Your iPhone 13 is sturdy, but that doesn't mean you can't add even more protection to it with a rugged case, especially if you're using your iPhone for outdoor adventures or you work
Inside one of these durable shields your iPhone 13 will be safe against accidental knocks and scrapes while you're out there shredding the slopes, scaling cliffs, white water rafting, or doing whatever adrenaline-pumping activity your heart desires.
Many of the best iPhone cases provide basic protection against bumps and scratches. But the best durable cases in this list will add another layer of protection, so even if you drop your iPhone 13 from a height, it'll be safe. Some are even fully waterproof, so you can (technically) take them swimming.
Due to their durability, you may miss out on MagSafe compatibility so one of the best MagSafe cases for iPhone 13 may be a better bet during less extreme times. And if you've landed on this page but have an iPhone 13 Pro instead, check out our best iPhone 13 Pro cases guide instead.
It's a great time to upgrade your tech and your accessories because sales season is fast approaching. Black Friday is on November 25 this year and the deals are already starting to roll in. We never know for sure what will be reduced and when, but we do expect a number of the cases in this list to be discounted. So keep your eyes peeled.
Get protected with the best rugged cases for iPhone 13
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This super durable case by Urban Armor Gear features a raised bezel that surrounds the screen to protect it from scratches, as well as skid pads and extra-padded corners to protect your iPhone 13 from scrapes, drops, and bumps. For the durability it provides, this case is nice and lightweight. The button pads are ultra-responsive, and it supports MagSafe charging. Plus, it comes in a large array of colors to choose from.
This budget friendly case by Red2Fire comes in a rainbow of colors to choose from. This clear iPhone 13 case ith screen protector features sensitive touch performance as well as full-screen coverage, protecting against scratches and cracks. It’s got a double-layer design and a sturdy, transpartent, back cover that provides 360-degree, full-body protection.
Tough, rugged, and highly-rated
The Pelican Voyager Rugged Case features a sleek, matte, black finish, and a belt holster/kickstand for added functionality. It’s got anti-scratch coating so it will always look nice and new, as well as raised edges on both the front and back cameras to protect the screens. It’s reinforced with four protective layers of hard polycarbonate shell and soft elastomer to protect your phone from all elements. It is made of recycled materials making it sustainable, and it’s compatible with MagSafe and wireless charging.
It may seem like an obvious choice, and that's because it is. Otterbox is a go-to for rugged cases since they were one of the first brands to make them for iPhone, and the iPhone 13 is no exception. In our own review of this case, we confirmed that you can count on the Otterbox Defender for 3X the standard of military-grade drop protection.
Spigen's Rugged Armor Case is both protective and long-lasting despite its surprisingly low price. The flexible TPU material is easy to install and great at absorbing shocks and bumps. The raised bezels around the screen and camera protect these fragile areas, and the grooved sides improve grip.
Mous is famous for its crazy protective iPhone cases, and this one is lined with bullet-proof aramid fiber to boot. If you have any doubts about Mous's Limitless line of cases, go check out their YouTube page and watch what happens when they drop an iPhone out of a helicopter. You can also check out my own review of the leather version of the 4.0 series, which is equally as cool and protective.
Even more waterproof
The iPhone 13 has an IP68 water-resistance rating, which means it can withstand underwater submersion for about half an hour. The problem is water damage could mean losing your iPhone warranty coverage. If you really want to do some underwater photography with the iPhone, or if you're taking your iPhone kayaking and the like, a good waterproof case like this one is probably a wise choice for added watertight protection.
The Smartish Gripzilla is (you guessed it) quite grippy! The undulating rubberized edges are ultra-grippy, and the protective design also provides 360-degree drop protection. To boot, this one offers some cute prints to choose from as well.
If your iPhone is a road warrior that accompanies you on your bicycle, motorcycle, RTV, or even on rock climbing excursions, the Rokform Rugged Case is the way to go. The super-tough case comes with a unique interlocking mount that works for a variety of accessories, allowing you to mount it securely to almost anything.
This is another version of the Otterbox Defender without screen protection, so you don't lose that feeling of glass on your iPhone. It also has a belt clip that doubles as a kickstand, as well as port covers to stop dirt, dust, and grime.
Commute in style and safety
The Otterbox Commuter Series still offers some great protection but its decidedly slimmer in profile than some of the other offerings here. It also looks a lot more stylish and less like military-grade hardware, so is a great compromise for some extra peace of mind.
How to choose the best rugged case for the iPhone 13
Let one of the rugged best iPhone 13 cases worry about your phone while you're out adventuring, so you don't have to. We love the Urban Armor Gear UAG case because it's extremely durable, supports MagSafe charging, and comes in a large assortment of colors.
Need something a little more budget friendly? The Red2Fire comes in a rainbow of colors and will protect your iPhone 13 from drops, scrapes, and cracks without breaking the bank.
If you're looking for a crowd favorite, the Pelican Voyager Rugged Case does not disappoint. This sleek case features a belt holster/kickstand for versatility while you're on the go. An anti-scratch coating makes it always look shiny and new. Plus, it's got four protective layers of hard polycarbonate shell to put your mind at ease.
Don't just stop at your iPhone. Take a look at our best rugged Apple Watch cases guide. We also have a huge range of case lists for Macbooks, too, like our best MacBook Pro case list and selection of the best MacBook Air cases.
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Nicolette is a freelance writer for iMore. She's been hooked on Apple products since she got the very first iPhone in 2007 and made the switch from PC to Mac in 2008 after inadvertently dousing her laptop with a hefty dose of water. A dedicated creative, Nicolette has had the pleasure of working with some of the top websites, studios, and brands in the industry throughout her career, and enjoys writing about all things: Apple, health, fitness, audio, and home. With over a decade of high-level experience as a health and fitness professional, Nicolette specializes in tech pertaining to the field. If she’s not working, you can find her sipping a glass of wine, enjoying a concert, or hanging with her family.
- Jaclyn KilaniContributor