If you carry an iPad Pro around with you, a case that provides at least some basic protection is almost a requirement. Even if you prefer to use it au natural, you are risking your investment if you aren’t at least transporting it from place to place inside of something.
This is one reason why sleeve cases have always been popular with iPad users, back to the earliest days of the device. Even though I prefer to keep my iPad Pro in some kind of case, I still like to carry the pair in something that provides more drop protection when I’m out and about.
I’ve been a fan of UAG’s products for a long time now, and the superior protection they build into their products is a big reason for that. Their cases offer as good or better drop protection than most competitors, often for a more reasonable price.
I believe UAG’s products are a great value when you consider their combination of good design and even better protection. Because of this, I have regularly used their cases on my iPhones for the last seven years and have also reviewed and used their Metropolis and Lucent tablet cases. I’ve been using UAG cases for a long time now and they’ve never let me down.
Since I typically use a keyboard case with my iPad Pro, I’m always on the lookout for good options to safely transport this combo of tablet and accessory from place-to-place in. Some keyboard cases don’t provide all that much protection, so I see this as a necessity. Apple’s own Magic Keyboard comes to mind here, with its thin design and completely open sides. As such, I was immediately interested when I saw the Shock Sleeve Lite on UAG’s website.
The first thing I noticed about this case when it arrived is that it’s quite thick. So many iPad cases are designed to be thin and light first, and simply offer as much protection as is possible within those design parameters. Often, it’s not very much, unfortunately. When it comes to the Shock Sleeve, it’s obvious that the top priority in mind when it was designed was protection, and that’s a good thing in my opinion. Specifically, the Shock Sleeve Lite offers MIL STD 810G 516.6 military grade drop protection. UAG is well known for building this into most of their phone and tablet cases.
Taking a look at the interior of the case, you can see what this thickness buys you in terms of protection.
The Shock Sleeve isn’t just your typical iPad sleeve. There is over an inch of raised padding inside the case that surrounds your device and holds it in place during transport. There’s no slack or space for your iPad Pro to move around if you drop the Shock Sleeve or hit it against something and no way for the edges of your tablet to take a direct blow.
Combine this with the light padding on the outside of the case and your precious cargo is very well protected.
Despite all of the padding and protection, the Shock Sleeve Lite is true to its name and quite lightweight itself. Its 8.96 ounces add very little to the cargo you carry in it. Considering that many protective cases add a lot of extra weight and the 12.9” iPad Pro and a keyboard case aren’t exactly light as it is, the Shock Sleeve’s lightweight design is appreciated.
Speaking of design, I really like the Black Shadow Camo version of the Shock Sleeve that I was sent to review.
It’s professional looking, but the camo design dresses up the basic black a little and just makes it more interesting to look at, in my opinion. I’ve had more than my share of black cases, so a little variety is a good thing. However, if camo isn’t your style, the Shock Sleeve Lite is also available in black and gray.
You can’t get much simpler than the Shock Sleeve Lite from a usage standpoint. There is a zippered opening at the top that allows access ample to the interior of the case.
The opening is wide enough that you can fold the front section of the case down to check on what’s inside. That’s handy if your Apple Pencil gets dislodged during transport, which happened to me a couple of times. However, it’s worth noting that there is plenty of room inside the padded section of this case for an iPad Pro inside of a keyboard case with an Apple Pencil attached.
To test this, I tried the Shock Sleeve Lite with Apple’s Magic Keyboard, Logitech’s Combo Touch and the new Brydge 12.9 Max+ and all fit in the case, along with an Apple Pencil.
Since we are talking about size, I tested the 5th Gen 12.9″ version of the Shock Sleeve Lite. The case is currently available for the last two versions of the 11″ and 12.9″ iPad Pros. However, the 11″ model should also be suitable for the last two iPad Airs if you really like this sleeve design.
The last notable feature of this case is the zippered pocket on the front.
The pocket covers about one third of the front of the case, but there isn’t much slack here, so there isn’t a lot of room here to hold any bulky accessories. However, it is easily capable of holding the basics, such as a charger, a small USB-C hub or adapter, and a few cables for the iPad Pro you are carrying.
Many sleeve-style cases don’t come with any additional storage, so I’m glad UAG included this pocket. It does make the Shock Sleeve Lite more capable as a case that can hold all of your iPad Pro’s needed accessories while on the go. Versatility is always a good thing.
One small word of caution here- if you are carrying an iPad without anything covering the screen in the Shock Sleeve Lite and have a charging brick, USB-C hub, or any other solid accessory in the front pocket, then I would recommend you face the tablet’s screen toward the back of the case and away from the brick. There isn’t a lot of padding between the contents of the pocket and the interior of the case and a big enough blow from a heavy enough object could turn the brick into a chisel for your screen. You would likely have to drop something heavy on the case and it hit directly on the brick for this to happen, but better safe than sorry in my book.
That one very small concern aside, the Shock Sleeve Lite is perfect for anyone who wants extra protection for their iPad Pro. Whether you prefer to use your iPad naked and just want to keep it in good shape while moving it from place to place, or you have a case, but want extra insurance for Apple tablet during transport, this sleeve is built to do the job with no fuss.
While the Shock Sleeve Lite is a large and somewhat thick case, it doesn’t add much extra weight to an already fairly substantial piece of hardware. Also, the larger size brings with it military-grade drop protection, which is worth it for those iPad Pro users who need that extra security. Basically, if you have any concerns about drop protection, this case should set your mind at ease.
UAG’s Shock Sleeve Lite is just a simply designed but well-executed sleeve that offers superior drop protection. If you want extra security for your iPad Pro and don’t mind this sleeve’s thickness and overall size, then it’s a great choice.
The Shock Sleeve Lite is available for the 5th Gen 12.9″ iPad Pro from UAG for $64.95. It is also available for the 4th Gen 12.9″ iPad Pro and the previous two generations of the 11″ iPad Pro.
The Shock Sleeve Lite was provided for review on iPad Insight by UAG. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the About page.