by Diane Spicer
Have you ever seen an SLXTREME waterproof case review for an iPhone, from the creatively named company SnowLizard?
I hadn't, but when I was offered a chance to handle this iPhone case and try it out from the perspective of a hiker who is hard on her gear, I was happy to write a review.
"Do you need one of these phone cases to protect and recharge your iPhone on your next hike?" will be asked, and answered, in this SLXTREME waterproof case review.
This SnowLizard iPhone case was sent to me for one reason: to put it through its paces on a hiking trail.
The technical specifications are available from SnowLizard for your own verification
All of the photos and opinions are my own.
If you purchase one of these phone cases from SnowLizard using this link, Hiking For Her will receive a small percentage of your purchase price.
And here's the thing you need to know:
Now let's get into the SLXTREME waterproof case review facts to answer two questions:
As with any piece of potentially useful hiking gear, we start with the features and technical specifications.
It's a fast way to figure out what the gear will provide, and also what it can't do for you, on your next hike.
I think the back side of the package does a good job of calling out the features a hiker might want on a hike:
I'm going to assume that you hike like me.
I drop things in the dirt, even when I try really hard not to.
I check my map apps even when it's raining and I know I probably shouldn't be exposing the phone to moisture.
I also have the bad habit of stowing the phone in my shirt or hiking pants pocket at my camp site.
See where I'm going with this?
Potential disasters with my expensive iPhone are lurking, just waiting to hear me groan when the phone goes ker-splash.
So let's harp on the waterproof aspect of this phone case for a moment.
And to do that, we have to define what "waterproof" and "dust proof" actually mean.
Which is harder than it sounds.
This iPhone case has been rated as WATERPROOF – IP-68.
Let's unpack that number.
The IP code from the IEC (see above) has 2 other names: International Protection Marking or Ingress Protection Marking.
When you see the IP letters, you know that the case has been tested according to standardized procedures for its ability to "exclude intrusion" by environmental factors like dirt and water.
The first number after the IP indicates that the phone case has been tested for its ability to exclude dust.
The second number can have a value between 0 and 9 to rate the case's ability to prevent (and I quote the IP code here) "the harmful ingress of water".
Sounds painful when they put it that way, doesn't it!
It means that this SLXTREME waterproof case review has already uncovered one really important fact:
In fact, it's almost overbuilt!
Let's find out.
What kind of hiking do you like to do?
Can you even imagine a hiking trail that doesn't throw dirt, wind, elevation changes, plus temperature and humidity extremes at you?
My favorite trails are high, windy, wet, rocky ones in western Washington and British Columbia.
So a waterproof, grit proof, rugged solar rechargeable case for my phone?
Bring it on!
But in order to speak intelligently about the ability of a case to exclude all of these trail challenges, guess what?
We need more technical specs.
The U.S. Military Test Standards (Department of Defense) rating system allows us to rate this phone case's ability to endure typical hiking conditions, including:
The SLXTREME waterproof iPhone case is rated as MIL-STD 810G.
Again quoting from the standards, the 810G testing regime will "generate confidence in the environmental worthiness and overall durability of equipment and material".
What I take from this is that they've already beaten up this case, so if I accidentally do so, I know I'm golden.
Can I imagine myself dropping my phone at least 6 feet in freezing rain while hiking?
Yes, unfortunately. I'm clumsy, I hike in the mountains, and I'm tired at the end of the day.
In other words, I'm human.
How well it will handle a full year of hiking remains to be seen.
Not hard at all, if you read the Quick Start guide.
And you're a Millenial.
If you're somewhat hesitant about electronic devices, micro USB cables, and which end is which, it will take you a few minutes.
These things matter to any hiker, especially weight.
Let's tackle that first.
This phone case weighs 7.5 ounces (212.6g).
An iPhone 6 weighs 4.6 ounces (129g).
If you're an ounce counting backpacker, these ounces spell ouch.
For a day hiker, it's a weighty concern but a fair trade off for a rainy day on a muddy trail when you know you're going to use your phone a lot.
You're going to notice this case on your phone.
Although it hugs your iPhone 6 in a "slim contour", you will see and feel the bumps and grooves from the solar battery pack.
Its bulk will be noticeable in your pack.
And forget about putting it into a small pants or shirt pocket.
But how else could SnowLizard offer you ruggedness? If that's your bottom line, the beefy dimensions should be expected.
Here's where things start to get real.
You're liking the idea of bomb proof (maybe even literally?) protection from dirt, water, and your own clumsiness.
You're enjoying the fact that you can get that case slapped onto your phone and be in business pronto.
Now you're going to have to accept that this phone case is a bit clunky, and that's not always good news for a hiker.
I handled this phone without gloves, with cold wet fingers, in a fairly brisk breeze.
Here's what I can tell you about the user experience:
Battery life of a phone is so important to a hiker.
So let's take a look at the integrated battery in this SLXTREME case.
SnowLizard describes the device like this:
Knowing nothing about solar batteries, I had to do a little research to understand what a 20% efficient mono-crystalline rear solar panel offered me on the hiking trail of life.
According to SnowLizard, this battery will trickle charge and replenish battery power, using full sunlight (or indoor lighting sources).
This formula was given in the specs:
One hour of sun exposure = approximately 10 minutes of talk time restored to the phone.
Doesn't sound like much, right? But exposing your phone to sunlight might buy you just enough juice to phone home.
Alas! Bad news:
At the time this SLXTREME waterproof case review is being written, the Seattle area is experiencing a record setting stretch of dark, cold hiking weather.
Which means the above formula remains to be trail tested.
I wasn't interested in using an artificial indoor light source (not exactly something I'd have access to on a hiking trip), so I have no comment about that avenue for recharging a phone using this case.
Photons are photons, though.
There are at least 4 types of hikers who should consider carrying this type of phone case for an iPhone:
It just makes sense to protect your investment in a piece of technology which can do so much for you on the trail.
And this case not only protects, it extends the usefulness of your electronic device.
One more important question before we wrap up this SLXTREME waterproof case review.
Can you use this case for everyday life?
In my opinion, no.
I'd reserve this case for outdoor adventures, and rest easy knowing that the investment I made in an iPhone is going to be protected.
I'm all ears!
Use this link to contact me, and I'd be happy to answer questions about my experience with this phone case.
Here's one I didn't answer in this SLXTREME waterproof case review but should have:
Why, yes, it does.
While orange is a nice bright visual contrast in case you drop your phone into a rock pile on a windy mountain side, you can also enjoy yellow, black, and white phone cases.
And to nip another question in the bud, this SLXTREME phone case is also available for iPhone 5 and iPhone 7 models.
Thanks for reading this SLXTREME waterproof case review!
Interested in a universal phone case at a lower price point?
SLXTREME Waterproof Case Review