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10 rugged cases to shield your pricey iPhone from dirt, dings, and drops

Apple’s iPhone is a beautiful device, but beauty is often fragile. If you work outside in all weathers, you like to go adventuring, or maybe you just drop your iPhone a lot, you should definitely consider investing in a tough case that can take the knocks. We’ve gathered together the toughest of the tough right here. These are the best rugged iPhone cases around. Some of them offer drop protection, some are weatherproof, and some are both. If you really want to keep your phone safe in any situation, these are the cases that can do it.

The links below will take you to the best rugged iPhone 6 or 6S cases, but you’ll find that these are all available for the iPhone 6 Plus, 6S Plus, and you can find most of them for older models too.

Related: Best waterproof iPhone cases

Otterbox Defender Series Case ($44)

Otterbox Defender Series Case

Many people consider Otterbox to be the gold standard when it comes to rugged protection for your iPhone, and the Defender Series is the toughest case it offers. It boasts a layered design with a durable silicone slip cover, surrounded by a polycarbonate shell. There’s also a built-in screen protector, and covers keep lint and dirt out of your ports. The button covers are well defined and easy to press without looking around for them. Otterbox puts these cases through 24 different tests, for a total of 238 hours of testing, so you can be confident about the drop protection on offer.

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Anker Ultra Protective Case ($10)

Anker Ultra Protective Case

Rugged iPhone cases can be expensive, but Anker proves that they don’t have to be. This budget case actually offers solid drop protection for your iPhone. It has been drop tested six times from 3 feet, which is the typical height of a smartphone fall. The protection extends around the front, there’s a built-in screen protector, and the frame and corners are reinforced. This case also adds some grip, so you’re less likely to drop your iPhone in the first place. It has built-in port and button covers, and cut-outs for the camera, speaker, and Touch ID.

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Ballistic Hard Core Tactical Case ($55)

Ballistic Hard Core Tactical Case

This case from Ballistic is ridiculously tough. It offers four layers of protection, it can survive drops of 12 feet onto concrete without a problem, and it boasts an IP-54 rating, which guarantees protection against dust and jets of water (but it can’t be submerged). There’s actually a spring system inside this case to absorb the shock of any impact, the corners and frame are heavily reinforced, and there’s a built-in screen protector. The holster is made from aluminum and stainless steel, and it’s designed to fit standard law enforcement and military belts.

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Lifeproof Frē Case ($80)

Lifeproof Frē Case

If you want something that’s really waterproof, then this Lifeproof case is worth a look. It scores an IP-68 rating, which means it can be submerged in water up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) deep, for up to one hour without damage. This case is also tough, meeting military drop test standard 810G-516.6, so your phone should also be unscathed after falls from as high as 6.6 feet. Obviously, you get complete coverage with this case, so no part of your iPhone is exposed to the elements. It’s ideal for skiing, and other adventures in harsh or wet conditions.

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Amazon Lifeproof

Body Glove ShockSuit Case ($30)

Body Glove ShockSuit Case

As the name suggests, this is a tough case for your iPhone that’s built to withstand the shock of any impact. It meets military drop test standard 810G, and the reinforced frame extends out all round the phone for complete protection. You’ll find that the ridged sides add grip, and the button and port covers are solid. It also has a built-in screen protector. If falls are your main concern, then this is a great case to go for, and it’s not too pricey.

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Next page: 5 more rugged iPhone cases

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