* No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary sample was provided for the review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.
I am not sure what it is about us, but my husband and I seem to have an uncanny knack for looking for products several months in advance of their availability. It has happened with kids toys, bike accessories, party ware for a birthday party and more. I haven't yet figured out how to parlay it into something of value, but it is a reality that we deal with.
Such was the case when I got an iPhone last year and was looking for a way to be able to use it during my workout. I like to use the RunKeeper app for my workout, so bringing my phone along (and not holding it in my hand) was a requirement...and the workout clothes that I had did not have a pocket that would hold the phone (several have them for the smaller iPods and/or for a key). There were several options available for pouches/pockets that would hold the phone, but none of them could be used without first removing the phone from the OtterBox Defender case that I had for my phone. I didn't want to mess with having to remove and reapply the case on a daily basis, so I simply went without and continued to look, convinced that what I was looking for was out there somewhere. In the mean time, I simply would tuck my phone under my bra strap when I was out for a walk or run. It worked for me, but was not ideal and I worried about it being next to my skin - especially if it was an extra hard workout and I was sweaty - and worried about it slipping out and falling to the ground.
So, when I found the Tune Belt Sport Armband for iPhone Protective Cases (AB84) that was specifically designed to fit an iPhone in an OtterBox Defender case, I was excited. (Now, out of fairness, it has been around for a while, I just hadn't found it until recently.)
Some details from the site for the AB84 Sport Armband for iPhone Protective Cases:
Lightweight, comfortable neoprene construction
Stable armband securely holds player
Adjustable armband fits 9" – 17" and an Armband Extender is available for larger arm sizes (see SKU EX3)
Full navigational control through clear, protective window cover
Cord flap securely stores and manages earphone cord
Cushioning neoprene protects player
Helps protect against perspiration, bumps, scratches & the elements
As soon as the armband arrived, I checked it out by taking it for a run the very next morning when I headed to the Y for my Spinning class. The case is made of Neoprene, making it lightweight and stretchy. The inside, although there are seams, doesn't have any spots that felt rough on the arm. The construction appears to be quality, something that I expect will last for a while.
The phone, in its protective case, easily slides into the holder through the opening at the top. The opening is self-closing, so there was no need to worry about the phone falling out, but the material is soft and flexible and would accommodate the cord for earphones. There is even a small Velcro strap (called a cord flap, I learned) on the one side, that you can use to wrap around any excess length on the headphones cord. I like that there is even some extra room behind the phone, where I could tuck a couple of dollars, a license or a credit card - all things that are a challenge to take along in typical exercise clothes.
The clear plastic facing allows you to easily see and operate the touch screen on the iPhone. Even when I am wearing the armband, I am able to unlock the phone, start the run and stop it. Certainly, as with any armband, you have to move your arm or turn the band to allow better visibility of the phone while wearing it - but aside from start, stop or time check, I rarely am looking at my phone while I work out. Having the phone in the armband did not make it anymore difficult to hear the cues I have set in RunKeeper - it tells me my distance and pace every 5 minutes...keeps me going!
With the Velcro for securing the armband on your arm, it is fully adjustable to accommodate a wide range of arm sizes and I found it easy to adjust even while wearing it. While wearing the armband, I was able to remove the phone with relative ease - which is good, if you need to answer a call. Putting the phone back in while wearing it was a little more challenging - consider, I was trying to do this one handed and the opening was more taught because of the armband being securely fitted around my arm. I don't see a problem with this and when the occasion has arisen, I have either just dealt with it and taken the time to put it in or have loosened (but not removed) the armband to replace the phone quicker and then re-secured.
The design was updated last year and will accommodate both the iPhone 4 and 5 in the OtterBox Defender case. Have a different type of phone or music player? Tune Belt offers a wide variety of options, even options for portable CD players and cassette players, which is where they got their start with an idea for the first TuneBelt about 30 years ago.
I hadn't previously worn an armband style holder, so it was a little strange feeling at first, but it quickly became something that I was accustomed to. I have been able to use the holder to allow me to track my runs and my walks and taken it on bike rides too. Not sure that you want an armband style holder? Fortunately, Tune Belt also offers a full series of belt style holders that fit around your waist.
Based on my experience with the sport armband from Tune Belt, I would purchase another Tune Belt product and recommend it to others that are looking options for holding their phone or music device while being active. I like that they have been around for several years, and have taken customer feedback to continuously improve their products. I like that they have a variety of cases, for different brands and styles of phones and music players.
Have you checked out Tune Belt?
No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary sample was provided for the review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.