Field Tested: ZAGG Rugged Folio for iPad Mini

Most of us can relate to the scenario––You’re on the road and having the time of your life when the silence is broken with that most unfortunate, but necessary of phrases, “Hey, I have a WiFi signal, excuse me while I check my email.” It’s a scene that plays out more often than we would like, but the reality is, many of us are able to travel only because we have the means to stay somewhat connected to our families and work commitments at home.

For most of my travels I can get away with packing my full-sized office bag complete with laptop, but there are those trips where my space constraints are rather extreme. My travels by bicycle and even motorcycle always favor my much smaller iPad Mini. Finding the best way to protect it and maximize its utility has lead me to one of my favorite products of the year, the ZAGG Rugged Folio.




I have used a variety of similar keyboard cases over the last couple of years, but the Rugged Folio is by far the best, primarily due to the proficiency of the keyboard. Not only did ZAGG manage to package it with a full-function keyboard with all the necessary buttons in familiar positions, it has the tactile feel of a proper typing tool. The backlit keys can be illuminated in your choice of four colors, and here comes the best part––it will hold a charge for up to two years. I’m typing this review from the Rugged Folio and it works great.






The detachable case for the iPad itself uses a simple two-part construction made of high impact plastic wrapped in an outer silicon rubber skin. Getting the iPad in and out of the case takes little time and effort, something that can’t be said for the other popular cases in this segment. The iPad case is held to the keyboard with a simple but secure magnetic clip. Protecting the screen I use ZAGG’s curiously durable clear Shield screen protector. Those three components make the Rugged Folio a versatile and protective system that I think is the best of its kind. $139

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Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.