Vaja Apple iPod nano AP161 and AP171 Classic Cases


Whether it’s for a PDA, or a MP3 player, Vaja knows how to protect gadgets with a combination of both style substance and style. The substance part is taken care of beautifully with high quality leather, stitching and findings. When it comes to style, Vaja set the bar a long time ago. No one makes a better form fitting and great looking leather case. It’s a common practice for me to buy a new gadget and then anxiously wait for the day that Vaja creates a case specifically for it. This time around it’s an Apple iPod nano case. Two of them actually…

Classic AP171

The AP171 case is play through leather case that adds very little bulk to the super small nano. It is available in Aniline and Vitelino leathers. Vitelino is shinier than the more matte finish of the Aniline leather. Regardless as to which style you choose, this case is not padded. The leather is stiff though and provides adequate protection.

The nano slides into the bottom of the case. You don’t need to worry about the nano falling out of the case though. The fit is extremely tight. You could say too tight. I started having a panic attack the first time I tried to remove the nano. Without using an object to push it out from the top, it probably would still be there.

You really don’t need to remove it from this case though, as all controls, switches and jacks are fully accessible while the nano is in this case. The cutouts line up perfectly and the plastic screen cover protects the display while remaining crystal clear.

Since the bottom of the case is open, you can easily plug in the dock connector to sync and charge with your computer. That said, the bottom of the nano is the main part of the device that remains unprotected. We all know how easy it is to scratch an iPod, so this may be a concern.

This case can be purchased with several different options. For additional $’s, you can have it embossed with your name, add a wheel protector, or matching leather lining. You can also get a regular plastic belt clip, a Rivet system clip, a metal hook or no clip at all. I asked for the metal loop clip.

The metal hook clip swivels and has a spring loaded clasp that you can use to clip on a belt loop, purse strap, etc.

I like this case because it’s pretty minimal and doesn’t add much bulk to my music player.

Prices start at $34.00.

Classic AP161

If you want a little bit more protection for your iPod nano, you can go with the AP161 case. This one is also play through, but it has a magnetic flip cover that protects the click wheel and bottom of the nano. Like the AP171, a plastic screen protector is sewn into the case.

It has the same design, where the iPod slides in from the bottom, top first. Yeah, this one is just as tight as the AP171.

Like the AP171, the AP161 can be purchased with a belt clip, rivet clip, metal hook or no belt clip at all. A wheel protector is also an option.

There is a cutout at the top of the case for the hold switch.

The dock connector is accessible for syncing and charging.

This is a great looking case. It adds very little bulk to the nano, but protects it from everyday wear and tear.

Prices start at $40.00.


Product Information

  • Apple iPod nano
  • Built in screen protection
  • Play through
  • Available with different belt clip options
  • Very tight fit
  • Bottom open on the AP171
Posted in: Audio, Video, TV
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Julie December 16, 2005, 3:43 am

    Post your comments on the Vaja Apple iPod nano AP161 and AP171 Classic Cases review.

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • rei_urusei December 16, 2005, 8:30 am

    Veeery stylish indeed. I’m very satisfied myself with my Vaja case for my ageing Sony Clié TG50. The AP161 case looks especially well made 🙂 Vaja’ll be a definite consideration for my new iPod.

  • gslusher December 16, 2005, 9:48 am

    Great review, Julie, as usual. (It’s the reason I check The Gadgeteer every week or so.)

    Another factor may not be obvious until one compares the Vaja cases with other cases for the Nano. The Nano hangs “upside down” on your belt–the screen end is down. That helps three ways.

    First, the headphone jack is on “top,” rather than the bottom. The headphone cord is less likely to catch on something (e.g., your hand, as you put it into your pocket). Remember how awkward the iPod Shuffle with the Apple lanyard looks?

    Second, Vaja gets around the problem other makers of leather cases have with making difficult precision cutouts for the dock connector and headphone jack. In the AP171 case, that end is open, as it is up. In the AP161 case, the hinge is at the dock connector end. When the case is closed, the hinge covers the dock connector, leaving the headphone jack accessible. When the case is open, the dock connector is accessible.

    Third, coolest of all, the upside-down orientation makes the Nano easier to use while it’s on your belt. If you’ve used a watch that hangs on your belt, you know what I mean. Grab the watch (or Nano) and tip up the free end. You’re looking at the face (screen) right-side up. It should be easy to manipulate the click wheel with one hand. (With the flip cover AP161 case, you can flip up the cover with your thumb and hold it open with the base of your hand while you use your thumb on the click wheel.) With most other leather cases, you have to spin the iPod around or take it off your belt to see the screen normally and use the clickwheel. A bonus: this puts the play/pause button at the top, where it’s easy to hit to pause or turn off the iPod.

    Both cases can be ordered with a click wheel protector, a thin plastic sheet that covers the click wheel.

    Vaja also now sells an iVolution leather-covered hard case for the Nano. It should provide even more protection. I have an iVolution case for my 3G iPod. I’ve rather forgotten what that iPod looks like “naked,” as I seldom take it out of the case. They have just added cases for the 5G iPod video.

  • johntee March 16, 2006, 7:37 am

    Yes, very helpful review. A quick question — what were the color leathers that you picture in your review? (particularly the AP171, where Pics #1 and 2 look brown, but Pic#3 looks reddish — is it the same leather?)


  • Julie March 16, 2006, 12:52 pm


    They are all the same case. I’m having a hard time remembering which color it is though. I think it is Hot Chocolate Aniline.

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