Gadling gear review: G-Form Extreme Sleeve for iPad

Over the past year and a half, one of the first things I’ve always packed when getting ready for any trip is my iPad. Apple’s ubiquitous tablet is a fantastic travel companion, serving up books, games, music, movies, and more. But there has been more than one occasion in my travels where I’ve had concerns for the safety of my favorite gadget. After all, it has accompanied me to the Himalaya, the African bush, and the Atacama Desert, among other places. If I had the Extreme Sleeve from G-Form with me on those trips, I wouldn’t have been nearly so worried.

The Extreme Sleeve is made from a combination of proprietary materials that are both soft and tough, while resembling something that a superhero might use to protect his important tech gear. It is very lightweight and fits snugly over the iPad, ensuring that it doesn’t slide around inside the case. The fact that that it is also water resistant and designed to absorb direct impacts, provides another level of protection that you won’t find in most other cases.

There are a couple of caveats to the Extreme Sleeve however. For example, I own the first generation iPad and use Apple’s official case. The Sleeve’s snug fit makes it impossible to use both it, and my case, at the same time however, which means I have to remove my iPad from the case I use on a day-to-day basis (no small feat mind you!), in order to slide it inside the G-Form offering. The Extreme Sleeve does a fantastic job of protecting the device inside, but you’ll be going without a case when actually using the device, which can prove problematic for some. The design of the iPad 2 and its Smart Covers, makes this less of a problem, but you’ll want to make sure you get the Extreme Sleeve 2, which has been specifically designed to accommodate that second generation device.

Once you place your iPad inside the Extreme Sleeve you can simply drop it into your backpack or suitcase and feel comfortable that it is going to arrive at your destination still in working condition. G-Form claims that the case actually stiffens upon impact to protect is contents, and while I can’t verify that that is actually true, I can say that I was very impressed with how well the case performed in normal on the go use. Just how good is it at protecting your gadget? Check out the video from G-Form below which shows them dropping a bowling ball onto an iPad inside their case.

As someone who regularly travels to remote destinations and takes his gadgets with him, I think the Extreme Sleeve will be a popular item for any iPad owner, but will especially be a hit with adventure travelers. The rugged case makes it possible to take our favorite gadget with us without fear of damage. (MSRP: Extreme Sleeve 1 – $59.95/ Extreme Sleeve 2 – $69.96)

Extreme Demo: Can your iPad survive a 12-pound bowling ball? from G-Form on Vimeo.