One of the many hurdles on a outdoor outing is to keep your phones alive at the end of a cold or wet day. Count the times your smartphone died on you when you wanted to take a picture, record a track or make video about the trial. Bet you stopped. Modern technique and a rugged outdoor life calls for a heavy duty battery and a rugged electronic, fit for the army. But who wants to have army gear when light is possible?
I enjoy using a lightweight, modern, thin as paper smartphone and it wasn’t an alternative for me to buy a smartphone that was super durable, but heavy. I wanted to have the best of two worlds and crochet (!) myself a soft case that kept the phone double protected while it was in my rucksack. However, this was not the outdoor case I dream of. I had to still be careful that it does not fall into a stream or get crushed in my back pack.
Then Dura Case appeared on the scene. Dura Case promised 240% more battery power, keeps your phone waterproof up till 3 m deep and its shock proof. The 3 important features of this case had to withstand the rugged trips (= cold, wet, bumpy) we often make. It sounded promising and I was quite excited to have gotten the chance from Dura Case to test this.
Unpacking the case out of the box, I was a little surprise how “big” the case really was. The Iphone measured 13,5 cm and the case was about 4 cm bigger than the iphone.
The case itself weighed 202 g alone, or 330 g with an Iphone 6 in it. Not a lightweight. While I do welcome a light pack on the trials, I was also willing to carry the extra grams for extra battery life and protection for the device too.
There’s 100% access to all the buttons that you find on the iphone (volume, on / off) including the inlets to headphones. These inlets are covered with a rubber which can be opened and closed at all times.
Drown it before you use it
Make the drown test without a device. I found a nice way to do this at home. Following the instructions, keep the Dura Case under water for 30 mins to check if all corners are sealed tight. Once this is verified, you’re ready to go out.
Lets play outside
I slipped my iphone in the case each time before I packed it into my backpack. If you are using a protection foil on your iphone, it would be a little more tight to slip it in or out. Best results are when you don’t have any foil on it. But running around without a foil protection is like running up the mountain with your best tea cup china in your back pack. I had a slight fright when I first pushed it in and couldn’t get it out. That was before I discovered the button to push out the phone from the case.
It was the first time after many years that I started to use the gps apps that were available on the Iphone again. GPS trial trackers, maps, navigation, and social media as long as there was a network connection anywhere I was going. I was able to use the Iphone like I usually do over the hard case. It was finger sensitive and the home button comes with a softer case that allows you to push in. Writing a text message went on ok, the sensitiveness was not always there and I had to be a little more patient to get the text in as I wanted. What annoyed me most was the insensitivity at the edge of the glass. Alphabets like “p” or “q” or “delete” were not responding to my touch. Everything else away from the edges worked fine.
Extra Battery life was a luxury without hassle! As soon as 50% of battery went down, I started charging the phone so as to avoid any sudden surprises. Without extra cables or anything, the Iphone is getting charged as you use it. Thumbs up!
Fear not ye Rain nor Rivers
I was able to make my first underwater shot with the iphone and the Dura Case. It was fun to discover a whole new point of view in those little streams without fearing your iphone would get wet.
Whether it was in the pocket or in the back pack, the Dura case was easy to find and I had peace of mind that my smartphone was being protected the whole day, no matter whatever happened. It was easy to stack it in the pockets or back pack.
What got me most excited was the Dura Velcro that comes extra. With this velcro you can just patch the Dura Case on to your shoulder straps and voila! The phone is always at your reach.
What I liked
- Gives me the protection I need for my smartphone while it is in the rucksack.
- With the mount for the back pack, Dura Velcro makes it super easy to access your phone whenever you want to reach out to look at the maps for navigation or when taking photos. Forget the hassles with zippers or fumbling in the pockets. Even if you have 20 different packs at home you can interchange and swap bags at all times and have your Dura Case on your shoulders. This way of holding the phone is superb!
- Extra Battery life!! Finally, the freedom to use an app without losing your mind on the battery life.
- Waterproof! Short or long rain spells and damp rain jackets are never a worry again.
- Forget fumbling the phone with cables and battery. Fit it in and it works
What could be better
- Lighter. While 330g with an iphone in it isn’t really very heavy, I would love to see it 100 g lighter and thinner.
- Sensitivity of the cover case in the front edges. Using the delete back button is one of the most important buttons you need on your keyboard. And if this works even just sporadically, it was a test piece for my patience.
- Speaking through a plastic case was not the super experience. When receiving a call, the sound was damped. I suggest using cableless headphones for this.
- Only for Iphones
- The Velcro thats placed behind the case loses it’s stickiness in colder temperatures.
The Dura Case makes it possible to turn your sensitive Iphone into an Outdoor gear, that withstands wet or cold weather. It gives you a comfortable feeling that you have everything in a box. The Dura Velcro makes using the Dura Case an easy game. Having it on the shoulder strap and ready for use is the best placement I have seen so far. It works like a charm. 139,- € is pricey, but its cheaper than buying another extra outdoor action cam.
What a nice feeling to come back to the car at the end of the day with your phone battery still full.
[Disclosure: I have received product samples for my time and efforts in reviewing this product and creating this article, thanks to DURA CASE. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ]