There are already lots of reviews out there claiming which iPhone cases, out of literally hundreds, are the most protective. You will find models on some of those lists whose biggest “plus” are that it comes in 8 different colors with popping eye-catching patterns. I don’t need that. I need a case that can protect my investment in the most extreme weather conditions on the planet. I also don’t want a case that makes carrying my phone outside of my profession of mountain guiding awkward.
To that end I reached out to argue-ably the four biggest companies in iPhone case construction and asked for their most rugged model case to be submitted for review. Some manufacturers provided more than one model as they had models that would appeal to different end-users. After a full winter of back-country skiing, ice climbing, and mountaineering on one of the most inhospitable mountains in the world, I’m ready to share my opinions of these models, starting with my personal “Best in Class”. Full reviews for each model will post over the next few weeks and be linked here.
Best Waterproof Model: CATALYST Waterproof iPhone X Case (review coming soon)
Best for Impact Protection: PELICAN Shield iPhone X Case (review coming soon)
Likely* Best for Outdoor Photography: HITCASE Pro (not available yet, ships in May)
One of my favorite of the cases I tested was the ROKFORM Fuzion Pro Case. It is the only case in the line-up made with carbon fiber but the design of this case far exceeds the material used in its construction. Despite being a very modular case installation was really easy. After pushing the phone into the rubberized housing an aircraft aluminum exo-skeleton backed with carbon fiber easily snaps over the housing to secure the phone.
Before assembly you must select which insert you want to use.
The TwistLock is designed to secure your phone with a bombproof connection to various bike, motorcycle, and car mounts. This is the best way to secure your phone if you will be bombing down single track mountain bike trails, racing Motocross, or even doing a bit of 4×4 off roading in that beat up Jeep Wrangler of yours!
What really sets this model, and company for that matter apart, is the other type of mount they use. The magnetic lock has been a bit of a game changer for me. At first I just liked using the Super Grip Vent Mount in our vehicle. I have gone through quite a few “universal” window mounted phone holders over the years and have had issues with almost all of them. They typically break after a year or two and they create blind spots in your field of view. This little vent mount works flawlessly and keeps my phone where I want it without any blind spots in the front window. It also packs well so is perfect for those who often drive rental cars!
What I didn’t realize was how many other places having a magnetic phone case added convenience. When I head into the kitchen to start breakfast I just stick my phone right onto the refrigerator. I listen to the latest Podcast while getting the kiddos packed for school and when it’s time to grab the car keys and rush out the door there’s no searching for my phone.
Even while I’m typing this my phone is secured to the edge of my computer desk and not lost in the slightly chaotic mess of things I know I will organize and read soon!
As far as true protection, the ROKFORM Fuzion Pro exceeds Military Drop Test Standard MIL-STD 801G-516.6 (basically can survive multiple falls from 2 meters (6.6 feet). Only two other models in the test had higher ratings. The case works with Rokforms’ own high-end screen protector or any other third party protector.
The case is not waterproof, but the iPhone X features native IP67 Water Resistance. What that means is it can withstand a quick dunk in up to three feet of water. This level of water-resistance is enough for non-water sports and allows this case to have virtually zero impact on sound quality both from the iPhone speakers and to a greater extent while talking to someone on speakerphone. Most fully encased waterproof cases make the caller sound like they are in a tin-can when using their speaker phone (it drives my wife nuts!). If you do need 100% waterproof-ness check out the CATALYST Waterproof iPhone X Case and the Pelican Marine Cases, both of which I will submit detailed reviews on soon!
The only thing I could think to improve was the lack of a lanyard. However after a quick call to the company to confirm this feature was missing I was guided to the fact that there is a lanyard attachment point on the aluminum housing that works with most third party lanyards, and of course Rokform’s own lanyard! So not much I can suggest changing here… this is an awesome case!
The ROKFORM Fuzion Pro is a standout in the category of rugged outdoor iPhone X cases. While it doesn’t come in sparkly glitter colors it really is a well engineered blend of materials and design. With the TwistLock option for “must not disconnect” extreme sports and the MagneticLock for everyday convenience this is definitely one of the best all-around cases I tested.
See you in the mountains,
Northeast Alpine Start
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