Rugged iPad Protection: G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes
cracked iPad
A Smart Cover doesn’t really provide much protection. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Last summer when I took my kids to Taiwan, I totally fumbled my iPad trying to pull it out of my backpack while walking down the street, and watched helplessly as it landed on one corner. All I used at the time was Apple’s Smart Cover, which I like because it’s quick to open and shut and doesn’t add much bulk. Of course, with that sleek figure comes a price: no actual protection.

G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2
G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

If I’d had a G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2 at the time, maybe I wouldn’t have been shelling out for a replacement when I got back home. The Extreme Sleeve is made with “Reactive Protection Technology”—basically that stuff they put in athletic pads that’s flexible until there’s an impact, at which point it stiffens momentarily. Now, I wasn’t ready to subject the iPad to a drop to see how well the case worked, but I did use it during PAX East because I figured I’d be walking around a lot and didn’t want to risk a cracked screen again.

G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2
G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2, shown with iPad 2. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

The Extreme Sleeve 2 has nine of these pads on each side, and a big chunky zipper at the top. It feels sort of rubbery on the surface. My sample sleeve is obnoxiously bright yellow, though you can also get it in black, which looks like something Batman would use for his iPad. G-Form also makes several other similar products, if you prefer a portfolio-style case or if you’re looking to protect iPhones, laptops, or other tablets.

I like the feel of the case—it’s nice to have a protective case that isn’t a hard shell. But it’s a tight enough fit that it doesn’t really work with the Smart Cover on top of it. The hinge catches on the side just enough that it slides the cover off, turning the iPad on. But if you’re using the sleeve, probably you can leave the Smart Cover at home. I’ll probably use it for traveling or if I’m planning to be out and about, but for day-to-day use at home I’m leaving the Smart Cover on.

G-Form has plenty of videos of their own extreme tests on their website, including dropping bowling balls on the iPad or dropping an iPad from over 100,000 feet. However, they do have a disclaimer that they won’t be liable for damages to your electronics in their products, so if you come up with some crazy stunt that results in a broken iPad, that’s coming out of your own pocket.

If you’re looking for some protective gear for your iPad, the Extreme Sleeve 2 is worth checking out, as long as you don’t mind the appearance.

Disclosure: I received a sample unit for review.

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