Catalyst Case for iPhone & iPad Pro

It seemed like water was everywhere the last time I visited the High Uintas Wilderness. The streams were full, lakes were abundant, and I found numerous under-reported bogs throughout the higher elevations on that trip. I didn’t need any more water. But with that knowledge, what I knew I would need as Uintas Hike ’16 approached was a better way to keep my phone from getting wet. That’s why I was extremely excited when my good friends at Catalyst Case partnered up with us for the adventure.

I have tested the Catalyst iPhone 6 cases before. Last year, I took a Catalyst Case on a backpacking trip across Catalina Island, and adventuring across southern Utah. Later in the year, I gave it an even better test in the rainforests and on the beaches of Costa Rica and Panama last. While in Central America, we even shot some surprisingly good underwater video through the Catalyst Case.

Catalyst Case

A streamlined design makes Catalyst far less obtrusive than its competitors.

The iPhone 6 case is very thin, unlike the waterproof cases of competing manufacturers. The case slips smoothly into my front pants pocket (or a suit pocket) as if it didn’t have a case at all. The streamlined design – it’s only 11.4 millimeters wide – also increases functionality when compared to bulkier cases. The phone’s volume controls and rotating mute switch remain easy-to-access and intuitive.

A piece of rubber keeps water out of the lightning and earbud ports on the bottom of the phone. This is a design that Catalyst has retained and improved upon since my last field test. Last year, I was worried about losing this rubber piece. On my newer case, Catalyst has improved its attachment points, making it much less likely to disappear accidentally. This also allows for quick access for charging and music…no bulky latches or hard plastic to contend with.

Catalyst Case

Taking a charge in the backcountry is quick and easy.

The front cover allows full functionality for the user. I did find that the thin cover had an effect on the quality of photos I took; sometimes they could look a little cloudy. This effect varies depending on the activity. For example, taking detailed photos while white water rafting in Panama was difficult. On the other hand, taking videos while snorkeling resulted in crystal clear video and photos.

In addition, I can personally vouch for the official claim that the case is waterproof up to 16.4 feet and can withstand 6.6 foot drops. And music sounds great through it. It is far more rugged than its slim look indicates. My Catalyst Case weighed in at 1.4 ounces on my postage scale, which means it’s pretty backpacker friendly.

One of items on my to-do list at Outdoor Retailer was to stop by the booths of our Uintas Hike ’16 partners. I had a good discussion about the iPhone 6 case with the Catalyst representatives at the show (who were incredibly friendly). While chatting we discussed the first ever waterproof case for the iPad Pro 12.9”, which is made by Catalyst (of course). They had one at the booth submerged in a fish tank.

Catalyst Case

The iPad Pro Catalyst case gives your device a feeling of indestructibility.

Since then, I’ve been able to take an iPad Pro 12.9” Catalyst case through the paces. If you haven’t seen or gotten your hands on this iPad, the first thing you’ll notice is the size. It’s big…bigger than my MacBook Pro. So the case for it needs to be huge; Catalyst managed to create a case that compliments the iPad’s size, without adding any unneeded bulk.

Raised grippy rubber edges makes it almost impossible to drop. If you somehow manage to drop it, it’s well protected – more so than the phone case, I believe. It is waterproof to 6.6 feet, which I plan to test in an upcoming video. The Lightning port and headphone jack are so well protected that they can be difficult to access quickly.

Catalyst Case

Catalyst is able to protect my expensive iPad without unnecessary bulk or weight.

Sound comes through the case clearly and the touchscreen film doesn’t diminish video quality. It is a high-quality case that can protect a 12.9” iPad from everything from spilled drinks to desert sands to muddy mountain trails.  I’m looking forward to continuing to test and use the Catalyst case for my iPad Pro 12.9”.

Catalyst continues to be the industry leader in use-friendly and rugged, waterproof device cases.

*These cases were sent to me for review. Catalyst was a Uintas Hike ’16 partner.

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