These are five of the best cell phone dry pouches that we could find to care for your device in the field and on the water.
Eventually, inevitably, your cell phone or other small electronic device is going to be tested by the wet weather, or worse, the depth of a lake, river, or sea.
A good quality dry pouch for your cell phone is a great start towards letting go of the fear of ruining such an expensive piece of electronic magic.
Two-way radios can still be the go-to gadget for many outdoorsmen and women, but make no mistake: once we realized the usefulness of the cell phone it was here to stay. We've barely left home without it.
A universal waterproof case or waterproof pouch is like having a cellphone dry bag for your precious device, and even things like your credit cards, ID, or fishing license. Keeping in mind that there is a difference between water resistance and waterproof, a good quality, universal dry bag case is akin to having a force field around your precious phone.
Another factor in purchasing a smartphone case is touchscreen functionality: can you use the phone's touchscreen while it is inside of the bag? Does it have a simple snap and lock system, a lanyard, or an armband?
We used those questions to help create a list of ones that make sense for the device-wielding outdoorsman. Here are five well-reviewed waterproof cellphone cases from Amazon that will carry the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and many other devices.
Remember, even with high recommendations and reviews, any waterproof phone case should be tested by inserting a paper towel inside of it and then submerging it for five to 10 minutes, just to be safe.
1. Joto Universal Waterproof Phone case
Possibly the best reviewed dry case here, and certainly the most reviewed one at over 32,000 ratings, the Joto Universal waterproof phone case has a lanyard long enough to wear around your neck, and a bit of room left over inside for cash, credit cards, or even your hotel room key-card.
One reviewer scuba dived down to 65-feet for almost an hour with no leaks, but that is only one person. The Joto Universal is not floatable, so care must be taken to avoid losing it on a boat, swim, or dive. It is made to carry most any smartphone (iPhone 7, iPhone 8, etc) as long as larger sizes are not in a hard case.
2. MPOW 097 Universal Waterproof Phone Case
As with most cell phones dry pouches, this one is not recommended to be used with an Otter Box case. The MPOW is IPX8 certified to be fully submersible and waterproof with a transparent cover for ease of touch screen use, but as with most phone cases the fingerprint ID function will not work.
This particular phone case is actually a two-pack that one reviewer said would fit a passport, but not the phone at the same time. Another said that her husband put his cigars in it! The MPOW is a floatable case as well.
3. FRiEQ Waterproof Case
IPX8 certified to 100-feet, the FRiEQ waterproof phone case is clear enough to take pictures and use the touch screen. Although a fingerprint ID will not work while your phone is inside of the case, it only means that you will have to use your passcode.
According to several reviewers, the FRiEQ does not float, but this phone case comes in a two-pack as well.
4. Kona Submariner Large Waterproof
The Kona extra large phone bag fits larger cellphones with up to a 7.2-inch diagonal. With a four-out-of-five star rating from over 600 reviewers, the Kona is dry down to 30-meters (100-feet) and has double seams for added protection.
The Kona does not come with an armband, but does have a lanyard. Kona also says, "To make this float and to allow touchscreen functionality under water, you will want to trap excess air inside of the pouch. This is done by inserting your phone, engaging the levers but not yet turning them to lock. Then squeeze the sides of the pouch, then close the levers."
This particular phone bag also comes with a five-year "No-hassle manufacturers replacement" warranty.
5. YOSH Waterproof Phone Pouch
YOSH says that each of their IPX8 certified phone bags must pass a two-hour waterproof test to insure that your precious electronic device is safe from water, dust, or sand. After that, YOSH says that not only could you carry some cash or cards with your phone, but also your passport as well.
YOSH provides an 18-month warranty for all products, but you must first sign up as a YOSH member. With a four-and-a-half star rating from over 3,000 reviewers, it might be the best bargain at under $6.
One common denominator seems to be that a fingerprint ID will not work with any of these dry pouches, but all have perfect touchscreen capability. All protect well against dust, dirt, and sand besides being waterproof, but it certainly behooves the buyer to test their pouch first. A good, floatable waterproof phone case might just be the difference between you and a mishap that could be costly. Don't forget that these cases are generally snowproof as well.
With all of the outdoor activities that we love, taking our technology with us seems like a moot point: we're going to, so why not spend a few more dollars to make sure that they are safe. Certainly a cell phone dry bag will not protect it from obvious blunt force, but the water has now been conquered.