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Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
CalDigit Tuff USB-C Hard Drive
CalDigit
Tuff USB-C Hard Drive
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Bottom Line

Flawless design, compatibility, and functionality to create the ultimate rugged hard drive.

Pros

Simple but trendy design, with multiple color options. It's easy to set up, and syncs with any device that accepts external storage via USB or USB-C. Transfers move at lightening speeds and the casing provides plenty of protection.

Cons

The packaged USB-C cable is very short and is only meant for USB-C to USB. You'll need to purchase an additional cable for USB-C to USB-C support.

Best Bang for the Buck
Silicon Power Armor A30
Silicon Power
Armor A30
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Bottom Line

Durable and stylish, this drive is able to do it all, but not very quickly.

Pros

The outer casing is easy to grip, while rubber corners keep the drive safe from drops. It still manages to look thin and feel light, despite its rugged design, making it great for storage in the office or on-the-go.

Cons

Below-average transfer speeds for a USB 3.0 device. The built-on cable holder doesn't work well enough to be considered useful.

Silicon Power Armor A75
Silicon Power
Armor A75
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Bottom Line

A thin, rugged hard drive that looks tight and on-point, but may not always perform like it.

Pros

This drive is extremely thin and lightweight. The aluminum body looks super sleek and the design makes it very convenient to travel with. The nylon connection cable is well made and definitely built to last.

Cons

The software seems a bit archaic and is mediocre at best. It's aluminum body, while eye-catching, can sometimes slip from user's hands.

LaCie Rugged Triple Hard Disk
LaCie
Rugged Triple Hard Disk
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Bottom Line

A classic drive that maintains a rugged look and feel, but may disappoint long term users.

Pros

The device syncs quickly and transfers runs surprisingly smooth. A thick rubber strip keeps the hardware secure, easy to hold, and protected even after a few drops. It's built tough.

Cons

The drive is a bit bulky and users complain of cable connectivity issues that seem to get worse over time.

Transcend StoreJet 25H3
Transcend
StoreJet 25H3
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Bottom Line

A compact hard drive that's small and quiet, but still manages to make things difficult.

Pros

Because of its size, the drive is extraordinarily portable and inconspicuous. It's got a stylish casing that's durable, easy to grip, and so quiet that you can barely hear it when it is on.

Cons

The packaged software is unreliable and not user-friendly, making transfers take much longer than they should.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

51
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
10
Hours
Researched
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For protecting valuable data while on the road or on an adventure, a rugged hard drive can be a reliable gadget to have. Like a standard external hard drive, capacity and data transfer speeds are major considerations. USB 3.0 and USB-C devices typically allow for rapid transfers of data. As for durability, protection against drops is crucial, and a tough outer case can prevent loss of data in case of a bump or fall. If you’re looking for something tough to protect data at home, consider hard drives that can withstand fire for a short amount of time. If you’re working around water, a fully waterproof hard drive can be a good option – some models even float when dropped in a body of water.

Our Top Picks