Need to add a bit more protection to your iPhone 7? Here’s 5 waterproof cases that will do just that!
So what is the best waterproof iPhone 7 case? What is the best case between the LifeProof Fre, LifeProof Nuud, Ghostek Atomic, Dog and Bone Wetsuit, Wetsuit Impact, Catalyst Waterproof and the Pelican Marine? We’ve personally used every one of these cases and reviewed them in the exact same manner. Check out our handy comparison tool if you want to compare cases in an easy-to-read table.
For everyday use, we’d stick with a LifeProof Fre, Pelican Marine or the Dog and Bone Wetsuit Impact. However, if you need flexibility, the Ghostek Atomic 3 is going to be the case for you. The best case for water-based vacations? The Catalyst Waterproof (it’s also a decent day-to-day case).
Cases we’d stay away from? The Dog and Bone Wetsuit. Cases that might be worth getting for certain people? The LifeProof Nuud.
Before we get to the cases, you might be wondering “Why would I need waterproof case since the iPhone is waterproof”. Well, the truth is that it isn’t waterproof. It is water resistant. There is a big difference. If you need a bit more information check our “Do I need a waterproof case for my iPhone 7?” post.
We evaluate all the cases, in the same manner, to ensure consistency and each product get used for at least a week before we sit down and create a review for the product. With waterproof cases, we take it one step further by dropping our iPhones in the case and getting our iPhones wet in the case to see how well the product works.
The Catalyst Waterproof is rated higher than the Ghostek Atomic by a score of 0.01. But we gave the Catalyst high marks for completely different reasons. The Ghostek Atomic 3 is a versatile protective case for your iPhone but the Catalyst Waterproof is the best waterproof case for anybody who enjoys spending time near water.
In fact, if Aaron was to go on a water-based, the Catalyst Waterproof case would be the only case he’d take take. Why? Because it’s waterproof up to a depth of 33ft. That’s 5 times the depth of the LifeProof Fre, Dog & Bone Wetsuit Impact and Pelican Marine. Our goto wrist strap also comes from Catalyst as well. Coupling the two products together makes it an unbeatable combination for underwater photography with the iPhone 7.
As a day-to-day case, the Catalyst works slightly better than the Fre, Marine and Wetsuit Impact because of the rotary mute switch. Sound from the Catalyst isn’t as crisp as the LifeProof Fre and but was better than the Marine and Wetsuit Impact. The only downside for a day-to-day case is that it is slightly bigger than the other cases. See if your Amazon store has the Catalyst Waterproof in stock
The Ghostek Atomic is a beast of a case. The extra size and weight allows the Ghostek Atomic to offer more drop protection than the average case. The aluminum frame also prevents the iPhone from bending. However, we wouldn’t consider this a day-to-day waterproof case because the usability of the iPhone’s screen isn’t great. It also isn’t the most waterproof.
Why is it #2? Because the Ghostek Atomic offers the most flexibility for your iPhone 7 out of any case on this list. One of the most asked questions on my channel is “Can a screen protector work with a LifeProof case”. The answer is “no”.
But the answer is “yes” with the Ghostek Atomic. The Ghostek Atomic is designed to work with a screen protector which no other case on this list can claim. It also works with skins which means you don’t have to take anything off your iPhone.
Which makes it a perfect case for those days where you know you’re going to be rough with your iPhone. Once you’re done putting your iPhone in precarious positions, you can take it out and it still has a screen protector and a skin for protection or just use it with your normal day to day case. Not convinced? Check out the price on this versatile case on Amazon in stock
If you need to how tough the Ghostek Atomic is, check out the video where we threw the Ghostek Atomic 40 ft in the air.
If you’re looking for the best day-to-day waterproof case, the Dog and Bone Wetsuit is the one to get. The stand out features of the Wetsuit Impact is the size and build quality or the product. It is slim and lighter than most normal slim cases and comes with a glass screen protector. In fact, the screen protector is incredibly flexible and despite re-installing the iPhone dozens of times into the case, hasn’t broken yet.
The front of the case is a bit slick for our liking and the sleep/power button is quite stiff. Taking calls isn’t going to be an issue but the sound coming from the bottom speakers isn’t as loud as other cases.
One of the features that we like about the Wetsuit Impact are the removable plugs. In the off chance that you tear a plug, you can probably get the replacement plug easier(and cheaper) than an actual case. Torn plugs is something that we’ve seen on the Ghostek Atomic’s. See if this Australian based company has Wetsuit Impacts at your Amazon store.
The Pelican Marine was our top pick for the iPhone 6/6s. The iPhone 7 version of the case has remained unchanged from our perspective but we did update the scoring system between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 which is why it doesn’t rate as highly.
The score between the Pelican Marine and the LifeProof Fre was very close. In fact, the only reason the Marine scored higher was because it’s tougher than the Fre. No amount of dropping we did resulted in the case breaking or coming apart which is something we can’t say for any other case on this list.
The Marine is a bit larger than the Fre and unlike the Fre will slide around easily when placed on it’s back. Sound coming from the Marine was decent as it only muted the sound slightly. The screen has less diffusion than the Fre and despite having a slick back, handles decently as the edge of the case is quite rubbery.
The last thing to note is that the buttons on the Pelican Marine are tough to use. If that hasn’t scared you away, see how much the case is on Amazon.
The LifeProof Fre is a decent case, day-to-day case. This is probably one of the most popular waterproof cases to get for the iPhone 7 as you’ll see it in the big box electronics store.
Just because it is #5 on this list, isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the iteration of the Fre is probably the best to date. Another attractive feature of the LifeProof Fre is their warranty. if the case breaks, they’ll send you another one for free. Other than shipping.
The buttons are a little tough to use and the screen still diffuses the Retina HD screen of the iPhone. The case that we tested broke after two drops which isn’t great.
The Fre is the best sounding case on the list as it had the least amount of muting which is why we say it is a great day-to-day case.
The LifeProof Fre handles quite well as the entire case isn’t slick. The texture holds up well when the case gets wet. Aaron actually prefers the LifeProof Fre over the Pelican Marine but the poor screen protector and durability issues bring down the score for this decent waterproof iPhone 7 cases.
Get the Lifeproof Fre on Amazon right now!
Waterproof Cases to stay away from
There are two cases that we would caution you about. We would definitely stay away from the Dog and Bone Wetsuit. The standout feature of this case is that it is waterproof without a screen protector but that novelty feature reduces the access you get to your iPhone’s screen due to the high edges. In addition to the poor screen access, the buttons are quite tough to press. Also, our iPhone popped out of the case during the last drop which resulted in a cracked screen.
The LifeProof Nuud is better than the Dog & Bone Wetsuit because the case doesn’t get in the way of accessing your iPhone’s screen. LifeProof was able to do this by making the Nuud quite wide so if you’re having trouble handling a normal iPhone 7, the Nuud is going to be worse. The back of the case is incredibly slick as well which doesn’t make sense to us as a tough case. The Nuud handles like a wet bar of soap when dry, it’s going to handle much worse wet. If you need more details, check out our comparison.