iPhone and iPad

Waterproof Your iPhone With These Top 5 Cases

Mihir Patkar 01-11-2013

New handsets like the Sony Xperia Z1 are waterproof, letting you safely take them for a swim or out in the rain on a hike. And take it from someone who’s used one – boldly carrying your phone into the shower is a fantastic feeling.


But the good old iPhone, even in its latest models, doesn’t show any sign of that. So what do you do if you want an iPhone that isn’t afraid to be dunked, submerged, showered on or attacked by a moisture-monster? Well, there’s a case for that!

First, A Few Caveats


When you are buying a waterproof case for the iPhone, there are a few things you need to know:

Incipio Atlas ($59.61)


For the iPhone 5 or 5s, the Incipio Atlas is among the best of the waterproof cases. In fact, it’s also one of the toughest cases for the iPhone The 5 Toughest iPhone Cases Money Can Buy Apple’s latest iPhone is surprisingly robust given its light weight but it’s only designed to survive minor drops in a friendly environment. Serious falls, dirt and water aren’t a factor, and that’s a problem if... Read More  too. For $60, it offers up to 6 feet of depth resistance for an hour and protects your handset in both saltwater and freshwater. One point where it differs from others is that the Atlas uses a glass protector instead of a plastic one, making your screen clearer to see. Perhaps most importantly, Incipio is confident enough in its case that it gives you a year of warranty against water damage to your iPhone. Incipio are clearly not worried about putting their money where their mouth is!


However, the design of the case is such that activating Notification Center can be a little difficult. Also, if you are using it with the iPhone 5s, it covers a bit of the new dual LED flash for the rear camera, nullifying the effect.

iBattz Mojo Refuel Aqua ($114.95)


Dive in and never run out of battery? Cool! The iBattz Mojo Refuel Aqua comes with an interchangeable 2200mAh battery pack, which can completely charge your iPhone from zero to 100%. What’s more, you can just buy more batteries from iBattz and swap them out with this one when needed, which makes this a fantastic cover if you’re going to be roughing it for a few days. The Mojo Refuel Aqua claims IPX8-certified water protection up to 10 feet deep and can absorb the stress of knocks, drops and vibrations.

Unfortunately, it uses a plastic screen protector which doesn’t feel as great and responsive to use as the Incipio Atlas. Additionally, the Home button requires some pressure to click.


Still, what you get in return is a waterproof shell that can also extend the battery life of your iPhone, which is really neat. Expect it to work with the iPhone 5s without support for Touch ID, but it won’t fit the iPhone 5c.

Griffin Survivor+Catalyst ($39)


The Griffin Survivor+Catalyst does a great job of keeping your iPhone safe from water, and doesn’t look half bad doing it. The case is clear plastic on all sides, except the rubber flaps covering the ports and buttons, so you can see the iPhone in all its glory. And you will appreciate how easily you can access any port, so you don’t really have to keep taking your handset out of the case.

This case can also go a little further than the Incipio Atlas and the Lifeproof Nuud with a tested depth safety of 10 feet.


The clear plastic back has another plus: it lets you use the case with the iPhone 5s dual-LED. This is the only case in the current crop that can accommodate the new flash, but there’s still no love for the fingerprint sensor.

Watershot Waterproof Housing ($109.98)


If you want to dive much deeper than 6-10 feet, the Watershot Waterproof Housing is a safe bet as it lets you go up to 120 feet without water damage. Just so you know, the recommended recreational diving limit for divers is 100 feet, after which nitrogen narcosis symptoms begin to show. So for most users, this should take care of all your snorkelling needs.

The case seals tight and is pretty darn solid, although that comes at the cost of being bulky and clunky. This one is a case of functionality over form. You won’t be carrying your iPhone around in this all day, but the moment you hit the beach and want to take your iPhone with you into the water, this is the most trustworthy case to put it into.


Lifeproof Nuud ($40)


The prettiest of the waterproof cases by a long shot, the Lifeproof Nuud is both sleek and sexy. It does this by eliminating the front glass screen protector and exposes your iPhone’s screen directly to the water. Wait, what? How does it protect the phone then?

Basically, the Nuud suction-cups every part of your phone apart from the screen, so the screen is still very usable while keeping water out. Of course, this comes at the cost of performance as the Nuud is great for regular water-proofing needs, like a day at the beach or a short swim, but you might want to skip this one for heavy-duty waterproofing like taking with you it when you go surfing.

What About the iPhone 5c and Touch ID?

While none of the current waterproof cases offer support for the new fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s, there is hope. Otterbox has announced that it will soon be launching the Preserver series, which specifically works with the Touch ID function. And yeah, there will be a version for the iPhone 5c too!

Will you be waiting for an iPhone 5s case with Touch ID or buy one of the cheaper current iPhone 5 ones? How are you waterproofing the cool iPhone 5c, which is great for entry-level buyers iPhone 5c Review And Giveaway At this year's iPhone event, Apple announced not one, but two new iPhones, a first for the company. We are giving away an unlocked 16 GB green iPhone 5c to one lucky winner. Read More ? What kind of waterproof protection works best for you? We’d love to know so drop a line below!

Related topics: iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone Case.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 30, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    But it is very bulky. Finally, I bought this one ghostek atomic 2.0 http://casetastic.com/product/ghostek-atomic-2-0-iphone-6-waterproof-case/

  2. Sankashta
    March 20, 2014 at 3:10 am

    I use hit case waterproof case to take photos under water, It has auto lock and one button trigger release and it comes with 170 degree custom wide angle camera lens . if you are looking for waterproof case for underwater photography/activity, go with hit case waterproof case. following website has detailed review of this case
    [Broken Link Removed]

  3. Melissa
    February 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Found a great waterproof case on Amazon at a good price and has great reviews: http://amzn.to/1fpfROj – Got free shipping as well.

  4. Nelmo Paes
    January 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I bought LifeProof Nuud for iphone5.
    It is very very nice.
    Make sure the cover is securely closed.

  5. Jjj
    November 2, 2013 at 8:24 am

    I won't be taking my iphone swimming any time soon.
    I'll pass on a shatterproof case thanks.

    If apple intended me to get it wet, I guess it would of come to me as a waterproof device.

  6. Anthony
    November 1, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Bought the Life Proof case, worked great. Bought one for my wife and almost nearly destroyed her phone, water was getting through. I returned and bought a new one 3 separate times before finally giving up.

    I got lucky with my case on a 25% chance of working.

  7. Jon
    November 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Also, Optrix (http://www.optrix.com/) makes some pretty killer-looking (yet to take the plunge and buy a waterproof case yet- thus the interest in the article) cases that have some serious impact and depth ratings.

    • Anonymous
      November 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Optrix case is the best!

    • Tim Doyle
      December 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      I purchased an Optrix case for my iPhone 4s after dissatisfaction from the so called top rated. The optrix is by far the best. I will purchase the newest model once I upgrade to to the ihone 5s.

    • Tim Doyle
      December 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      I purchased an Optrix case for my iPhone 4s after dissatisfaction from the so called top rated. The optrix is by far the best. I will purchase the newest model once I upgrade to to the ihone 5s.

  8. Jon
    November 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Received an email a couple days ago that this is now available:

    Full access to TouchID sensor and in an even smaller package. Maybe need to edit your review?

    • Penny Ottens
      November 7, 2013 at 5:19 am

      Yes I was just going to say the same thing.

  9. Eric S
    November 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I bought a life proof case for my teenage daughter and we didnt have time to find out about waterproof because she dropped it on the ground and the glass shattered. I guess hitting the ground is not part of life!