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Michael Hodgson

Traveler at HI Travel Tales
Born to British parents in Canada, Michael Hodgson had been schlepped back and forth across the pond since he was a toddler. In college, he took the big leap and spent a few months in Kenya – and never looked back. His biology major somehow led him into a writing career, focusing on the outdoors, hiking and gear testing. Building on his lifetime of travel with travel writing was a natural, although he still loves to seek out the wilder side of a mountain – or a city -- for a good story. Michael also is a partner in a consulting business ( built on a passion to help specialty businesses and brands succeed both domestically and internationally.
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Hands cold, wind whipping and the ship rolling in heavy seas during a gorgeous sunrise. To get the photos I wanted, I had to hold my mobile out over the railing – nothing preventing my phone from dropping into the ocean below other than my tenuous grip. I might have relaxed a bit and been able to get better photos had I been using the Beeline Case then.

Invented by Brent Williams after dropping his expensive iPhone from a chairlift into deep power below, the Beeline case (currently available only for iPhone 5 and 6 although we are told cases for other popular brands would be available soon) prevents losing your phone from inadvertent drops. And we know these days a phone is not just a phone, but a lifeline and quite personal too!

The Beeline case ($60 – $70, depending on phone) features a retractable 30-inch tether made of Kevlar. The cord is attached to a small triangular-shaped carabiner-style clip that slithers away inside the case to stow out of sight.

Beeline Case from the back showing clip and cord

The phone concept is to attach it to something secure with the clip (e.g. a belt loop or pack strap) so even if you drop the phone, at worst, it’s left hanging at the end of a 30-inch line and thus still retrievable. No forever-gone plunges into snow banks, oceans or off rocky cliffs.

I have attached the clip to belt loops, pack loops, and even made a loop and placed my wrist through it – though the latter idea is perhaps not highly recommended as the cord could lead to a very nasty cut or abrasion if the phone snags on anything and you keep moving. Purse straps (if the purse if worn securely cross-body) would do. Heck, even that ship’s handrail!

Deploying your phone when it is securely clipped somewhere is easy. Just pull out the device as you would sans cord, and the tether unwinds smoothly from the case. A button on the back of the case is easily used to automatically retract the cord or partially retract it to lock it in place.

The Beeline smartphone Case is a molded, double-layer plastic, with a shock-absorbing lining (for those times when you might bang or drop your phone on hard surfaces – sides and back only of course.) The shell is slightly “sticky” to help with grip, but not so grippy that it’s hard to slip in and out of pockets.

Though it did take a bit of getting used to having a cord attached to my phone when taking photos, the learning curve was not steep. And knowing that even when leaning over the edge of a cliff to get the “money shot” that I am not risking losing my phone is a wonderful feeling.

If I were to make one improvement, it would be to add a bit of rubber on the clip. Even when securely retracted into the phone case, it rattles a bit. Still, the Beeline Case is such a cool execution of a much-needed product that we’re bestowing our HITT Seal of Approval without hesitation. This case provides perfect no-slip, no-oops security for travelers who rely on their mobile for communication, let alone most of their travel photos.

Beeline Case HITT Seal of Approval


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