By Siva Om on Tue, 05/10/2016
Nothing says summertime like the spirit of adventure. It's a time when so many of us get to take a break from the day to day grind of work or school and head off to new and different places, visit family and friends or have time to play in the great outdoors. Considering the fact that so many of us have at least one or two iPhones in the family which will also be joining us on our adventures, summertime is also a great time to consider some of the best in durable, adventure-proof accessories. The following roundup features rugged gear specifically designed to bring the advantages of our iPhones with us wherever we may venture, no matter the environment or weather.
Rugged Bluetooth Speakers in All Sizes for Any Occasion
1. Monster Rockin' Roller 2 ($145.99)
This is the Bluetooth speaker to get if you want blaring sound out of a speaker that is built to last, and built to take some abuse! This portable, weather-proof speaker is extremely powerful, and although relatively large, it is a breeze to tote around thanks to its luggage-inspired design with wheels and a telescoping handle. It also features two bright built-in LED lights as well as a USB and an AC charging port. It also delivers up to 100 hours of playback on a single charge. This is one of the most versatile rugged speakers I've come across for delivering sparkling clear and crisp sound to a large setting, be it an outdoor barbeque, a beach party, or a family camping trip to the mountains. Read my full review for more details.
2. Fugoo Style XL ($279.99)
This hefty and fashionable waterproof speaker is about the size of a loaf of bread; and not only is it waterproof, it floats. For its size, it belts out a heck of a sound, with omnidirectional acoustics rich in bass and with a buttery mid-range and sharp piercing highs. Conveniently enough, you can also use the Fugoo XL to charge your USB-powered devices. If you are looking for a high-quality speaker that you can easily throw in the backseat or a backpack, then this is a most excellent option. The Fugoo XL also offers you a choice of "jackets" that you can choose from depending on your preference of external shell and the situations you anticipate using it in, with Sport or Tough options available for the most rugged of environments. These are just some of the reasons the Fugoo XL was featured in our roundup of the year's top rugged Bluetooth speakers.
3. EcoXGear EcoPebble Lite ($39.99)
This is my favorite of the micro-sized Bluetooth speaker options. Only slightly larger than a tin Altoid box, the EcoPebble Lite weighs only 5.5 ounces and offers the ultimate in portability. Put it in your pocket or loop it to your belt buckle and you're good to go with a day's worth of music. This speaker is fully waterproof and it also floats, so there's no risk of dropping it in the water and having it sink irretrievably. If you are looking for the best deal, or the most portable of rugged, personal audio solutions, the EcoPebble Lite is the way to go.
Adventure-Proof Bluetooth Headphones
4. V-Moda Crossfade Wireless Over-Ear Headphones ($300)
These over-ear headphones are incredibly sturdy, having been tested to meet actual military standards of rugged durability. They are nearly unbreakable and, while not waterproof, they are resistant to water spray and corrosion. They also come with an impressive lifetime guarantee. Their CD quality sound is remarkable for a Bluetooth pair of headphones and their wired option offers completely reliable audio with zero latency, regardless of the headphone's battery level. They also come with an audio cable that has been tested to withstand extreme torture. As a special bonus option, you can get your Crossfades customized with 3D-printed earcup shields for that personal touch. Read my full review for more details.
5. Scosche SportclipAIR Earphones ($99.99)
These water resistant in-ear headphones are an incredibly form fitting and they do a noteworthy job at staying put in your ear, even during extreme activity. Thanks to a simple yet efficient, flexible, and positionable cable that holds and clamps securely onto your earlobe, you are free to enjoy even the most strenuous activities with confidence that your earphones will not fall off, making them one of the top Bluetooth headphones for athletes.
6. Jabra Revo Wireless On-Ear Headphones ($109.99)
The Jabra Revo Wireless offer excellent durability and great audio quality in a lightweight, on-ear pair of headphones. They come with a wired option which consists of a thick, fabric-woven audio cord, with solidly constructed terminal ends. The Revo's headphone band has been subjected to rigorous testing and the entire headphones has been designed to survive some pretty extreme abuse.
7. Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 ($59.99 on sale)
The Lighthouse is an essential piece of camping gear in my opinion. It provides 250 lumens of bright LED light and it's rechargeable via either USB charger, hand-crank or solar panel. It's small and lightweight enough to accompany you on overnight, or even extended camping adventures and thanks to the utilitarian hand powered option you can have a virtually unlimited supply of light and power for your devices when you are traveling off grid or with limited access to wall outlets.
8. ReadyAction iPhone Mounting System ($39.99 and up)
The ReadyAction mounting system effectively transforms any iPhone into a wearable HD camera, and when used in conjunction with a good, rugged case (see below) it turns your iPhone into a fully functional, wearable camera. The ReadyAction is a versatile tool that allows you to record video of all of your wildest and craziest adventures, listen to music on the go, or keep track of important data like your location and speed via your app of choice. Through a series of custom crafted hinges, brackets and bolts the ReadyAction can mount your iPhone to your chest, to a motorcycle, a windsurfing board, your wrist, your head or any number of other inventive attachment points. And when it comes to videos, since it's your iPhone that's capturing the footage, editing your videos and sharing to your favorite social sites couldn't be easier.
Adventure-Proof iPhone Cases
9. Lifeproof Nüüd (Starting at $76.49)
The Lifeproof Nüüd is the perfect combination of heavy-duty, waterproof and shock proof iPhone protection and that "barely noticeable" feeling that comes with having a case on your iPhone that doesn't cover the touchscreen. It's a marvel of design though perhaps slightly disconcerting to someone who's never tried one (I mean, the iPhone's glass screen is completely exposed but no water gets in?), but Lifeproof has mastered this case's design and the end result is a highly protective case that looks good and feels great, especially when interacting with the iPhone's naked screen. For more details see our full list of the best waterproof protective iPhone 6s cases.
10. Catalyst (Starting at $64.99)
This extreme-duty case has one of the lowest profiles of any rugged waterproof case on the market. In fact the Catalyst is so trim and slim that it's safe to say, that at a casual glance, no one will ever suspect that you have one of the most protective and reliable, waterproof and impact resistant cases on the market safeguarding your precious cargo. Its inconspicuous nature is only enhanced by the Catalyst's transparent back panel, which lends to the effect of it being a very minimalist case, while allowing the elegance of your iPhone show through. But don't let the Catalyst's pretty looks fool you, this case is no slouch when it comes to keeping the elements and the abuse of an adventurous life away from your iPhone.