Back in October of last year, I reviewed Pad and Quill’s Bella Fino and Traveler Cases for the iPhone XS and XS Max. Pad and Quill sent me the iPhone XS version of the Traveler right around the time that I got my iPhone XS Max. Thankfully, I still had my iPhone X, so I was able to test it out for a couple of days before I had to send my old phone back to Apple.
A month ago, Pad and Quill sent me a new Deluxe version of their Traveler case for the iPhone XS Max, which I have been using ever since. After a much more extensive period of testing, I came away liking the Traveler even more the second time around. Let’s take a closer look.
Design and Construction
I’ll go ahead and lead off by saying that the Deluxe Traveler is exactly the same as the original except for one major addition. This version of the case comes with a card holder on the back, making it a much thinner and lighter way to carry an ID or credit cards than Pad and Quill’s Bella Fino wallet case.
As for the rest of the case, I will summarize my earlier review by saying that the Traveler’s design is unique among leather iPhone cases. It is 100% leather from the back to the interior lining to the sides that hold the iPhone in the case. If you really love leather, you should take a good look at this case.
Another very unique aspect of the Traveler is that the sides don’t have holes for the Power and Volume buttons, so you just press them by feel through the case.
This is definitely different, which I will get to in a bit.
The case also has a very “broken in” look and feel and a handmade aesthetic. The cutouts aren’t perfectly even. The leather seams and edges are ragged, as if the case has been in use for years. But it works.
I normally would come down on a case that has a little unevenness like the Traveler, but this actually fits the intended design to a tee. Mind you, nothing is that far off. There is nothing so out of place that it impedes the operation of the phone.
Even though they aren’t extreme, if you are used to cases that are 100% spot on, you will notice the slight variations. Even though I’m too Type A for my own good, I still really like this design.
The design of the Traveler case works very well in everyday use. I absolutely love the way this case feels in the hand, as the broken in look extends to how the leather feels. It is soft and the flexibility makes the case very easy to grip and hold onto.
The broken in look also works well in another respect. I ended up with a couple of small scuffs on the back of my case, but as you can see above, they blend right in thanks to the look of the Traveler’s leather. The occasional scuff or scratch only adds character, so no worries there.
While the Traveler doesn’t have a hard shell, I don’t expect any issues with protection at a basic case level and haven’t had any during my time testing it. The leather is thick and hearty enough that I’m not worried about a “normal” drop. The sides also extend up enough to provide extra screen protection without getting in the way.
As for the new card holder, that puts this version of the Traveler over the top for me. It adds a little bit of extra usefulness to an already very good case. While you aren’t going to fit too many cards in here, it is perfect for certain circumstances. For example, if you just want to carry an ID and a single credit card for a night out on the town, the Traveler is perfect.
This also works great for plane travel, as you can pack your wallet and just keep what you need with you for going through security and check-in.
In my case, I have been using the Traveler as a business card holder.
I usually keep cards in my laptop backpack, but it isn’t always right there when I am in a meeting or find myself in front of customer. My iPhone is always with me, so this is a perfect way to make sure I can keep my business cards right at hand when needed.
There is one issue that I did have with the Traveler that is related to the leather sides. While I can always wake or sleep my iPhone or change the volume up or down when I want without issue, I have ended up with a LOT of accidental screenshots.
Because there aren’t any holes for the buttons, it is easy to get an accidental press when pressure is applied near them. It is really easy to do this when picking up or waking the phone..
Despite this one small annoyance above, I have been very happy with Pad and Quill’s Deluxe Traveler during my testing. The case fits my iPhone XS Max perfectly and provides basic drop protection to the entire phone. The ability to carry a few cards with me at all times is a perfect cherry on top.
However, what really sets the Deluxe Traveler apart from your typical leather case is its unique design, look and feel. As I said in my previous review, it is completely different from anything else I have ever used. It handles different. It feels different. That definitely makes the Traveler stand out from the pack in a big way. If you love a quality leather case but are looking for something a little outside the norm, Pad and Quill’s Deluxe Traveler is just the thing.
The Deluxe Traveler case for iPhone XS Max was provided for review on iPad Insight by Pad and Quill. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the About page.