Rugged Tablet Accessories

Upgrade any tablet with these smart gadgets.


Screen Size (diagonal) 0.25


1[Tablet harness]
Otterbox Utility Series Latch II 7-8 inch
Keep your tablet handy for on-the-go mapping and more with this dedicated carrier. Simply lock in your device via four rubberized corner hooks, and then you can choose your carrying method. Affix the strap to sling it over your shoulder for a messenger bag-like carry or clip it to your pack with the included Nite Ize S-Biner. The accessory pouch doubles as a handgrip and stand for viewing when you’re not in motion. One gripe from testers: The corner hook concealed the camera (it has to be removed to take a picture). The Latch II fits around the Otterbox and Lifeproof cases in this test, making it an ideal complement for a rugged case. $40 (with accessory kit); 2.7 oz.;

2 [Cable maintenance]
Nite Ize Cable Organizers
Gadgets mean cords, and cords mean tangles. These rubber-coated, bendable wires help corral stray cables and accessories and keep them from knotting while in your pack’s toplid. Testers found the 3-inch ties best for headphones, the 6-inch ties worked well with tablet chargers and GPS cables, and the 12-inch ties were ideal for laptop cords. 3” $5 for pack of 4 (.07 oz. each); 6” $5 for pack of 2 (.11 oz. each); 12” $5 for pack of 2 (.42 oz. each);

3 [Budget sound boost]
This hockey-puck-size plastic dish slides onto the corner of a tablet and directs sound waves forward, boosting sound quality often drowned out by background noise. It’s about as low-fi as it gets for a tech product, but the simplicity is a virtue. Just apply one of the included foam pads to give the concave dish some footing, and your tablet will be amplified up to 10 decibels without any battery drain or Bluetooth connectivity. $25; 3 oz.;

4 [Stylus]
This light-but-sturdy stylus not only helped ease cramped, tap-fatigued hands, but also allowed testers to draw freehand in apps like Evernote’s Penultimate and Samsung’s S Note. The soft-tipped pen also aided in swiping through menus and selecting buttons. $25; 2.1 oz;