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6 Tips for Using a Waterproof Phone Pouch for Kayaking and Other Water Sports

If you’re used to taking your smartphone with you everywhere you go, you may be itching to bring it with you when you take part in water sports. But a lot of phone cases are not completely waterproof. The iPhone 14 Plus cases or iPhone 14 Pro Max cases can protect your phone from drops and scratches, but you’ll need a proper waterproof phone pouch if you want to submerge your phone. Here are some tips for using a waterproof phone pouch when kayaking or doing other water sports.

Having your phone around your neck or across your body leaves your hands free, which gives you freedom of movement. You can kayak, maneuver the boat or sailboard. This will enhance your performance so you can enjoy your water sports activity instead of worrying about holding your phone. Keeping your phone around is also good in case of an emergency on the water. You can call or text for help immediately if you’re stranded or have an accident.


The key tip is to choose a high-quality waterproof phone pouch to protect your phone from water damage. Such pouches are made from materials certified for underwater use. Case-Mate's waterproof phone pouches, for example, are IP68 certified and can be submerged in up to 3 ft of water for 30 minutes.

A high-quality phone pouch with a good sealing mechanism is necessary to protect your phone from water and elements such as sand and rocks.

During different water sports, you’ll be subjected to different degrees of water exposure. Getting splashed on a kayak is quite different from wading through a foot of water. Make sure to look at the description on the pouch to see how far you can submerge it in water and for how long. For example, you may be fine taking your waterproof water pouch when you’re snorkeling, but it may not be adequate if you’re scuba diving.

Pay attention to any additional features offered as well. Can you use your touchscreen window when you’re underwater? Is the pouch a floating one that will always float back up to the surface if you drop it in water? Make sure the pouch is big enough for your phone to fit inside.

You’ll gain peace of mind when you select a high-quality waterproof phone pouch. There’s nothing worse than worrying about your phone while you’re out kayaking or snorkeling. If you invest in a reliable pouch, you can relax and enjoy your water activity.


After choosing a high-quality waterproof phone pouch, you still need to test it before heading out for a fun day. The first feature you’ll want to test, of course, is its waterproofing feature. 

Test the pouch by writing a word on a paper towel. Then cut the paper towel to the size of your phone, and insert it into the pouch. Seal the pouch according to the instructions. Then submerge the pouch in a sink full of water or keep the pouch under running water. If the paper towel stayed dry after 30 minutes and the words didn’t smudge, you had closed the pouch successfully.

Another reason you should test your pouch is that it can help you find any issues with either the waterproofing feature or the closures. There may be a scratch on the plastic enclosure that lets in water. If there are any leaks or if the seals aren’t working, you can return the faulty product and get a replacement.


If you have tested your pouch, the next step is to prepare your phone and insert it properly. You may need to remove the outer case and any accessories to prepare your phone. Your phone should fit inside the pouch rather snugly.

If you want to take photos and videos while your phone is underwater, you will need to remove all the air bubbles. Once you put your phone in, squeeze out all the extra air with your palms, going back and forth over the surface of the pouch. Do this step a few times until all the air bubbles have been removed. If there is any space between the camera lens and the plastic cover, you’ll get photos that are out of focus and distorted.

If there are any accessories, such as lanyards, make sure you attach them properly. Lanyards will help you from losing your phone, so you must follow the instructions with these accessories.

Instead of a small phone pouch, you may prefer a dry bag, such as our Pelican dry bags. This will let you carry other items with you, such as AirPods, sunscreen, keys and other essentials. Our dry bags have different manufacturer instructions from our waterproof pouches, so it’s important to follow the specific instructions for the product you purchase.


Our Case-Mate waterproof pouches and bags are designed to be waterproof for up to 30 minutes underwater. Going beyond the manufacturer’s instructions isn’t a good idea. For one thing, you could increase the risk of water seeping into the pouch. Exposing the pouch or bag too long could weaken the seals, eventually letting water penetrate the enclosure.

Another reason you don’t want to submerge the waterproof pouch for too long is that moisture can build up inside the pouch. The difference in temperature between the water and the surrounding air could lead to condensation inside the pouch, which could damage your phone.

Your phone’s touchscreen and usability could also be affected if you decide to prolong the submersion beyond the recommended time. The responsiveness of your phone could be negatively affected as well. In the short term, you could drain your battery faster, preventing you from taking photos, recording videos or simply having it last throughout your water sports activities.


One of the best accessories with our Case-Mate pouches is the lanyard and cross-body strap. We offer these accessories so your phone stays safe while boating, kayaking or water rafting.

Keeping the pouch across your body can prevent accidentally losing your phone. For example, if you’re in a kayak and dip your phone into the water to take a photo, you may drop it by mistake and lose it forever. These kinds of accidents won’t happen with the phone strapped to you. You also won’t end up misplacing it if you take a break somewhere.

Keeping the pouch around your neck gives you easy access. You can take a photo, record a video, check your messages and even check the time. If there’s an emergency, your phone is right there. Want to catch a passing dolphin? Just lift your phone and snap a photo or record a video.


Once you have used your phone for your water sports activity, you’ll want to thoroughly dry the pouch or bag. Rinse the pouch or bag with fresh water to remove dirt, sand or saltwater. Inspect the pouch to make sure it hasn’t been scratched or damaged in any way.

If you were in the ocean, make sure to also wipe your phone down to rid it of any salty residue. Saltwater is corrosive, so wiping your phone down reduces the risk of any corrosion.

Besides sand and saltwater, your pouch or bag may have collected algae or dangerous microorganisms on the exterior. By rinsing it off, you’re preventing the spread of harmful contaminants.

Once you have rinsed the pouch or bag, leave it in the sun to dry. This will prevent the growth of any mold. If the interior of the pouch or bag remains damp, mold will start to grow. Not only will this cause unpleasant odors, but it can also harm your phone and your health.

Finally, caring for your pouch or bag after using it extends its lifespan. You can use it repeatedly when you go to the water park, swimming hole, pool, beach or during any water sports activities.


There’s nothing better than having your phone during all your water activities. Besides recording memories, you can use it to navigate, text or even do some reading in the middle of a lake. Just remember the tips above to ensure that your phone stays safe.

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