True North Blog

Equipment Review – LifeProof iPhone Case

About two weeks ago, I cringed slightly when I paid $79.95 for a LifeProof case to protect my iPhone 4 mobile telephone.  However, at this point, I can easily say that I couldn’t have spent my money better.

To be clear, it’s not that I necessarily minded paying such a high cost to protect my iPhone, because the simple reality is that my mobile telephone is far more to me than just a luxury or convenience, it is a genuine work tool.  Primarily, of course, I use my iPhone to help run my True North programs.  Among so many things, I can quickly respond to client emails during the week or help direct them to a meeting site should they suddenly become lost; I regularly use a mix of Applications to check the weather forecast, sunrise and sunset, and topographic maps to help with planning; and, of course, depending on my location, I can use it to potentially telephone for help should I need it.  At the same time, I rely heavily on my mobile telephone during my EMS shifts too: while I receive radio dispatches, I also receive a text that summarizes the patient details (which keeps me from bugging the dispatcher with “Repeat”); I use an Application which helps route me to a patient location in unfamiliar parts of town; and I use my telephone to advise the Emergency Department before arrival.  So, to write that I would be lost (figuratively and literally) without my iPhone is an understatement.

However, while I love my iPhone for both its form and function, the only downside is that it is extremely fragile, which makes me nervous.  At a minimum, I need a case to protect my telephone from sudden drops and  bangs.  Also, while I don’t necessarily need a case to protect against water immersion, it is nice to have something that protects against rain, humidity, and sweat.

Originally, I had an OtterBox “Defender” for two years which I liked, but there were two main problems.  First, the rubber casing made the telephone unnecessarily bulky.  Second (and what was the main problem), the rubber slowly began to tear with use.  During this timeframe, then, I went through two Defenders — which at $49.95 each, made for expensive temporary case (making $79.95 seem cheap).

Now, certainly, I may end up hating my new LifeProof, but I can write now that is not likely.  Even with the case, the telephone is very slim and light.  Plus, there are few moving parts to wear or break.  On the downside, I don’t like that I have to unscrew a button to plug in my earphones, and the power access point is too small for one of my charger cords.  However, on the whole, the pluses so far outweigh the minuses.

If anything changes, I’ll be sure to let you know!

Anyhow, check out this product video from LifeProof:

Erik Kulick leaning aginst wall with True North badge on blue shirt

About the Author

Erik is the founder of True North Wilderness Survival School. He is a police officer, EMS provider, a Wilderness EMT, and a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He has been featured in national and international media, including CNN, the Associated Press, and Backpacker. To learn more about Erik, visit him on LinkedIn and be sure to follow him on Facebook and YouTube.

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