The i1010 is made of a thick, tough plastic—the Pelican website doesn’t say exactly what kind of plastic, but my guess is it’s PDT (pretty damn tough)—with a formed rubber cradle inside that matches the contours of 1st and 2nd generation iPods, iPod Nanos, and iPod Shuffles. Opposite the cradle, on the underside of the lid, is a webbed storage pouch for the earbuds.
There’s an audio jack inside so you can start your iPod and play it from inside the case; you cannot, however, operate the controls without opening the case. The interior audio jack connects to an external jack that you plug the earbuds into. The two halves are joined by a stainless-steel hinge, and secured with a plastic clasp. The case comes with a hook-and-loop strap for securing the case to...well, I’m not sure, since I don’t play it while I’m riding. But I guess you could strap it to the handlebar or a tank-bag strap, or your belt.
Pelican claims the i1010 is water resistant, crushproof, and dustproof. I haven’t tested any of these attributes to extremes, but I’ll vouch for the case’s protective abilities after a dozen or so tours of duty in a tank bag or pannier, bouncing along with all the other stuff I carry along with me.
Pelican’s website isn’t very helpful when it comes to pricing; it asks you to fill out a form and wait while someone at the company gets you a price quote and tells you where the nearest Pelican dealer is. This might be why I bought mine from Aerostich, which lists the i1010 for $32, and where someone will usually answer the phone right away. Aerostich stocks only black, but if you’re a digital-media fashionista and you’re willing to endure the runaround from Pelican you can get one in yellow, white, iPod blue, iPod silver, iPod pink, and iPod green.—Jerry Smith