Water proof phone case that also is tethered to me when i take the phone out to take pictures

@Lurker Otterbox recently (about a year ago) bought out Lifeproof, which did make waterproof cases. Search for Otterbox Fre, not sure which model phones they make cases for (I have an iPhone)

The "Fre"series seems to be iphone only. the "Lifeproof"only seem to exist up to Pixel 3 or so. i assume they discontinued to support Pixel.

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You can get a dry box and add an anchor point so you can tether your phone to the inside. Then with the dry box attached to your boat or pack your phone is always tethered and only exposed when you’re using it. I think that’s what I’d do if I expected my phone to get wet.

I used the two part 3M structural adhesive that I used to attach a foot brace to a canoe hull and I just used a spare window shade bracket and key ring. If you rough up both surfaces a bit I think you could bond a worm to a mirror with the 3M adhesive.

I think Pelican boxes typically have structural ribs inside; I’d look for a good spot to drill a small hole in a rib to use as an anchor point for a tether.


I am a big fan of the company ArmorX. I use their waterproof cases on my phone and I kayak in saltwater. They make a case for your pixel, but it is pricey.

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Armor-X is the way to go if you have other uses for mounting the phone. Otherwise, here are two other IP68-rated cases for the Pixel 6 Pro which have an attachment point for a lanyard.

It’s ironic that the Otterbox Fre is only available for iPhone, when newer iPhones are rated for deeper submergence than the case.

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That is weird. When Lifeproof made the Fre cases, they were available for a variety of models. I guess Otterbox hasn’t continued that.

After drowning my iPhone SE I still feel better with the phone in a case. Double bagged in a way, and I’m mostly in saltwater. Plus the drop protection too.

I am more careful around salt water. My wife has a Galaxy S8, which is IP68, but after a day at the beach where she was taking pictures of the kids while wading in the surf, the phone detected a fault when it was plugged in to charge. I had to clean a bit of corrosion out of the USB connector with iso and a toothbrush. It’s happened twice now.

But my iPhone has gone swimming with me in fresh water several times now without a glitch.

This is tangentially related to the topic. I tested two containers recently for my cellphone, wallet, and camera. I submersed the items in water for a few minutes with a kleenex inside. Length and depth of the test were not long enough for a valid submersion test, but both items float.

(1) MasterTool 2-liter drybag: Amazon.com

Excellent size for small items, but failed the submersion test entirely. Water entered at the edges where the webbing straps connect. Rugged waterproof material so this would be splashproof.

(2) Mr. Pen waterproof pouch: Amazon.com

Smaller than the 2L drybag but larger than a cell phone bag. This passed the submersion test well, but it has no IP rating so time and depth of waterproof submersion are unknown. It has 3 ziploc closures that are quite hard to close, so not a good choice if you need to get your camera out frequently. A good choice for small valuables that stay in the hatches. Not as durable of course as a plastic box but possibly more waterproof than the cheaper boxes.


I looked at a few of the case options. but some reviews indicate that over time those cases can become leaky. it makes sense, since the seals and plastic all wear and deteriorate. and there is only one way to find out… some reviews also mentioned somewhat worse pictures.

Maybe I’m better off just keep using my bag for on the water, and not bother with a water-proof case rest of the time. Then I have great pcis on land, and just have to deal with tiny bit worse pcis on water. and a bag I can frequently test if it leaks.

Thanks for everyone for weighing in. I’m just gonna sit on this for now.

Another nice thing about a small dry box like a Pelican is that they are highly buoyant. It takes a lot of force just to push one underwater to test it. In the real world it’s going to float unless you tie an anchor to it. One time I found a (dead) phone in a “waterproof” pouch on the bottom of a river; that won’t happen with a dry box.

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Seatosummit, Gecko Brands, and some other manufacturers now sell waterproof cell phone/GPS drybags that will work with touchscreens, although not sensitive enough for fingerprint recognition.

That’s kind of like the bag I have.
I took my daughter on the paddle board this week and used the camera in that bag. The pics actually weren’t that bad taken from within the bag. Good enough for FB or WhatsApp.

Lack of fingerprint reading is a bummer since it has to fail recognizing the fingerprint before switching to the pattern. But I don’t see how any case would enable fingerprints. That may sound like a first World problem. But when you see animals doing something noteworthy, fiddling with unlocking the phone will make you miss a shot

Well don’t carry my Phone in my PFD. However, I do carry a Olympus TG6 camera.
Best tethering solution I have found is KEY-BAK SECURIT HEAVY DUTY RETRACTABLE CARABINER


Should attach to any phone case

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Do you own that? Is plugging in the USB plug awkward?

My case is 2 part with the screen protector. I wonder if the thickness of that part makes snapping close the case impossible? The case they show doesn’t have screen protector.

Looks like it should be much cheaper.

Link is broken for me.

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you have to hit the “continue shopping”

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:slightly_smiling_face: :upside_down_face: :slightly_smiling_face: :upside_down_face:
Duh, thanks.

Comparing photos taken as usual and through an inexpensive plastic pouch from Bezos’ Bazaar as shown. Seller says it’s waterproof to 3 feet, but splash proof may be a safer assumption. The phone buttons and touch screen work well through the pouch and it has integrated flotation; both good. Lighting conditions are good - overcast daylight, no shadows or glare. Other than re-sizing, no image editing has been done. BUT, as I hope you can see here, photo quality through the pouch is significantly degraded; sharpness is lost and colors are muted. May be fine for sharing on a tiny screen, but not much more IMO. Phone is a Sony Xperia … maybe not the very best camera phone available today, but good.


Looks good

I forgot to take my case today so I cheated tragedy once more.