It’s hardly appropriate for wool this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock the cozy look for your iPad. Grove has unveiled a new line of iPad sleeves with the Wool Felt collection that helps protect your gadget in a stylish and slim-fitting manner. The new line matches perfectly with our previously reviewed Grove Bamboo and Leather case for the iPad 2. But this time, the Wool Felt Sleeve is an equal opportunity lover for every iPad edition. In our hands on impression, we give you a first look at what to expect from this neat little accessory.
Look and Feel
The Grove Wool Felt iPad Sleeve comes in your choice of two basic colors: Charcoal or Sandstone. The sandstone edition we received goes perfectly with the new white iPads, but you may want to watch out for the corners as they can easily get dirty. The German felt material is about an eighth of an inch thick — just enough protection and grip when you hold it while not being too bulky.
The flip side of the sleeve is finished with a bamboo veneer that’s resistant to scratches and light liquid spills. The look and feel is stylish and lightweight enough to take with you as a standalone bag, but small enough to slip into your bag, briefcase, or luggage. We also enjoyed the seamless stitches along the sides of the sleeve and the bamboo outline. The look adds a high end arts and crafts feel to the product, and since it’s handmade in the city of Portland, Oregon, it sure looks like it’s created with a lot of love. The unique design beats a lot of generic work you often find, even in the Apple Store (sorry, Smart Cover, but your look is getting old.)
Compatible with all three editions of the iPad, the Wool Felt Sleeve has a magnetic strip at the opening to keep your device secured inside. Of course, the magnet is not overwhelmingly strong and snaps back in place with a small push. We’d also like to note that wool is a great fabric choice for all those concerns about overheating new iPads. I purposely maxed the CPU on my iPad to get it nice and toasty, stuck it inside the sleeve and barely any heat transferred to the outside of the bag. However, this also means the sleeve won’t help the iPad dissipate its heat, though most iPad sleeves don’t yet have that function anyway.
As mentioned, this iPad sleeve is also not entirely waterproof. While the thick fabric and bamboo will significantly delay the impact of water getting to your iPad, it’s safer to pull the entire thing out and dry the sleeve first before reusing, if you get it wet. Of course, we’re talking about submerged-in-water, entire-can-of-soda-burst-open-in-bag kind of spills. If you place the iPad inside the sleeve on a table with water residue left behind by cold mugs, then of course there’s nothing to worry about.
Since the compartment is made with flexible fabric, getting the iPad in and out of the sleeve is a non-issue. Even an iPad with the Smart Cover attached will fit inside the sleeve for double the protection.
The Wool Felt Sleeve also garners lots of compliments for being so easy to match with outfits. The texture is something new and different as far as iPad sleeves are concerned, though those with sensitive skin might not enjoy the possible itchiness from the wool.
Overall, like previous Grove products we’ve had the opportunity to review, we enjoyed the Wool Felt Sleeve. It’s simple but classic, and has a good look for iPad users of all ages. The $99 price tag might be a little high for a product without any bells and whistles, but for handmade goods made in the United States, we couldn’t be happier to help a support small, local business.