, hiking, trail running, and so on, it makes a lot of sense that the designers at Beeline elected to go with a higher level of protection versus a thinner shell.

Of course, there are plenty of iPhone cases available that can provide this level of protection. What sets the Beeline apart from the crowd however is its integrated carabiner on the end of a 30-inch Kevlar cord. This allows you to clip your phone onto a belt loop, zipper, backpack, or just about anything else you want to secure it to. The value in this extra option is that if you drop your phone while doing some of the activities you love, it won't actually smash against the ground, destroying the gadget you love too.

Inside the case is a sprocket that allows the cord to be easily pulled out, and easily retracts it when you want to store it away. A button on the back of the case is pressed one direction when you want to add a bit more slack to the cable, and it is pressed another direction when you want to pull some of it back in. It is a well designed system that works surprisingly well. It also goes a very long way towards providing a nice sense of security for your mobile device.

Awhile back I also tested the Highline case from Kenu, which uses a similar idea of incorporating a safety line for your phone. These two products have a similar philosophy, but are actually quite different from one another. For instance, the Highline is a much lighter case, providing only a minimal amount of protection and relying on its cord to prevent major damage. Meanwhile, the Beeline acts much more like a suit of armor for phone, although it adds more weight and bulk to the package. Also, with the Highline the cord is not integrated into the design in anyway, which means it is easier to forget or lose. With the Beeline, it is part of the package, meaning you'll always have it with you when you need it.

The Beeline case is available for the iPhone 5, 6, and 6 Plus. It comes in a variety of colors and carries a price tag of $59.99. That is twice the price of the Highline case, but considering the higher level of protection the Beeline brings to the table, it is worth the investment for climbers, runners, mountain bikers, or other outdoor enthusiasts who like to use their smartphones on their adventures. This is a high quality, well built product that could potentially save you a lot of money and heartache. We all drop our smartphones from time to time. It isn't a matter of "if," but more likely "when." Having this case on your iPhone will help protect it from those unexpected mishaps.

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