Dry Case for iPhone & Touch, gaumy but good


“Gaumy” is great Maine word for something kind of messy or awkward (there are numerous spellings), and it came to mind when I tested the Dry Case above.  Its various doodads and fairly large size almost completely suck the elegant simplicity right out of an iPhone or an iPod Touch.  However, because you can easily suck the air out of the case, it’s not only exceptionally waterproof, but the screen and even the iPhone camera, still work fine, which is more than can be said for the Otter Case also discussed after the break…

The Dry Case not only holds its vacuum — which is clear proof of its waterproofness — for what seems like an unlimited time, but if you use that big neoprene arm band shown in the photo, it can’t sink.  Which is probably what you want if you’re risking one of these valuable devices around salt water.  And you can even swim or dive with this setup, listening to tunes with those DryBUDS, which sounded good to my ear. Now my personal ideal around-the-water dry case would have the suction valve part of, or close to, the closure mechanism, and would lose the headset complication altogether (I prefer my Bluetooth set anyway), so it could be smaller with the various side buttons easier to use. I quibble, and the side buttons are usable as is, but I hope DryCase designs the iPad case I know they’re working on a bit more slim and sleek.
   By the way, the app showing above is Fugawi’s iMap, which gives you access to all U.S. and Canada topo maps, and a free xTraverse account (useful for many mapping tasks), for $5.  Meanwhile, the iPhone browser page below is showing EarthNC Mobile, which offers NOAA chart and weather buoy overlays, and more, for free.  The phone itself is in an OtterBox Defender case, which, frankly, I didn’t try much before returning.  Oh it looks nice, and comes with a great holster, but I found it fussy to put on and then it was hard work the iPhone’s buttons when it was on, and the screen protector seemed to dull the image a bit.  Besides the Defender is all about bump and scratch protection, and doesn’t promise any serious help with water intrusion.


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

15 Responses

  1. GPSNavX says:

    The X-Traverse account that is included with Fugawi X-Map can also be used with iNavX marine navigation to exchange waypoints or request a GRIB file or procure more charts. Simply enter the same email address and password used to create the X-Traverse account for Fugawi X-Map into iNavX X-Traverse account setup.

  2. Marc Kelly says:

    With the appalling battery life of iPhones et al, how about a way of getting a sync/charging cable in there? If you’re using this on a flybridge or something you’ll want to keep it safe and charged.

  3. sailandoar says:

    Ziplock snack size bags are the waterproof case that I have been using since I got my iPhone 2G a couple of years ago. It does not interfere with phone usage and is changed about every 10 days. Not 100% waterproof when the headset cable is led out through the ziplock closure but close enough for all but submersion.
    Exciting iPhone news:
    Starpilot for iPhone will be released soon !!

  4. Udi Erell says:

    Marc, Power Mat should do the trick

  5. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    Another bonus for the Dry Case, I bet it will work with an induction charger, and then charging your itouch/iphone becomes possibly while it is in the case.
    Improvement ideas for both vendors:
    – Test with, and advertise which induction charger products work with the case (induction charging = charge product without physical connection of wires; usually done with a special battery and a flat charging pad you lay the device on when not in use (they need to be in proximity with each other, but not electrically touching)
    – Offer a mounting system for the helm (like one of those that holds a Garmin handheld GPS that lets you easily use the GPS in the mount and detach it quickly to be used in your hand), but integrate an induction charger that is 12v compatible and protects the induction charger from the elements so it can stay out 24x7x365. Also, automatically turn off the charger when the itouch is not in the mount (so that it doesn�t unnecessarily disturb the compass when not in use)

  6. richardstephens says:

    I don’t see the purpose of the vacuum valve. I’ve been using the Aquapac cases for years, and they work great without it. Besides, you want some extra air in there so the device will float. I sometimes put a bit of foam in to help with protection and buoyancy.
    And I think the Otterbox Defender case is great. As with any screen protector, you have to get both the screen and the inside of the case spotlessly clean and free from dust when you assemble it. If you do that the screen appearance is very good. It is a pain to take appart, but I leave my phone in all the time. You could put the Defender case inside a slightly larger Aquapac for a rugged & submersible waterproof case.
    The Otterbox 1900 also works as a rugged waterproof case, with room for a extended battery, or add-on GPS sleeve. There is a cable glad that could be used for a power cable, too. The only problem is you have no access to the side and top buttons, so you have to rely on the “Auto Lock” setting to turn the device off.
    Memory-Map, Inc.

  7. MaineFog says:

    StarPilot is now in iTunes for iPhone.
    I also use an Otterbox when out in the weather. When the iPhone is in the Magellan mount to use its GPS and power source, the Otterbox needs to be removed. It is just a mite too thick on the bottom to permit full connection. Maybe a little Dremel adjustment fill fix it. -Doug

  8. Sandy Daugherty says:

    We only had to wait ten years for Casio’s GZ’one. Let’s just sit back and smell the barnacles till they introduce a floating, liquid-filled, waterproof, induction-charged DROID w/ a leash, bluetooth, free charts, and autopilot control. Oh, and a come-back-and-get-me button.

  9. grandsoleil says:

    IPad in a DryCase sounds great – but will the iPad let you Bluetooth to a truly good GPS? to a PC to act as a repeater, or to a MAC as a repeater?

  10. John Pasmore says:

    Great blog. But I need to disagree regarding the Otter…
    I have been using the Otter Defender for going on two years…The case was a little challenging to get in and out of until I watched a YouTube video like:
    The case is water resistant as opposed to water proof — but I’ve used it sailing/racing as Nav and toggled quickly back to the camera — I have no problem at all working the controls. Getting the case open requires one simple trick — using the tabs (little openings) at the locking points where the fron of the case snaps to the back — you kind of have to lift these tabs up and the case pops open.
    I can do this while driving (not recommended)…
    Took these in the rain:
    Works fine…!

  11. For a VERY waterproof and nice to use case, you can modify the old 2g iPhone case from ottorbox (if you can find one on ebay). The headphone jack doesn�t work anymore, but everything else does. I have a tutorial at http://vofj.blogspot.com/2008/08/otterbox-armor-waterproof-iphone-case.html
    Good luck

  12. DryCASE says:

    HoLiDaY SpEcIaL!!! DryCASE is having a holiday special on our waterproof iPad and iPhone cases and all of our other products! 20% off when you enter the limited time discount code: DRY2010

  13. JK XLR8 says:

    Oh my….another waterproof ziploc bag? Stay tuned for an earth shattering Ipad case!!

  14. Andy Rossiter says:

    Having purchased this drycase to protect my iPhone, my case did in fact leak and killed my phone. After following all the instructions water managed to enter through the white valve near the bottom of the case. I have informed the company but they can’t be bothered to respond, not even with an apology at the fact I need to find around a few hundred pounds if I want to replace my phone. If you don’t want to risk a drowned device and no response from the company then buy a different dry case.

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