The Gripcase and GripBase: An iPad Case/Stand Combo for Young Hands

The Gripcase is a shock-absorbing, virtually indestructible iPad case that is perfect for young users. The stand is optional, but definitely a useful addition. Photo: Patricia Vollmer
The Gripcase is a shock-absorbing, virtually indestructible iPad case that is perfect for young users. The stand is optional, but definitely a useful addition. Photo: Patricia Vollmer

I was excited for the chance to review the new Gripcase and accompanying GripBase support stand. My sons are often bogarting my iPad 2 for their favorite games, such as Where’s My Perry, Fruit Ninja, and Angry Birds. They also help me through particularly tough levels on Candy Crush Saga for me.

Brian Norfolk, the creator of the Gripcase, came up with the design as he was constantly worrying about his two-year-old son using the iPad he received one Christmas.

As with any kids, the probability of iPad drops and bumps increase significantly in my house, so I welcomed the chance to put this case to the test.

Gripcase

Who has ever owned a pair of Crocs shoes? That material that the shoes are made of, known in their company as “Croslite,” is a patented closed cell resin that has properties of both rubber and a more rigid plastic. The Gripcase says it’s made of EVA foam, but to me it seems quite a bit like Croslite. This is a good thing; it’s a sturdy, clean material that has anti-bacterial properties. It’s easy to wash–top rack dishwasher safe!–and is incredibly lightweight.

You can see the flexibility in the case as my oldest son's left hand grips it. Photo: Patricia Vollmer
You can see the flexibility in the case as my oldest son’s left hand grips it while he plays Stack the States. Photo: Patricia Vollmer

The Gripcase is of single unibody construction, with no hinges or flaps to come loose. It’s easy to flex just enough to slip the iPad into it with little effort.

The Gripcase has handles on each of its four sides. This makes it a breeze to grip and hold on tight to the case.

Gripcase Pros

  • Lightweight. This is by far the lightest case I’ve tried out.
  • Flexible, frictional grip makes it easy for hands of all sizes to keep a good grip.
  • Virtually indestructible. My husband and I played tug-of-war with the case (pretending to be our sons fighting over the iPad) and we stretched it a bit, but it didn’t break. And in less than three hours the stretched area retracted to its original shape.
  • Colors. The Gripcase comes in five very bright colors: red, green, blue, black, and purple.
  • Inexpensive. The full-sized iPad case retails for only $39.99. Compare that price to other “indestructible” cases, such as the Otterbox. In my opinion that’s pretty reasonably priced.
  • Ability to protect from falls. Just see the video below. Starting at about 50 seconds, the iPad is being bounced off the floor!

GripCase Cons

  • Open face. There is nothing to cover the front of the iPad. The back is also reasonably exposed. Keep this in mind if you’re worried about things falling onto the iPad while in the case.
  • Large size. Despite its lightweight nature, the Gripcase will add 3″ each to the horizontal and vertical dimensions. If you’re used to tucking your iPad into your purse or kids’ tote bag while on the go, this will make the device much bigger.
  • Difficult to access the headphone jack, charger port, and volume and sleep switches. You have to really reach into the foam rubber to access those ports.

GripBase

The GripBase is a lightweight solution to standing up your iPad while in its Gripcase. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.
The GripBase is a lightweight solution to standing up your iPad while in its Gripcase. Photo: Patricia Vollmer.

The GripBase is a hard molded plastic stand that’s compatible with the Gripcase. This case was well-balanced for the iPad to sit upon it either horizontally or vertically. Swiping and typing on the iPad can be done with reasonable pressure without the stand tipping over.

There’s a cubby hole in the back to store your power cord, and run it through the base for easy charging.

If you’re in a situation where you have more than one of these bases, they stack easily.

Conclusions

I think this Gripcase and GripBase combo is perfect for classrooms that use iPads. The Gripcases stack well, as do the GripBases. Students will have an appropriate viewing angle while reading or performing other tasks.

If your young children routinely use your iPad–or your young children have iPads of their own–this case is a reasonably-priced, lightweight investment in longer life for your device. I recommend it.

The Gripcase is available for 2nd through 4th Generation iPads (MSRP $39.99) as well as the iPad Mini ($34.99). Each size comes in five bright colors. The GripBase retails for $19.99. They are sold either through the company’s online store or at major online retailers such as Amazon.

A complimentary sample of this product was provided for review purposes.

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Patricia Vollmer is the proud mother of two emerging geek sons, ages 12 & 14. She serves part time as a meteorologist with the Air Force Reserve and is currently assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Patricia blogs about her family's nomadic military life at Ground Control to Major Mom. Home is always where the Air Force sends her family, which for now is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hobbies include running, despite no one chasing her, sharing her love for Disney and Star Wars, and exploring the world with her boys. Ask her why the sky is blue at your own risk.