Since I live in the mild climate of Washington State, I spend lots of time outside running, hiking, fly fishing, camping, and more. In addition, as a professional engineer, you can often find me crawling around various spaces, tanks, and voids of commercial ships. Thus, I need to wrap my gear in a rugged case for adequate protection.
We have various Pelican cases to protect instruments and tools used for engineering marine vessels. For the last few weeks I have been using a couple Pelican cases for my iPhone XS, along with a Pelican G40 personal utility case.
The Pelican Ambassador case is designed with a clear back so you can still enjoy the look and color of the iPhone XS you purchased. It appears to be a simple shell case you slip your iPhone into, but it offers dual-layer impact protection while also helping you hold onto your iPhone.
The case fits tightly onto your iPhone so you won't have to worry about it falling off of your phone after installation. In order to insert your iPhone, start by placing the bottom of your iPhone into the case first and then snapping it in up along the edges to the top. Removal is also performed by first removing the bottom of your iPhone XS from the case.
You will notice that most of the case is clear high quality plastic, the back is actually scratch-resistant too, with black or white on the bumper around the edges. The bumper material uses HPX technology to redirect force from a drop and is attached onto the outside of the clear material to give you dual-layer protection. This case is certified to meet the MIL-STD 810G drop protection rating.
There are raised buttons for the volume and right side button to make them easy to manipulate. The right side button is available in silver, gold, or rose gold and is made of metal to add a splash of color and style to the case. There are openings for the ringer switch, Lightning port, speaker, and dual rear cameras.
The case weighs in at 118 grams so it doesn't add much to your iPhone XS while it provides excellent drop protection. The bumper around the side also rises above the display just a bit to help protect the glass when you place your iPhone face down on a table.
The Ambassador case is available now for $49.99 and comes with a lifetime guarantee. If you break the case, Pelican replaces it.
The Pelican Adventurer case provides the same level of protection as the Ambassador case, with a slimmer design and assortment of color options. It is available now for $39.99 and in eight color combinations.
Six of the eight available color options have a clear back made of anti-yellowing scratch resistant material. The other two color options, including the navy blue/dark gray model I tested, have navy blue or rose gold back panels.
Pelican iPhone XS cases: in pictures
The Adventurer is also a single piece case, but with this case you insert the top of your iPhone XS first and then pop out the bottom first when taking your iPhone XS out of the case. The first step is opposite the method for the Ambassador case.
The sides of the Adventurer case are more integrated than on the Ambassador case with a different approach to providing impact-dispersing HPX technology to achieve the MIL-STD 810G rating. There are also raised buttons for the volume and right side with openings for the ringer, cameras, Lightning port, and speakers. Wireless charging and Apple Pay work perfectly with both of these cases.
The Adventurer case is lighter at just 68 grams and is a great option for sleek protection that looks good and is guaranteed for life.
When I head out for a hike on Mount Rainier or a day of fly fishing on the Yakima river, I usually take my phone, an external battery pack, some cash, my ID, car keys, and a few other essentials that end up in a backpack. Pelican has an assortment of personal utility cases and sent along the Pelican Go G40 case for me to test out.
The G40 is a crushproof and dustproof carrying case with an IP67 water-resistant rating. It measures 9.5 x 5 x 2 inches and weighs 14.8 ounces. It is made with an abrasion and impact resistant ABS outer shell with a rubber protective bumper around the edges.
The G40 is available from REI in lime/green, surf blue/grey, blush/grey, and anthracite/grey. I tested out the lime/green case, which is perfect for taking along on my trips to the woods where I can easily spot the lime color.
A long hinge on the right side secures the lid of the case to the bottom. Opening it up reveals the black O-ring around the lid that helps maintain the water resistance. There is rigid foam material under the lid that protects your phone from damage while stored in the case. The G40 comes with a fabric covered divider that is designed to securely hold your phone in place. I tested it with a Note 9 and Pixel 3 XL to verify that even these large phones works well on top of the divider. There are two small openings in the divider so you can run a cable down to a battery pack stored below the divider.on the backside of the divider you will find two credit card slots and an elastic band, maybe used to put another card or some cash in the case, so you can leave your full wallet behind on your adventure.
After removing the tray, you will find another compartment that is lined with the same rigid foam found under the lid. Here is where I put in a battery pack, my fishing license and national park pass, and my car keys.
A handle is integrated into the form at the top of the case so you can easily carry it around. A pressure relief/equalizing opening is integrated into the latch as well. The Pelican Go G40 case is available now for $39.95.