Your iPad Will Take a Licking and Keep on Ticking with the Ballistic Tough Jacket – iPad Gear Review

If you use your iPad in a dangerous environment like construction, or if you have young children, you need a solid solution that will keep your iPad safe and sound in all kinds of conditions.

The Ballistic Tough Jacket comes with three layers of protection that will keep your iPad safe no matter how often it is abused. This case will survive drops, kicks, throws, and more, so if you’re in need of some serious protection, take a look at my review after the break.

Design and Construction

This case from Ballistic has three different layers to keep your iPad safe. First, you pop your iPad into the soft, protective inner silicone layer, and then snap on the impact resistant hard plastic shell, which also has a layer of shock absorbent polymer.

Finally, you can snap the plastic cover onto the top to protect the screen while traveling, or snap it on to the back to use as a stand.

Front View, Without Cover

When I took this case out of the box, I was impressed with both the construction and the many layers of protection. Getting my iPad in wasn’t too difficult, but as I applied layer after layer, I realized that I could probably toss my iPad off of my roof with no damage. (I didn’t try this though!)

You’ll notice that the Tough Jacket has some seriously thick rubber corners – this is the main protective element that keeps your iPad safe. Thanks to these Ballistic Corners, there’s extra shock absorption where you need it most – the corners. Your iPad might survive a flat fall, but a corner blow is devastating. The corners also guarantee that your screen never touches the surface of a countertop or table when placed face down.

Back View

The case that I reviewed was black and white, and while it isn’t a slim and sleek case, it is nicely designed with a tough, rugged look that still manages to be somewhat stylish. That’s impressive for a case that’s meant for function, not fashion. In addition to black and white, this case also comes in black/red and black/black varieties.


This case is bulky, there’s no doubt about it, but it is no bulkier than competing cases like the Otterbox Defender. In fact, it’s probably slimmer than other cases of this class, just because a lot of the protection comes from the ultra thick corners.

Though this case has a lot of impact protection, it still leaves all buttons and ports entirely usable, including the camera. I loved the front cover, because it snapped over the screen of my iPad to keep it safe when I was traveling, and when I was at home, it snapped on the back and served as a kickstand for watching movies and playing games.

The cover of the case has a pull up tab which doubles as a stand, which is a nice extra feature. It can’t be adjusted into multiple positions, but it has a good angle.

The Stand

While I was testing this case over the weekend, I did accidentally drop my iPad several feet onto asphalt. Luckily, the front cover was on, and both the case and iPad came out entirely unscathed. I also did drop tests on my wood floors, and the Tough Jacket passed with flying colors.

Of course, this case will not protect your iPad from the elements like water and dust, but you will find no better drop protection.


I was impressed with the three layer design of this case, which kept my iPad safe even in a fall. It wasn’t so bulky that it was unusable, and this case didn’t add too much weight to the ultra slim iPad. What it did add, though, was plenty of protection.

If you need a case that will keep your iPad safe from kids, yourself, your co-workers, or your job, take a look at the Ballistic Tough Jacket. You won’t find a more protective, functional case on the market.

You can get the Ballistic Tough Jacket for $69.99 from the Ballistic website, which also includes free shipping.

About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli