Aussie summers are the time of year when we flock to waterholes and beaches across the country. Nothing proves that you’re having a cracker time more than snapping a few shots to share with the world right? The Pelican Marine phone case is designed to get our precious smartphones there and back again without a scratch, Explorer Dan Parkes gave it a go…

The Pelican Marine Phone Case

When the Pelican Marine phone case arrived in my letterbox, I started thinking of all the amazing places I could now go exploring without sweating bullets about buggering up my phone. My first crack with the case was at a local swimming hole, Cedar Creek.

Pelican Marine Phone Case // Gear Review Dan Parkes, legs, boots, swimming hole

About to jump in for a dip at Gibraltar Range National Park.

Size And Weight

The two-part case is thin, light and weighs the same as my current, run-of-the-mill phone case, so I was stoked that I was adding a significant amount of protection to my phone without the added bulk. As all Explorers know, the lighter the better and when the protection is top notch – you can’t really complain.


I was immediately pleased with its sturdiness, the hard back and front frame instilled faith in me that my phone could deal with some bangs and bumps. There was no need for the ole ‘phone in the rice bowl’ trick after an arvo at Cedar Creek as the case boasts complete underwater protection that ensured my happy snaps were kept high and dry.

I was so confident with the Pelican Marine phone case that I kept it in my pocket (as opposed to its usual spot tucked away in my backpack) while I rock hopped upstream to see how it handled flopping about and banging into the rocks.

I have accrued quite a few scratches on the front and rear of the case which I have found surprising (I underestimated how much my phone would get knocked around in my pocket) but I’m grateful that they are on the case not on my phone.

Pelican Marine Phone Case // Gear Review Dan Parkes, pebbles and case
Pelican Marine Phone Case // Gear Review Dan Parkes, just case

Front and side profiles of the Pelican Marine case. The inner rubber booting gives the seal of protection against water.

Ease Of Use

I have never gone much on reading instructions for most things and fitting this case was no exception. Pelican have done blokes like me a solid and prepared a short step-by-step video to set it up and test it correctly.

My only recommendation (not a biggie) would be to provide a lanyard for the built-in lanyard loop. This inclusion will ensure that if you slip onto your backside your phone will remain with you and it can’t do the Harold Holt downstream, never to be seen again. However, lanyards are cheap and not hard to get your hands on down at your local shops.

Sound/Screen Quality

The Pelican Marine phone case allows you to interact with Siri, even when fully submerged (at a shallow depth). This feature is particularly handy as excess water interfered with my ability to take that killer under-the-waterfall snap.

I found myself having to yell, “Hey Siri, take a video!” when I perched myself under the waterfall at Cedar Creek because the water stopped my finger registering my passcode. Luckily, there is a way around that – just start the video before you submerge to keep your selfie game strong.

Pelican Marine Phone Case // Gear Review Dan Parkes, underwater, submerged, leaf, rock

One thing I did notice when using the case in the New England Highlands is that once it was taken out of the water after full submersion there were no droplets left on the camera lens area that obstructed my field of view. I thought it was a fluke, but over and over again it just seemed like it wasn’t going to happen; a stark contrast with other waterproof photographic housing where I am forever wiping droplets off the screen.


Can you really put a price on peace of mind? Well, um, yes you can. That price is $99.95 at Pelican’s online store.

I would have to say, my current dry bags do the trick at keeping my phone dry but they don’t keep it from being knocked around, nor do they allow me to film in waterfalls! So for protection from knocks and water, dropping $99.95 seems reasonable.


The decision to throw on the Pelican Marine phone case for any adventure involving water or possible rock banging is an absolute no-brainer. The protective features it offers are unreal and have certainly put my mind at ease when embarking on water-based activities. I have used Pelican products (laptop and camera cases mostly) for years and have never been let down, and this phone case is no exception.

This review was not paid for but the author was allowed to keep the product after the review.

Pelican Marine Phone Case // Gear Review Dan Parkes, phone, case, water, rocks, siri


More tasty gear…

Outrak Packaway Rain Jacket // Gear Review

Nemo Dagger 2P Backpacking Tent // Gear Review

Funky Outdoor Gear That Gives Back – Mister Timbuktu

Lé Bent – Lé Definitive Light Crew Socks // Gear Review


Pelican Marine Phone Case
"It's protection central. You may as well have Arnie wrapped around your phone."
Size and Weight
Ease of Use
Sound/Screen Quality
Protection, Protection, Protection
Doesn’t compromise photo quality
Difficult to use in a heavy water flow
Phone cannot be operated when submerged