Outfit Your Smartphone for the Outdoors

12 accessories to make your iPhone or Galaxy a rugged outdoor companion

You’re addicted to your phone. You know it, I know it, we all know it.

But you also happen to like going outside, kicking up dirt, getting wet, and generally doing things that can be unkind to your favorite piece of portable technology. You also like to be able to use the darn thing in less than climate-controlled circumstances.[slideshow:793]

You outfit yourself for the outdoors, so why not your phone?

With that in mind, we collected a dozen accessories to bring your smartphone’s functionality with you wherever you go. Some of our picks even take your phone to the next level: they convert your device into an action cam, heart rate monitor and satellite messenger.

When choosing the items on our list, we considered a few main factors. First, we wanted these add-ons to be compatible with the latest smartphones on the market. In some cases, the deciding factor was whether or not an accessory works with the iPhone 5/5s/5c, Galaxy S3/S4, or other late model Android phones. We chose the OtterBox Preserver protective case, for example, over the company’s nearly indestructible Armor series because the Armor cases haven’t yet caught up to the technology.

Click here for 12 must-have outdoor accessories for your smartphone.

We also wanted, when possible, for the accessory not to be platform specific. There were a couple exceptions to this—the Trimble TopoCharger and Hitcase Pro—that we thought were too good to leave out.

And finally, we wanted these picks to be ready for anything: a Bluetooth speaker that can handle jets of water and still sound great; an external power pack that can take a beating; a tripod that can stabilize your phone on any surface.


These accessories also make great stocking stuffers for the fitness and outdoor junkie in your life. Take a look at our list for some great gift ideas.