Incipio Stowaway iPhone Case – High level protection with a secret stash
Wallet cases have been popping up everywhere. With so many different case manufacturers taking slightly different approaches, the decision making process can be a little daunting. A few months ago, we reviewed a wallet case made by CM4 (the Q Card Case – see the review here). While we’re not going to present this review as a ‘head-to-head’ matchup, we will have something to contrast and compare the Stowaway to. In general, we truly like the Stowaway case, and it should definitely be a contender in your quest for a card-carrying iPhone case. Let’s get on to the review…
Pros: Holds three cards, offers fantastic protection
Cons: bulky, slightly loose fitting, terrible flash glare
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The Stowaway case is constructed from two different materials/pieces: a soft silicon rubber and a hard outer plastic. It’s a nice combination, as the soft inner rubber layer provides more than adequate shock absorption, and the hard outer shell feels great in the hand. It also slides easily in and out of your pocket. At fist glance, the Stowaway appears to borrow many of the same construction attributes as it’s Silicrylic cousin. Another similar upside? This case comes complete with a cleaning cloth and screen protector. Color combinations include the following:
(Click to enlarge below pictures)
All of the button cutouts are appropriately sized and placed. We didn’t have any difficulty accessing or using any of the iPhones physical controls. In general, the rubber feels a bit saggy. The outer shell does help it to maintain it’s shape and form, but around the home button (and the top face of the phone) the rubber feels a bit ‘stretched out’. What separates this case from the pack is what stores in the back…
The Wallet Function
Open up the back and you’ll find a compartment suitable for storing up to three credit and/or ID cards. Some may find they can only fit two cards. This all depends on the thickness of your particular credit cards, but we managed to fit three with no problem. The storage space is accessed by a little indention in which you fit the tip of your finger in to and pop up the door. Access is pretty effortless. The cards are held in place by two ridges running along the top and bottom of the compartment which slightly overlap the sides of the cards. As a result, your cards must slide in and out. What’s nice is that your cards are completely covered and secured when the door is closed. Also, you don’t have to worry about anything getting stretched out (and cards falling out) if you transition from carrying three cards to only a single card. This is an upside when comparing this case to the Q Card. If you want to get creative, the compartment door also doubles as a stand in landscape or portrait mode (as seen in the picture above). The hinge seems to be pretty durable, feeling ever so slightly spring loaded, and held together with a metal pin.
Things to think about
Having used this case personally, there are a few things we would like to make you aware of before you make your final decision. First of all, the obvious added bulk. It’s about the size of an Otterbox, and if you’re looking for a wallet case with slimmer size, the CM4 Q Card may be the better option for you. Also, camera flash glare is quite bad with this case. When taking test pictures with our review case, the pictures we took using the iPhone’s flash had an overwhelming orange hue. This is another area where the Q Card has the edge.
Our review in Summary
The Stowaway is a case with multiple functions and uses. On it’s own, it does a fantastic job of protecting your phone. Factor in the added wallet functionality and you’ve got a really practical, useful, case. Cm4 Q Card vs. Incipio Stowaway? Quite honestly, we feel that this decision comes down to personal preference, and we don’t quite see a clear winner here. Each case has it’s areas where it has the edge. The questions you would need to ask yourself are: How concerned are you with the size of the case, is cameral flash glare a real issue to you, and will you usually be carrying the same amount of cards? Overall, we were very pleased with the Incipio Stowaway, and we feel confident recommending it to our readers.