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We take our cell phones and PDAs everywhere - even to places where they probably should not be brought!

The new Dry Pak pouch protects them from dirt, dust, and water, while still allowing you to use them right through the plastic.

 
 
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Dry Pak Waterproof holder for Cell Phones and PDAs

Simple, elegant, inexpensive and functional.

Made out of a super-tough type of clear plastic front and padded back, the Dry Pak waterproof holder protects your valuable cell phone or PDA.

You can still use the PDA or phone, through the plastic.  The pictured pouch even has a space to hold your stylus!

 

 

Protect just about anything - electronic devices, passports and documents, even old fashioned cash - from water or dust/dirt by placing them inside one of these inexpensive protective Dry Pak pouches.

What you get

What you see is very much what you get.  A pouch, a cord, and a spring hook.

The pouches come in various different sizes - see the manufacturer's website for a complete list of sizes and shapes.

Be sure to get a unit that is sufficiently big for what you're putting in it.  I'm guessing that you'll want to get a pouch that is at least as wide as the width of the unit plus two times the depth of the unit, and similarly, you want its length to be the length of the unit plus two times its depth.

Complicating this calculation is the fact that my unit (a DP-46) was described as being 4" wide but actually measures only 3.75" wide.  It was described as being 6" long and was indeed exactly this length, but the loss of a quarter inch of width could be a problem if you don't allow for it.

As the picture above shows, the pouch is colored bright blue with a yellow sealing strip.  These colors may be helpful in stopping you from leaving your pouch and its contents behind.

The adjustable length cord makes it easy to hang the pouch around your neck, and the spring hook can let you dangle it from a belt loop or some other carrying point.

Description

The pouch is made out of TPU - a thermo plastic polyurethane that is said to be ten times stronger than vinyl, and with good resistance to hot and cold temperatures.  Note that although the plastic material has good resistance to softening or becoming brittle at moderate temperature extremes, it does not insulate the contents of the pouch, so don't think you can safely drop your pouched cellphone into a boiling pot of water!

The back side of the pouch is made out of blue TPU and has a little bit of padding built in to it - probably enough to protect your unit if you accidentally drop it.

The front is made out of clear TPU, and feels to be perhaps 8 mils thick.

At the top, the opening has two solid plastic sealing strips that are locked tightly by twist screws.  Just fit the two pieces together, turn the twist screws a quarter turn, and the unit is sealed.

Functionality

I tested the pouch with both a cell phone and a PDA.

But, before using real and valuable equipment, I first put a block of wood and some paper towels in the pouch, then gave it a water submersion test.  The paper remained completely dry, even after several minutes of holding it under water in a tub and vigorously moving it about.  The Dry Pak scored full marks for its water resistance test.

The next test was to see how easy it was to use the cell phone while in the pouch.  It was easy to place and receive calls, pressing the buttons through the plastic.

When actually talking and listening on the phone, there was a perceptible reduction in volume - I'd estimate about 3dB.  But this was not a major problem and didn't interfere with clearly hearing and being heard.  I simply turned the phone's volume up a notch and spoke a little louder.

Although the sound was slightly quieter, it wasn't muffled or distorted, either at my end or at the other end of the call.

Using the PDA required a bit more of a compromise.  It was probably irrational, but I kept worrying that my soft stylus would somehow poke through the strong plastic and create a hole.  It didn't do this, of course.

It was a little difficult to use the PDA through the plastic, and sometimes the stylus tap was not registered in exactly the correct place.  The PDA could be used perfectly well for applications that only needed the cursor keys or a minimum of data entry (eg, looking up a contact or checking a schedule) but would not work so well if you were trying to write an email.  It seems to help to make sure you get as much air as possible out of the pouch before sealing it shut.

The stickiness of the plastic pouch made it difficult to use the stylus to write letters in Graffiti mode.

It was easy to open and close the pouch, but a little difficult to insert an electronic item in and out of the pouch, because the pouch had a lot of plasticizers on its surface that made the electronic item stick to it.

Clamshell Units

If you have a 'flip phone' or other unit that folds in half, then this will obviously not work in the pouch unless you can keep it opened all the time.  This might not be possible, or might change a compact unit to a bulky and awkwardly shaped unit, and might also use more battery power, perhaps due to a screensaver not operating.

Cost

The pouches are very reasonably priced.  Most units are about $13 in price; some are a bit less and some of the big units are a bit more.  This is a paltry price to pay to protect a valuable electronic device and the data you store on it.  They can be purchased through the manufacturer's website.

Summary

This is a great solution to the problem of how to protect your electronic devices in potentially dangerous environments.  I'm recommending one of my friends should always carry his cell phone in one of these pouches - he has twice dropped it in toilets!

Whether you're seeking to protect your electronic device from the nasty things in toilets, or from more benign things, this is a great device at a very fair price.

Recommended.

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Originally published 16 January 2004, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 
 
 

 


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