When it comes to safeguarding your smartphone from the elements, the quest for the best waterproof phone case is of paramount importance. In our comprehensive guide, we dive into the world of top-rated cases, exploring their waterproof ratings, materials, compatibility, and additional features, ensuring your device remains safe and fully functional during outdoor adventures. Whether you’re an avid kayaker, beach enthusiast, or simply enjoy camping in unpredictable weather, we’ll equip you with the knowledge needed to make a confident choice. Get ready to discover the best waterproof phone cases that will keep your device protected, no matter where your outdoor pursuits take you.
Our Top Picks
- Best Diving: SeaLife SportDiver
- Best Floating: Pelican
- Best Beach: AiRunTech
- Best Large Capacity: Rynapac
- Best Kayaking: Heeta Backpack Dry Bag
- Best Camping: Pelican Outdoor Marine
- Best Value: Hiearcool
The SeaLife SportDiver Underwater Smartphone Scuba Case is the ultimate companion for underwater photography and diving enthusiasts. This innovative case allows you to transform your smartphone into a powerful underwater camera, capturing stunning photos and videos in depths of up to 130 feet (40 meters). With a secure and watertight design, it offers uncompromised protection for your phone while providing full access to its features and touchscreen. The SeaLife SportDiver is a game-changer for divers and snorkelers who want to document their aquatic adventures with ease and precision.
- Waterproof up to 130 feet (40 meters)
- Full access to phone features
- Crystal-clear camera lens
- Compatibility limited to specific smartphone models
- Secure and durable construction
- Compact and portable design
- Quick and easy smartphone insertion
The Pelican Waterproof Phone Pouch stands out as the best choice for those seeking a reliable floating waterproof phone case. This IP68 certified waterproof pouch is a versatile companion for water-related adventures, such as swimming, kayaking, fishing, and more. Designed for phones with screen sizes up to 6.1 inches, it ensures full functionality and protection from water damage. The innovative design allows easy access to side buttons, while the high-quality soft TPU material and clear window enable precise touch and quick responses. With a detachable cell phone lanyard, you can conveniently wear it around your neck or wrist for quick access. The secure lock mechanism keeps the pouch sealed underwater, and the transparent material allows for underwater photography, making it a must-have accessory for your aquatic explorations.
- IP68 certified waterproof protection
- Sensitive touch and clear window design
- Detachable cell phone lanyard for convenience
- Potential touchscreen sensitivity issues underwater
- May not accommodate phone with accessories
- Secure lock mechanism for complete sealing
- Ideal for underwater photography
- Compatible with a wide range of phone models
The AiRunTech Waterproof Waist Pouch is your ultimate companion for beach adventures and water-based activities. Designed to provide secure and waterproof storage for your essentials, this pouch offers versatility and peace of mind. Whether at the beach, pool, on a cruise, at a water park, or enjoying water sports, this pouch ensures your valuables stay safe and dry. It includes not only two waterproof fanny packs but also two waterproof phone cases, making it a comprehensive solution for protecting your items. With a size of 8.5 x 5.8 inches, it accommodates cash, credit cards, cellphones, cameras, keys, sunscreen, tissues, and more, all while keeping them dry and secure. The pouches are touchscreen-friendly, allowing you to access your phone without removing it. They're not just waterproof; they float and are fully submersible, tested in various water adventures. Whether snorkeling in Hawaii, swimming with whale sharks, jet skiing, cliff jumping, or scuba diving, these pouches have proven reliable.
- Versatile waterproof storage solution
- Floats and is fully submersible
- Touch screen-friendly pouches
- Requires proper sealing before use
- Comprehensive set with fanny packs and phone cases
- Size accommodates various essentials
- Reliable protection for valuables
The Rynapac Large Capacity Waterproof Phone Pouch is the best choice when you need a dependable solution for keeping your large-screen smartphones safe and dry in aquatic environments. With a spacious design that accommodates phones up to 10 inches, it's perfect for the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models. This IPX8-rated waterproof phone pouch ensures complete protection, making it an ideal addition to your beach essentials and vacation must-haves. It includes two pouches, so you have a backup or can share one with a friend. The adjustable lanyard provides flexibility in carrying options, while sensitive touch capability ensures you can use your phone without removing it from the pouch. Additionally, it allows for high-definition video shooting, making it a versatile accessory for capturing your aquatic adventures with ease.
- IPX8 waterproof rating
- Adjustable lanyard for convenience
- Sensitive touch for phone use
- Bulkier than smaller phone pouches
- Supports high-definition video shooting
- 2 pack
- Transparent design for easy content identification
- Large 10-liter capacity
- Transparent phone case for usability
- Waterproof roll-top closure
- Bulkier than smaller phone cases
- Comfortable back support and straps
- Lightweight and durable construction
- Floats in the water for security
The Pelican Outdoor Marine Water Resistant Dry Bag is the ultimate choice for campers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking unmatched waterproof protection for their belongings, including phones. This dry bag boasts an impressive IP68 certification, offering a 100% sealed and waterproof solution that guarantees comprehensive protection from water, snow, dust, sand, and dirt. Its roll-top closure ensures a perfect seal, making it ideal for a range of environments and outdoor activities such as camping, kayaking, boating, rafting, hiking, swimming, and fishing. The upgraded POM material used in the buckle and D-rings enhances durability, making this bag suitable for frequent use. The dedicated waterproof compartment accommodates phones with up to a 7" diagonal screen, allowing touch screen access without removing the phone. The detachable and adjustable shoulder strap enables convenient carrying, and the D-ring facilitates easy attachment to kayaks, canoes, backpacks, or boats. With the Pelican Outdoor Marine Dry Bag, you can stay connected, protected, and prepared for your camping adventures.
- P68 certified waterproofing
- Suitable for various outdoor activities
- High-quality materials for durability
- Bulkier than smaller phone cases
- Dedicated phone compartment with touch screen access
- Adjustable and detachable shoulder strap
- Includes a detachable keychain lanyard
The Hiearcool Waterproof Phone Pouch earns its place as the best waterproof phone case for the money, offering IPX8-certified superior waterproofing, responsive touch screen functionality, and versatile compatibility with most cell phones, all at a budget-friendly price. While size options may be limited for larger devices, this pouch provides unbeatable protection for your phone during various water-related activities, making it a top choice for those seeking value and quality.
- IPX8 certified superior waterproof protection
- Accommodates most cell phones with cases
- Responsive touch screen with face ID
- May not accommodate larger accessories
- Ultra-clear underwater photo capture
- Adjustable detachable lanyard for convenience
- Versatile for various water-related activities
Decoding Waterproof Ratings for Phone Cases
When shopping for a waterproof phone case, understanding waterproof ratings is crucial. These ratings provide valuable information about the level of protection a case offers against water and other elements. Here’s a breakdown of common waterproof ratings you’ll encounter:
IP stands for “Ingress Protection” and is followed by two numbers. The first digit represents protection against solid objects like dust and dirt, while the second digit indicates resistance to liquids, including water. Let’s decode these ratings:
First Digit (Protection Against Solids)
- 0: No special protection against solids.
- 1: Protection against objects larger than 50mm (e.g., a hand).
- 2: Protection against objects larger than 12.5mm (e.g., fingers).
- 3: Protection against objects larger than 2.5mm (e.g., tools and wires).
- 4: Protection against objects larger than 1mm (e.g., small wires and nails).
- 5: Dust-protected, limited ingress (dust may enter but not enough to interfere with the operation).
- 6: Dust-tight, complete protection against dust.
Second Digit (Protection Against Liquids)
- 0: No special protection against liquids.
- 1: Protection against vertically falling water drops.
- 2: Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees from vertical.
- 3: Protection against water sprays up to 60 degrees from vertical.
- 4: Protection against water splashes from all directions.
- 5: Protection against low-pressure water jets (e.g., rain).
- 6: Protection against high-pressure water jets.
- 7: Immersion up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
- 8: Continuous submersion beyond 1 meter, duration specified by the manufacturer.
Common Waterproof Ratings for Phone Cases
- IPX6: Protects against powerful water jets (e.g., heavy rain).
- IPX7: Submersible up to 1 meter for 30 minutes (great for accidental drops in water).
- IPX8: Can withstand prolonged submersion beyond 1 meter, duration specified by the manufacturer (ideal for underwater photography or snorkeling).
What Does the X Mean in IPX Ratings?
The “X” in an IP (Ingress Protection) rating serves as a placeholder, indicating that the device’s resistance to solid objects (such as dust and particles) hasn’t been explicitly specified or tested within that specific rating. In such cases, the emphasis is typically on the device’s ability to withstand and protect against liquids, like water. The “X” essentially leaves the solid object protection aspect open-ended or unclassified in the rating.
For example, in an IPX7 rating, the “X” indicates that the device’s protection against solid objects is not specified, but it has been tested and rated for its protection against liquids, in this case, submersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
Which IP Rating Should You Choose?
When selecting a waterproof phone case, consider the type of activities you’ll be engaging in and the environmental conditions. For casual outdoor use and protection against rain, an IPX6 or IPX7 case may suffice. If you plan on underwater activities or more extreme conditions, look for an IPX8-rated case.
Understanding these ratings ensures that your phone remains safe and functional, even in wet and challenging environments. Be sure to check the product specifications to confirm the specific IP rating of the case you’re considering for your outdoor adventures.
Benefits of Waterproof Phone Cases
Waterproof phone cases offer a range of benefits for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who wants to protect their phone from water damage. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Protection Against Water Damage: The most obvious benefit is safeguarding your phone from water-related accidents. Whether you’re caught in the rain, accidentally drop your phone in water, or are near water bodies during outdoor activities, a waterproof case ensures your device remains dry and functional.
- Full Submersion Capability: Many waterproof cases are designed to withstand full submersion in water, often up to a certain depth. This level of protection allows you to use your phone for underwater photography, snorkeling, or other water-based adventures.
- Preservation of Memories: Waterproof cases enable you to capture memorable moments in wet conditions, such as taking photos and videos in the rain, by the pool, or even underwater. You don’t have to worry about damaging your device while preserving your outdoor experiences.
- Peace of Mind: When you’re in outdoor environments, the unexpected can happen. Having a waterproof case on your phone provides peace of mind, knowing that your device is safe even if it encounters water, spills, or unexpected weather changes.
- Durability: Waterproof cases are often designed to be rugged and durable. They provide not only water protection but also resistance against drops, impacts, dust, and dirt. This durability is especially valuable for outdoor enthusiasts who are exposed to challenging conditions.
- Versatility: Waterproof cases are versatile accessories that can be used in various outdoor activities. Whether you’re hiking, camping, kayaking, skiing, or simply lounging by the beach, these cases ensure your phone remains protected in different environments.
- Emergency Communication: In outdoor emergencies, your phone can be a lifeline. A waterproof case ensures your device is operational, allowing you to call for help, use navigation apps, or access important information, even in wet conditions.
- Extended Phone Lifespan: Protecting your phone from water damage can significantly extend its lifespan. Repairing or replacing a water-damaged phone can be costly, and a waterproof case can help you avoid these expenses.
- Enhanced Functionality: Many waterproof cases come with built-in screen protectors that don’t just guard against water but also shield your phone’s screen from scratches and impacts. They maintain touchscreen sensitivity, ensuring you can use your device effectively.
- Value for Money: Investing in a waterproof phone case is a cost-effective way to protect your valuable smartphone. It’s a small investment compared to the potential cost of repairing or replacing a water-damaged phone.
In summary, waterproof phone cases offer protection, peace of mind, and the ability to capture memories in challenging conditions. Whether you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast or simply want to keep your phone safe from water-related accidents, these cases provide numerous benefits that enhance your overall smartphone experience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is a waterproof phone case? A waterproof phone case is a protective enclosure designed to keep your smartphone safe from water damage. It forms a watertight seal around your phone, allowing it to be submerged in water or exposed to wet conditions without harm.
- How do waterproof phone cases work? Waterproof cases are typically made from materials that create a barrier against water. They use seals, gaskets, and o-rings to prevent water from entering the case and reaching your phone. This design allows your phone to remain dry and functional even in wet environments.
- What are the benefits of using a waterproof phone case? Waterproof phone cases protect your device from water damage, allowing you to use it in the rain, near water bodies, or during water-based activities. They also offer protection against drops, impacts, dust, and dirt, making them versatile accessories for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Can I use my phone’s features and functions while it’s in a waterproof case? Most waterproof cases are designed to allow full access to your phone’s features, including touchscreens, buttons, and cameras. Some even offer added functionality like underwater photography.
- How deep can I submerge my phone in a waterproof case? The depth to which you can safely submerge your phone depends on the specific case and its IP (Ingress Protection) rating. Cases with higher IP ratings can withstand deeper submersion. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications for details.
- Are waterproof phone cases compatible with wireless charging? Some waterproof cases are designed to be compatible with wireless charging, while others may not support it. Check the case’s specifications to ensure compatibility with your charging method.
- Do I need to remove the waterproof case to take photos or videos? Most waterproof cases come with clear camera windows that allow you to take photos and videos without removing the case. Some cases even enhance your phone’s underwater photography capabilities.
- Can I make calls and send messages while my phone is in a waterproof case? Yes, you can typically make calls and send messages while your phone is in a waterproof case. The case does not interfere with the phone’s cellular or Wi-Fi signals.
- How do I clean and maintain my waterproof phone case? Cleaning and maintaining your case is essential to ensure it remains effective. Rinse it with fresh water after exposure to saltwater or chlorine, and regularly inspect seals for damage or debris. Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for the best results.
- Are waterproof phone cases compatible with all phone models? Waterproof cases are available for various phone models, but compatibility may vary. Make sure to choose a case that is specifically designed for your phone model to ensure a snug fit and full protection.
These FAQs should provide you with a better understanding of waterproof phone cases and how to use them effectively to protect your smartphone during outdoor activities or in wet conditions.
Meet Eric McGough, a seasoned adventurer and military veteran who traded his tech career for a life of outdoor exploration and freedom. He plans to travel the world, discover new adventures, and share information about great destinations, gear, and more on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.