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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2013

Editors' Choice 2013: LifeProof iPhone Case

Protect your phone from anything, no bulk required.

by: The Backpacker Editors

LifeProof Case (Jonathan Dorn)
LifeProof Case (Jonathan Dorn)

Everyone wants to pack their iPhone. But no one wants to see it ruined by the elements. Water, snow, sand, and fumbles can be fatal for the devices, which have become standard backcountry mapping and video- or photo-shooting equipment for many hikers. These cases, which are currently available to fit the 4/4S and 5 versions and will soon be available for some Android models, are the sleekest waterproof cases we’ve found (less than 70 mm wide, they’re only slightly larger than the phone itself). The press-together, O-ring-sealed covering forms a hard shell that slides into pockets. A rubberized band around the perimeter helps prevent fumbles and adds additional protection to the screen.

In Big Bend National Park, while boulder hopping for a good photo angle, one tester and her phone took an accidental dip in the Rio Grande—and her phone remained bone-dry. Our testers snapped photos, shot video, made calls, and texted friends in snow, dust, and rain from Texas to Tennessee to Tasmania, with no reported failures after more than 500 collective days of testing. LifeProof guarantees the case will protect your phone in up to 6.5 feet of water and withstand a drop from the same height. Our only complaints? To use headphones, you need to remove a small screw, which is easy to misplace. And sound quality suffers a bit, especially in speakerphone mode. Tip: Pop open the bottom charger cover to boost volume. $70 (4/4S), $80 (5); 1.1 oz.; lifeproof.com



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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star
Kelly C
Nov 06, 2013

Lifeproof makes a decent case but honestly you can get a better one from Griffin/Otterbox, check out this article its pretty detailed.

http://www.tunetowntroll.com/apps/blog/show/34384727-how-to-keep-your-iphone-or-smartphone-in-brand-new-condition

Star Star
Don C
Sep 17, 2013

After watching the review I got one of these cases. Found it to be completely waterproof as reviewed, but unfotunately the case had terrible sound qualities. The people I spoke to found the case garbled and chopped the conversation. So, I got an Otterbox. Not waterproof, but works far better.

Star Star
banner blue bill
Jun 01, 2013

Make sure you have the phone before you buy the case or warranty!

Backpacker or LifeProof didn't say anything about, until, it was to late!

It is a nightmare, if your carrier changes it method of purchasing a new phone!

Star Star
banner blue bill
Jun 01, 2013

Make sure you have the phone before you buy the case or warranty!

Backpacker or LifeProof didn't say anything about, until, it was to late!

It is a nightmare, if your carrier changes it method of purchasing a new phone!

Star Star Star Star Star
Steve H
May 28, 2013

Also a drawback: only the original charger cable will likely work with the LifeProof- It is a tight fit and after-market chargers may not work.

Star Star Star Star Star
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