So, you want to bring your phone with you on your open water swims but you have concerns about the safety of your phone. It feels counterintuitive to bring your phone into water. When we started using a waterproof phone case, we were nervous too. But we have found the 5 best waterproof phone cases made with the top quality materials and using the best seal mechanisms. Once you’ve found the case for you and learnt to trust it in the water, you’ll never look back.
Why Use a Waterproof Phone Pouch?
Your smartphone has so many features that would be useful on your swim, including tracking your swim route, speed, and time. Bringing your phone on your swim would also allow you to capture those beautiful views that you wished you could share with your friends. These are both great benefits but the biggest benefit of bringing your phone with you is safety. Not only will your phone be safer with you then left hidden on land, but if you run into difficulty, you can phone for help and provide them with your gps.
Best Overall for Open Water Swimming
Swim Secure Protective Phone Bag - £7.50
- Secure double seal with velcro flap
- Adjustable lanyard
- Compatible with most smartphones
- Made from high quality strong PVC
- Only available in orange
- Unable to be submerged by more than 1m for more than 1 hour
If you’re looking for the best overall waterproof phone case for open water swimming, the Swim Secure Protective Phone Bag is for you. It’s made from high quality PVC which is resistant to punctures and uses a double seal closing mechanism with an additional velcro flap (keeping your phone dry and safe in the water). Compatible with most smartphones, your electronic best friend will be safe, whether it’s an iPhone 14 Pro Max, Google Pixel 7 or Samsung S20+.
The Swim Secure Protective Phone Bag comes with an adjustable lanyard which can be attached around your neck or wrapped around your arm during your swim. The phone case can also be used as an extra layer of protection in the dry compartment of the Tow donut or the phone pocket in the 28L Dry Bag. Wherever you decide to attach the lanyard, your phone is going to stay towards the surface of the water with you. This means the 1m submersible limit for 1 hour isn’t going to cause you any issues (as long as your phone is securely in the case and attached to you or your tow float).
Although this waterproof phone case is only available in orange, orange is one of the best colours to use for open water swimming equipment as it’ll add to the visibility of your phone in the water, allowing you to see where your phone is. The case also has a clear panel on each side of your phone so you’re able to still use your phone and take photos with the front or back camera while you’re in the water.
Best for Taking Photos
Puffin Swim Waterproof Phone Pouch - £7.99
- Clear front and back panels
- Compatible with most common smartphones
- Can hear and talk through the case
- Black and blue colours aren’t ideal for open water swimming
- Smaller size
Our choice for taking the best photos while open water swimming is the Puffin Swim Waterproof Phone Pouch. The clear back and front panels allow you to use both the front and back camera on your swim. The plastic stays clear so you can take amazing selfies, wildlife photos or snap the scenic views along your swim.
Compared to other waterproof phone cases on this list, the Puffin Pouch is slightly smaller. However, it does fit phones that are 7 inches diagonally and smaller, which includes most popular smartphones. This bag has a triple seal and velcro flap, similar to the Swim Secure Protective Phone Bag (both the double and triple seal systems are secure and safe for your phone).
The Puffin Pouch does have a choice of colours including orange, black and blue. However, the option of black and blue aren’t ideal for open water swimming. The phone case being visible in the water means you can easily see where your phone is and gives you peace of mind that you haven’t lost your phone (even though it will be attached to you with the lanyard). As black and blue will both blend into the colour of the water, only the orange case is practical for open water swimming.
Best for Large Devices
Swimcell Large Waterproof Phone Case - £15.99
- Ideal colour choices for open water swimming
- Big enough for large smartphones and small tablets
- Waterproof rating of IPX8
- Difficult to use twist lock mechanism
- Itchy lanyard
Do you have a large smartphone and struggle to find a case big enough to keep your phone safe? The Swimcell Large Waterproof Phone Case fits devices that are up to 10.3cm x 19cm (including smartphones and small tablets). Although this bag is perfect for large devices, it’s also ideal for phones with a chunky case or for keeping other items safe in the bag with your phone (like your car keys). Although the size of this case is great for big devices, its size means it’s more difficult to swim with the bag on the lanyard. We suggest using this pouch to protect your phone in a dry bag.
The Swimcell Case is made from high quality, durable, soft PVC and can be submerged to depths of 10m for 1 hour, meaning you could combine your open water swim with diving. This case comes with a choice of 5 colours, 3 of which are yellow, white and pink. These colours are ideal for open water swimming as they ensure your phone case is visible in the water.
Unlike the first waterproof phone bags on this list, this phone bag uses a twist lock mechanism. This is just as secure as the double or triple seal and velcro flap. However, it is more difficult to use, especially with wet hands, which puts your phone at risk if it’s not locked properly.
Best for Buoyancy
Zone3 Waterproof Phone Pouch - £9.50
- Floats near the surface of the water
- Adjustable lanyard
- Case only available in orange
- Only compatible with smaller phones
The Zone3 Buoyancy Waterproof Phone Pouch is our top pick for buoyancy due to its orange pre-inflated buoyancy ring. Keeping your phone towards the top of the water, this phone case is great for quickly accessing your phone while on your swim. Although, the weight of your phone in the case will mean that your phone won’t float right on the top of the water.
Available in orange only, this case is the ideal visible colour for open water swimming. Despite this, like with the Swim Secure Protective Phone Bag, some people might find the lack of colour options to be boring. The secure seal on this phone bag comes with a folding flap and popper buttons to keep your phone secure and dry in the water.
This case is durable and good quality but it is the smallest waterproof phone bag on this list. This isn’t a problem if your phone measures 6.7 inches diagonally or smaller (which does include a lot of popular smartphones). However, if you have a larger smartphone, this case isn’t for you.
Best for the Environment
Overboard Large Waterproof Phone Case - £21.99
- Fits large smartphones
- Made from eco-friendly TPU fabrics
- Only available in blue and black
- Photos can be blurry
Finally, the Overboard Large Waterproof Phone Case is our pick as best for the environment due to its eco-friendly TPU materials. Measuring 17cm x 9cm x 20cm, this phone bag fits a wide variety of phones (including large phone models) and uses a slide seal closure mechanism which most people find easy to use.
Like the other waterproof phone bags, this bag has a clear front panel with good touch screen usability. However, instead of a normal clear back panel, this case has a Lenzflex panel for your back camera (although this doesn’t always produce clear photos). The Overboard Case can also be submerged for 1 hour at depths of 6m.
Despite its size, this case is lightweight and does have some level of floatation in the water. However, unfortunately this case is only available in blue or black, neither of which provide any visibility in the water. Although this isn’t an issue for keeping your phone safe and dry, it does mean it’ll take you longer to locate your phone in the water.
Don’t know which case to choose? We recommend the Swim Secure Protective Phone Case as it has everything you need for your next open water swim - It fits most phone cases, has a secure seal and is visible in the water.