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smartphone case for climbing?

Original Post
Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

Wow, file this one under first world problems for sure, but anyway...

So now that my camera and often my guidebook are in my phone, I'm often in situations where I have to take my phone out in situations that could be very hazardous to its health. Has anyone found a case with a lanyard/clip-in loop that they like and that allows you to use the phone while it's still in the case? My phone is a Droid Turbo.

Mike A. Lewis · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 1,540

I can't answer your question directly, but I really have to advocate for the Otterbox phone cases with the additional glass face protector. I have dropped my phone from the top of a pitch twice. The first time, not a thing was wrong with my phone or the case, just a nick. The second time, with the same phone and case, the case blew apart, the phone got a little bent, but the phone still worked no problem.

Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 849

I recently came up with a solution that seems to be working well for me. I used aquaseal to glue a length of 3mm accessory cord to the back of an old case I had laying around. Then I tie the cord to a belt loop on my pants, around my wrist, or somewhere on my harness and voila, no more dropped phone!

Aquaseal plus cord = super bomber
Gavin W · · Surrey, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 183

I personally prefer the Lifeproof Cases over the Otterbox, since it's much less bulky. I've never dropped my phone from the top of the pitch, but I have driven away from the house with it on top of my car and heard it fall off the back at 35 mph and the case was just a little scratched. It also doesn't have the ability to loop some small cord through it (although it isn't advertised as such, at least on the iPhone version the bottom corner has a loop that would work). Not sure if they make one for your phone though.

Alexander K · · The road · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 130

In the past I looped a lanyard through the earphone port on my otterbox and used that for a while, it gave some extra security though no guarantees. I like the idea of gluing or taping some cord/webbing to a case. Probably the best option and what I will do in the future. When it comes to cases the bigger the better, I think otterbox is the way to go. That said I'm still really good at breaking phones. Even with the otterbox it's possible to drive a mac book through the screen of your phone if you try hard enough.

Mark Griffin · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 60

I had the same problem and recently ran across this product called Phone Lasso. I've been using it for a few months now and it works great. It's basically an adhesive ripstop nylon patch with a nylon loop sewn on, comes with two lanyards to clip on. It looks a little flimsy but is supposed to hold 15 lbs.

Edit to add: the phone lasso goes on under your case and the nylon loop sticks out through the charging port. Works great. Oh and you can still use your inductive charger, which didn't work when I made a duct tape version.

Bill Shubert · · Lexington, MA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 55

Related story I like to tell:

I dropped a phone (no case) from halfway up the second pitch of a climb. Saw it hit a ledge 20 feet down and ricochet off into space. I couldn't find it when I got back down, so I gave it up for dead. I was pretty surprised to get an email the next day from a guiding service that had found the phone, and it still worked! The glass over the camera lens was cracked, the body was badly dinged up, but the screen was undamaged and it worked fine. Meanwhile so many people destroy their phones by dropping it three idea how I got so lucky.

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

Thanks folks! You've got my brain working...I already have an Otter case, so I just need to hunt down some cord thin and strong enough not to interfere with the fit of the case.

Scott Kleeman · · Henderson, NV · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5
Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

Pure Gear, $25 on Ebay

phone case
Mark Berenblum · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 105

If you want to look ridiculous, there's always this thing sold at REI --

Kenu Highline Phone Case
Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300
Kevin Mokracek wrote:Pure Gear, $25 on Ebay
That looks bomber! Maybe that'll be plan B if I can't get the cord option to work
Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

It is pretty bomber. A carabiner easily clips through the eye or you can sling it.

Mike Fox 1 · · Greenwood, ME · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

It may not have a tether, but the Otterbox defender is pretty damn tough if you happen to drop it. My friend was leading the 4th pitch of Inferno on Whitehorse, and somehow his iPhone wiggled out of his pocket. It hit the belay ledge below pitch 3, and continued to fall to the bottom of the cliff. When we got back down, there was the phone, ringing, and in complete working order. The case was absolutely destroyed, but it kept the phone protected. Never thought a phone could survive a 200 foot fall onto granite...

Alex Rogers · · Sydney, Australia · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 40

I had exactly the same issue, and solved it with a new Ringke case ($12) that had lanyard holes in it, and a $1 lanyard off ebay. Look great on my phone, better protection than the previous case, and now have a wrist loop for taking photos while belaying my poor second.

john2.71 · · Montclair, NJ · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 150

glove compartment of your car. climb on.

diepj · · PDX · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

I know it's lame but I got a deal on the kenu one from REI and I like it quite a bit. Not super burly for impact protection but the stretchy lanyard is nice and suits my purposes well.

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 98

I've owned Otter Box cases before. Never did like the shield over the screen and the rubber tends to tear and fall apart from my experience. Now I have a Pelican case. Love it! They also make gun and ammo cases for the military.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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