Dodocase's iPhone 5 Wallet is simple, sleek, and classy

For the last few years, I've been using a flip case for my iPhone to keep it safe and to store cards I needed instant access to--transit passes, memberships, and the like. Unfortunately, the iPhone 5's new elongated design put the kibosh on reusing my beloved case for a third year running, so out on a case hunt I did go.

Lucky for me, I almost immediately found a nice substitute in new , a slim duck canvas, leather, and cotton sleeve that is as stylish as it is functional. The company, famous for its , has since branched out with a new line of sleeves for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air called ; the $50 iPhone Wallet is the first Dodocase Durables model I had the pleasure of testing.

The sleeve itself is made of sage-green waxed duck canvas and lined with a bright orange cotton fabric; a flap of mahogany leather rims the bottom half of the sleeve and is bound to the canvas at each edge, creating two pockets for cash, cards, or other slim rectangular items. Because it's a sleeve, you must remove your iPhone from the case to make calls and have full access to its touchscreen, jacks, and ports. There is no opening on the bottom of the case for headphones, so you'll have to put your iPhone in upside-down to use them--but I didn't find this to be problematic at all.

The lower left corner of the leather flap sports Dodocase's signature silhouette logo--this makes for a much classier look than the full Dodocase name that is stamped on most of its other products. I applaud the company for the choice, as it makes the sleeve look more like an upscale leather wallet than an iPhone accessory.

It's not just attractive, however; the Wallet excels in usability. It's just slim enough to fit into most pants pockets without too much trouble, even with a full assortment of goodies packed in there. In addition to the iPhone inside the sleeve, I was able to load up my license, credit and debit cards, and transit passes into each pocket.

The iPhone fits into its sleeve snugly, but it's far from skin-tight: A good shake will free it from its cotton confines. The same goes for my cards and passes; with the phone in its sleeve, they stay put with no problem, but when the iPhone is away, those formerly tight leather pockets become more pliable--it makes me wish there'd been some way to add a bit of elastic to the tops of the pockets and the iPhone sleeve, to hold everything down. I spent a day using the Wallet as my primary means for carrying cards, and more than once I found myself having to stop cards from slipping out when removing my iPhone. (The solution I ended up with: Move all cards to one pocket, thereby keeping the pouch full enough with and without iPhone assistance.)