Wednesday, June 19, 2013

West Marine Dry Paks Review

Summer is finally here and with that, thoughts have turned to keeping my iPhone safe from water, sand, and other beach related dangers.  I started looking around for water proof cases and I settled on the West Marine Dry Pak for Small Cell Phone.

At first I was a bit skeptical about the Dry Pak.  West Marine, if you don't know, is a water sportsmen's (or woman's) paradise. They have lots of interesting stuff...that I'll probably never need, seeing as how I'm a computer geek.  That said, don't let the product name and the lack of "iPhone" scare you off.

Fortunately for me, there is a West Marine in a strip mall not too far from my house and I decided to stop in rather than order online so I could take a look at the Dry Pak in person.  I'm glad I did.

West Marine sells two Dry Paks.  A "small" and "large" cell phone pack.  If you have an iPhone 4S or earlier or iPod touch 4th generation or earlier, the small cell phone kit is for you.  If you have an iPhone 5, iPod touch 5th generation, or any one of the ridiculously gigantic Android "phones" then you'll want the larger pak.  (Most handheld GPS units will also fit in one or the other Dry Paks if you plan on going out on a boat.)


Included in the kit is the waterproof Dry Pak, a rope lanyard, and a small careabeaner that connects the lanyard to the pak.  The small pak measures 4" x 6" and is model number 7699754.

Impressions

The Dry Pak is pretty sturdily made.  I have no reservations at taking my iPhone or iPod touch to the beach, out on a boat, or around the pool when properly sealed inside the bag.  Like many other waterproof packs, the West Marine Dry Pak will float if it happens to get dropped into water.  This bag is waterproof and will protect your iFruit device.  If your pak does fall into water, you will want to fish it out as soon as you can as water could get in after prolonged contact with water.


The clips on the pak firmly lock into place and I'm not worried out them popping open while I'm out with my iPhone.  Another cool feature of the Dry Pak is that you can use the touch screen and use the phone feature while it is in the bag!  Pretty handy in my opinion.

In addition to your iPhone or other similarly sized gadget, you can also put small items inside like a driver's license or ATM card, but if you are going to do that, I'd strongly suggest keeping the Dry Pak with you at all times unless it is secured inside a locker of some kind.  (Sticking the Pak with your phone, driver's license, and an ATM card into your shoe on the beach is *not* secure.  Just sayin'.)

Pricing

The West Marine Dry Pak for Small Cell Phone is competitively priced at $14.99.  If you order it online, factor in a few dollars extra for shipping.  Even with local sales tax, my Dry Pak was less than $16.00 which is much lower than the $29.99 or more that I saw online for similarly styled products that included "iPhone" in the product name.

You can order the Dry Pak that meets your needs from the West Marine online store.

Closing Comments

If you are looking for an inexpensive solution for keeping your iPhone, iPod, or other handheld gadget safe from water, sand, sharks*, and other summer time hazards, you'll want to put the West Marine Dry Pak for Small Cell Phone on your short list.  



*Ok, the Dry Pak probably won't save your iPhone from a real shark attack, it will hold it's own against an inflatable pool shark.
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