Expensive device + Gym does not sound like a happy equation. There are a number of ways for you to easily destroy your MP3 player or phone while working out. The NXE Active Sleeve is a lightweight, breathable, arm sleeve that safely houses your music playing device.
The truth is, the NXE Active Sleeve is not really anything new, workout arm sleeves have been around almost as long as the iPod. With that being said, we did get to go hands on with the NXE Active Sleeve, and we were generally pretty happy with it.
The ActiveSleeve is available in four sizes: S, M, L, and XL. It comes with two arm sleeves, one black and one white. The sleeves are made of 80% spandex, 15% polyester, and 5% TPR rubber. The device pocket is stretchy and padded with foam mesh. It should be able to safely accommodate any phone or MP3 player, even the larger cell phones like the Evo. It will even safely accommodate the smaller devices, like an iPod nano, without shifting around. The pocket is sealed with a velcro flap. The piece of velcro is rather large, and very strong. There is enough room on either side of the velcro flap for a headphone cable. The material is breathable and prevents moisture from getting into the device pocket (or at least it’s supposed to, see below).
I used ActiveSleeve while running and while lifting. I use a bluetooth headset which makes the ActiveSleeve a treat to use. This means I don’t have to deal with a cord. When I did try out a pair of wired headphones I tucked most of the cord into the pocket so it wouldn’t get in my way. My bluetooth headset also has track controls and volume controls, which solves another issue with ActiveSleeve–it’s not easy to access your music. The pocket is not clear so unless you have physical buttons on your device or a headset that controls track and volume, it could get frustrating. I was extremely pleased with the comfort. As long as the bottom of the sleeve stops at your elbow, it doesn’t move around much, and feels relatively weightless. If it’s not positioned at your elbow, it may slip down your upper arm until it is. Choosing the right size is definitely essential. I was surprised to find that moisture had accumulated on my iPhone’s face. It wasn’t enough to do any real damage, but had it been way hotter outside, who knows. As long as the face is not positioned away from your arm, and you’re using some sort of protective case, there should be no problems.
I can’t speak for any other exercise arm bands, as I’ve never used them. After a quick look on Amazon I see they range from a few dollars to about $30. The ActiveSleeve is $30, and includes two sleeves. So you can split it with a friend and essentially pay $15 for one. I can say that the ActiveSleeve was a very nice and comfortable companion at the Gym, even after a couple hours of wear. The main gripe I had was that the velcro was too tight which made it difficult to access the device when the time arrives. The overall design and quality is really very nice.
Sizes: S: 7″-10″, M: 9″-13″, L: 11″-16″, XL: 15″-18″
The Good: Comfortable, Lightweight, Safely fits devices of all sizes, Good Build Quality
The Bad: Difficult to Access Phone, Size is Not Adjustable, lets some moisture through to device