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Mobile Toting Systems

Thu Dec 7, 2006 - 10:00 AM EST - By Tim Hillebrand


Nite Ize Office Utility Case $14.95

When I committed to going mobile and toting a Pocket PC everywhere, I soon accumulated a significant number of must-have peripherals that were too much for my pockets to bear. I started experimenting with various backpacks, fannypacks, camera cases, and even some man purses. However, I don’t always need all the stuff I tote around, and when I saw the Side Office in the TreoCentral Store, I thought it might be a solution for when I don’t need to carry everything.

The Side Office (SO) is made of sturdy black nylon and measures about 5 ¼ high by 5” wide and will expand to perhaps three inches deep depending on how much stuff you put in it. On the backside, there is a hefty and secure belt clip. In front of the clip, a pocket stores a pull-out security cover made of lightweight black nylon. It covers the pouch like a raincoat.

The SO has pockets galore for stowage of things like flashlights, Leatherman’s tool, tape measure, BT headset, cell phones batteries, car kits, FM modulators, expansion cards, cameras, GPS receivers, extra PDAs, credit cards, and car keys.

Around the periphery of the SO, there are straps open at the top and bottom that you can use for hanging or attaching various items. There is a pouch in the front and a larger one in the middle. Both are open at the top. Inside the larger pouch are three pockets for stowage of small items such as batteries, lipstick, and expansion cards.

It is indeed a handy, smaller-sized toter than I usually use and could serve to lighten the load. However, I found the cover cumbersome and inconvenient. The large compartment in the middle is the only one big enough to accommodate my Treo 700wx, but it didn’t fit snugly, and I worried it would bounce out, even with the cover in place. Also, the Treo could rub against other items and get scratched unless it were in another case to protect it.

Fully loaded, it gets pretty heavy and can really sag your beltline—a problem that does not seem to bother a lot of people who appear to revel in things dangling from their belts. If you are that sort of person, the Side Office is definitely for you.

Personally, I would rather wear it bandolier style, but it does not have a strap for that purpose nor a place to attach one.

I finally decided that the SO would put too much strain on my belt line and found another excellent way to use it. I clipped it on the side panel of my car door pocket. It gives me a handy and secure place to stow stuff that would otherwise be flying around on my dashboard. Now I consider this product a must-have, but not dangling from my belt.

SideOffice is only one of many cases offered by Nite Ize that you may wish to consider. Multi Pock-ITS is the next largest model measuring 1 ½ “ deep x 4 ¾” high x 2 ¾ wide. It features a flap lid with Velcro closure. Inside there are two elastic pockets on either side, a large pocket across the back, and a small loop-like holder that could be used for an AAA battery or an extra stylus. In the front is an expandable pocket where you could put anything from a headset to extra memory cards. On the back is the usual secure belt clip. It also has two loops on the top sides that could be used to clip on a shoulder strap.

Multi Pock-ITS $20

This is a commodious case that can carry a lot of gadgetry. What may prove a problem in some instances is that the sides are open toward the bottom, which would allow some objects to slip through.

Clip Case Plus $15.00

Moving down the size scale, we come to the Clip Case Plus model that has two front pockets, one with a partition, side elastic holders, a pocket across the back inside, and a stylus holder. It has the same secure clip-on belt holder, but this one swivels so that you can wear the case vertically or horizontally. It measures 4 ¾” high x 3 ½” wide x 1 ½” deep.

The Clip Case Plus Magnet model is almost identical to the Clip Case Plus except that it is slightly narrower at 2 ¾” and it has a strong magnetic closure instead of Velcro, which I prefer because it does not get snagged on other material, which I find annoying. It really is the best fit for a Treo, by the way. But there isn’t much room for too much else. I tuck my headset into the side holder and toss in a couple of spare memory cards in the back pocket.

Leather Sport Cases $13

Nite Ize also offers a classy leather case in three variations and two colors. It comes in dark brown or black in a vertical, horizontal, or lidless model. The fit is so snug in all cases, however, that there is no room left to accommodate anything beyond your Treo. There’s not even a pocket for an SD card, which is unfortunate. The familiar secure belt clip is on the back of all three models and the two with lids use a Velcro closure. Measurements for all three are 5” x 1/2” x 2 3/4”. I would reserve this case for dress-up when I wanted something sleek.

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