I’ve had a few weeks to try out the Blacksmith-Labs iPhone holsters, and I may have found my new iPhone case. I’ve wanted a holster for a while now: I’m tired of my phone jangling around from pocket to pocket, so that I never know which one to look in. The Horween Signature holsters solve that problem, although not as perfectly as I would have liked.
For the last year or so, I’ve been happy with my CM4 Qcard Case, which protected my phone, held my ID card, and an emergency $20. But I would often search through my many pockets trying to find it, and, of course, it added some bulk to the otherwise slim-line iPhone 5.
Blacksmith-Labs iPhone 5/5s genuine cowhide leather belt clip holster started as a Kickstarter project to raise $8,000 dollars, and surpassed that by over $6,000 dollars, With that, they promised high quality metal alloy belt clips—no cheap plastic—that are extremely secure and will fit snugly against your belt. Even better, the clip swivels as needed.
So, when Blacksmith-Labs offered me the chance to test out their leather iPhone holster cases, my answer was an emphatic “Yes!”
I started out testing the Barrett iPhone 5/5s case, it was OK. It had a solid construction with excellent stitching on the leather. The clip was rugged and never felt loose. My issues, though, was that it was too small to hold my iPhone with the CM4 Qcard Case, but bulkier than needed to hold the phone by itself.
So, I actually switched quickly to the slightly larger Barrett Oversized holster, which held my phone with Qcard case intact. I lived with this for about a week, and it worked well, but it still felt a bit large on the hip.
After a week using the Barrett, I tried the Bruno. It has the same high quality clip as the Barrett but a slightly more primitive look, with leather that wraps around without becoming overly bulky. Even better, it’s got a slim and feels great on my hip. The Bruno is well on the way to becoming my iPhone case of choice.
There are two issues, though: First, since it doesn’t accommodate any extra space, there’s no room for even the slimmest protective case, so when my iPhone is out of the Bruno, I’m constantly worried about dropping it. Second, although there appears to be an extra pocket in the Bruno for my ID and spare $20, it’s not sealed at the button, so it’s only a faux pocket and the ID and cash would slip out of the bottom.
If you are looking for a holster that accommodates a slim protective case around it, the Barrett is the way to go. However, if you need something, slim, snug, and stylish, then you will not go wrong with the Bruno.
Note: Blacksmith-Labs provided free review copies of the holsters mentioned.