The nagging problem with iPhone cases is the balancing act between protecting your iPhone and making it easily accessible (ie pulling it out of your skinny jean pockets). Normally a case either has a thin profile with sticky rubbery exterior that can make taking it out of your pocket annoying, or you get a slick plastic exterior with a considerably more bulky silhouette. Carbon fiber gives you the best of both worlds: a slim profile with a sleek exterior that makes accessing your iPhone breezy. Nailing that balancing act is what makes DRO Concepts’ Carbon Fiber Guardian iPhone case so ideal. The dream space age material for supercars, carbon fiber not only adds zero heft to your gadget but it is incredibly strong, bestowing your iPhone an Iron Man like invincibility. We dropped the phone coming down some stairs and in utter horror watched it careen down a flight and a half, bouncing from wall to concrete stair, and it didn’t even scratch the shiny casing. That was a surprise. Plus, not gonna lie to you, it also lends your already modern iPhone an even more futuristic aesthetic. Hand crafted with 4 layers of genuine carbon fiber, the Guardian comes lined with snug high quality neoprene to provide a supple cushion. In addition to the case you get a microfiber polishing cloth a D-shield anti-static screen guard to protect the other side of the phone.

The other option is DRO’s Carbon Fiber Shield iPhone case, which features a unique combination of carbon fiber and kevlar. Not only does the kevlar increasing the structural strength but it aids in cell signal. The Shield lacks an all-around carbon fiber wrapping, instead opting for a singular piece (as opposed to Guardian’s 2-piece configuration) that snaps onto your phone. The four corner wraps protect your iPhone from drops, but it fails to protect that actual screen — meaning you can lay it face down and the screen is the contact surface; there is no carbon fiber to protect it. Weighing in at only 8 grams, the Shield is an ultra-thin, ultra-light option to the Guardian. Truth be told, we preferred the Shield and used it more frequently, but at the same time prayed that any serious hit or fall would occur while using the Guardian instead. The Shield also comes with a D-shield anti-static screen guard, so you don’t have to sweat scratches or nicks, but I’m not sure how it would fair against a faceplant on the asphalt.

Of course, there’s a cost for the protection and convenience of carbon fiber — at $93 for the Guardian and $70 for the Shield, the DRO Concepts’ Carbon Fiber Cases will are about double or triple the pricetag of a regular case. When you factor your iPhone will cost about $600 to replace however, that doesn’t seem so bad.

2 galleries below, the first of the 2-piece Guardian case and the second the snap-on Shield case…

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