Handheld gaming offers the player a level of portability, privacy, and ownership that console gaming can’t quite provide. I can play my handheld consoles in my home office, lying down right before bed, or while waiting for repairs on my car. While there are times that I don’t mind everyone seeing what I’m playing, there are other times where I just want to play privately. With the advent of the Nintendo Switch, and now the Switch Lite, the future of handheld gaming is looking very bright!
In this review, I will cover some of the features and key components of the Skull & Co. Gripcase Lite and Maxcarry Case for the Nintendo Switch Lite. If there are any aspects I missed or if you have experience with this gripcase, please comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll be sure to address those comments.
What is included?
Included in the packaging is:
- Skull & Co. Gripcase Lite
- Snap Grips, Trigger Grips and Plus Grips
- Maxcarry Case
There are two components to installing the Skull & Co. GripCase on your Nintendo Switch Lite: installing the clear shell on your console, and installing the grips on the clear shell.
Installing the shell on your Switch is simple, provided you know where to start. With my V1 Switch, I made the mistake, that I imagine many do, of starting on one of the bottom corners. It seemed logical, as there weren’t any shoulder buttons there, so it would be easy to get the case around there first. Starting this way will make installation almost impossible. So, my recommendation is:
- Start with one of the shoulder corners – it doesn’t matter which side. Be sure to get the front edge of the case clear around the L or R shoulder button.
- Push the case on the bottom of whichever shoulder button you started with.
- Lift the case around the remaining shoulder button.
- Push the case around the remaining bottom corner.
Installing the case in this order makes installation very easy, in my experience.
Installing the grips was a bit trickier for me, at least at first. While the grips of the OG Gripcase used a reverse-alligator clip design, these grips slide on and off the Gripcase Lite. The advantage of the slider system is that you don’t need to remove the case in order to change the grips. I struggled at first to remove the snap grips (I believe the case came with them installed). The grips are REALLY snug at first, to the point that you feel like you’re going to break the case or console when removing or installing them. But they do break in over time and become much easier to work with. I still find myself inadvertently pressing the power and shoulder buttons when installing new grips. I imagine most of us would find the grip we like best and not change them very often, so this was a minor issue.
Form and Function
This case just makes the Switch work better! I said this about the Skull & Co. Gripcase for my OG Switch, and I feel the same about the case for the Lite. The OG Gripcase makes my Switch look nicer (I love that Skull & Co. offers color-matched cases!), and I really noticed that it makes my Switch feel more solid. The Gripcase Lite is made of a flexible, shiny, clear, semi-rubbery TPU material, and it has a much more tactile feel than the OG case. It gives the entire shell a more grippy feel to it, which gives me a greater sense of comfort and security. I do appreciate the design choice of a clear shell to allow the color of the Switch Lite to show through. I think that’s one of the selling points of the console, and it would be a shame to cover that up with a case. One issue I had with the flexible case is that I found myself lowering the volume on the console if I didn’t press the power button in exactly the right spot. This was certainly not a deal-breaker, but worth mentioning.
In contrast, the grips themselves are made of a rigid TPU material that are less grippy. The Snap Grips have very pronounced ridges in them that are noticeable to the touch and provide a bit of additional grip. The Trigger and Plus Grips have very small dimples that do add to the aesthetics of the case, but they don’t add much for grip. I really appreciate that Skull & Co. offers various grip sizes in their Gripcases to accommodate virtually all hand sizes. More on that in the next section…
I’m a huge fan of handheld gaming, going back to the original Gameboy as a kid. I’ve never used cases of any kind for any of my handhelds until getting my Switch. I just haven’t ever found them necessary, as I’ve never had an issue with discomfort while playing. I’ve got pretty big hands, so when I got my Switch Lite, I figured I would be able to play it without a case and it would be comfortable enough, just like playing my Vita maybe. Boy, was I wrong! Going from a gripcased OG Switch to a naked Switch Lite, I noticed an immediate discomfort in my right hand when playing games that regularly use the right stick. I also found some discomfort in the center of my palms from having to hold the console and access all of the buttons.
This Gripcase Lite is amazing! All of the discomfort was gone as soon as I installed it on my Switch Lite. I can more easily access both sticks without feeling like I’m going to drop my Switch Lite. I really appreciate having the three grip sizes, as this case can accommodate almost any hand size. For me, the Snap Grips were too small, and I didn’t like the sharp edge of the Trigger Grip, but the Plus Grip felt comfortable and secure. Again, the flexibility and customization is greatly appreciated here!
The Gripcase is fantastic, but really works best when paired with a carrying case. The Maxcarry Case is the most functional that Skull & Co. carries, and if you ever travel with your Nintendo Switch Lite, this is a fantastic case. The case is made of a very premium small-knit nylon material. The branding is very low-profile and professional, from the rubber logo in maroon to the matching zipper pulls.
The inside of the Maxcarry Case looks very similar to many comparable cases on the market, with one exception. On many cases, we see a zipper compartment in the upper compartment (under the lid), but that has been left out of this design. That could be to minimize scratches to the system, or to keep the vertical size of the case at a minimum.
This case incorporates a dual-flap system that is common in cases like this. The Switch Lite is stored in between the flaps and held securely by a velcro strap. In my experience, you don’t need to use the velcro, but it’s there for peace of mind. On the top side of the top flap, you can securely store eight Nintendo Switch games, which really should cover you for any outing.
The bottom of the case has three compartments, with the left and right compartments delegated to the grip handles. The middle compartment could be used for a portable power supply, earbuds, separate cartridge cases, or things along those lines. The ridges in the center compartment allow you to position your Switch in different angles to reduce glare, should you decide to use your Switch in a tabletop mode.
Check out the Skull & Co. website to find this and other outstanding products!