The 8 Best Waterproof Phone Cases of 2022

LifeProof's FRĒ Waterproof Case is our top pick.

In This Article

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Best Waterproof Phone Cases of 2022

Amazon

Though many smartphones are waterproof these days, it's always a good idea to have additional protection — particularly if you're planning on spending some time on a boat or at the beach. 

There are different types of waterproof cases, from spacious pouches to hard protection for specific devices. The former usually come with a lanyard or strap, which makes them easier to carry, but the latter is better for taking photographs in wet environments. In addition to style, you should carefully consider the level of waterproofing you'll need. If you want to take your phone in the water, for example, keep an eye on the IP rating, a measurement of how well a case protects against liquid.

Our favorite option is the LifeProof FRĒ Waterproof Case because it's an all-around durable hard case, and it's made from 60 percent recycled plastic.

Here’s our breakdown of more of the best waterproof phone cases for your next aquatic adventure:

Best Overall: LifeProof FRĒ SERIES Waterproof Case for iPhone 13

LifeProof FRE SERIES Waterproof Case for iPhone 13

Amazon

Why We Love It: It's made with 60 percent recycled plastic.

What to Consider: It's currently only made for iPhones.

You've probably heard of the brand Otterbox — it's one of the biggest names in phone protection, well regarded for its drop protection. LifeProof is one of its branches, and it's focused on making not only drop-proof cases, but also waterproof, dirt-proof, and snow-proof ones that can handle whatever life throws your way. The FRĒ case has been part of the LifeProof family since 2008, and since then, the team has continually refined the product to be as slim as possible without decreasing its protection levels.

As for its waterproof capabilities, it can be fully submerged in water up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) deep for up to an hour. It's touchscreen-compatible, so you can actually use your phone underwater, and it has a clear flat panel over the cameras so you can take photos underwater.

We do have to ding the LifeProof FRĒ case for only being compatible with iPhones, but we're giving it back a point because it's made from 60 percent recycled plastic that's been removed from the ocean. There's also a version of this case that's compatible with MagSafe chargers, which we're absolutely on board with, but it only exists for a few iPhone models. This specific case, however, has broad iPhone compatibility, which is why it's our top pick.

Price at time of publish: $90

Phone compatibility: Apple iPhone | Drop protection: 6.6 feet | IP rating: Not rated

Best Budget: JOTO Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch

4.9
joto phone pouch

Amazon

Why We Love It: It's waterproof to 100 feet deep.

What to Consider: It's not always easy to photograph through a plastic pouch.

For a simple, effective waterproof case that gets the job done at an affordable price, you can't beat this phone pouch — it's waterproof to a depth of 100 feet, so you can even use it while snorkeling and potentially even scuba diving. As its name indicates, this is essentially a small bag with clear plastic paneling on both the front and the back to allow touchscreen and camera access. (Pro tip for shooting photos through the plastic: keep the pouch as flat as possible over the camera lens to get the clearest picture.) Because it's a pouch rather than a hard case, it's compatible with all phones less than 6.69 inches in diagonal diameter. It comes with a detachable lanyard to help you secure it to your body.

Price at time of publish: $8

Phone compatibility: Universal | Drop protection: 0 feet | IP rating: IPX8

Best Floating: Pelican Marine Series Waterproof Floating Phone Pouch/Case

Pelican Marine Series IP68 Waterproof Floating Protection Phone Pouch / Case

Amazon

Why We Love It: It has a clear panel over your phone's camera lenses.

What to Consider: The flotation device makes it a little bulky.

While waterproof cases are great for protecting your phone against water, they typically do nothing for keeping your phone afloat — good luck if you drop your phone overboard. Luckily, this waterproof pouch by Pelican (yes, the brand known for its heavy-duty cases for gear like professional cameras) has air cushions that will prevent your phone from sinking. Naturally, that doesn't make it great for snorkeling, but it does make it great for boating. The case is waterproof to a depth of 100 feet, though, if you do feel like bringing it to the sea floor. There's also a detachable lanyard to keep it tethered to you. You can touch your screen through the pouch, and you can even photograph through it, thanks to the clear window positioned over your phone's camera lenses.

Price at time of publish: $20

Phone compatibility: Universal | Drop protection: 0 feet | IP rating: IPX8

Best Large Capacity: Syncwire Waterproof Pouch Bag (2-Pack)

Syncwire Waterproof Pouch Bag

Amazon

Why We Love It: This is a hands-free option.

What to Consider: You can't take photos through the bag.

Want to keep your phone, wallet, and keys dry? Or perhaps your passport, a portable battery, or your AirPods? Then you'll want to go for something with extra space like this fanny pack, which is waterproof up to 6.6 feet (two meters). You can wear it around your waist with the belt buckle or sling it across your body — in either case, this is a perfect hands-free option. (While lanyard pouches are also hands-free, they tend to get in the way more often as they can swing around your body.) Impressively, you can even activate your phone's touchscreen through the plastic for quick activities like checking the time or a text message. But don't expect to take photos — the pouch has a frosted look that works fine with a screen, but not so much with a camera. Note that this product only comes in packs of two.

Price at time of publish: $16

Phone compatibility: Universal | Drop protection: 0 feet | IP rating: IP68

Best Lanyard: Syncwire Store Waterproof Phone Pouch (2-Pack)

Syncwire Waterproof Phone Pouch [2-Pack]

Amazon

Why We Love It: It's universal, so it fits most phones.

What to Consider: It only comes as a pack of two.

If you do prefer a lanyard to a fanny pack, this is the option for you. The major pro to using a lanyard waterproof pouch versus a hard case is that it's universal, meaning you don't have to get a specific product to match your phone. This bag can hold any phone with a diagonal diameter up to 7 inches — and protect it in waters up to 100 feet deep. It's completely compatible with touchscreens and cameras, so feel free to bring it into the ocean or the pool with you if you want to snap some photos underwater, but do note that the quality could be a little lessened when photographing through the plastic. Interestingly, this pouch is only sold in packs of two, but that just means you can use the second to hold other items, like a money clip or a hotel room key.

Price at time of publish: $14

Phone compatibility: Universal | Drop protection: 0 feet | IP rating: IPX8

Best for Underwater Photography: Catalyst Waterproof iPhone 13 Case

Catalyst 33ft Waterproof Case Designed for iPhone 13

Amazon

Why We Love It: It's a hard case that can be brought to a depth of 33 feet.

What to Consider: It's pretty expensive, and it's iPhone-only.

While we'd generally suggest using something like a GoPro for underwater video and photography, this case has us reconsidering that recommendation. For hard cases, this one has a pretty impressive waterproofing depth: 33 feet (10 meters). That's plenty of space for snorkelers to capture what's going on around or below them. Given that it's a hard case rather than a pouch, photography and videography is a breeze — you won't have to hold the soft plastic flat to take a clear photograph. If you do decide to take this case out for a spin while snorkeling, we do recommend that you use the attached wrist strap, lest you drop your phone. The one downside to this case is that it only exists for the iPhone right now.

Price at time of publish: $90

Phone compatibility: Apple iPhone | Drop protection: 6.6 feet | IP rating: Not rated

Best for Samsungs: Ghostek Galaxy S21 Ultra Nautical Waterproof Case

Ghostek Nautical Ultra Waterproof Case

Amazon

Why We Love It: It's compatible with wireless charging.

What to Consider: It can only be used up to one hour underwater.

While many waterproof hard cases are made for iPhones and iPhones alone, this one covers a wide range of Samsung devices (but still make sure you purchase the specific one that corresponds to your phone model). This case is able to be submerged to a depth of up to 20 feet for an hour, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and perhaps even some short, shallow dives. And because it's drop-proof up to 12 feet and compatible with wireless charging, it's actually a great case for everyday use, even when you're not underwater. Plus, we love that you can buy accessories like a belt clip for convenient hands-free storage.

Price at time of publish: $35

Phone compatibility: Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPhone, Google Pixel | Drop protection: 12 feet | IP rating: Not rated

Best for Pixels: Nineasy Google Pixel 6 Waterproof Case

Nineasy for Google Pixel 6 Case Waterproof

Amazon

Why We Love It: It supports wireless charging.

What to Consider: It can only be used up to 6.6 feet deep.

We'll admit, Pixels are sometimes left out of the pack when it comes to waterproof phone cases. But not to worry, this one will get the job done. This slim hard case fits Pixel phones to a T, though you'll need to make sure you buy the one that corresponds with your phone model. It doesn't have the greatest depth for its waterproofing — it can be submerged in water up to 6.6 feet deep for an hour — but that still could suffice for swimming or snorkeling, provided you aren't doing much diving. It's transparent (and scratch-proof) on both sides, with the front even able to read your fingerprint to unlock your phone. 

Price at time of publish: $18

Phone compatibility: Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPhone | Drop protection: Not rated | IP rating: IP68

Tips for Buying a Waterproof Phone Case

Understand IP ratings

IP stands for "ingress protection," and it's a measure of a case's solid and liquid protection (i.e., dust and water) levels issued by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It comprises two numbers: the first relates to solids and the second relates to liquids. In both cases, the lower the number, the lower the protection. When it comes to waterproofing, the ratings of one through four indicate that the case is sufficient against drips and splashes, five and six indicate that it's good against water jets, and seven and eight indicate it can protect your device from immersion in water. A rating of seven means the case can handle immersion up to 3 feet, 3 inches deep (1 meter) for a limited period of time, while a rating of eight means it's designed for immersion deeper than 3 feet, three 3 inches (but check with the manufacturer to see exactly how long the case is waterproof at those depths, because there usually is a time limit). Note that not all products have an IP rating — manufacturers must submit their products to the IEC for testing in order to receive the rating.

Consider screen accessibility

Some waterproof cases and pouches are not touch-sensitive, so you won't be able to use your smartphone through them. If you plan on using your phone in wet conditions, make sure that the case is touch-sensitive.

Consider camera accessibility

If you want to take photos with your phone while it's in its waterproof case, you need to ensure that there's a clear panel over the camera lenses. For the highest photo quality, it's best to have a solid panel, as flexible plastic often decreases image clarity.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Why do I need a waterproof phone case if my phone is already waterproof?

    Many smartphones from the last few years are waterproof. That said, most manufacturers do not advise swimming or showering with your smartphone — the waterproofing is more of a safeguard against splashes or accidentally dropping your phone into water. If you plan on taking your phone in water, cases provide additional protection, especially against corrosive saltwater or chlorine.

  • How much does a good waterproof phone case cost, approximately?

    Waterproof phone cases range greatly in price. Generally speaking, waterproof pouches cost anywhere from $8 to $30, while hard cases cost anywhere from $30 to $90.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, Stefanie Waldek read dozens of customer reviews and incorporated her own experience with waterproof phone cases. She dropped her non-waterproof phone in the pool once and has been paranoid ever since, doubly so after a fellow passenger on her Antarctica cruise dropped theirs over the edge of a Zodiac.

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