With the forecast for my upcoming trip to Iceland looking like a total rainout, I decided to upgrade the flimsy plastic baggies I usually use to wrap my phone for outdoor excursions. My online research led me to the Joto Universal Waterproof Case, a lightweight pouch promising to keep my phone dry but accessible “whether you are swimming, fishing, boating, or having water funs.” With a 4.5-star Amazon rating from more than 20,000 reviewers, I figured it was worth a shot.
The Joto looks essentially like a freezer bag with a lanyard, and would, in fact, probably be quite useful for carrying small snacks around your neck. But even freezer bags would have a tough time standing up to the paper-towel test, which reviewers recommended attempting before trusting the case with my phone: I stuck a paper towel into the case, snapped it shut, and then submerged the whole thing in a bowl of water. The case kept floating to the top of the bowl, so I weighed it down with a jar of Nutella (really, any condiment will do). Miraculously, it worked: Ten minutes underwater, and the towel hadn’t absorbed a drop.
The case proved just as effective in the wild. While the rest of me was truly, painfully soaked throughout my trip, my phone stayed bone-dry as I took pristine photos behind waterfalls, through driving rain, and while floating in Iceland’s many natural hot springs. The case has since become a fixture in my travel-gear arsenal, accompanying me to the beach (where it keeps out water and sand), amusement parks, and that time I got invited onto my cousin’s friend’s uncle’s sailboat in Connecticut. The best part is that your phone remains fully functional, even inside the case, which will come in handy, even if you’re just texting during a particularly epic rainstorm.
More Strat-endorsed phone cases
On the other hand, if you want a phone protector that gives you the best selfie lighting, look no further than the LuMee (it’s Kim Kardashian West’s favorite).
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