Tech

Top 10 Best Waterproof iPhone Cases

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Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Nokia Lumia 800, the iPhone isn’t waterproof. That’s always been a huge issue with the iPhone line, because replacing or repairing an iPhone that’s been splashed with water can cost serious bucks. iPhone owners may love their phone, but they hate the lack of waterproofing. If you want to keep your iPhone safe from the elements, you need the best water-resistant and waterproof cases available. Read on to see our top picks for the best waterproof iPhone cases.

Our list focuses on the iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/5s, and iPhone 5c. However, many of these same case styles are also available for the iPhone 6. iPhone 6 Plus waterproof cases can be harder to track down, but they are starting to trickle out into the marketplace. Our list will outline the perks and drawbacks of each options, as well as which iPhone models are compatible with that case style.

If you’re looking specifically for iPhone 6 cases, many of the cases below are available for the iPhone 6. You can also check out our article on the top five best waterproof iPhone 6 cases. If you’re interested in the LifeProof Fre case for the iPhone 6, check out our gallery of deluxe iPhone 6 cases, which includes waterproof cases like the Fre and many other cool iPhone 6 cases as well. Whether you have an older iPhone or a brand new model, scroll down to see our favorite waterproof cases from big name brands, as well as some hidden gems that may have flown under your radar.


1. Otterbox Preserver Waterproof iPhone Case

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(OtterBox)

The Otterbox Preserver line comes from one of the top-selling phone case companies in North America. Available in four colors, this case won a Best of CES 2014 award. The case has a MSRP of $89.95. The Otterbox brand is one of the most trusted names in iPhone cases, so you know that the money you spend on a case will ensure you’re getting a solid, quality product. If you want a moderately-priced case that is waterproof, this is a case you can feel secure about buying. A similar version of this case is available for the iPhone 4/4s, though it has a different product name.

Available for: iPhone 5, iPhone 5s (similar models available for iPhone 4/4s)

Price: $49.99 (44 percent off)

Buy the older OtterBox Armor iPhone 4/4S case here.

Buy the 5/5s version here.


Pros:

  • Two-piece case offers cushioned interior to protect phone from shocks
  • Includes lanyard to attach phone to you
  • IP-X8 rated (waterproof up to 6.6 ft for 30 minutes)
  • Drop-proof from 6.6 ft
  • IP-6X rating for dust

  • Cons:

  • No additional in-case storage for cards or keys
  • More expensive than comparable cases from other brands
  • Call quality impacted when case is wet
  • Some buttons hard to use when case in on
  • No water damage warranty, unlike other waterproof cases

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    2. Incipio Atlas Waterproof iPhone Case

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    (Incipio)

    The Incipio Atlas line won a Best of Show award at CES 2013. The slender profile of this case makes it preferable for people who want to see the lines of their phone better, or people who have small hands. The cases come in your choice of four colors. This was one of the first waterproof cases to come out for the iPhone 6, which is great news for iPhone 6 fans who didn’t want to run the risk of bricking their device from water damage.

    Available for: iPhone 5/5s

    Price: $14.99 and up, depending on version selected

    Buy the iPhone 5 version here.

    Buy the iPhone 5s version here.


    Pros:

  • 1-year limited warranty in case of water damage to your device
  • Bundled with cleaning cloth and headphone extender
  • IP68 water-resistant for thirty minutes (up to 2 meters)
  • Engineered to provide excellent sound quality
  • IP68 dustproof rating, drop-proof from 2 meters

  • Cons:

  • 1-year limited warranty is for US only
  • Case color options more subdued than competitors
  • Difficult to use silent toggle button
  • Screen sensitivity is diminished when device is in case
  • Case is difficult to install

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    3. LifeProof Nuud Waterproof iPhone Case

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    (LifeProof)

    The Nuud case is unique because it has no screen protector. The case fits snugly around the screen, creating a waterproof seal that doesn’t interfere with the sensitivity of your touchscreen display. It looks really cool, but some people are reluctant to trust a case that is essentially missing a side, despite the high number of positive reviews from users. This smooth case costs around $89.99, but you can usually find it online for less. We like LifeProof because they have such a wide range of cool case accessories, including exercise armbands or flotation devices for water photography.

    Do note that the iPhone 6 Plus version of this case has been released, but it can be hard to find as LifeProof struggles to keep up with consumer demand. This model is currently listed as “out of stock” on the LifeProof website.

    Available for: iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus

    Price: $49.99 and up, depending on option selected

    Buy the iPhone 6 version of this waterproof case here.

    Buy the iPhone 5 version here.

    Buy the iPhone 5s version here.

    Buy the iPhone 5c version here.


    Pros:

  • Offers opt-in warranty against device damage for $10
  • LifeProof offers tons of additional accessories, such as a flotation device for water use
  • No screen protector means no glare, rainbows, or Newton rings
  • Waterproof up to 6.6 feet
  • Anti-reflective optical-glass camera lens

  • Cons:

  • Some people worry the screenless case puts device at risk, despite claims to the contrary
  • Limited case color options
  • More expensive than other LifeProof cases
  • Despite minimalist design, Nuud weighs the same as Lifeproof’s other waterproof case
  • Audio jack cap protrudes in an annoying way

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    4. LifeProof Fre Waterproof iPhone Case

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    (LifeProof)

    Unlike the Nuud, the LifeProof Fre case has a built-in screen protector. It’s been around for a bit longer than the Nuud. This gives some users more peace of mind, since you can feel the screen protector on the front of the case. The Fre also comes in 10 different color options, so you can find something that suits your personality quite easily. TouchID is supported for iPhone 5s and above. LifeProof cases are really expensive, but they are rugged and feel comfortable in your hand. If you have the cash to spend, this is one of the best iPhone cases out there. In addition to being waterproof, they’re also snow-proof and shockproof. The only caveat? You might want to stock up on spare adapter cables if you are prone to losing them.

    Available for: iPhone 4/4s (as the precursor model to the Fre), iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6

    Price: $49.70 and up, depending on version selected

    Buy the LifeProof case for 4/4s here.

    Buy the iPhone 5 version here.

    Buy the iPhone 5s version here.

    Buy the iPhone 5c version here.

    Buy the iPhone 6 version here.


    Pros:

  • Offers opt-in warranty against device damage for $10
  • LifeProof offers tons of additional accessories, such as a flotation device for water use
  • Anti-reflective optical-glass camera lens
  • Slightly cheaper than LifeProof Nuud
  • Fully submersible up to 6.6 feet

  • Cons:

  • Speaker output and call quality affected in case
  • Screen protector noticeably dims screen
  • Difficult to access ports
  • Using headphones requires adaptor cable, which could be easily lost or misplaced
  • Hard to clean the case

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    5. Griffin Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof iPhone Case

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    (Griffin)

    The Griffin Survivor + Catalyst case is less expensive than many other phone cases on this list. This particular Griffin case comes in three color options, and offers superior depth protection. If you love using your iPhone underwater to take cool photos, having a little extra depth protection is a smart idea. Griffin is definitely a brand that you can trust.

    Available for: iPhone 5

    Price: $15.96 and up, depending on color selected

    Buy it here.


    Pros:

  • Waterproof up to 3 meters (9.8 feet)
  • Attractive design
  • Comes with lanyard and headphone jack
  • Gasketed design seals out water, dust, grease, windblown sand
  • Cheaper than many other waterproof cases

  • Cons:

  • Polycarbonate design feels slightly less premium than dual-layer cases with rubber
  • Some users have complained case interferes with camera quality
  • Case design interferes with texting
  • Case design impacts call quality
  • iPhone 5s case covers TouchID button

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    6. iBattz Mojo Refuel Aqua Waterproof iPhone Case

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    (iBattz)

    The Mojo Refuel Aqua is one of the few iPhone cases that provides both waterproofing and a battery boost. This case is ideal for people who spent a lot of time near the water, but far away from a charger. If you want a case that can keep you charged during an all-day trip to the beach, this waterproof iPhone case is a solid choice. Who doesn’t want more battery life, especially when using an older model iPhone with a smaller battery?

    Available for: iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 6

    Price: $119.95

    Buy the iPhone 5 version here.

    Buy the iPhone 5/5s version here.

    Buy the iPhone 6 version here.


    Pros:

  • Can be paired with tons of optional accessories, including bumpers, clips, and flotation sling
  • IPX8 certified
  • Offers interchangeable 2200mAh battery
  • Childproof case keeps little ones from busting through your case
  • Effectively doubles iPhone battery life

  • Cons:

  • TouchID fingerprint sensor blocked by case
  • Only offers “medium” stress absorbing protection
  • Limited case color options
  • Expensive
  • Bulky case

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    7. Cascade Designs E-Case Waterproof iPhone Case

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    (Cascade Designs)

    The E-Case from Cascade Designs is the ideal waterproofing option for people who want to be able to enjoy the beautiful design of their phone, or for people who are constantly popping their phone out of its current case. This isn’t so much a case as it is a waterproof pocket, but it’s a great option for keeping your phone safe on the go. While these come in sizes that are phone-specific, there’s enough wiggle room to allow you to use the same case for multiple phone models over the years as you upgrade.

    Fits multiple iPhone models, depending on whether you use an additional case.

    Price: $26.65

    Buy it here.


    Pros:

  • 7 color options
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Works with multiple phone types
  • Includes lash points for tethering
  • Integrated, waterproof 4-pole headphone jack

  • Cons:

  • No flotation device, unless you attach one yourself
  • While TouchID sensor is not obscured, it will not work while in case
  • Only meets IPX7 standard (waterproof for 1 meter for 30 minutes)
  • No extra padding to protect phone
  • May require extra drying time in between uses

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    8. Outdoor Technology ‘Safe’ Waterproof iPhone Case

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    (Outdoor Technology)

    This case from Outdoor Technology retails for just $49.95, making it the ideal option for the budget-conscious person who still wants a dedicated waterproof case for their device. That lower price comes with some reduction in features, however, so weigh your options carefully before purchasing.

    Available for: iPhone 4/4s

    Price: $34.95

    Buy it here.


    Pros:

  • Buttons and camera functionality not impaired by case
  • Sturdy design
  • Case locks securely with any coin (3 locks altogether)
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive

  • Cons:

  • Only comes in 3 color options
  • Water resistant just to 1 meter for 30 minutes (IPX7 rating)
  • Not recommended for use at or below 32° F/0°C or at or above 104°F/40°C
  • Case design impacts call quality
  • Does not appear to be a TouchID-compatible version of this case at press time

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    9. SnowLizard SLXTREME Waterproof iPhone Case

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    SnowLizard

    Perfect for people who spend a lot of time outdoors, or for fans of extreme sports, this case boasts a rugged construction. This SnowLizard case is pricy at $129.95-$149.95, but is jam-packed with tons of great features. If you spend your winter skiing or snowboarding, this is a must-have case. It’s also nice for people who just want to protect their phone in case it falls out of their pocket while shoveling the driveway.

    Available for: iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5

    Price: $77.33 and up, depending on color and style selected

    Buy the iPhone 4/4s version here.

    Buy the iPhone 5 version here.


    Pros:

  • Integrated battery that doubles the life of your iPhone
  • Water-safe up to 6 feet/2 meters
  • Integrated shutter button allows for underwater photography
  • Works with optional chest strap, great for hands-free outdoor pursuits
  • Rubberized side grips make it easy to hang on to your phone, even when wet

  • Cons:

  • Only comes in 4 colors
  • Case is very large
  • No TouchID support
  • Only iPhone 5 models are solar-powered, case for older phones lack this feature
  • Very expensive

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    10. Hitcase Waterproof iPhone Case

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    (Hitcase)

    The Hitcase is by far your best waterproof case option if you love photography. It’s also ideal for swimmers and underwater photographers, as it offers the best waterproof protection on our list. The tie-in app Vidometer is ideal for recording your experiences with the case, such as during a bike ride or while performing a skateboard trick.

    Available for: iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/5s

    Price: $77.97 and up, depending on option selected

    Buy the iPhone 4/4s version here.

    Buy the iPhone 5/5s version here.


    Pros:

  • The best waterproof case for photographers
  • Waterproof up to 10m/33 Feet
  • Case can be removed in just 3 seconds
  • Rugged construction with great vibration absorption
  • Mountable system makes it perfect for placement on bikes, chest, helmets, and more

  • Cons:

  • Cost ($129.99) may be prohibitively expensive for some buyers
  • No TouchID support
  • No support for iPhone 5c, models prior to iPhone 4
  • Call quality somewhat impacted by case design
  • Overkill for people who don’t take lot of photo or videos

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    13 comments

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    3. I have a Lifeproof case less than a year old and with really light use conditions it has literally almost completely disintegrated around the screen saver seal. The screen saver is now able to be peeled back and expose the actual screen surface. It is amazingly poor quality. I am stunned considering the price.

      • Same here. It was wonderfully waterproof while it lasted, but my case gave out after just 4-5 months of use, but that was probably because I took it in the shower with me; I never did let the shower water hit it directly, though. I always kept it up on a high ledge/shelf away from the water. In any case (no pun intended), it’s great if you want completely reliable waterproof casing, but for its price, the short lifespan isn’t worth it.

    4. Can you recommend a waterproof pouch (such as the G-Cord pouch) that will fit an iPhone 6 Plus in an Otterbox Defender?