Incipio DualPro Carbon Fiber Case Review: A sturdy case

Incipio has expanded their case line-up for 2013, offering up some entirely new products including the much anticipated waterproof Atlas case for the iPhone 5 and an update of the Incipio DualPro Carbon Fiber Case, which we reviewed last year. So what’s changed and is the end result any different? Read on for our comprehensive review.
Incipio DualPro Carbon Fiber Case Review

What we liked from the DualPro case design reviewed last year is back and shows some nice refinement. The DualPro case is a two-part case that is part silicone and part hard shell, with the latter constructed from rigid plextonium. Is Doc Brown involved in the product naming?  The silicone is soft, flexible and relatively thin on the sides and back. It gets slightly thicker at the top and bottom of the iPhone. The purpose of the inner case is to provide a layer of shock absorption. Extra padding are in areas where the hard shell is not protecting the iPhone.

Incipio Lightning connector

Once you wrap the iPhone 5 in the silicone shell, it then needs to slip into the rigid hard shell. The best way to install the iPhone is to slide it in horizontally, inserting the two corners on the side of the microSIM slot and then snapping into place. The Dual Pro then unites into what becomes one tightly constructed case. The concept of multiple pieces allows Incipio to offer the best of both worlds. Silicone for its shock absorbing properties and the hard shell for a more heavy duty level of protection. Incipio has done a phenomenal job with the fit of their DualPro iPhone 5 case. There is no movement at all and the iPhone 5 felt incredibly secure.

Top of DualPro case

The resulting case construction does have an adverse affect on the thinness and heft of the iPhone 5. The tradeoff here is the ability to enjoy a moderate to high level of protection. Incipio also includes a screen protector, making this a complete protection package, or does it.  The screen protector serves its purpose, but it cannot rival more expensive screen protection. Despite my best efforts to buff them out, I was unable to avoid the dreaded bubbles, which renders the screen protector useless. Those willing to spend some additional time might produce better results, but I’m not so sure. If you are the type that requires a screen protector, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

Incipio screen protector

The soft touch silicone covers the volume and power buttons. Buttons were easy to use with the case on. Due to the two layer construction, I used my fingernail when using the mute switch. Nicely sized gaps make stock cable access easy enough. Adapters might be an issue with this case. All in all, the layers of protection did not impede usability of the iPhone 5.

Side view of DualPro case for iPhone 5

Carbon fiber is a look that will draw people to this case and for good reason. It makes for a good looking case and was a marketed improvement over the Incipio DualPro Hard Shell, which showed significant wear over time. The finish felt smooth, with the carbon fiber exhibiting an extremely slight texture. At the top near the camera, the case slopes inward in a nod to the design of the iPhone 5, which I found to be a nice touch.

Incipio DualPro

The case features an overly large Incipio logo that stands out entirely too much for my taste. The sides are extremely rigid, allowing it to grip your iPhone for dear life, something you want from your case. They are slick and could stand to have some sort of texture.

Carbon Fiber iPhone 5 case

Incipio DualPro Carbon Fiber Case Review: Pros & Cons


  • Carbon Fiber looks sharp
  • Solid construction
  • Moderate to high level of protection


  • Screen protector tough to install without bubbling
  • Large and noticeable logo

When I first reviewed the Incipio DualPro, I left impressed with the idea behind the case, but it fell short due to how the case wore over time. That’s a non-issue with carbon fiber version of the dual pro. The result is a sharp looking case that offers a high level of protection. If you like the look of carbon fiber and in the market for moderate to heavy protection, you should add this case to your short list.

The Incipio DualPro Carbon Fiber case retails for $34.95. It’s available at Incipio and online retailers including Amazon.

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