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OtterBox 1000

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: OtterBox 1000 waterproof hard case

The Otter Box is a low-cost investment that protects high-cost electronic devices and other important items that need to stay dry. This reviewer's first-hand account speaks to the value of owning and using the Otter Box 1000 in the outdoors.

5 STARS for durability and reliability. 3 STARS for recent business decisions (see final section of this review).


  • Reasonably priced
  • Waterproof
  • Rugged


  • Difficult to open/close with gloved hands
  • The 1000 does not include the foam liner of larger Otter Boxes
  • No longer American made
  • “Life time” warranty is now a “One year” warranty

Picture this true-life scenario...

I had just spent several minutes carefully climbing a 50' high pile of breakdown in a Tennessee cave. At the top of the heap, I opened my pack to get a drink of water, and the Otter Box holding my digital camera fell out. Down and down it fell into the darkness of the cave. I could do nothing but listen to the Clunk, Clunk, Clunk of it bouncing down the pile.

Finally, as it reached the bottom I heard a clear Splash. The Otter Box had managed to complete its 50' fall by landing in the narrow pool of water at the bottom. As I climbed down to retrieve the box, I was certain of two things. The box had surely broken apart from the fall, and my $100 camera was drowned in that pool...

...And I was wrong. On both counts.


Here is what the outside of an Otter Box looks like when it is drug through a cave.


And here is what the inside looks like


I own three Otter Boxes in various sizes. All have proven their durability and worth to me. The 1000 is the smallest one I own. It measures 4.84 x 3.68 x 1.65 inches, externally; 3.7 x 2.35 by 1 inches, internally. This is the perfect size for my point-and-shoot digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix (I would recommend that when buying any Otter Box you bring your item with you to get the perfect fit.).


Fits a Nikon Coolpix exactly

My three Otter Boxes. I've owned the biggest one for 11 years.

Otter Box advertises the 1000 is made from “indestructible” polycarbonate that makes it waterproof and crushproof. Stainless steel hinges ensure the box doesn't succumb to rust.

The 1000 is waterproof to 100'. However, the box is designed to float. So when it falls over the side of your canoe (or into that pool of water at the bottom of the cliff), you can easily retrieve it.

It is important to note that the O-ring needs to be occasionally treated with silicone gel to prevent it from drying out and cracking. It is equally important to note that you should never use Vaseline or other petroleum-based product to treat O-rings, as petroleum breaks down rubber.


Another nice feature includes an adjustable lanyard.

The 1000 hanging by the pit at Smith's Blowhole Cave

Two things that may effect your purchase choice:

When Otter Box first got into business, people knew anything stamped “Made in China” was a phoney knock off. Unfortunately since Otter Box began producing cell phone cases, they began doing most of there production in China and Mexico. Today, the only way to know if you have a true Otter Box is to buy it from an authorized vendor. I would be wary of any unusually good deals found online.

Also, it use to be that Otter Box's claim of indestructibility came with a lifetime warranty. When they moved into the cell phone case business their warranty on all their products was reduced to one year. I don't know if this is because they have cheapened their components or because of the difference in cell phone cases.

In contrast, their top competitor, Pelican Box, is still made in the USA and still promises a lifetime warranty. I can only review what I own, but my next box purchase will have me seriously looking at who is standing by their work.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $15

Some facts:

Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.75 x 1.5 inches

Inside dimensions: 4.0 x 2.5 x 1.0 inches

Weight: 4 ounces

My likes:

- Virtually indestructible

- Gasket creates a waterproof seal leakproof to 100 ft. and it floats

- Tight cam-buckle closure

- Nylon lanyard long enough to wear around the neck

- Just perfect size for my small phone, small and compact.

- I have the clear, so at a quick look can see if there are any messages without opening

My dis-likes,

- Unpadded, really not that big of an issue to carry another sunglasses sock to put phone into for vibration and chaffing protection inside the case.  Or use on of the closed cell cushioned sleeves that sometimes new purchase electronics come in.

Yes, I do recommend and would buy again, from REI.

Price Paid: $7.99

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Price Historic Range: $8.93-$12.00
Reviewers Paid: $7.99-$15.00
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