Best Waterproof iPhone Cases

iphone 5s cases water lead

Tis the season for summertime fun and sun. Often, that means you’ll be near water — the pool, the beach, the sprinkler. Don’t simply tuck your iPhone away, though, in an effort to protect it from a splash or a dunking. Instead, consider one of these waterproof cases to keep your phone from becoming a waterlogged paperweight; and keep the pool selfies coming.

Lifeproof Nuud ($89.95)

lifeproof ip5s nuud black 621x400

Rather than completely shroud your iPhone 5s beneath another layer, Lifeproof instead approaches waterproofing by leveraging taking advantage of the fact that the glass touchscreen itself can help keep out water. By using gaskets, the case forms a waterproof seal around the edge of the touchscreen glass. The result is a waterproof case that Lifeproof says is fully submersible to 6.6 feet, for up to 1 hour, which is in adherance to the IP-68 standard. The case also adheres to the U.S. military standard MIL-STD-810F-516 for functional drops, to 6.6 feet. But the case is thicker and heavier than Lifeproof’s other offering, the fre.

Incipio Atlas ID Ultra Protective Case ($89.99)

incipio atlas iphone5s case black front back 2 621x400

Another case fully optimized for the iPhone 5s design, the Atlas ID supports the iPhone’s Touch ID sensor. It comes in four color options and uses a tempered glass cover layer over the touchscreen, for smooth finger access. The case includes a 1-year limited warranty protecting against accidental water damage. The water-resistant seal should protect you for up to 6.6 feet meters, for up to 30 minutes. The cases is 0.62-inch thick, and weighs 2.06 ounces; for that heft, you get support for the IP-68 and MIL-STD-810G standards for water, dust and shock proofing. 

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Otterbox Preserver ($89.99)

otterbox preserver series 621x400

Available in Carbon, Primrose, Pistachio or Glacier, the Otterbox Preserver is designed for you to take your phone with you into any circumstance, splashing included.  The case snaps together, has foam cushioning inside, and comes with a lanyard so you can keep your phone around your neck while lazing about in the pool. It’s submersible up to 6.6 feet for up to 30 minutes, and it also supports drops of up to 6.6 feet. 

DryCase iPhone 5 Waterproof Case ($39.99)

drycase iphone 5 234x400

The DryCase approach eschews form-fit style to embrace a more old-school way of protecting you phone: Placing it in a plastic bag. But this is no ordinary plastic bag. Instead, it’s a water tight pouch that uses a vacuum seal and manual pump to to suck the air out of the pouch so you know it’s water-tight. It comes with a neoprene activity armband, but there’s no getting around that this design is more bulky than the form-fit cases. Then again, it’s also less expensive, and has the benefit of being usable with many mobile devices, including different handsets or dedicated media players. DryCase says it has tested the case to 100 feet of water, for up to 1 hour.

Joy Factory Axtion Pro ($59.95) 

joyfactory axtion pro 621x400

Take joy in taking your iPhone 5 with you in any circumstance. This case carries an IP68 rating, so it’s waterproof for up to 7 feet for up to 1 hour. And it’s shockproof, too, with support for MIL-STD 810. The camera cut-out is generously sized, with a scratchproof lens. The case sports microphone and speaker cutouts, and screw-in covers to protect the headphone and charging ports.

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Lifeproof fre ($79.99)

lifeproof ip5s fre white 621x400

This case carries the same levels of protection and certification as the Lifeproof nuud — fully submersible to, and able to withstand drops of, 6.6 feet. But it also has the distinction of having a thin cover layer over the touchscreen, an alternate approach that lets the fre add a minimal amount of heft to your phone. The case stands at just 0.49-inch thick, and weighs 0.96 ounces, to the nuud’s 0.56-inch and 1.44 ounce specifications. Nice touches include distortion-free glass over the camera lens, a choice of more than a dozen color options, and full access to the Touch ID sensor.

Ballistic Hydra ($79.99)

ballistic hydra iphone case 621x400

The Hydra is designed to work with both the iPhone 5 and 5S. It lacks the iPhone 5s specificity, and it lacks military grade certifications of some of its competitors; but, the company does say the case can withstand being submerged in water up to 7.5 feet, for up to 30 minutes; and that it can withstand a drop up to 7 feet. The case weighs 2.02 ounces, and measures half-an-inch thick. A polycarbonate plastic coverlayer sits on top of the touch screen. Note: the company says if you use headphones, the case is no longer waterproof. 

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