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Best Pelican phone case

Which Pelican phone case is best?

Mobile phones are expensive commodities that we seem unable to live without, storing everything from treasured moments to highly sensitive data. So it’s a bit frightening how much confidence some people have that they won't drop their phone. 

For everybody else, a good-quality phone case is a must-have. It's usually the first accessory people buy — even before leaving the store. And for everyday protection from drops and bumps, the Pelican Protector Series Case is an excellent option.

What to know before you buy a Pelican phone case

A case to suit your phone model

No phone case is universal, as length, width, thickness and camera placement differ. But Pelican has a large selection of covers for most of the popular phones spanning the last decade. It is increasingly rare to find cases for the iPhone 6 through to the iPhone 13 and equally challenging to find a case for the Samsung Galaxy S7 through to the latest Galaxy S22 Ultra, but Pelican has them.

In addition, there are Pelican cases for Google’s Pixel phones and three LG models. The range is limited for those devices, but their inclusion is a nod of acknowledgment that devices other than Samsung and Apple exist.  

Different levels of protection

Similar to other specialty phone case makers, Pelican has a variety of models depending on the protection level you require. 

  • The Marine series is an impact-absorbing case that is waterproof and snow-, dust- and dirt-resistant.
  • The Voyager is a rugged case designed to protect your phone from drops, solid dirt particles and sharp-edged objects.
  • The Ambassador provides maximum protection with a stylish flair in a dual-layer case.
  • Military-grade protection from multiple drops and sharp objects comes from the Protector case. The Auto Mount System variety also comes with an AMS steel plate and AMS magnetic car vent mount.
  • The Shield is a five-layer case with Kevlar fibers in the backplate.

Pelican makes more than just phone cases

Don't be too harsh on yourself if you’ve never heard of the Pelican brand. The chances are good that you’ve seen a Pelican product without even knowing it. 

Pelican is hugely popular among photographers to keep their gear safe, and Pelican is known for both hard-sided travel luggage and for cases that give rugged protection of firearms. In addition, there are also vehicle cargo cases, coolers and flashlights. So Pelican knows a thing or two about protecting your valuables.

What to look for in a quality Pelican phone case

Compatible with accessories

It can be tough to find accessories compatible with your case, especially if the brands are different. However, several accessories work perfectly well with a good-quality Pelican case. For example, there are Pelican screen protectors, camera lens protectors for iPhone and Samsung and protective sleeves for Apple AirTags.

Wireless charging

Most cases from any manufacturer are compatible with Qi wireless chargers, but few are bundled with the phone’s protection. Through Pelican’s Easy Mount System, you get a case and a wireless charging vent mount. The EMS-enabled case securely attaches to the Qi-compatible charger, giving you more power while on the move. If you already have a wireless charger in your vehicle, then any good-quality Pelican case with EMS will work. 

Protection provided

A good-quality case should naturally be able to withstand whatever situation you find yourself in. While some are activity-specific, any Pelican case will at least protect your phone from repeated drops and have reinforced corners that can take the brunt of an impact.

How much you can expect to spend on a Pelican phone case

That depends on the model and style. An entry-level iPhone case costs $20-$40, but cases with better protection cost $70-$80. Similarly, a clear Samsung case with minimal protection costs $10-$20, while a rugged case for the Galaxy S22 Ultra costs $50-$60.

Pelican phone case FAQ

Are the accessory ports exposed?

A. That depends on the case. Waterproof models close the ports with special plugs so liquid doesn’t enter. Cases that don’t provide waterproofing have the ports exposed so you can easily connect headphones or a charging cable.

Are the cases compatible with tempered-glass screen protectors?

A. A common problem with high-protection cases is that the edges are relatively thick, leaving little space underneath. There is no reason to use a second screen protector if the case already has one. However, the other Pelican cases are compatible with third-party tempered glass display protection. 

What’s the best Pelican phone case to buy?

Top Pelican phone case

Pelican Protector Series Case

What you need to know: The Protector Series is the perfect case for preventing everyday drops, scuffs and scratches.

What you’ll love: Your phone slips easily into the case, and it’s just as easy to pop it out. The rubber lining on the inside protects it from impact, while the reinforced corners can withstand multiple falls.

What you should consider: The edges are slightly raised, preventing your display from coming in contact with surfaces. But this can also hamper your ability to navigate on-screen options close to the display’s edge. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Pelican phone case for the money

Pelican Marine Series Water-Resistant Case

What you need to know: Tough enough to take on a diving trip, the case’s five-layer protection easily deals with water, snow, dirt and dust. 

What you’ll love: This case protects your phone through two pieces. The hardshell backing is efficient in preventing damage from drops, while the top piece clips onto the backing to create a watertight seal that protects the display. 

What you should consider: Some users said that it could be tough to separate the pieces as the clips are small and rigid.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pelican Shield Series Case

What you need to know: This case offers the most protection as it incorporates Kevlar fibers in the backing and safety clips for extra security.

What you’ll love: Using five protective layers, this case is as rugged as they come. The shock-absorbing interior has reinforced corners to prevent drop damage. The additional safety clip backing covers the entire screen to protect your phone when on your hip.

What you should consider: This case is made for taking a beating, so it’s much thicker than normal cases, adding some weight.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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