Compaq iPAQ 3100, 3600, 3700, 3800 with any standard expansion sleeve
Some people are PDA case maniacs and I’ll admit that I’m one of these people.
I’m constantly looking for the perfect case for my iPAQ. Some that I have tried
have been too big. Others have been too small. But I keep looking for the one
that is just right…
When I first heard about the iHolster belt holder from iProductsonline.net,
I was very interested. And when they came out with the iGuard screen protector,
I was even more intrigued. Although I like leather cases, I pretty much would
rather use my iPAQ naked (the iPAQ, not me!) The iHolster and iGuard looked like
the perfect solution. Are they? Let’s take a closer look at each one…
The iHolster is just that, a holster for your iPAQ. It’s not really a case
because you can’t use your iPAQ while it is in the iHolster. Instead it is a
belt carrier similar to the plastic holders for various pagers. You have a
choice of two versions. One with a molded belt clip (iHolsterMBH) and one that
works with a detachable swivel belt clip. Both are
hand formed from a black plastic like material called Kydex which is durable and
impact resistant. The outside of the holder has a rough grainy texture while the
inside is shiny and smooth.
The first and pretty much only gotcha with this product is the fact that it
will not work with a naked iPAQ. In order to use the iHolster to carry your PDA,
you have to use it with an expansion sleeve such as the Basic, Compact
Flash, PC Card or Dual PC Card expansion sleeves. That said, it will also
work with some aftermarket sleeve modifications such as the original Silver
Sliders and PC Card Sliders from George Mosquara. It won’t, much to my
sadness, work with the Whitney
BackPack Mods though. Also, if you have the Compaq Expansion Plus Packs and
the Cover Pack that comes with the 3800 series units, you will have to review
the screen cover before it will fit into the iHolster. I reviewed the iHolster and iGuard using the Compact
Flash sleeve, Silver
Slider 2 and a Basic style pack.
The iPAQ in an appropriate sleeve slides into the iHolster face inward. The
plastic ‘arms’ hold the PDA in place with friction. The fit is snug without
being too tight. The front of the iPAQ is totally protected while in this holder.
However, the back of whatever sleeve you are using is left exposed.
The iHolsterMBH has a built-in belt L hook that slides over and hangs from
your belt. is available with or without the Ultra clip belt clip. This is a
1 1/8th inch wide hook that can accommodate a belt of 1.5in (4.45cm). The belt
slides thru the hook or you can slide the hook over your belt since it is open
at the bottom. If you really don’t like to wear a belt (like me), you can slide
this hook over your waistband or pocket. It holds surprisingly well and I didn’t
have a problem with it sliding off.
If you want a bit more protection, you can get the iHolster with the Ultra
clip swivel belt clip. The clip’s post is attached to the back of the iHolster with adhesive
and a metal rivet. The clip itself is plastic but has a very strong
metal spring in it. A thumb press release is at the top of the clip. You can’t
just press the release and take the iHolster off the clip though. You have to
swivel the holster 90 degrees and then lift up. This makes the belt clip more
secure than other clips that can accidentally become released.
The iHolster is a nifty holder for the iPAQ and various sleeves. I just wish
there was also a naked iPAQ version…
For those of you that don’t want or need a belt clip version, there’s the
iGuard. This is basically the same product as the iHolster but without the L
hook or belt clip post on the back.
It is essentially a screen cover and that’s all. Like the iHolster, you must
use a sleeve with the iPAQ in order for the iGuard to fit.
I like the iGuard quite a bit. It slides on and off easily
and keeps the iPAQ as small as possible.
The rough texture of the cover allows you to keep a good grip on the PDA when
you are carrying it around in your hand.
$33.00 iHolster with Ultra clip belt clip
$24.00 iHolsterMBH (molded belt hook)
Good screen protection
Must use with an expansion sleeve
Back of sleeve is exposed and unprotected