This Thing Rules

This waterproof phone bag is an absolute beast against the elements

Why leave your valuables behind when you can just swim with them?

An underwater closeup of the Booe Belt Bag worn
Booe via Instagram

Intentionally plunging your $1,000 iPhone 13 Pro or Galaxy S21 Ultra in water probably isn’t at the top of most people’s to-do lists.

We generally work hard to keep liquids as far away from our gadgets as possible, even as device makers tout increasingly water-resistant builds. But sometimes, it’s kind of unavoidable. You’ll know that for truth if you’ve ever been caught in a torrential downpour while waiting for the bus or walking to the subway. When your clothes are soaked through, there’s not much you can do to keep that very expensive toy dry. Factor in more extreme scenarios, like going to the beach or out on a boat, and the risks of a submerged phone just go up and up.

As a person who finds herself at the mercy of the elements a lot — commuting, camping, hiking, swimming, etc. — protecting my phone and other personal electronics is something I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking into. I’ve tested cases for underwater photography, ziplock-style pouches (not to mention actual Ziploc bags) for boat-safe storage, you name it. But I’ve never used one quite as functional (and cute) as the Booē Belt Bag.

Wet-proof

Booē claims its line of bags are “100% waterproof, submersible, airtight, and they float.” That impenetrable seal is made possible by Booē’s TRU Zip design, which creates a totally gapless seam, allowing for 30 minutes of submersion at up to 1 meter. On Instagram, models in skimpy swimsuits rock the belt bag on their hips, smartphones visible through the clear viewing window as they wade in chest-high water. It almost looks too good to be true. Obviously, I had to try it.

When my $80 Booē bag arrived, hurricane season was well underway; New York got a lot of rain in the late summer, early fall months. It was barely out of the packaging before I chucked it outside in a biblical storm with a toy dinosaur and slip of paper inside to mark any moisture that crept through its seal. But no such breach happened. After a full 10 hours of being out in torrential rain, I checked it and found the contents inside just as dry as when I’d put them there. Not bad.

For once, this is a product that lives up to its hype (and price tag).

So I stepped things up a notch. I plopped my old iPhone 11 into the pouch, zipped it up, and stuck it all in the shower to be pummeled by a direct flow of water. And still, nothing — not one, tiny drop got inside.

The Belt Bag’s first night at my house was spent outside in the rain. Cheyenne MacDonald / Input
Next, it got a warm shower. InpCheyenne MacDonald / Input
All dry in here!Cheyenne MacDonald / Input

I dunked it in a bucket full of water next, making sure the entire bag was below the surface, and held it there for a while (it did, as the company promised, float back up to the top, so I had to keep pressure on it the whole time). And once again, it worked! When I inspected the phone afterward and the inside of the bag, everything was bone dry.

Needless to say, I’m obsessed with this thing now. It is the perfect companion for outdoor activities, however light or rigorous they may be.

I dunked it in a gross bucket of water and not a single drop got inside. Cheyenne MacDonald / Input

Hype is real

The fanny pack design leaves your hands free for whatever you need them for, but you can also switch the straps up to make it a sling or over-the-shoulder type carry. It’s big enough to hold a smartphone plus a few other odds and ends, like your wallet, keys, Tamagotchis, vape, etc. For once, this is a product that lives up to its hype (and price tag).

The Belt Bag comes in four colors — white, black, blue, and orange — and is just one of the styles the company offers. Booē also has a small backpack, which I kind of want to buy, and pouches of various sizes.

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