Protecting your tech when out and about
Most people who know me personally quickly learn how hard I am on my electronic gear. Pretty much everything I own — iPhone, iPad, notebooks, cameras, and so on — usually ends up running the risk of being rained on, washed away, blown away, eroded by Mother Nature, or otherwise trodden on or driven over by careless humans.
Bottom line, if I don't go to great lengths to protect my gear, it's not going to last that long. And I'm not alone here. Increasingly, people are taking delicate electronics in the form of smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and cameras, out into the elements and expecting them to work, day in, day out.
Since I've got a lot of experience taking my equipment out into the elements, I thought I'd share with you the kit I use to make sure my electronics live to see another day. And just so there's no ambiguity, this is the gear that I actually use (and trust) to protect my stuff.
iPhone: G-Form Xtreme
While I think that the iPhone is a thing of beauty, it's far too fragile to be allowed out naked into the world I inhabit.
To give my iPhone a fighting chance, I've put mine into a G-Form Xtreme case. This is manufactured from Reactive Protection Technology, a material that stiffens on impact in order to absorb over 90 percent of the force. The case also adds significant grip to the otherwise slippery handset.
So far, despite a number of close calls with gravity, my iPhone lives on!
iPhone: Nutshell leather case
Since I usually have too much junk in my pockets to fit a phone, I carry my iPhone on a belt pouch. Not the sexiest of things, or so I'm told, but it means that I always have the phone with me, and the leather case adds a great deal of much needed extra protection.
The leather case I chose is from Nutshell. This company makes cases for all sorts of devices. I've bought one for pretty much every smartphone I've owned for over a decade and they've never let me down.
My case is oversized in order to fit the iPhone 5 inside the G-Form Xtreme case.
Notebook: SKB 3I waterproof notebook case
While for day-to-day usage I'm happy to throw my MacBook Pro into an old Targus case, if I'm taking it outdoors, I need something more robust. This is when I turn to my SKB 3I waterproof notebook case.
SKB 3I is a mil-standard waterproof cases built from ultra high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin, and featuring a gasketed, water and dust tight, submersible design that is resistant to corrosion and impact damage.
This case is designed to take notebooks up to 17-inch, and has space for other gear such as my iPhone, iPad, and my charger.
Vanguard Supreme 53F case
Nothing is harder on tech than travel, especially when you have to hand over the care of your devices to people who don't care about them. This is why I like to pack my stuff inside a case that can take a significant beating, and in my experience, Pelican cases can take everything that airports, taxis, and hotels can throw at them.
The Vanguard Supreme 53F is huge – 24.75 x 20.5 x 9.5-inches – and is built to last.
The Vanguard Supreme cases are O-ring sealed and waterproof up to a depth of 16.5 feet. They are also airtight, and built to withstand the most extreme conditions (-40°F/-40°C to 203°F/95°C), and are great for airline travel because they feature an automatic pressure equalization valve. And, to keep things civilized, it has wheels.
These cases can support up to 265 lbs/120 kg of exterior weight and have anti-slip rubber feet and a solid carrying handle offer extra durability. Thick, quick-release latches lock in place and steel-reinforced lock holders are great for use with pad locks for added security.
Inside is a dense, customizable hexagon-shaped foam for an extremely tailored, custom fit for gear. There's also an option to have dividers fitted.
Camera: Lowepro Flipside 400 AW
Keeping a camera safe and yet close to hand is not easy, especially if you're dealing with a big DSLR. I've searched high and low for the ideal case, and I think I've found it with the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW. Not only does it protect my camera from bumps, knocks, and scrapes, but it is also allows me to carry lots of additional gear, and it is all easy to access.
Make no mistake, this is a big case, suited to a DSLR — such as the Canon 5D mark III — with a big lens. It's also got space for more two or three additional lenses, filters, spare batteries, cleaning cloth and memory cards.
One of the things I really love about this is that the zips to get access to the camera are body-side, so people can't nab your camera while it's on your back.
iPad: G-Form Extreme Portfolio Case
Since I've had good success with the G-Form Xtreme case for my iPhone, I've popped my iPad into one, too.
The G-Form Extreme Portfolio iPad case is a lightweight and water-resistant portfolio case that also has an internal layer of polycarbonate on one side in addition to an inside pocket for documents. The G-Form Extreme Portfolio can be opened and used in several configurations. For example, the front cover can be reverse-zipped behind your tablet device so it offers two levels of RPT protection. In this position, the front screen is still protected by RPT corners that also serve to hold it securely in place.
The Extreme Portfolio can also be used in an easel or A-frame configuration in either landscape or portrait mode.