I am a big fan of cases that let you take your iPhone into extreme situations, because the iPhone has an excellent camera and tons of great apps for the outdoors, but it is a bit delicate. You don’t want to send your iPhone flying while riding your bike, or while on a trail run. But the quasi-permanent cases can be bulky when you aren’t out tramping around nature, and that’s where cases like the Hitcase fit the bill. When you’re heading out for a rough and tumble day, your iPhone is safely tucked inside, protected from water and dirt. When you’re done, you free your iPhone and have your slim smartphone back again. In theory it sounds like a great case, but how does it work in practice? Read on to find out!
Hitcase looks like it could take a beating. There’s nothing subtle about the style. It’s boxy and thick, with plastic covering the iPhone screen, and recessed metal buttons covering the volume and power buttons. There are cutouts for the proximity sensor, front-facing camera and rear camera. The plastic has a matte feel that’s slightly grippy, and when the case is locked in place it feels quite solid. Nothing creaks or feels loose, which is important when you’re sealing your iPhone in there!
To get the iPhone into the case, you have to open three flaps along the top, bottom, and right side. Once the case is open, the iPhone pops into the left side of the case, inside a rubber gasket and screen protector combo that is fitted to the inside of the Hitcase. This is called the ShockSeal and ShockPad system, and it seals the iPhone within the case nicely. When the iPhone is safely inside and the flaps are all snapped securely down into place, the Hitcase is waterproof to 30 feet. Despite all that protection, the screen is still usable in the case, and is quite responsive underneath the screen protector.
Once you have the iPhone all set in the Hitcase, you can mount it to your bike, a helmet, or anything else where you have a mounting system. Hitcase includes a bracket (called the Railside) that can be screwed onto a tripod, a mount, etc., and it is a VERY secure fit. The first time I slid the case onto it, I got very worried I wouldn’t be able to get it off, but it just requires a firm hand. On the upside, your Hitcase covered iPhone will not be flying off the bracket on its own! If you have GoPro mounts you can use those, or you can use regular tripod connectors as well.
Hitcase has a companion app called Vidometer, which lets you record your adventures and upload them easily to YouTube. The video-taking interface is great; there’s overlays that show your speed, altitude, G-shock, and other stats so you can show off how brave you were hurling down a mountain. One touch that was really helpful was the battery meter in the upper right corner. If you want to take video but need to make sure your phone doesn’t die before the end, it lets you monitor that without leaving the app. There’s quite a few controls to let you add or remove the overlays, change the recording quality, and add your YouTube login in the settings, so it’s a worthy download over the regular Camera app if you want to take adventure video.
There’s a few reasons why I think Hitcase is a home run. For one, it’s extremely well-built. It snaps together quite securely, and it doesn’t come apart unless you want it to. I also feel very secure with the ShockSeal and ShockPad systems, since it isn’t just a thin layer of screen protector and frame sealing off your iPhone, but a full rubbery gasket and screen protector wrapped around it, THEN the Hitcase with the ShockPad on the back. Finally, I love that it’s not intended to be an everyday case, but the “rough day” case. It means it’s easy to pop it on your iPhone when you need it, but go back to a slimmer case when you don’t, all without fumbling or worrying that you haven’t properly sealed your phone.
Maybe you aren’t an adventurous skier or surfer, but you probably take your phone to the beach, or camping, or other phone-unfriendly places. When you do, the Hitcase is ideal as a way to keep the bad stuff out while you’re using your phone to document the good stuff!
MSRP: $89.99 from Hitcase
What I liked: Well-constructed; waterproof; very protective; lots of mounting options; companion app offers many extra features over the camera app.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing.
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample