iPhone pants

iPhone 5S

Nestled inside the side pocket of many men’s pants, you’ll find another, more mysterious pouch.

I’m not talking about the (utterly useless) “watch pocket” Levis sews into each pair of jeans. I’ve never found a use for that narrow, skin-tight compartment. Anything you drop in there ain’t coming back out.

No, I’m referring to a shallow half-pocket, completely obscured to the outside observer. It’s sometimes called a “change pocket”—a place to drop your coins so that they don’t rattle around in loose-fitting slacks. As someone who hates carrying change, this does me no good.

Puzzled, I ignored the feature for years—until I had an epiphany. See, one of my pet peeves is the way my iPhone falls on its side inside a typical side pocket. Lying horizontally across my upper thigh, it stretches out my pant leg and just feels doggone uncomfortable.

So, when I realized that my iPhone slides perfectly into this change pocket, I was excited. Whether by coincidence or design, the secret pouch seems custom-designed to hold an iPhone wearing a slim case.

Now, my phone remains perfectly upright inside my pocket, no matter what I’m doing: riding a bike, climbing boulders, or lying in a hammock. Even better, because the pocket is shallow and somewhat loose, it’s easy to drop the iPhone into its pouch, then pull it out on the fly—all one-handed. But the pocket’s just snug enough that the phone never slips out; I don’t have to worry about my overpriced trinket crashing onto the pavement.

At this point, I’d hesitate to buy pants without this “iPhone pocket”. My worst nightmare? REI redesigns my favorite hiking pants, or Apple starts making phablets.