Keeping mobile phones dry

What are y’all’s preferences for keeping a mobile phone dry and attached? I’ve always used a Lifepro case, but they don’t make them anymore for the newer smaller phones, and I hate the big ones. I also put mine in a small dry bag, but the bag clouds up and is often difficult to see / use. Or is there a case / bag that I can put in my pfd pocket that will allow me to see pretty clearly?

Thanks much

I keep mine in an Aquapac phone case. Something like

My phone is IP68 level of waterproof, so likely would be Ok on its own, but I like the extra protection afforded. And the dry bag’s leash makes it so I can be sure the phone won’t go anywhere.

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What phone do you have that is IP68 level? And I’ve heard good things about the Aquapac 358. Many thanks for writing.

Samsung Galaxy 20 series phones are rated IP68, but their warranty specifically excludes water damage. Go figure. They consider water damage to be abuse. There are a fair number of people unhappy with that. Of course Samsung cannot tell how deep or for how long a phone was submerged.

There are more and more manufacturers coming out with cell phone and electronics cases made of TPU plastic that works with touch screens (not sensitive enough to read fingerprints) and flexible enough to work push buttons, so you don’t have to take the phone out of the case. I use one with an S20+. Probably bigger than what you want, but there are others around.

I paddle mostly salt water and the phone is a bit expensive to trust its waterproof rating entirely, plus few phones accept a tether.

Pelican case.

But you can’t use it unless you open the case.

I also use the auqupac

Otterbox now makes the Lifeproof Fre series, but I think they are only for iPhone now. I have used them for years. Seems like the switch to Otterbox has increased the durability of the cases too, but that won’t help if they don’t make a model for your phone.


I do indeed have an iPhone and a Lifeproof Fre for my large 14 model. Problem is I want a smaller phone. I think I’ll end up getting an Aquapac 368 which several folks have recommended. Thanks for your message.

I dont use it unless I open the case. I don’t answer the phone and rarely take pictures. The only drawback is that I have to unclip it from my seat back support strap, open the case and stop the GPS app running on the phone.

I use Geko Waterproof Dry Boxes.

I put my phone, Keys and wallet in them. They come in several sizes so pick the one that fits your needs.


I have a Google Pixel 6 as my IP68 rated phone. But many phones now are rated at this level, including most of the iPhones and ore expensive Samsungs.

I do take pictures straight through the bag and can use the phone’s touch screen with it in the bag.

Problem with boxes is that they can’t be put into pfd pockets - correct?

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For smart phones, Correct!

Right or wrong, my first reaction is to use the VHF on my PFD. There are many dead zones on the Bay where I paddle, so I don’t count on the phone as a reliable. The reason I like D rings on the PFD is so I can remove the Pelican case from the seat strap and transfer it to the PFD in an emergrncy. The carabiner will attach to the shoulder strap, but it would be a nice feature on at least a few PFD models offered by a manufacturer.

I don’t carry a vhf and am impressed that you do. Also, point about D rings well taken. Thanks for your perspective.

VHF is important and could be critical if you travel solo. Channel 68 carries waterway restrictions and closures in my area when Aberdeen Proving Ground is testing. They put out guard boats, but its good to know in advance. I’ve seen smoke from artillery rounds impacting and bullet splashes from .50 cal practice.

It’s a great value during summer heat when local thunder storms pop up unexpectedly. WX 02 in my area gives a forcast weather loop which updates houly, including the wider area as well as conditons on the water, with air, water temps, wind speed directions, and other data. Tides I get from the GPS.

Monitoring 16 give a glimps of other boater hailing. I don’t like the one I have and hope it breaks so I can get a simple one with basic feature. My first one was a West Marine model that was excellent. Both died around the same time after many years of use. I buy two so anyone going out with me can communicate if we separate.

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I leave it in the car. Stays dry every time.


I have my phone as a back up, don’t use it on the water. So I keep it in a Watershed Dry Bag, in a hatch, with my wallet and car keys.

Ocoee™ - Watershed Drybags

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Phone is a backup. If you go out and get stranded from physical condition, broken paddle, weather, or any reason, the phone gives an opportunity to have someone come to pick you up. That’s why I carry a phone.

Glad you emphasize this. Highlights the risks of using the phone as a camera, which raises risks of loss.