Pak Waterproof holder for Cell Phones and PDAs
Simple, elegant, inexpensive and functional.
Made out of a
super-tough type of clear plastic front and padded back, the
Dry Pak waterproof holder protects your valuable cell phone
You can still use the
PDA or phone, through the plastic. The pictured pouch
even has a space to hold your stylus!
Protect just about anything -
electronic devices, passports and documents, even old fashioned
cash - from water or dust/dirt by placing them inside one of
these inexpensive protective Dry Pak pouches.
What you get
What you see is very much
what you get. A pouch, a cord, and a spring hook.
The pouches come in various
different sizes - see the
manufacturer's website for a complete list of sizes and
Be sure to get a unit that
is sufficiently big for what you're putting in it. I'm
guessing that you'll want to get a pouch that is at least as
wide as the width of the unit plus two times the depth of the
unit, and similarly, you want its length to be the length of the
unit plus two times its depth.
calculation is the fact that my unit (a DP-46) was described as
being 4" wide but actually measures only 3.75" wide. It
was described as being 6" long and was indeed exactly this
length, but the loss of a quarter inch of width could be a
problem if you don't allow for it.
As the picture above shows,
the pouch is colored bright blue with a yellow sealing strip.
These colors may be helpful in stopping you from leaving your
pouch and its contents behind.
The adjustable length cord
makes it easy to hang the pouch around your neck, and the spring
hook can let you dangle it from a belt loop or some other
The pouch is made out of TPU
- a thermo plastic polyurethane that is said to be ten times
stronger than vinyl, and with good resistance to hot and cold
temperatures. Note that although the plastic material has
good resistance to softening or becoming brittle at moderate
temperature extremes, it does not insulate the contents of the
pouch, so don't think you can safely drop your pouched cellphone
into a boiling pot of water!
The back side of the pouch
is made out of blue TPU and has a little bit of padding built in
to it - probably enough to protect your unit if you accidentally
The front is made out of
clear TPU, and feels to be perhaps 8 mils thick.
At the top, the opening has
two solid plastic sealing strips that are locked tightly by
twist screws. Just fit the two pieces together, turn the
twist screws a quarter turn, and the unit is sealed.
I tested the pouch with both
a cell phone and a PDA.
But, before using real and
valuable equipment, I first put a block of wood and some paper
towels in the pouch, then gave it a water submersion test.
The paper remained completely dry, even after several minutes of
holding it under water in a tub and vigorously moving it about.
The Dry Pak scored full marks for its water resistance test.
The next test was to see how
easy it was to use the cell phone while in the pouch. It
was easy to place and receive calls, pressing the buttons
through the plastic.
When actually talking and
listening on the phone, there was a perceptible reduction in
volume - I'd estimate about 3dB. But this was not a major
problem and didn't interfere with clearly hearing and being
heard. I simply turned the phone's volume up a notch and
spoke a little louder.
Although the sound was
slightly quieter, it wasn't muffled or distorted, either at my
end or at the other end of the call.
Using the PDA required a bit
more of a compromise. It was probably irrational, but I
kept worrying that my soft stylus would somehow poke through the
strong plastic and create a hole. It didn't do this, of
It was a little difficult to
use the PDA through the plastic, and sometimes the stylus tap
was not registered in exactly the correct place. The PDA
could be used perfectly well for applications that only needed
the cursor keys or a minimum of data entry (eg, looking up a
contact or checking a schedule) but would not work so well if
you were trying to write an email. It seems to help to
make sure you get as much air as possible out of the pouch
before sealing it shut.
The stickiness of the
plastic pouch made it difficult to use the stylus to write
letters in Graffiti mode.
It was easy to open and
close the pouch, but a little difficult to insert an electronic
item in and out of the pouch, because the pouch had a lot of
plasticizers on its surface that made the electronic item stick
If you have a 'flip phone'
or other unit that folds in half, then this will obviously not
work in the pouch unless you can keep it opened all the time.
This might not be possible, or might change a compact unit to a
bulky and awkwardly shaped unit, and might also use more battery
power, perhaps due to a screensaver not operating.
The pouches are very
reasonably priced. Most units are about $13 in price; some
are a bit less and some of the big units are a bit more.
This is a paltry price to pay to protect a valuable electronic
device and the data you store on it. They can be purchased
This is a great solution to
the problem of how to protect your electronic devices in
potentially dangerous environments. I'm recommending one
of my friends should always carry his cell phone in one of these
pouches - he has twice dropped it in toilets!
Whether you're seeking to
protect your electronic device from the nasty things in toilets,
or from more benign things, this is a great device at a very
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16 January 2004, last update
21 Jul 2020
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.