The iPhone is undeniably the most beautiful smartphone ever built. However, it’s also an incredibly fragile piece of hardware. Matter of fact, the amount of money Americans have spent repairing their iPhones surpassed the $6 billion mark...in 2012. Which is why tech experts recommend covering the handset with a military-grade case.
These specialized safeguards are designed to exceed the US Department of Defense’s testing procedures—yes, 'military-grade' is actually is a thing for phone cases—and determine their overall durability against the most severe conditions. Dust, shock, water, and vibration…you get the picture. And the market is loaded with plenty of options. So before falling victim to yet another smashed Retina Display, or worse, #Bendgate, we advise looking over this collection of ultra-rugged cases worth owning.
Silk Armor Tough Case
Damage-free protection is the greatest luxury any smartphone case can offer. Customization comes second. Silk combines both facets by engineering a dual-layered frame carrying a shock-absorbent core and mating it with a Polycarbonate Exoskeleton that accepts interchangeable back plates and helps keep impact forces from reaching the phone. A screen guard even comes bundled to keep the Retina Display looking fresh at all times.
Price: $80 - $100
LifeProof’s garnered a strong rep for delivering the highest level of waterproof defense, though we forget the cases do more than just keep aqua from leaking into our iPhones. Take the Nuud for example, which comes dirt, snow, and shockproof and meets military-grade drop standards. Adventurous types from Sherpas to surfers can now feel better about keeping their smartphone close when venturing into the wild.
Trident Kraken A.M.S.
Built like a tank, the Kraken A.M.S. sports a near-indestructible exoskeleton composed from hardened polycarbonate and shock-absorbent TPE that ensures maximum safety. Each case is tested to sustain drops, dust, sand, rain, and vibration. Trident also made it multi-functional by adding a detachable aluminum media stand to support a number of accessories, including a bike mount, clamp, cord management system, tripod mount, and more. Call it durably adaptive.
Mophie Juice Pack H2PRO
The king of portable charging accessories is jumping into a new product category—manufacturing a waterproof charging case that exceeds military standards and keeps your iPhone juiced with 100 percent extra battery life. Mophie claims the H2PRO’s design is constructed “to bounce back from accidental drops, dust, dirt, and other everyday conditions.” With MIL-STD 810G and IP-68 ratings, think we can take the company at its word.
Urban Armor Gear Case
Of all the case makers on the block, UAG is one of a handful to receive Mil-Spec Certification. That means all their safeguards are forged to combat the toughest environmental conditions. Active lifestyle users will never fear dropping or scratching their phone thanks in part to the durable, sleek build present on each jacket. The company offers eight different models in various colors.
Pong Rugged Case
Price: $60 - $70
Despite satisfying military specifications, drop-proof protection isn’t the marquee feature found on this sturdy chassis. The Pong Rugged Case uses a gold antenna to reduce the radiation levels emitted by the phone. In fact, it lowers the SAR score of the iPhone up to five times under the FCC-set limit. And this boosts the signal as well.
Speck CandyShell Grip
Speck’s most popular case to date manages to fuse military-grade security into a slim dual-layered shell construction that eliminates excessive bulk. The ribbed design does factor into its premium safekeeping—providing stronger in-hand grip and serving as an extra layer of coating to absorb shock. Rubberized button covers do the same for your power and volume rockers.
Dog & Bone Wetsuit
Always dropping your iPhone in the toilet? Don’t sweat it. This IP68-rated sleeve lets you submerge the handset in up to two meters of water for 30 minutes. Not that we advise it. Nonetheless, you can practically take it jet skiing or swimming (Strava that swim?) and not worry about destroying it. The Wetsuit is also made to endure dirt, snow, and other extreme weather conditions.
Element Case Sector Black Ops
Slim, sexy, and sturdy—the Black Ops is constructed with the finest precision from top to bottom. CNC machined aluminum rails and crowns give it an aggressive yet affluent look, while exhibiting excellent shock-absorbing properties. Each case comes with a detachable belt clip that can be screwed onto the back and used to free up pocket space. It's easily the most expensive of the group, but worth its weight in protection and style.
Those favoring function over fashion can feel secure draping their iPhone in this high-density silicone cover. Incipio’s ruggedized case boasts a shock-absorbent shell molded to withstand hard impact and a raised front lip that creates a barrier around the perimeter of the screen. The “grenade” texture certainly enhances grip control and validates the Bombproof’s military drop-tested badge.