catalyst lifestyle waterproof case
Chris Maxcer

Catalyst iPhone 6 Waterproof Case Review: Rugged and Ready

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When I step off the beaten path, I usually end up taking my iPhone. Sometimes it’s there for emergencies, but often I use it for photos, video, and maps. Trouble is, even if I’m just hiking, rain keeps it tucked away. That’s where a rugged waterproof case comes in, ideally from a manufacturer you can trust.

The Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone 6 is one of the few waterproof cases that I trust.

The case is made by a small company called Catalyst Lifestyle that was founded by two adventurers, Josh Wright and June Lai (our kind of people) who wanted a waterproof case for their iPhone a few years ago and found the options lacking. So they created their own. Fast forward to today and their latest version is ready for the iPhone 6 (a case for the iPhone 6 Plus is in the works).

Inside the Catalyst iPhone 6 Waterproof Case

catalyst lifestyle waterproof case
The Catalyst waterproof iPhone 6 case will shed water and shrug off drops in the great outdoors.

The Catalyst case uses an industry standard and proven design — two halves snap tightly together, sealed by a rubber gasket. The headphone and Lighting ports are protected by a soft rubber plug.

The top half is covered by a thin screen protector. Acoustic membranes cover the speakers, which helps transmit audio and cut down on the inevitable dip in audio quality when your iPhone is entirely covered by a leak-proof case. The stretchy material over the home button also works with Apple’s Touch ID security fingerprint security system. The back half is clear polycarbonate.

The end result? A relatively thin but rugged case. The fit and finish is excellent, too. Better yet, it comes with a lanyard, which is handy when you’re using your iPhone in a boat over deep water — or want to clip your iPhone to a backpack or belt to keep it handy while on the go.

Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone 6 Specs: 16.4 Feet!

Catalyst claims that its case is waterproof down to 16.4 feet, which is about 10 feet deeper than most every other waterproof case on the market. While I don’t doubt the claim, I can’t say that I actually trust it, either. Why? A lot of things can go wrong with a smartphone waterproof case. There are multiple points of failure — separate membranes and layers that cover various ports, for instance, that could get damaged in the great outdoors . . . but that you might not notice.

Then there is the gasket. Like any gasket, it will likely leak if any debris gets in the way.

So, would I take my iPhone 6 snorkeling in this case — or any case? No way. The risk isn’t just losing an expensive smartphone — the risk is losing photos, video, and an emergency communication device. Would I jump off a 20-foot cliff into the water and film the experience? Nope. Too much sudden pressure on the case upon entry. (If you’re looking for deeper water user, go with a dedicated waterproof camera — check out the best waterproof cameras here.)

But I would take it fishing. I would dip it underwater to capture a cool video of a trout swimming away after being released.

I would pull it out for some shots while rafting or boating. And I’d take it skiing and snowboarding, too, definitely sledding. Out riding motorcycles in the mud or dust? That too. The waterpark? Certainly.

Plus, you can take close up photos of a barrel of margaritas without fear of dropping your iPhone while you totter around under the influence.

So yeah, the Catalyst Case for iPhone 6 is versatile — and ready for a wide variety of adventures.

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As for the specs, the case meets the military 810G shock and drop-test standard and is rated IP-68 against water and dust.

The only con, really, is that it does not come with a headphone port adapter that seals into the case — but Catalyst sells one separately for $15.

All-in-all, the Catalyst case will get the job done and look good doing it. If you’re going outside for anything rough or wet, the Catalyst Waterproof Case for iPhone 6 is easy to recommend.

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