Pelican ProGear Voyager Apple iPhone 6 Case Review
I think most people who own and iPhone 6 or 6+ want a phone case that is very slim so it doesn’t add a lot of bulk to their very thin Apple device. But, what about people who have work or home situations that require an extra level of protection? If you are in the military or are an avid hunter; you need a case that can protect your iPhone from the occasional drop and dusty or wet environments.
Pelican attempts to address these use scenarios with their ProGear line of cases for iPhone 6 and 6+. They offer Mil Spec Protection with impact absorbing materials to protect your phone from drops and a scratch resistant screen protector. It also includes a swiveling belt clip with an integrated kick stand for media viewing. As usual, Pelican cases come with their legendary lifetime guarantee: You break it, they replace it…forever.
So, does this case live up to it’s claims? Well, as many regular MacSources readers will know, I live on a farm. I don’t mean like a big yard, but an actual functioning farm with horses, hay fields, chickens and a bunch of dogs and cats. In a given week I might drive a tractor as much as I drive my MacBook. When I am in the corporate world doing Internet marketing or computer forensic work I usually rock a basic leather iPhone case. I go to meetings (sometimes I even wear a suit) and I don’t have to worry very much about dropping my phone. However, when I go home; it’s all about mud and animal hair. The point is, when a product claims to be tough, it had better be able to live up to that claim when it goes to play at my house.
I’m going to be honest and tell you that I was not very impressed when I opened the box. I was expecting a thicker more durable looking phone case based on prior experiences with other rugged brands. I also expected it to be thicker in order to live up to all of the claims the product makes. Mostly though, I think I just expected it to be tougher looking because of my love of Pelican hard cases. I use them frequently when I travel for computer forensic work and they have never let me or my equipment down. Compared to a Pelican equipment case, this phone case looked a little weak.
Putting your iPhone into this case is really easy. You just put your phone in the back side, lay the screen protector over your phone and then snap the front side into place. The plastic clips are strong and make a solid connection between both sides of the case. The material is a non-slip rubber that makes the case more stable on top of a car dashboard, but I found the case easy to slide in and out of my front pocket. There are three rubber flaps at the bottom of the case that can be moved to allow access to the lightning port, 3.5mm audio jack and the external speaker if needed. There is also a nifty little cut out at the top left of the case which allows you to manipulate the mute switch without taking the phone out of the case.
One of the more interesting features of this case is the belt clip / kickstand case. One thing that I really like about this case is that it provides the option to carry my phone on my belt or my pocket. Also, I often use my phone to look up information about hardware and machine projects I am working on, so the kickstand is a nice feature. During use, I found it very easy to get the case in an out of the belt clip and the kickstand is built into the belt clip mechanism, so there are fewer moving parts to potentially come loose or get caught on things. Overall, I only had one issue using the belt clip, which was catching it on the seat as I got in and out of my truck. This is really more of an issue with my clumsiness then the case, but it is important to point out that while the case did not break during these events, the spring on the belt clip latch did loosen a bit and one time the entire case popped out of the belt clip and landed in the mud.
This was actually a very good, albeit unintended test of that mil spec protection claim. Overall, the case did a very good job protecting the phone, however, I did notice that a little bit of water entered on the bottom of the case where the three rubber flaps cover the ports. A quick wipe off with a paper towel fixed this, but it did concern me that water was able to enter the case. In Pelican’s defense their website says, “Tested to Military Specifications to survive multiple drops,” and does not claim it will allow you to travel underwater with your phone.
There was really only one area of normal use where I had repeated problems using this case and that was with TouchID. The screen protector has a hole cut out to allow access to the TouchID sensor. This should allow it to function normally, however, in daily use I found myself having to enter my passcode often because the case made it difficult to align my finger properly to unlock the phone. I experimented with different finger positioning which sometimes seemed to help and other times did not. This was an issue for me since I use a complex pass code in combination with TouchID to secure my phone. When I removed the Pelican case and switched back to my civilian leather case, my TouchID issues went away. I’m sure it would be possible to just retrain TouchID while having the phone in the Pelican case, but I think a better solution might have been to allow a small semicircular cut out on the front of the case to allow a finger to fit on the TouchID sensor more easily.
If you are looking for a tough case for your iPhone 6 that offers the options of a belt clip and kickstand, then this case would be a great choice. I put this case through life on my farm for three days and after wiping it off, it still looks brand new. The Pelican ProGear Voyager case for iPhone 6 has an MSRP of $50.