You may have read the articles about the LifeProof and Otterbox cases and realized that waterproof case solutions for iPhone 5S devices are really grim. But you’re in luck because there are plenty of reliable water-proof cases out there if you look hard enough. In this article we’re going to cover some of the most popular and best waterproof iphone 5s cases as well as their pros and cons so that you may decide which is best for you. Some of the cases mentioned below are for everyday protection while others are for specific tasks such as taking underwater photos. The prices for each case are subject to change. Listed here are the retail prices.

Seashell Photo Housing Underwater Case ($119.95)

Seashell Waterproof Photo Housing Underwater Case This case is designed for photographers and scuba divers. The Seashell case is not designed for everyday drops and accidents, but rather for specifically taking your phone underwater and using it to take photos.

Pros: The Seashell case can be used interchangeably between the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. It also has touch screen buttons that let you use the home button and camera buttons underwater. Not to mention it even has a display hood making it easier to view videos underwater and outdoors. The best part about this case is that it has a lens hood around the iPhone camera lens, which minimizes light interference for optimal image quality. You can dive up to 40m using this case, as well as take it into waters that are anywhere from -10* C to 60* C. The Seashell case will even protect your phone if dropped up to a meter.

Cons: Once you get a 10-20% iPhone battery warning the phone becomes useless because you won’t be able to get rid of the warning through the case. Condensation can also be a problem when taking photos underwater.

Conclusion: This Seashell case is a must-have for any water fanatic that doesn’t already have an underwater camera. The iphone 5s camera is great for photos and it would be a shame not to utilize it underwater for just $120 by throwing this case on it. Using this solution is certainly cheaper than buying a dedicated underwater camera.

Hitcase Pro ($129.99)

Hitcase Pro The Hitcase Pro has a cool name and cool look to it. The only downside is that it can’t be taken as deep as with the Seashell case (30 feet vs. 40m). Once again, this case is dedicated to taking photos underwater and not for protecting against day-to-day accidents.

Pros: The Hitcase Pro has a built-in three element glass lens that gives your images a wide 170 angle degree field of view. It is also compatible with the GoPro or Contour. Using the free Hitcase Vidometer app you can also capture telemetry data that includes speed, altitude, horizon orientation, acceleration and GPS data right over the videos you shoot.

Cons: 30 feet is not really that deep. Considering that this case is more expensive than the Seashell case but doesn’t let you go as deep, it would be a shame to waste your money on a Hitcase when you could just get the Seashell.

Conclusion: If you need the GoPro or Contour compatibility, then go with this case. Otherwise you should pass up on the Hitcase Pro.

Optrix PhotoProX ($149.99)

Optrix PhotoProX The PhotoProX is another case dedicated to taking photos underwater. However, it blows the competition out of the water when it comes to what it offers. For just $149.99 you get the underwater case as well as four amazing Optrix Fisheye Lens.

Pros: This product comes with a case for the lens, four lens, a waterproof case, an iPhone housing case, an iPhone sled, a lens cloth and hand-strap. You couldn’t ask for more from such an affordable product.

Cons: The PhotoProX is only designed to go up to 33ft underwater. This means that the case is not designed for scuba diving.

Conclusion: If you’re into underwater photography and want to get the maximum amount of features for a low price, then PhotoProX is the best option out there.

Griffin Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof Case ($69.99)

Griffin Survivor and Catalyst Waterproof Case

Griffin is known for building reliable iPhone cases and you can trust your phone to be safe in their cases. The Survivor + Catalyst case will protect your phone from submersion (of up to 10 feet), drops, dust, dirt, grease and windblown sand.

Pros: This case is perfect for going to the beach or pool, as well as for boat trips and kayaking. It’s really great that the case comes with a wristband so that you don’t drop your phone into the ground or into the sea!

Cons: The Survivor and Catalyst doesn’t look that good asthetically. This is more of a case for using when you’re around water rather than one you will use everyday. The other downside is that the fingerprint scanner will not work with this case.

Conclusion: If you need the wristband to keep your phone with you at the beach or pool, then this Griffin case is a great waterproof case for your needs. However, you could probably get a better looking case from LifeProof or Otterbox.

Otterbox Armor Series ($99.99)

Otterbox Armor Series

Otterbox is also known for creating amazing cases that don’t just function great, but also look great. This case is so amazing that it can even withstand up to 2 tons of pressure.

Pros: The Otterbox Armor Series will protect your phone from drops, water, snow, mud, dirt, sand and anything else imaginable. It lets you submerge your phone in up to 6.6ft of water for up to 30 minutes, as well as offer protection from drops of up to 10 feet.

Cons: Amazon customers report this case feeling more like a brick than a case. However that’s expected with a case that provides so much protection. Also, note that the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner will not work with this case because it was designed for the iPhone 5.

Conclusion: The Otterbox Armor series is a serious solution for phone protection. Otterbox also offers device warranties under certain plans in case your phone breaks. For the price of this case you get exactly what you pay for: a quality product that will keep your phone safe no matter what.

Note: Be sure to check out the new Otterbox Preserver Series, which is a waterproof case that is designed specifically for the iphone 5S. It allows you to access the fingerprint scanner with its watertight home button/fingerprint reader membrane. Check out the Preserver Series by clicking here. We have also reviewed it in this article.

LifeProof nüüd and frē ($79.99 and $89.99)

Lifeproof Nuud and Fre These cases come with more than just hipster names that are word plays on nude and free. The Nuud and Fre cases are compatible with LifeProof’s total water protection plan ($10), which insures your device for up to a year from the date of purchase. That means that if these cases let in water and your phone is damaged beyond repair, you’ll get a replacement iphone. If your phone is damaged and repairable, LifeProof will repair it.

Pros: The LifeProof cases are high quality products that will protect your phone from any drop or element imaginable.

Cons: The Nuud case doesn’t have a built-in screen protector which makes it impossible to test the case underwater without a device before actually using it.

Conclusion: If you’re looking for the best day-to-day protection then LifeProof cases are your best bet. In addition to being so reliable, you can also insure your safety of your iphone via the total water protection plan.

iBikeConsole iPhone 5 Waterproof Bicycle Mount ($59.95)

iBikeConsole Waterproof Case

This product consists of a case as well as a bike holder mount. Considering the price of this product, $59.95, it’s a really cheap solution for cyclists and people that commute by biking, and want to use their iphone as a GPS while biking.

Pros: The fingerprint scanner works on this case with the iPhone 5S. Once installed this case weighs less than 6 ounces. So if you’re a biker you’ll be glad to know that it doesn’t hamper your speed at all. Not to mention that the case is also shock proof and your iPhone will remain fully accessible (including camera, fingerprint, port, mic, speaker and button access).

Since this product is designed to stay on your bike’s mount you can trust that it will always repel water. With the other cases you run the risk of dropping them, but with this case and mount that would be less likely to happen.

Cons: The only “downside” is that the iBikeConsole case will not protect your phone from water submersion. This isn’t really a downside considering that the case isn’t designed for swimming, but rather for cycling.

Conclusion: This case and mount is a really affordable solution for cyclists. In fact, it seems like this case and mount is a must have for anyone who needs to use their iphone as a GPS while biking.

iPhone 5 DryPak Floating Waterproof Phone Holder Case ($19.99)

iPhone 5 DryPak Floating Waterproof Phone Holder Case

This isn’t a case as much as it is just a waterproof pouch. The great thing about this product though is that it will work with future iPhone models or even Android phones when you upgrade your phone.

Pros: The hand-strap and floating feature of this case are really great perks.

Cons: You can’t use this pouch to take photos underwater. Also the pouch is really big and inconvenient.

Conclusion: If you’re looking for a cheap solution to protect your phone from water while skiing or kayaking or something then this is a great product for your needs. To be safe, I wouldn’t use the DryPak to protect my phone in deep water – I haven’t been able to find a safe depth limit for this product.


Ballistic Hydra ($79.99)

Ballistic Hydra Ballistic’s cases are designed to “survive life” and the Hydra case is a perfect example of this. However, this case is designed for the iPhone 5 and there might be some problems with the iPhone 5S. Not in terms of protection, but rather in terms of good user experience.

Pros: The Hydra can survive drops from up to 8 feet, can be submerged under water for up to 7 feet for 30 minutes, and protects phones fully from dust, dirt and sand. In addition to all of these great features, the Hydra also comes with a built-in scratch-resistant screen protector. The case itself is really interesting because it utilizes Air Gap Suspension Springs™ that insure your phone is always surrounded by 1mm of air and never touches any hard surfaces: this is exceptionally important when protecting the phone during drops.

Cons: This case’s camera won’t line up correctly with the iPhone 5S camera, but one user on Amazon reports that it doesn’t affect them too much. The iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner will not work at all with this case which is a huge bummer. Also the Hydra case utilizes a “radiation shield” that protects your brain from cellular waves. The downside to this is that the radiation shield covers the front facing camera. Ballistic also doesn’t seem to have a device protection plan like LifeProof does.

Conclusion: When looking for a water-proof case online, the Hydra is the first case you can cross off your potential purchase list. This case isn’t designed for the iPhone 5S, is not created by a reputable company and has no significant warranties in case you break your phone while using this case.

Quick Note about Waterproof iPhone 5S Cases

Waterproof cases that are dropped and damaged may stop being effective at keeping water out. Any one of the cases below could let water in if damaged. The idea with waterproof cases is to assemble them empty (i.e. without the iphone inside), then test them under water. If they pass this test then you can take the case apart and put it on your phone. If the case doesn’t pass the water test then you know your case is either defective or has been damaged after you dropped it.

Important Note: Do not think you can hold the manufacturers of these cases responsible for any water damage to your iphone, because they won’t be held responsible. Some companies like Otterbox and LifeProof offer protection plans that will repair or replace your device if damaged while in their cases. However, it’s up to you to read the fine print of these warranty policies so that you know exactly what you’re covered for. Your paid good money for your iphone, so tread with caution when you’re considering subjecting them to the elements or submerging them in water. (Water pun intended. Don’t get it? Treading water! Whatever…)


Be Sure to Check Out These Related Articles:

Best iPhone 5S Cases in 2013
Best Waterproof iPhone 5S Cases
Top 10 Affordable Leather Cases for iPhone 5S on Amazon
10 Popular & Cheap iPhone 5S Cases
Top 10 Case Mate iPhone 5S Cases
OtterBox Cases For the iPhone 5s
Speck Cases for the iPhone 5S
Top 20 iPhone 5S Cases on Amazon
LifeProof Cases For the iPhone 5S

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