Yes, this would mark the second “Real Review” specifically focused on cell phone/electronics waterproofing, but for good reason. In talking with many of our tens of thousands of monthly readers, we find that almost all runabout riders regularly bring their cell phones/smartphones along with them while venturing out on rides (in addition to car keys, ID and their wallet and/or method of payment). Considering how today’s smartphones best digital cameras of only a decade or so ago, it’s a fair assessment that many are using their phones for much more than just making a call or two.
That is why we at [i]The Watercraft Journal[/i] felt it important to get our hands on one of Airhead’s Dry Pak Camera Cases. Although Dry Pak does offer a waterproof case specifically for smartphones, we opted for the larger (6-inches wide x 5 inches long x 2 inches deep) case as so many would like to keep their electronic key fob and wallet dry as well. Many will recognize Airhead as a major manufacturer of inflatable rafts, towables and other waterborne toys, but the brand has a very extensive boating and powersports catalog that is well worth researching.
In fact, Dry Pak offers a wide selection of waterproof cases, be them for cell phones, tablet and mp3 cases, dry bags, duffel bags and a whole lot more, all to ensure that your gear won’t get soaked. While ideal for personal watercraft use, the Dry Pak is also optimal for days at the beach, pool, boating, or even at the water park with the kids. All Dry Paks come with either an adjustable camera strap or wrist lanyard (for smaller cases), and features a beefy sealing clip in bright yellow for high visibility. With the larger bag, we crammed in our iPhone5S, keys and wallet with no hassle as the Dry Pak can handle a maximum 11-inch circumference.
The clear TPU bag is thick, tactile and durable, and best of all, allows for full navigation through the rubbery dermis. We could open and close apps and even check email through the bag’s skin, and surprisingly enough, even clearly listen to music and make a phone call while sealed inside. Dry Pak’s dedicated smartphone cases feature a padded and lined blue TPU backing to keep the phone from slipping while under operation, but we never encountered any troubles using the larger Camera Case without it.
Prior to using the Dry Pak, we always kept our phone, keys and valuables in a secured miniature Pelican Case. While equally watertight, the case features a thick padding that keeps the phone from strong impact or even minor jostling. In a padded glove box, the Dry Pak is an effective resource, but it is worth noting that if left in a large, open front storage bin, the Dry Pak doesn’t offer much in the way of impact protection.
Yet, aside from this single circumstantial critique, we were exceptionally pleased with the Dry Pak, its very affordable ($19.99) price and recommend it for those looking for added security while bringing your smartphone or camera along for the ride!