We’ve all done it. Spilled water all over our precious smartphone, watched in horror as it fell into the toilet, dropped an iPhone on the sidewalk and destroyed the screen. It’s a gut-wrenching moment you’re determined never to experience again. That’s why you need a rugged case for your device. We’ve selected the top six waterproof cases for your iPhone 5 that will protect it from splashes, dunks, bumps and drops.
Having been called the thinnest, lightest and strongest all-protective case ever created, the LifeProof Fre for iPhone 5 (opens in new tab) has a big reputation to live up to. The company claims this case is waterproof up to 6.6 feet, dirt-proof, snow-proof and shockproof for drops up to 6.6 feet, with an integrated scratch protector for the touch screen. While the 1.1-ounce Fre does cover the camera with glass, it’s an antireflective optical glass lens that shouldn’t affect shots. A clear back window shows off the Apple logo, plus LifeProof offers tons of colorful options, including Black, Cyan, Dark Flat Earth, Lime, Magenta, Olive Drab Green, Red, Teal, White and Yellow. The 5.4 x 2.6 x 0.5-inch case is backed by a one-year warranty.
A rugged iPhone 5 case need not hold you back from taking great video and photos. The Hitcase Pro features a 3x wide-angle lens for a 170-degree field of view. It also works with a free vidometer app that overlays your speed, altitude, shock and g-Force on top of your videos. The case even comes with a GoPro tripod mount. The Pro is waterproof up to 33 feet, the deepest of any touch screen-capable iPhone case on the market. Plus, the ShockSeal keeps water and dust out, while the Shockpad absorbs vibration and drop impacts. The ABS/polycarbonate exterior is impact resistant with a textured rubberized surface.
Incipio adds multiple layers of protection to prevent water, dirt and accidental drops from damaging your precious Apple iPhone 5, including sealed headphone and charging ports. Made from a Plextonium hard-shell frame and Flex 20 material, the 2.2-ounce Atlas Waterproof Ultra-Rugged (opens in new tab) case features a water-resistant exterior and a one-year warranty. The case measures 5.4 x 2.7 x 0.6 inches and comes in white with pink, black with blue, all gray and light and dark gray.
Rated to withstand submersion in water for 30 minutes at up to a depth of 7.5 feet, the 2-ounce Ballistic Hydra can take most anything you throw at it, literally. It can even take being dropped from as high as 8 feet, thanks to its reinforced corners. Ballistic claims this iPhone 5 case is waterproof, dirt-proof, dust-proof and impact resistant. Plus, this 5.3 x 2.8 x 0.5-inch case comes with a scratch-resistant screen protector.
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Available in white or black, the 5.3 x 2.6 x 0.5-inch Seidio Obex is a waterproof, dust-proof and military-tested drop-proof iPhone 5 case. That means your butterfingers can drop this iPhone 5 from up to 4 feet from many different angles and not crack the device and submerge it in 6 feet of water for 30 minutes. The ruggedness is thanks to the combination of polycarbonate and thermoplastic polyurethane materials with rubber silicone stoppers. We love the addition of the antireflection glass that won’t interfere with your camera lens and the waterproof membranes that protect the microphone and speakers. The best part is that the Obex weighs only 1.4 ounces, which is lighter than much of the competition.
Do not fear taking your iPhone to the beach, if you’ve got it encased in the Otterbox iPhone 5 Armor (opens in new tab). Thanks to its watertight latches, o-ring seals, port covers and mesh covering, you can submerge your smartphone for 30 minutes in up to 6.6-feet of water. This 5.5 x 3 x 0.7-inch case — available in Arctic, Electric Orange, Neon, Summit and Titanium — can also take a 10-foot drop on concrete, or being crushed by 2 tons of pressure. The seals help block out dust and debris. The Armor is on the heavy side, at 3.9 ounces, but that’s due to the reinforced plastic, zinc alloy latches and ribbed interior silicone shock absorbers, plus the glass camera cover.