Barbour Quilted Flip iPhone 5 Case Review

It’s been a long time since I reviewed any iPhone cases. I had become a connoisseur of fine, hand-crafted leather cases, and an admirer of durable plastic ones. Falling somewhere in the middle of all of this, was Proporta. At the time, Proporta sold what I’d call mid-range iPhone cases. Good quality, but not unreasonably expensive. Since then, however, they’ve been busy developing their range of branded cases to include the likes of Barbour and Brunswick, bringing with them designers like Julie Dodsworth.

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In this review I will be looking at the Barbour-branded Quilted Flip case. Of all the Barbour range at Proporta, it’s certainly the case that’s most quintessentially Barbour in its appearance. The combination of a quilted exterior, accented with leather, and a tartan and leather interior, perfectly reflects the feel of a Barbour jacket. The quilting results in a case that feels padded and protective. Coupled with a generous overhang and an internally reinforced construction it should ensure that no matter how you might drop your phone, it’ll be protected.

The case holds an iPhone 5 securely within its plastic insert. It takes some effort to get it in and out, which is a good thing.

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Very little of the iPhone 5 enclosed within is exposed to the elements when the case is closed, the sides are mostly protected by the plastic clasp inside with only cut-outs for the speakers, microphone, headphone socket and buttons.

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The flap hinges at the top of the iPhone, this is comfortable for general day to day use and preferable to a flat at the bottom, but comes with one fatal flaw; it’s really awkward to use the camera! If you’re a frequent camera-user then you’ll find this case quickly frustrates you, and you’ll want for something simpler. Sadly this flaw is common among cases with a top flap, but it’s fairly easy to work around once you get used to holding the flap out of the way, rather than your phone.

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As far as construction goes, the case is well put together and for the most part has stayed put together, with a small exception. One of the small flaps which makes up the magnetic clasp on the bottom has come partially unglued. While I could easily fix it with a drop of superglue, and it doesn’t really affect the function of the case, it’s disappointing for what is otherwise a very well thought out and attractive product.

Fortunately, Proporta have informed me that they’re hot on the case and have revised their design to fix this problem.

Lynnette Prigmore, their Head of Brand and Marketing had this to say: “We’ve added a stitch line around the outside of the closure tab in the interim of launching a new style of case. On future designs, our customers will see that the magnet has been injection moulded into the closure. Keep an eye out for this new method for AW14 Barbour accessories and, new to the mix, Barbour International.”

To put it simply; the current revisions of their cases exhibiting this problem have been fixed with some good old stitching. What’s more interesting is that future case designs will include a magnet that’s, presumably, moulded into the plastic clasp that holds your phone. I can’t picture how this will work, but it sounds good and I’m eager to try it!

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Overall, I love this case. It comes in 5 different colours, but the olive/brown is by far my favourite and, I think, the most “Barbourish”. I’ve kept on using it, despite the frustrations and flaws, and I can’t wait for winter to roll ’round again so I can break out a Barbour jacket and my scarf to complete the look. That said, with the rain we’ve had today it looks like I might get that opportunity a little sooner!