Brace your phone. Summer is coming.

Whether you’re heading somewhere awesome and wet for your vacation like the Bahamas, or you’re intending to bring your phone along as you go tubing on the Comal River, a waterproof pouch is an easy way to protect your phone from electronics’ biggest enemy: water.

IPX8 cases are widely prevalent, come in many styles, colors, and sizes to accommodate phones both big and small, and since they’re usually big enough for a driver’s license and some cash, they go from unitasker to waterproof purse. Whatever you’re looking for in a waterproof pouch, you can probably find it in one of these.

A few notes before we get started:

  • You can’t use a fingerprint scanner through a waterproof pouch. Be prepared to unlock your phone via password or PIN, or use Smart Lock to keep the device unlocked.
  • You can use the buttons and for most newer model pouches you can interact with the touchscreen through the plastic, but you’ll probably want to open the camera app before you go underwater and you’ll definitely want to use the volume buttons as the shutter buttons to take photos.
  • Most of these pouches are secured to a lanyard using a “Quick Release” mechanism. If someone yanks your pouch, the pouch will probably detach and the quick release mechanism can break. Be warned, be alert, and if you want some extra protection, swap it out for a beefier lanyard with a carabiner.
  • Most of these pouches do not float on their own so that they don’t try to float away from you while you’re in the pool or snorkeling. If you want your pouch to float, consider getting a floating strap to use with your waterpoof pouch.

Mpow

There are a lot of cases out there to choose from, but Mpow’s cases are by far the most prevalent and some of the most popular. They usually come in packs of two to four, in different colors so the whole family can tell their phones apart, and work well enough to last an entire vacation. Now, this isn’t to say they’re infallible, but so long as you’re gentle when getting your phone in or out of it, they can be reusable. This pouch can fit phones with up to a 6-inch diagonal screen, though for phones on the larger end of that scale you may need to remove their case before you put them in.

Mpow ($ 11.99 for 3)

CaliCase Waterproof Floating Case

At $ 16 a pop, the CaliCase is one of the more expensive pouches here, but it also offers a few things over the competition. It’s double-layered, which means leaks have to get through two layers of plastic instead of one and should last longer for enthusiasts looking to not replace your waterproof pouch after two months of weekend kayaking. CaliCase also comes with a Lifetime Warranty.

CaliCase floats, which will work against you a little if you’re using it while snorkeling, but if you’re kayaking or tubing, your phone won’t sink to the bottom of the lake. It also secures via lockable carabiner to keep it strapped to your lanyard, kayak, or backpack. There are some color variants of the CaliCase that are Glow in the Dark, so can find it on a dark beach. There are also non-glowing colors, including an American flag design of the original CaliCase, but not in the Extra-Large version that fits the Google Pixel 2 XL.

Just keep in mind that the Clear CaliCase does not float, and that the colored versions of this case do not show the full back of the phone, but rather have a clear porthole for about the bottom third of the case for the camera.

CaliCase Extra-Large Waterproof Floating Case ($ 15.99 each)

JOTO

JOTO’s cases have over 20,000 reviews on Amazon and still have a 4.5-star rating. It is the #1 waterproof pouch on Amazon. Its pouches have been trusted and used by hundreds of thousands of users over the years, and while the pouches may not be made to last forever, JOTO will get you through your watery vacation so long as you’re gentle getting when you open and close the pouch when removing cash or taking out your phone to charge.

These pouches have colored borders, both sides of your phone are fully visible inside the case. The color options here aren’t quite as sexy as the Mpow or CaliCase, but they get the job done and offer enough colors to let everyone in the family have their own shade. The JOTO pouch can fit phones with up to a 6-inch diagonal screen, though for phones on the larger end of that scale, you may need to remove their case before you put them in.

JOTO ($ 8-$ 10 each)

FITFORT

FITFORT offers a fluorescent ring around their pouches, making it easier to spot the colored versions when wearing them at beachside concerts or during an early morning kayak. In addition to the normal twist-to-lock seal, FITFORT also has a press-to-seal zipper between the top clip and the pouch, another barrier that water has to work through before reaching your phone. The 4-pack is for up to 5.5″ inch phones, will make it a little easier for smaller phones like a Pixel 2, but there’s also a 2-pack available of floating pouches that fit phones up to 6″ phones. The 4-pack features plastic clips attaching the pouches to lanyards while the 2-pack use Quick-Release lanyard clips.

FITFORT ($ 13.99 for 4)

FITFORT Floating Pouch ($ 10.99 for 2)

How do you stay dry?

Got a favorite waterproof pouch for your Android phone? Do you want a floater or a sinker? Do you prefer a bright color or is black fine so long as it keeps your phone dry? Let us know which one you use in the comments.

« »