My iPhone 3GS and I have been pretty good friends for the last two years, mostly thanks to two hardware accessories that help us get along during different types of adventures; from hiking in the Andes, to my everyday commute to work. Specifically, I’m referring to the OtterBox Defender Case, and the ProClip USA mount system.
After a nervous two weeks in Alaska and California with my brand new pocket communicator in an ‘OK’ rubber bumper case; I decided it was time to step up the iPhone protection game, and shell out the $50 for the OtterBox Defender. I read really good reviews online, that were confirmed with a few friend’s testimonials, but would this case save the phone from the abuse that I’d likely put it through? The short answer, yes.
Over the last 20 months or so, the defender case has been put through the paces of real life. I didn’t purposely drop it out of a third floor window, throw it down the street, or drive over it with the Jeep (as many testers have.) I treated it as if it were as fragile as the component inside – but accidents happen, and with me they happen often. The otter box has taken quite a few trips down flights of stairs, been dropped on a concrete sidewalk, fallen out of my pocket, been rained on, dropped in the snow, kicked like a hacky-sack (I was trying to keep it from falling off a cliff in Peru)… and somehow, survived to this day. Many people feel that despite its protective qualities, the defender is too cumbersome. I actually enjoy its bulkiness. The naked 3GS with its curved back slides a little too easily. Before the defender I often found myself scared to type because I’d have to release a few fingers from the phone (yes while using two hands.) The defender not only evens out the iPhone’s back, it adds a rubberized backing that prevents slippage. I’ve only had one minor issue with the defender’s silicone skin.
About a month ago I noticed a small tear in the silicone plug that protects the headphone jack from debris and moisture. I don’t fault Otterbox for this, as the case has been used heavily for almost two years. I’d gladly pay for a replacement silicone skin, but sadly OtterBox does not sell one. I’m not sure if they feel that selling replacement parts lessens their credibility or durability; but it’s a real bummer for those of us that want to keep our iPhone protected after years of abuse. The OtterBox defender case has served me well, and will officially receive the ‘Fishing Hat’ rating on the KevinsPocket’s Pocket Scale! If replacement parts become available, I’ll upgrade it to the Cargo Pants rating. The second accessory that has saved the relationship between my iPhone and I; ProClip USA’s mounting system.
Pro Clip USA manufactures mounts for practically any device, to mount in practically every vehicle. There are two pieces to every mount; one made specifically for your vehicle, and one for a specific device. ProClip USA offers 3 mounting locations for my Wrangler; one that mounts low, to the right of the shifter, one that mounts on the top of the console slightly covering the center air vents, and the side console center mount you see above. The best part about this mount is that there is no drilling, it simply snaps into place! I don’t mind drilling holes to mount accessories, but this made it so much easier! After installing the mount, I routed the power cable (from the glove box) and the 1/4 inch AUX jack from the stereo through a few stick on wire organizers I found at Radio Shack. I’m a sucker for clean looking jobs.
I haven’t had a single issue withe the Pro Clip USA purchase and rightfully give it the ‘Cargo Pants’ rating on KevinsPocket’s Pocket Scale! The mount has held up to almost two years of abuse and hasn’t budged, faded in the sun, or sent the iPhone flying out of the door-less Jeep while using it to track GPS locations, or provide trail tunes off-roading. The combination of the OtterBox and Pro Clip USA gives me the peace of mind to not think twice about the protection and security of my iPhone while off-roading… and lets me pay more attention to finding the deepest mud.
Check out the OtterBox website for more information on the Defender Case, and ProClip USA website for all of your device mounting needs. I’ve actually gotten into the habit of checking for OtterBox Cases and Proclip mounts before deciding on new gadgets to purchase.