We take a look at the best in the business when it comes to keeping your phone and tablet safe in the field. Read on for the top ten rugged cases for your phone and tablet.


As farming embraces digitalization and crop management becomes an increasingly connected environment, we recognize that the smartphone has taken on an added, if not crucial importance for your operation. That means phone protection is something we think about a lot more these days.

Unlike a lot of other professions, our working environment presents us with various challenges. Where traditional work sites might offer isolated challenges – hard surfaces in an office, for example, water for aquatic ecosystems – Croptracker recognizes that farming opens the door to many dangers and difficulties when it comes to protecting a cell phone.

In recognition of how busy this time of year can be in farming, we’ve sifted through dozens of review sites and assembled a list of the ten most durable, reliable, and highly recognized cell phone and tablet cases that are perfect for farm use. Ranked in reverse order of popularity among review sites, these case companies and their cases meet the highest standards for device protection and safety features. 


10. Otterbox Armor.

Recognized as one of the toughest phone cases on the market, the Otterbox Armor series might no longer be supported by its manufacturer, but consumers continue to protect their phones with it. With several hundred (thousands in some cases) positive reviews by consumers, we’re not surprised that this model has shown up on our list; with a heavy-duty exterior case reinforced by a silicone interior, this case survives drops of up to 30 feet. As well, the Otterbox Armor also has sealed sockets and holes. The company claims it can survive submerged in as much as 6 feet of water for as long as thirty minutes. The biggest complaint outside of its discontinued status: its heavy-duty casing suppresses sounds and vibrations.

Tablets: No

Pros: Excellent case from a well-known brand

Cons: No longer available; secondary market exists, but only for specific device models

Urban Armor Gear

9. Urban Armor Gear.

Known for building popular and highly durable cases from lightweight materials, Urban Armor Gear’s toughest cases include the Monarch model with 5 layers of protection and 2x military drop-test standards; the Outback which the company touts as its military-grade protective model, and; the Pathfinder, which shares the Outback appearances but comes with the Outback’s everyday versatility. Unfortunately, the only model available for tablet use is the Outback, but with its handgrip feature, it makes for a functional case that works comfortably while sacrificing some of the protective properties of other models. For the ultimate in protection, the Monarch model can withstand drops of four feet, up to twenty-six times without suffering damage. As well, this model comes with rubber edges to help it cling to slippery surfaces better than some of the other models.

Tablets: Yes

Pros: Outback offers functional handgrip; Monarch has unprecedented protection

Cons: Unfortunately, no model offers benefits of all three in a single case



8. Griffin Survivor.

For cell phones, we recommend the Griffin Survivor Extreme case. Unlike the Otterbox Armor, the Griffin Survivor Extreme case is designed with a shock-absorbing exterior shell that sits over a heavy-duty plastic interior, allowing for military grade drop tests as high as 10 feet onto concrete. What gives the Griffin Survivor Extreme case an advantage over many competitors is that its oversized rubber edges sit tightly against the device screen, refusing entry to water, dirt, and other debris. Even with this added level of protection, the Griffin Survivor Extreme is 15% slimmer than other cases of this caliber. This level of protection makes the case splash proof, which is perfect when working on damp fields at elevated heights where a drop is possible. For tablet protection, we recommend checking out the Griffin Survivor All-Terrain, which offers drop protection of up to 6.6 feet.

Tablets: Not at this level of protection, other tablet models do exist

Pros: Excellent protection against drops, water, dirt, and debris for the price

Cons: Limited color choice



7. Case-Mate.

Tough Grip, Tank, Protection Series models. Depending on the cell phone model, these durable cases built of advanced materials not only absorb the shock of damages when dropped from heights between 10 and 12 feet, but they aim to help avoid drops from happening at all. Among some of the most attractively priced protective cases, Case-Mate understands the importance of functionality, allowing for wireless charging. With the Protection series, these cases come with five layers of protection. Unfortunately, the cases are not manufactured for application on tablets.

Tablets: No

Pros: Customizable options, reasonable price to protection ratio

Cons: Tank case no longer available through the company's website



6. Catalyst Waterproof Cases.

Although not cheap, Catalyst Waterproof cases will protect both cell phones and tablets, and the company claims to have the highest waterproof specifications on the market. What that means to Croptracker readers is 33-foot waterproof protection. The protective cases also feature a unique rotating mute button that keeps dirt, debris, and water from passing through the case to the device. With protection at its core, there are smaller touches that make the Catalyst extremely livable and functional, including superior sound engineering where other, bulkier cases often suppress sound. And speaking of durability, the Catalyst will protect your device when dropped from heights as high as 6.6 feet. For farm users who need the ultimate in water protection, the Catalyst might come at a premium price but will offer the kind of protection that many other cases lack.

Tablets: Yes

Pros: Waterproof, durable, high-quality, the “ultimate” case

Cons: Price, not available for the iPhone XR at this time



5. G-Form.

Difficult to find, the G-Form case has set records for its rugged durability when it was dropped from 100,000 feet, and the enclosed device reported no damage whatsoever. Check out this video recording of the event. Engineering and technology make the G-Form product unique, with a patented process that allows the material to stiffen on impact. The company calls this Reactive Protection Technology and deploys it in sports applications as well. With the G-Form, the case offers a rigid, polycarbonate outer shell, as well as an inner TPE insert for added protection. If you need the ultimate in protection from high drops, the G-Form offers the best protection. However, it could be difficult finding one for your device, mainly if you use the newest smartphones and tablets on the market.

Tablets: No

Pros: Exceptional drop protection, patented technology

Cons: Pricing, limited availability for some models



4. Pelican Shield Case.

A recurring choice among many popular review sites, the Pelican Shield Case takes protection as seriously as modern technology allows. Constructed using bulletproof material, such as Kevlar-brand fibers, and thermoplastic elastomers, this case offers five layers of protection, promises that your phone will be safe no matter what life throws at it, and comes with a lifetime warranty. The ultimate in case construction, the Pelican Shield case achieves 3x military-grade drop protection. From a practical perspective, the Pelican Shield Case will suit individuals who are prone to dropping their device onto hard surfaces.

Tablets: Yes

Pros: Exceptional build construction, lifetime warranty

Cons: Pricing, not splashproof



3. Lifeproof Fre.

Another popular case that has made multiple top appearances when reviewed, the Lifeproof Fre offers all-around protection against all potential dangers. Able to withstand drops from as high as 2 meters, this case also includes a built-in screen protector. As well, it is waterproof for up to 1 hour while submerged to depths of up to 2 meters. With this level of protection, the case also safeguards against dirt and debris, with the ports, mic, and speakers sealed as well. This makes the Lifeproof Fre a top choice among farmers where moisture and water exposure pose significant risks to their device, along with the potential threats from the kind of drops we come to expect in a farming environment.

Tablets: No

Pros: Protection against all elements, good selection of colors

Cons: Speaker performance dampened



2. Ballistic Tough Jacket and Tough Jacket Maxx.

These protective cases by Ballistic do more than just look the part of heavy-duty, rugged, and durable protective case. Built to withstand drops from as high as eight feet, the Tough Jacket and Tough Jacket Maxx cases have 3 layer design and were constructed for drops from six sides – all four sides as well as front and back. That means that these protective cases come with replaceable, tempered glass inserts. The case’s corners are built to be removable as well, should they suffer damage in a fall and require replacement.

Tablets: No

Pros: Priced below $50, six-side drop protection

Cons: Limited model availability



1. Otterbox Defender.

 The most robust case offered by the industry’s gold standard in protective case manufacturing, the Otterbox Defender offers 4-layer protection. Consisting of a plastic inner case, the exterior of the case is made of silicone for shock absorption against drops. Another layer of protection comes with the “holster” layer. What differentiates the Otterbox Defender from other cases is the “screenless” protection, which means users don’t have to fumble with an extra layer that “numbs” the touch features of the natural screen. One of the reasons that the Otterbox Defender makes a recurring appearance on all review sites is the level of testing completed by Otterbox – 238 hours, and 24 different tests. Additionally, the Otterbox Defender has been shown to survive drops as high as 23 stories.

Tablets: Yes

Pros: Built by a company known for its protective, durable, and rugged cases.

Cons: Little protection against water


At Croptracker, we value the importance of technology when it comes to managing your business. But as farming continues its transition to the digital world, the need to protect electronic tools will be more important than ever, crucial even. Without question, a farmer’s cell phone and/or tablet not only offer greater functionality, but its importance to your business will be more vital than ever before.

We built this list of the top ten durable mobile cases for cell phones and tablets after reviewing dozens of websites, product specifications, and thousands of consumer reviews. Although the Otterbox Defender was, hands down, the most cited and popular protective case, consider your needs and your farm’s environment before making your purchase. The Otterbox Defender, as noted, will not offer the same kind of water protection as the Catalyst product, and neither will offer the type of drop and compression protection as the G-Form which is difficult to procure.

Check back regularly for updates on this list, especially as the market expands with more features, phone and tablet models, as well as technologies.


Need a refresher on any of Croptracker's features? Head over to our Knowledge Base, where you'll find step-by-step tutorials as well as common troubleshooting tips and more.  And as always, if you're ever stuck, never hesitate to e-mail us at support@croptracker.com or Live Chat with us by clicking the green speech bubble helpicon in your bottom right-hand corner.  We're always happy to help you let Croptracker make your farm become more efficient, safe, and profitable!