Otterbox Defender Series Gets Mixed Reviews

Two reviewers, two opinions — Dawn Wright and Barbara Baird review the Defender Series

Otterbox Defender Series iPhone Case
Otterbox Defender Series iPhone Case
Women's Outdoor News
Women's Outdoor News

Rolla, MO –-( Dawn Wright, avid hunter, former mining engineer at a Southwest aggregate company and now a stay-at-home mom of twin toddlers writes her first review:

I’m a housewife, or more accurately, a stay-at-home mother of 16-month-old twin girls and have been an iPhone user since its beginning. Last November, I was given the opportunity to try an OtterBox Defender Series case, and thought “Why not?”

I have taken my OtterBox case out in the woods deer hunting, to the grocery store, the park, the gym, and on a cross-country drive with the entire family. After three weeks of putting it through its paces on my daily adventures, in other words, the most daunting quality assurance program I could design, I just don’t think the OtterBox is worth the investment.

Don’t get me wrong. The OtterBox is an exceptionally well-built case, and I am quite impressed with the level of engineering that went into the design. The case allows you use all of the functionality of the phone, such as still being able to reach the edges of the touch screen and plugging in accessories while giving the phone an extra layer of protection from scratches and bumpers to protect the phone when dropped. However, the coolest features has to be the Realtree Max-4 pattern on the case, which in my circle of friends, made my phone stand out among all of the other phones.

Otterbox Defender Series iPhone Case
Otterbox Defender Series iPhone Case

The problem with the OtterBox is that it transformed my slim iPhone into a big clunky phone, which is difficult to slide in and out of my pockets. I tried the belt clip to remedy this problem and it just made it worse. The belt clip makes the phone even bigger and it doesn’t stay hooked when I’m trying to balance two little girls in my arms. When looking back to my before-children years, the belt clip might have worked, but alas that is no longer the way of life for me. As a result, with the OtterBox in place on my phone, I have been losing my phone around the house and in the car much more frequently. When I can’t pop it into my pocket I tend to set it down, and with all of the distractions that a typical day brings, I can never remember where I put my phone. I am going back to a case-less phone so I always know where it is, in my pocket safe and sound.

I’ve heard the argument “Doesn’t the case keep your kids from breaking it?” Most of the people I know who have had smart phones destroyed, by children or themselves, admit the problem was water damage. The OtterBox will not save a phone from being dunked in a glass of lemonade or taking a plunge in a toilet, or taking a swim in the pond at a park, all true stories. I also have carried an iPhone without a case for years and dropped my phone hundreds of times without breaking it. I’m not saying that they aren’t breakable, just that I haven’t managed to break one by dropping. None of the added layers of protection that the case provides makes up for the clunkiness that is added.

My advice, get the case if you want. But, if you are like me and like having your slim little iPhone that fits into your you want the cool factor or the peace of mind the added protection might give pocket with ease, ditch the case and find some other way to make your iPhone unique without adding bulk.

OtterBox Defender AP Blaze
OtterBox Defender AP Blaze

Review 2: OtterBox Defender AP Blaze
I’m taking this OtterBox out for further testing in the turkey woods this spring. When I received it last November, my deer hunting days were over. So, it will be clipped onto my belt in April and stay there till I either tag out or the season ends.  It will have to stay attached while I climb hills and descend hollers, cross streams, sit fast, crawl and work with a vest that is always moving and loaded with calls and accoutrements for turkey hunting — plus, that whole shotgun slung over my shoulder thing.

I can see what Dawn means, though, about it not slipping in and out of pockets easily because of size and also, because of the silicone skin on the back in camo patterns.

I believe it is rugged. I’m using it. I’ve dropped it on the garage floor twice already. No marks.

I’ll be back in May with the rest of part 2. ~Barbara Baird

In the meantime, see for yourself. Put an OtterBox Defender through the paces. Retail: $59.95

The Women’s Outdoor News, aka The WON, delivers news, reviews and stories about women in the outdoors. Born out of a desire to serve the burgeoning outdoor market for women and to inspire as many women to go outside as possible, The WON pops into email in-boxes, RSS feeds and Twitter Feeds with updates during the work week. Visit:

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