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Pelican Marine

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Pelican Marine waterproof storage container

Smartphone protection is critical in outdoor adventure environments. I believe Pelican Marine offers the best overall smartphone protection with a thin, unobtrusive, full function durable, hard-shell, waterproof case.


  • Thin and attractive
  • Waterproof
  • Scratch resistant screen protector
  • Advanced shock protection
  • 2-year warranty
  • Dependable Pelican customer service


  • Charging door hinge is most likely failure point

In the years of owning a smartphone, I am in constant pursuit of maintaining the integrity of that ever-evolving piece of electronics that accompanies me on all my adventures. It sounds ridiculous to refer to your smartphone as an investment, but due to their equally ridiculous price a sense they are an investment. So insurance plans aside, which are of little benefit when perched precariously in the middle of nowhere, I desire a protective case that produces.

This review has nothing to do with the type of smartphone I have chosen, but everything to do with the protective case. That said, for the inquisitive, the Pelican Marine I purchased is for an iPhone 7.

I have purchased several different brands and styles of protective smartphone cases in the past. Some have worked marginally and some effectively...all were popular, well-known protective case companies. One such company, while they did honor their warranty in replacing the case (twice in one year), my iPhone was compromised because of leakage.

That is unacceptable when purchasing a "waterproof" case. Other brands I owned offered rubberized cases that increased the overall size and footprint of the phone beyond what comfortably fit in my pocket. You pay good money to protect your "investment," and I want total protection in a smaller package.

In my constant searching, I decided to give Pelican's Marine model a try. I was fortunate enough to purchase the Pelican Marine through a pro deal at a reduced cost, which made it more palatable, should the company claims and customer reviews be inaccurate or inflated.

As an active outdoorsman, most days find me paddling, fishing, cycling, hiking, backpacking, camping or motorcycling. All of which occur in or around water, by means of possible immersion or precipitation. I use my smartphone not merely to communicate, but of main importance is its useful camera.

As noted in the Pro's and Con's, Pelican Marine offers:

  • MIL-STD 810G military grade shock protection for multiple drops and impacts.
  • IP68 waterproof protection-basic 2 meter depth for 30 minutes.
  • 5 Layer Defense - elastomer inside a rigid polymer shell.
  • Screen Protector - scratch resistant coated screen protector.
  • 2 Year Guarantee

I prefer entire 360 phone protection and the Pelican Marine does precisely that. As far as functions go, the Pelican Marine offers a screen protector that provides the ability to still use your fingerprint access...and it works without hiccup. Sliding, swiping, icon selection...all function as without a protective case.
P6258674.jpgThe side volume, on/off and capture buttons protrude slightly from the frame and function as intended.

I have experienced no problem with the speakers or microphone when using as a telephone, but if I put some distance between the microphone and my mouth...the person I am speaking with will advise me that I sound muffled. Using the speaker phone function eliminates all of that potential muffled sound, even with created distance. Speakers are clear and appear unobstructed by the case when listening to a caller or watching video/program.

The camera and flash function perfectly and I am comforted by the added lens protection molded into the rear of the case. The Pelican Marine has not negatively effected the lens or photo quality.

The Pelican Marine case is a noticeably smaller profile in my front pants or shorts pocket than the competitors that I have owned. Slipping into a pocket or retrieving it from a pocket, the Pelican Marine offers no resistance or snagging. The housing material is rigid polymer, but does not appear to scuff when dropped, which causes the case to look "newer" longer.

If I were to have a concern regarding the Pelican Marine protective case, it would be the charging port door hinge not the port "plug" insert itself, which has several rubber ribs that prevent water penetration.

Although, the charging port door has been my main concern on every company's offering. 

Note: It is vital that you follow the simple instructions provided, ensuring waterproofness and proper insertion of the phone into the Pelican Marine protective case.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the Pelican Marine waterproof case and would highly recommend it.

UPDATE: 10/05/2019A quick product update after a couple years of continuous daily use in a myriad of normal outdoor pursuits. You will likely experience a delamination of the protective rubber bumper that surrounds the frame at around month 6 of use.
376567D2-128D-4763-98C7-604C256D4812.jpgAs you see in this attached photo, this is obviously an ongoing problem (Even though customer service denied anyone else experiencing this). To Pelican’s credit, they warrantied the first replacement. After the second delamination, I purchased another because warranty runs out. When the third developed the exact same problem in the exact same area, warranty replacement now comes at a small fee. My wife’s and daughter’s delaminated in the exact area as well. 

The Good, Bad and the Ugly: The Good: as you can read and see, I still keep buying them...they work, preserving my phone from a saltwater environment to backcountry peaks to Amazon rivers. The Bad: These cases aren’t cheap, so I’m spending more than I like and more than I should. The Ugly:  Once delamination begins, dealing with it becomes increasingly more frustrating.

Just thought y’all ought to know.


After much use I have added a product long term use update. I’d love to know if anyone else has experienced this. Cheers!

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $40 plus shipping

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Price Reviewers Paid: $40.00
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