Every now and again a product comes along that truly reorganises your adventure stocklist, throwing out improvised items and techniques that were inspired by scarcity, and fundamentally a missing product. Just as waterproof duffels did away with the need to line your luggage with plastic bags, Seattle-based SealLine present a new offspring in response to the growth of mobile devices in the outdoors. As an accompaniment to their eSeries, the iSeries caters specifically for Apple products, enabling their full functionality in the wettest outdoors situations.
In a bid to replace the plastic ziplock bag from my cycling gear list, I opted for the iPhone/iPod Case. This case allows for full functionality of iPhone 3s and iPhone 4s, including the ability to use the touch screen, make calls and even listen to music on the go. Given that my iPhone 3GS has a waning appreciation for a good shower, and a short temper at the best of times, I was eager to see whether SealLine could deliver a tender loving that even one of the most patient iPhone users can’t always give out.
Your immediate thought with the iSeries is ‘oh, but the extra size and weight’. If you’re used to sliding you’re iPhone into the back pocket of your running shorts and think you can get away with using an iSeries in the same small pocket, forget it. The iSeries cases do come with substantial extra bulk that can only be absorbed in larger pockets. Though the iPhone case from SealLine still rests prominently in the back pocket of a cycling jersey – only just fitting in the side panels – I was willing to pay the price; a waterproof soft-shell case that allows me to listen to my music on the go is the kind of gear that o’leaps its ancient zip-locked predecessor in a heart beat.
During my testings with the iPhone case on the bike and in the bath (yes!), the SealLock zipper proved impermeable, and protected my iPhone from crashing, and even from feeling slighty moisturised (you know the feeling when you get off the bike). Given that every E-Case is individually tested to ensure that it meets the IPX7 electronics-industry standard of withstanding submersion in a meter of water for 30 minutes, it’s always great to put awesome credentials to the test, especially when you’ve got £500-worth of product waiting to be drowned.
But what I was more impressed with, given that waterproofness was an expected quality of the product, was just how amazingly easy my iPhone was to use on the go.
The extra flap of material which houses the SealLock proved really useful when I was handling my iPhone from the saddle. Usually you would want a product to be less substantial, more minimalist and less cumbersome. But when you’re trying to keep one hand on the brakes, it helps to have the extra flap to hold on to for reassurance. Further, as a safety measure, two holes have been punctured into the material to allow for the case to be tied to a backpack or jacket.
It’s great to see SealLine pushing out yet another ground-breakingly awesome product. As with many of their products, you really get the feeling that the iSeries products are items that you can trust. So when you want to get out on the outdoors but want to stay in touch, fear not – the iSeries is here to stay.
- US MSRP $25 | UK RRP £25
- Available at REI in the US, and at Outdoor Ranger in the UK.
- Each iSeries (and eSeries) case is tested before being released – kind of awesome.
- Cascade Design’s commitment to the environment.