Monday, September 30, 2013

Gear Review: Lifeproof case for Iphone

This day in age, I depend on my cell phone... even when fishing. My phone is primarily a way that my family can get ahold of me if they need to, but it also serves as a way to take pictures, read fishing reports, check the weather, view maps, send texts to buddies to brag about my latest catch and so much more. As much of an asset as it can be while fishing... there is one major downfall to my cell phone... it doesn't do so well in water.
I remember I was fishing at Hoodsport in November of 2006 or so and I had my cell phone (flip phone back in those days) in the pocket of my jeans. I was fishing for Chum in the cold Hood Canal waters and it was an incoming tide. I was moving to a spot I thought would be more promising when I tripped on a large rock and fell on my knee and didn't know it at the time but  ripped a small hole in my waders. I continued to make my way to the spot I planned on fishing and waded out in to the water, then seconds later, water flooded in to my waders and soaked my pants... and cell phone. The phone actually continued to work for a couple hours after that, until the salt water dried and corroded all the electronic components of the phone.  That was the first cell phone I ruined while fishing but unfortunately was not the last.
When I found out there was a company that makes a waterproof case for the Iphone (as well as other popular phones and tablets) I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. I bought a Lifeproof case about 4 weeks ago...thinking it could be an asset to my lifestyle...and since most of my readers also enjoy fishing, water sports, and the outdoors I figured it would be a good piece of gear to write a review on.
You can find the Lifeproof case here:
According to their website the Lifeproof case is
  • WATER PROOF (Fully submerge down to 6.6'/2m for up to an hour)
  • DIRT PROOF (Totally sealed from dirt and dust particles)
  • SNOW PROOF (Fully enclosed to keep sleet, snow, and ice out)
  • SHOCK PROOF (Built to Military specifications to survive a 6.6'/2m drop)

The case is made up of two halves that snap together to enclose the phone inside.

There is a rubber gasket that seals the two sections together.

The charging port is protected by a trap door that flips open for charging. The door also has a rubber seal to stop water from entering the case as long as the trap door is closed.
The headphone jack has a threaded cap with a rubber O-ring attached. When no headphones or accessories are being used the cap is screwed on to the case.
When you want to use headphones or other accessories you must unscrew the cap and plug in the headphone adapter. The adapter has a spot in the middle of the cord where you can store the threaded cap while using the adapter.

Before testing the case with my Iphone inside, I followed the manufacturers recommendations and assembled the case without a phone inside and then submerged it in water to make sure the case didn't leak. I then put the phone in the case and went about my regular adventurous life. Over the past month or so, I took the phone fishing in the rain, I put it in my cup holder while driving down bumpy logging roads, I let my 2 year old daughter play angry birds on it,  and I even listened to the Northwest Wild Country podcast in the shower. I am generally pretty rough on phones and cases so believe me when I say... during this time the phone was dropped more than a couple times as well.
See some pictures from some of my more extensive testing below.

PRO: After a month or so of regular use, I am overall very pleased with the Lifeproof case. I am happy with it's sleek design, while still maintaining durability. I have had some really large cases in the past, and though they were nearly indestructible I was never happy with how bulky they were. The Lifeproof case has proven invaluable when fishing or being outdoors in the rain or when I want to take a picture underwater. It also provides peace of mind when it's just in the pocket of a water soaked coat or inside leaky waders. The screen protector has been very scratch resistant so far and the case has been holding up very well to my active and adventurous lifestyle.
CON: The only negative thing I can say about the case is that if you use headphones often, or you have an accessory that uses the headphone jack (like the square credit card reader, auxiliary plug in on your car stereo, etc.) it can be pretty annoying having to unscrew the cap and put the headphone adapter in...especially when you have forgotten the headphone adapter at home and have to remove your phone from the case completely.
SUMMARY: If you live an outdoor lifestyle and have a need to protect your phone from the elements I would definitely recommend the Lifeproof case to you.
Do you have a fishing or outdoor related product that you would like us to review? Let us review your product! Comment below with your gear review suggestions.

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