It seems like everywhere we turn there's another protective case for the iPad, Galaxy Note II, iPhone, MacBook, and on and on. But when G-Form dropped an iPhone5 from the stratosphere – that's like space, right? – we took notice. And when it landed somewhere near Area 51 and didn't break, we wanted one.
While we're not planning on besting Felix Baumgarten's jump from space while racing our iPad down next to us, we've found the G-Form Extreme Sleeve 2 to be quite impressive here on Earth.
It's due to gravity, or extreme force, that the G-Form protective cases perform so well. After a few years of R&D, the G-Form team combined the proprietary materials it had thought up – think Area 51 secrecy – with a material known as PORON XRD, something we can only assume occurs naturally, to produce what it is calling Reactive Protection Technology (RPT). What's so unique about RPT is that upon impact, the molecules that were before soft and pliable absorb 90 percent of the energy and change momentarily into a rigid form, in this instance, a protective case. Already used extensively in impact sports, guards for BMX biking and skating, the RPT has the unique aspect of being flexible, lightweight, and soft during normal use while only hardening at the point of impact. Not being restricted by hard guards is good for downhill skating professional Ross Druckrey but does it translate to protecting an iPad?
In order to test it out, we placed our iPad in the G-Form case and put it in our small, normally only for carry-on, bag. Then we checked it. We figured that baggage handlers at JFK and Heathrow would be the best real-world testers for the reactive technology. And, unless they went easy on our bag, which is not likely, it proved to be a good in-the-wild test of the G-Form case since our iPad was unharmed when it came out the other end. Just to be sure, we promptly dropped it from five feet and it was fine.
All that protection comes at a cost; namely, bulk. The RPT material requires a certain amount of mass to absorb the shock of a drop and that translates into a case with a width that is almost an inch and half. And with the propensity of everything becoming slimmer, that's an important trade-off. But for serious protection, with size taken into account, the G-Form case warrants a bit more space in our suitcase. [$70; g-form.com]