I got my first grip tape backing for my iPhone from RF Laserworks in early 2011. I’d still be using that one if I hadn’t decided I wanted a new one with custom laser-cut text that featured my website name. Grip tape, if you’re not familiar, is the stuff skateboarders use to coat their boards so as to increase their traction. Each custom lasercut backing costs $8 while the uncut models sell for $5. Even though I’ve had to buy two, it’s still way less than any other case I’ve bought.
The big advantage of the grip tape backing is that it’s always with me, as opposed to something like the previously reviewed HandStands sticky pad. I can simply set my phone on my leg when driving and it’s not going anywhere. The tape is so non-slip I can even put it on my chest, near vertical, and it doesn’t fall off.
It’s got its downsides. I can’t use any case other than one of the bumpers; I like those better but not everyone does. It also means I can’t slide it into a form-fitting iPhone armband when I go to the gym. But that’s the same problem I’d have with any case, and I solved it by buying an armband for a larger droid-style phone.
To get custom text or graphics, all you need to do is send them a stencil and choose the location and they do the rest. I opted for red for maximum visibility.