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Dog and Bone Wetsuit Impact for iPhone 6 Plus Review
      #49548 - 07/06/16 09:12 PM

Over the last few years, I've had the opportunity to test quite a number of waterproof cases from a wide variety of manufacturers; both large and small. While some were, by degrees, better than others, most succeeded at their primary mission: keeping water out. What differed between them was how they balanced usability with protection. This, of course, is the art of it. Of the products I've tested, some of my favorites were made by Dog & Bone. I found them to be reliable and uniquely stylish. However, with every subsequent review, I have been increasingly careful not to succumb to the Halo Effect (the tendency for an impression created by one product to influence the opinion of another). For this reason, I approached their latest iteration, The Wetsuit Impact, with caution. However, having used it for the last few weeks as my primary iPhone case (including several rambunctious photo sessions at our local dog beach), I can tell you that Dog & Bone has once again created a top-tier product, although not a revolutionary one.

The Wetsuit Impact by Dog & Bone is a rugged (MIL STD 810G) waterproof (IP 68) case for the iPhone 6 Plus. While Dog & Bone has a number of screenless waterproof cases on the market, this model includes one that is described as flexible glass, most likely due to its hardness rating (9H).

The Wetsuit Impact is surprisingly slim for a rugged waterproof case. At just under 0.5" thick, your iPhone will still easily fit in your pocket or purse. It's also surprisingly light for the level of protection it provides. Clearly, new materials and manufacturing techniques have brought us a long way from the silicone-wrapped, over-engineered waterproof cases of yore.

The Wetsuit Impact features a lot of certified ratings, and I'm going to help you parse them. First of all, the waterproof rating: Sporting the fairly standard rating of IP68 (among waterproof cases), feel free to take the Wetsuit Impact into shallow water, and don't be afraid of moderate splashing and water jets. Why only moderate? Because IP68 means it can withstand water pressure equivalent to 2m (approximately 6 feet). For example, you could likely drop your phone into water of this depth and retrieve it unscathed. However, if you were to snorkel with it in 6 feet of water, forceful movement at that depth would likely create much greater pressure that might compromise the integrity of the case. This cautionary statement is not directed solely to the Wetsuit Impact. Any case with a similar rating would be subject to the same restrictions. Second, drop rating: This case has been given a drop rating of MIL-STD 810G, which means that it has withstood repeated drops from 2m onto plywood-covered concrete with no damage to the device inside. This is the industry standard for rugged phone cases, and is likely all most of us are going to need. If you need more, you know who you are. Lastly, the Wetsuit Impact's screen cover sports a hardness rating of 9H. To achieve this rating, it must be able to withstand repeated attempts to mark it with a 9H pencil (most pencils in use are 2H). While this is quite tough for a flexible screen cover, it is nowhere near the hardness rating of your actual iPhone screen so use caution when tossing it into sand (which contains quartz) or asking it to share a pocket with your keys.

Some of you may be confused as to whether to purchase a case with a screen protector, or not. On the one hand, cases without a screen protector allow direct access to your device, which is my preference, by the way. Screen covers almost always leave a small space between itself and your screen, which I find cumbersome. On the other hand, some folks aren't comfortable with taking their iPhones into watery environments without a screen cover. Although glass is quite waterproof, cracks or even deep scratches can allow the ingress of water. Some also like the extra physical protection that a screen cover provides (e.g. they'd rather scratch a screen cover than their device).

Lastly, I have read some user impressions of the Wetsuit Impact. Some people have reported that it is difficult to hear and be heard while making a call with the case installed. I was unable to reproduce this issue. I made numerous calls during my test period and while they were slightly muffled (as are all waterproof cases), I had nowhere near the difficulties reported on some retail sites, and was absolutely able to communicate without difficulty.

The Wetsuit Impact is available in black/black, orange/black, and white/grey.

The Wetsuit Impact for iPhone 6 Plus is an excellent waterproof case for those that prefer integrated screen protection. IP68 waterproof protection, MIL-STD 810G drop protection, Screen protector with a 9H hardness rating, good engineering, and plenty of style.

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Waterproof rating of IP68 (2 meters). Drop test rating of MIL STD 810G (2 meters). Integrated screen cover is "flexible glass" with a 9H hardness rating. Slim and light. TouchID works perfectly.
What's Not: Space between cover and iPhone screen. Headphone use requires an adaptor (included).
Price: $89.95
Website: Dog and Bone Cases

Reviewed by: Tom Slayton




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