DRACOdesign VENTARE Aluminum Bumper for iPhone 5/5S Review – Sporty Curves with a Refined Finish

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The iPhone 5S is a slim, sleek, and powerful device; it deserves a case that won’t weigh it down or add unwanted bulk. DRACOdesign’s $99.00 VENTARE aluminum bumper case is a licensed DUCATI Motorcycle product that adds curves for a better grip, corner protection in case of drops, a bit of subtle flash, and just the right amount of attitude.

Inspired by DUCATI’s 1199 Panigale S, VENTARE, blowing in Italian, is a designer bumper that captures the beauty and racing DNA of DUCATI.

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Included in the package are the aluminum bumper case, a DUCATi and DRACOdesign branded neck strap, and a metal sticker in the shape of a DUCATI emblem. Since the case already has the motorcycle manufacturer’s name spelled out on its bottom piece, the metal sticker worn with the neck strap might be a bit much — unless you actually own a DUCATI motorcycle. 😉

A special screwdriver fitted with a stylus cap is included along with two extra screws; this is pretty handy, and it might actually be something you’d be willing to add to your key ring.

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The VENTARE is available in six colors: black, gray, red, silver, white, and the soft gold I was sent. The bumper’s sides are composed of airplane grade aluminum, and the polycarbonate top and bottom is there to help reduce any signal interference caused by the aluminum. The combination appears to work well, as I have not noticed any signal loss.

Inside the bumper, there are shock-absorbing pads at the corners and sides. There are earphone, speaker and microphone cutouts on the bottom of the bumper, and the Lightning port hole is just large enough to accept the Ventev cables I prefer. Integrated back plastic button covers dress up and unify the power and volume buttons, and there is even a black plastic toggle cover for the mute switch. For those who like to add a wrist strap to their phone (like me), there are two small holes for that purpose on the bottom right.

It may be more of a nuisance to some, but I am extremely pleased that DRACOdesign included a cutout for the SIM tray. I swap my SIM card in and out of multiple mobile phones every day; knowing that I will not have to remove this bumper in order to do so is a huge incentive for me to keep my phone inside this particular case.

The VENTARE fits the iPhone 5 like a second skin; the four corner screws keep everything secured.

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There is not a lot of extra overhang, but the VENTARE was designed to add 1mm of surface protection to the face and back of the phone; I think you can see it especially well in this photo.

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If you have a screen protector or a rear skin installed, you may not even notice the 1mm lip, but in that case your protective overlays will be picking up the slack anyway.

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I wasn’t expecting to like the DRACOdesign VENTARE and much as I do, as the DUCATI branding seems a little bit loud. But considering that the case doesn’t add much weight or bulk to the iPhone, and the gold actually matches my gold iPhone quite well, I actually like it. The curves added by the VENTARE bumper definitely allow me to keep a more secure grip on my iPhone, and that is always a good thing.

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If you don’t want a full case with front and back coverage on your iPhone 5 or 5S, and you are considering a protective bumper, but you want something a bit dressier than the typical rubber versions, then the DRACOdesign VENTARE Aluminum Bumper may be the perfect case for you!

DRACOdesign VENTARE Aluminum Bumper for iPhone 5/5S

MSRP: $99.99

What I Like: Attractive corner and side protection that doesn’t degrade the iPhone’s signal; cutout for SIM card access; built-in stylus tip on the special screwdriver; the curves added to the iPhone when in this bumper make the phone easier to securely hold; ability to add a wrist or neck strap

What Needs Improvement: Only 1mm face and back protection; DUCATI branding is a little bit much

Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit

Curious about the other iPhone and VENTARE color combinations? Take a look …

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.