But, I'll write about the benefits of training in the rain or “rain training” perhaps, another day. In this post, I want to review my latest training purchase to help me enjoy my exercise routine in bad weather and get the most out of my workout.
These days, we are loving our technology more and more (especially electronics) and it's hard not to go anywhere without your mobile phone. Nevertheless, as we know, electronics and water don't go very well together so what happens when it's pouring down with rain, we want to hit the road for a session, and we need to take our MP3 player, iPod, iPhone, or mobile phone with us?
Well, there's now a way to let us take our portable electronic device almost anywhere in any weather or situation including: swimming, surfing, skiing, and exercising/training in the rain.
Of course I'm referring to the DryCASE from Dry Corp, a medical manufacturing company in North Carolina (USA).
The company originally started manufacturing dry sleeves for the medical industry to protect things like prosthetics and bandages, then the team realised the same successful water proofing concept could also be used to protect electronics hence the DryCASE was born.
Other water proofing methods
I've always liked listening to music whilst exercising.
The obvious problem I (and people like me) have always faced with carrying their mobile phone/player during exercise or recreation is water damage to the device. In the past, I sort electronic devices that were water resistant or proof but these devices either weren't as water proof as advertised or were so over water proofed the bulkiness and build usually made for a clumsy device that wasn't very practical for every day use.
Found the DryCASE online
Therefore, when I found the DryCASE online, whist searching for a new way to water proof my new phone, I became quite excited about the prospect of finally solving this dilemma. So, I found the best price from a reliable retailer and purchased the DryCASE in expectation it did the job as advertised.
I guess the best description I could give is on first impression the DryCASE looks like a mini, clear plastic floaty a child would use around an arm in the pool to stay afloat. Most of the DryCase is plastic but it feels pretty strong – I wouldn't trust it near anything sharp or pointy though.
At the top of the case is a plastic clamp with two rotating clips that open and shut the case securely. There's a loop in the clamp so the DryCase can be slung or hung and on the back is a plastic sleeve to enable fitting of the armband (included). The armband is made from neoprene material, which floats and is an added bonus for water sports.
On the bottom right, is a valve used as a vacuum to suck extra air out of the DryCase and a special suction ball is provided to be used as a “pump-suck;” however, I ditched the the ball and just use my mouth as the amount of air required to be sucked-out is negligible. Beneath is a water proof 3.5 mil audio jack for plugging in earphones. Inside is the other end of the jack on about 6 inches of lead, which gets plugged into the device so music can be heard whilst it is locked within the DryCASE.
The manufacture of DryCASE claims the product is waterproof to 100, feet by the way. And, each unit is personally tested underwater overnight before packaging with a signed card and testers name included.
Pay for what you get
I need to say, there are other products on the market similar to the DryCASE; however, most are cheap imitations and are not worth the savings made when you consider the money you'd lose if the case failed and your electronic device got wet and damaged. Try them if you like and let me know how you go.
How does the DryCASE fit?
When you first open the DryCASE the new plastic makes sliding the phone into the case a little “grippy” but it soon loosens up after a few uses.
Once the device is placed into the DryCase and positioned centrally then it's just a matter of shutting the plastic clamp by rotating the clips in the direction of the arrows and it closes tightly. The clips can be a little hard to rotate at times when shutting, which can be a little frustrating and is probably the only improvement suggestion I'd like to offer. Perhaps a “wing nut” clip that folds down and out of the way could be easier to twist then the current design.
To enable normal operation of the phone or device whilst it is in the DryCASE some of the air needs to be removed so the plastic pouch fits snugly. The air is removed or sucked out either by mouth or the sucker ball pump provided, which settles the plastic case on the face of the phone so it can be operated. The trick is not to suck out too much air and only remove as much air as necessary otherwise the phone (or device) will be so harshly vacuum packed it will be difficult to operate – especially if the device has side buttons (like a volume rocker). Also, to get acceptable sound through the case, if you need to talk on the phone, small air pockets are needed to transmit acoustics/voice so sucking out too much air will affect call quality.
I have a Galaxy Nexus phone, which is one of the largest screen phones on the market (bigger than an iPhone). The DryCASE for smaller electronic devices (mobiles, MP3 players, etc) has ample room for my Nexus but not too much to make it too bulky. You can also get the larger size for tablets, if say, you'd like to take your iPad or Galaxy Tab to the beach without getting it sandy or wet.
How do I use the DryCASE?
With blue-tooth earphones for a start, so I don't need the jack but it's handy to have just in case my blue-tooth batteries fail. I don't use the armband that is provided with the DryCASE as I prefer to hold my device in my hand as I mainly use it for running with a GPS integrated music App and I find holding my phone easier to operate it if I need.
However, at the gym, riding, water sports and other activities the armband is a well made, useful piece of kit enabling hands to be free.
How did it perform?
I've been jogging with my phone in my DryCASE several times now in the rain, and after training the phone came out dry as toast. The last time I ran it absolutely poured down, still my phone stayed dry – so, it lives up to its name-sake in my view. I also perspire a lot during my run and salty sweat is just as bad (or worse) for your phone as rain so I tend to use the case more often then not.
The blue-tooth for my earphones works perfectly through the DryCASE as does phone conversations. I have found my phone easy to operate through the case and my touch screen is almost as responsive as if it were not in the DryCASE; except in heavy rain, where the touch screen becomes a tad unresponsive but not annoyingly and I'd say water/rain on the face of a phone without a cover would be just as bad.
I was able to easily snap a few pictures during my last jog and as you can see the camera operates fine through the DryCASE and so does the GPS.
I bought mine from eBay for $44.95 plus $5 postage and although it does seem steep for a small plastic case it's cheaper than replacing a $700 phone.
For me, the DryCASE is just what I was looking for. Its durable, not over bulky, lets me use my phone but best of all it keeps my phone dry when it would otherwise get wet and probably damaged.
I'd recommend the DryCase for anyone who likes to listen to their music whenever, wherever, or whatever they're doing. And, there's no excuse to cancel your training due to a little rain anymore!
Feel free to use the comment section below and have your say (no email is required).
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support,
Look, and see the Earth through her eyes
Mark Valencia – Editor SSM