Skip to main content

Overboard vs Aquapac in iPhone 4 water torture test - Amazing Case [give away]

If you had to trust a water-proof case to protect your precious iPhone 4 during a torture test, which would it be -- the Overboard or the Aquapac? That's the challenge they gave me for the latest episode of TiPb's Amazing Case, our hardcore, case vs case tests of strength, durability, and performance.

We figure if either -- or both -- of these water cases could survive being thrown into the deep end and taken through the high-pressure car wash then they can survive a dip in the tub or day at the beach.

Follow on after the jump for the details, and the give-away!

Aquapac vs Overboard

Truth be told these two cases are very similar. Both are clear plastic that retains the capacitive touch so you can keep using your iPhones while they're inside. (At least when you're out of the water -- no capacitive touch can work when you're under water). This means you can still make calls, record video, check the web, etc. with ease.

The Overboard has a black outer lining that does conceal part of the iPhone which I found kind of annoying. The Aquapac is clear all the way around allowing you to be able to see the whole screen of the iPhone and use the camera without having to worry about the view being obstructed.

Both the Overboard and the Aquapac have hard plastic seals that close tightly and securely. They do allow a small amount of water to get caught in the closure though, so you need to open the cases with caution or you risk dripping water on your iPhones. And yes, both cases are equally hard to get iPhones into and out of.

Lanyards are included with both the Overboard and the Aquapac so you can hold onto them or tie them to something to make sure you don't lose them in the water.

It should be mentioned that the Aquapac has a three year warranty which covers the phone if damaged in proper use (would a carwash count?). The overboard has a 1 year warranty but this does not cover the phone. Thanks Andy!

Fight! (and give-away)

So which water proof case was the most protective? No spoilers! You have to watch the video above for the results of our Overboard vs Aquapac ultimate iPad scratch test.

When you're done leave me a reply in the comments below and tell me which one you'd rather have protecting your iPhone 4 -- Overboard or Aquapac -- and where exactly you want to take you iPhone 4 that it needs water protection.

We have a one of each to give away, so make sure you leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. (US mailing address required for delivery).

Ready? Fight!

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector and Isometric podcasts, follow her on Twitter @Georgia_Dow and check out her series at

  • OMG I need one LOL .... I would love to have the Aquapac! I need it for when I am in the hot tub (I have a nasty habit of dropping my phone!!!)
  • So it's a tie? They are both probably better than what I do which is wrap it in cling wrap with a bit of silica gel.
    It would be nice if you showed a bit more of the video and picture quality. It seemed from the car wash video that the first one had better picture quality through the plastic.
    More objective picture tests would have been nice.
  • The picture quality between both phones is almost exactly the same though I have had the Aquapac longer and used it all the time so it may have needed a bit more of a cleaning before shooting.
  • OMG! I would of been so nervous! I am a lifeguard and I have to walk around the pool and this would be very handy to have so I can protect it in case I have too jump in the pool. I love listening to my music on my iPhone 4!
  • I like the Overboard because of the name and color.
    Much better than what I do! I double zip lock mine! :P
  • I want the overboard case! Forgot too add it to my previous post. Sorry Georgia!
  • I'd have to say the Overboard. Looks a lot nicer and probably feels better in the hand.
  • I do love to go surfing and having the overboard waterproof case would be epic. Imagine, mounting the iPhone to the end of the board and catching in wave footage! Why would I rather have overboard? It has a minimalistic design and no horrible blue edges. Just nice and black.
  • Overboard for me :P
  • Was it only me that couldn't pay any attention to the phones and cases at all?
  • I'd like the Aquapac because I have a pool in my yard, and I can't tell you how many phones have had to be replaced because friends that come over to swim end up splashing or dropping in the water. It looks like it would be perfect for our pool parties.
  • Overboard, for me. To protect it in case my children decide to take a bath with it.
  • I'm drowning!! Please help!
  • I would have to say the Overboard looks nicer, but this comment concerns me, "The Overboard has a black outer lining that does conceal part of the iPhone which I found kind of annoying". What exactly is concealed? Is it screen area? Any of the camera?
    Looks like most people are interested in style, which the Aquapac doesn't look like it has much of. Another feature that would be nice to see is a small, permanent air chamber that would help the bag float.
  • I would go with the Overboard, it looks nicer and it seems that they both do just as good as far as protection. I would love to use this in the ocean while I go surfing, I've been looking for something like this!
  • I would like the Overboard so when I'm in my pool I don't have to create a towel fort under a chair with an umbrella over top.
  • @ Stephan Puga If you put it in backwards it can cover the camera but usually it just covers the homebutton. I found that annoying because you have to make sure which way you put the iPhone into the pouch.
  • Ok, so they are equal, but what about the price? Are they equal? Different colors? A way to attach it to say, a cooler?
  • I would use the Aquapac at the beach. That would make great videos.
  • That was just fabulous.. I never thought that these cases could actually do the job..I really need one now..!
  • Hey I want one.. For free! Hope I win!
  • Who's the girl?
  • Like the looks of overboard better
  • I'm in love.....& not with the cases
  • If you are worried about your case floating then you just let a bit of air in the case and it will float if you lose it in the water.
  • But the cases are very cool
  • This case would be sooook useful! I wannit soooooo bad! Please!!
  • I think I could get some great use out of the Aquapac. While Geocaching, I often have to wade through creeks and streams or even get in a canoe, so I've had some close calls in the past with water and iPhones.
  • Would luv aqua pac I recently bought annual pass to aquatica sea world water park and this would be great to used in the park and take pic and video plus would be awesome to be able to go to sea world too and take pic and video of shamu with out worrying about the phone
  • I live in Florida which it means that I'm surrender by water, when. I'm not in the pool I'm in the water parks or in sea world or universal studio and they have amazing water ride and I always worry about my Iphone 4 would be great if I win the aquapad
  • I could really use the Overboard for when I take my son to the water park.
  • Georgia will u marry me. ?
  • I would have to go with the Aquapac since the Overboard conseals part of the iPhone. I love to fish both from dock and on boat and always have iPhone with me. I've fallen in water once trying to untangle my line so the aquapac could save my iPhone!
  • I could totally use an Aquapac! Besides my 4 kids who love to take off with my phone, I volunteer at a Boy Scout camp and spend my weekends on a lake! Usually I just leave my phone on shore, but this would be so handy!!!
  • Aquapac for nature and kayak use.
  • Some of you guys need to "unplug" your computers for awhile...seriously.
  • Another Floridian here, with a swimming pool, on a saltwater canal at the coast and also like to SCUBA dive! And since it's summer we have a moat at the end of our drive and the street is currently a river. :)
    Actually I would probably use something like this the most at the beach videoing and photographing our dog catching frisbees and learning to swim...
    So I vote for the Aquapac!
  • Overboard for me, I prefer their styling over the aquapac!
    My wife is 5mo pregnant with our first doughter and one of her favorite places to relax is at the pool. So I'd love to be able to keep her phone safe , lol :)
  • I need the overboard for out on the boat!!
  • Or...there is a almost free option. A ziplock baggie. They work great and capacitive (and resistive) touch works just fine through it. Great for the tub / beach / etc. I think these companies selling waterproof cases figured that out and started selling expensive sandwich bags.
  • Thank goodness.. no Rene in a Speedo ;-)
  • Georgia is a goddess.
  • Aquapac to keep my baby dry while kayaking the lakes and rivers here in Smoky Mountains of TN.
  • overboard so i can take showers and listen to music
  • Off to the Bahamas in October for my 25th wedding anniversary. I like the Overboard design....rather not use a baggie....LOL
  • Aquapak! For the tub! Ahhhh nothing like relaxing in the tub while reading and playing with my phone!
  • I like the Overboard, as it seems like a Much nicer product. Aquapack looks like a blue ziplock bag haha After going to Disney this year, I was thinking an exclosure like one of these would be good for a trip where the environment is a bit wet and sandy.
  • I like both but the best part of the review is the lovely georgia. Can you do all of them in the pool?? Haha
  • Overboard for my up and coming fishing trip to FL! Let's just hope we don't need it! =\. Thanks tipb!
  • Aquapac is very cool, I'd like that one please!
  • I'd have to go with Overboard. I know video claims a tie but it just looks like its more sturdy for the long haul. I would use it for pool time with my 3 yr old daughter who LOVES being in the water!!!
  • All things being equal in the test, the aquapac appears to allow less constrictive movement as well as an unobscured view while stored. Having lost three iphones to the sea as an offshore fishing captain, once from falling overboard, once from being pushed off a dock, and once from it falling out of my front shirt pocket while pulling a fish over the gunnel, I am long overdue for a case of this type. My vote goes to Aquapac.
  • i'd take the overboard, it looks cooler. i'd take it tubing to harpers ferry VA!
  • I vote for the Aquapac and its unobstructed view
  • I love the aquapac! I'm at the lake every weekend on my seadoo and must have my iPhone with me in case of emergency! I worry that no matter how careful I am my phone is going to get wet, there's not a dry place to keep it! I could really use the case every weekend to keep my iPhone 4 safe!
  • I go to a water park all the time, this would be great to have!
    I'd pick the Aquapac, but whichever one you have more of is fine with me.
    Fingers Crossed
  • I would have to def. Go with the aquapac....I've been looking into getting a waterproof case for my iPhone 4 for a while now. I spend a Ton of time in the water surfing and diving as well as going to the local water parks and it would be awesome to be able to record video while swimming with sealife!!! I def. Wanna win one!!
  • Looks like they both held up equally well, and without close ups on the cases themselves, they look too similar to make a choice. It seemed they open slightly differently, but that wasn't clear enough in the video.
  • Glad both was a tie so you didnt get a water damaged iPhone 4. I love filming and would love to film under the waves at the beach. See if I could film some sea life. So I would want the Aquapac so I dont have to worry about the view getting messed up.
  • Overboard for me. I'd use it when I go camping and not worry about getting caught in the rain.
  • More or Georgia in a bikini :). Oh yeah, great review also.
  • I would love the aqua pack. Would work great for when I am out hiking or fishing.
  • I'll rather have the Aquapac even thought they both do their jobs it just looks much better because of the light color.
    I would like to win one so i can record all the fun while at a water park with the nephews, and use it for all the occasions im near a pool,beach.
  • Overboard! Better name :p but I def need one when I go fly fishing! Every time I bring it out to capture that trout goodness I think it'll be the last!
  • I'm gonna pick the aquapac. Lost my first iPhone 4 to a lake in Ontario, Canada in late June, so I'll have to get one of these before I go next time. :)
  • Aquapack. For the beach!!!
  • Aquapack & Georgia for the beach !!!
  • Aquapack
  • I would like the aquapac and I would take it to all of the vegas pool parties. Already lost a phone that way....
  • Aquapack,is my choice, its hurricane season down here in florida, and its always raining here in jacksonville,with this case i can rest assured and know my iphone 4 wont get damage or wet when im working in these wet conditions,Aquapack you're my superhero for my iphone 4, come protect it !!!!
  • Aquapack! Great for when I go fishing
  • I am a big canoer/ kayaker and the grey would be more noticeable/ easier to find if it tried to visit Davy Jones locker. Also, it would draw less attention from prying eyes at the beach, lake, etc. They are pretty much the same, but Aquapac would be my choice and the materials look to be tougher Thanks for the review.
  • It's a toss-up for me, either case is fine. And I agree: Georgia & both cases & plenty of coconut oil at the beach! At night. By a campfire. On Maui.
  • I'll go with Aquapac, I've owned them for years without a hitch (knock on wood). I figure I could always enjoy a spare that I can stash in my car in case of an unsuspected downpour.
  • I like the aquapak better. It has a little more of a minimallist design, and it doesnt have the black all over it, allowing more sight of the sexy iPhone. I would like to use the case to take better pictures of underwater pics during my wife and I's next trip to Mexico. When we went in May, we took a walk under the ocean and we were able to see and pet stingrays. The opportunity to catch great pictures and HD video of that would be awesome.
  • I would say the Overboard just because it looks more sturdy and secure. The latches on the case give a solid click when it opens and closes and that's what I would want to hear before taking my phone into the water!
  • Aquapac all the way!
    For days by the pool.
  • I'd go with the aqua pac so I can use Chatr in the shower. ;)
  • Aquapak looks like a better case.
  • I like the aquapac! I'm going on a 7-day cruise to Mexico soon and will be doing a tons of swimming and snorkeling. A water-proof case should help me capture some great underwater pictures and video.
  • Overboard because it looks stronger and it's black
  • Aquapac for sure. I would always leave this in my bag - for the pool at the gym, playing in the rain... And would love to take it with me on my trip to Mexico. The water is sooo blue, I bet the vid would look amazing!
  • Aquapac gets my vote for looks.
  • Both definitely work well... I choose Overboard. Can't believe you did a car wash test... how scary. Anyway, Aquapac looks like a it should hold a sandwich.
  • I would go with the aquapac because it is clear. Would be awesome to be able to take my phone when canoeing without worrying....
  • I vote for the Aquatec, who would want to cover their iPhone?
  • Overboard looks better IMO. Also, it's German, for "Whales vagina"
  • aquapac because it is all clear.
  • I'd have to go for the Aquapac on this one... Screen real estate seems to be much more. It'd be great for taking dive and snorkeling photos!
  • I have to say, Georgia has some big B@lls to do a test like that. No way i am putting my iphone in the pool or driving in through the car wash like that. I have to say though, my daughter drooped her ipod touch in the pool once. I opened it up and left it in the sun for 3 days to let it dry out and put it together and it works. I love Apple stuff.
  • I like the aquapac better being that it is clear. I would take it to Kennywood and Sandcastle and i wound have to leave it behind in a locker for fear of it getting wet on the water rides.
  • Aquapac it is, despite the tie. I want a full view of my phone without the black casing.
  • Thanks for the reply, Georgia. (I hope this doesn't disqualify me, as I am leaving a second comment since the first was just to ask a question and there does not appear to be a way to edit my comment...)
    Since it is a tie, I think I would have to go with the Aquapac because I looked at the big pictures in the TiPb store and it does look like the Overboard does indeed obscure some of the front of the phone. As for where I would take it? Into the shower to watch morning podcasts or listen to music as well as in the pool.
  • Overboard looks great!
  • Like the video says it's a tie! I'd like to have either! But the overboard does look more sturdy!
  • Never had either one, both look great! If I had to choose, I'd go with the -Overboard. I'm a sucker for packaging. Would love to take my iP4 with me and my boys when we go surfing. A shot in the tube would be so rad
  • I really like the overboard. Im going to Hawaii in a month so I would be nice to have something like that for under water video. BTW more Georgia would be great :)
  • Like the look of the Overboard, so it gets my vote. Definitely come in handy with my 14 month old throwing everything she finds into the toilet or bathtub ;-)
  • Definitely the Overboard. Would be quite useful for taking videos while rafting :)
  • I died laughing when I first saw u were taking it through a car wash. I'd take the overboard. Looks like a much better build.
  • I like the aquapac better because it's completely clear and doesn't have the black outer lining. I completely need one of these because i attend many weddings and have ruined a number of phones by having a bit too much to drink and jumping in pools with my phone in my pocket. Pity huh?
  • Great review. Awesome products. Either look solid, but got to hand it go the look of the Aquapac. Wish I could have a hands on with both. Thanks!
  • There were cases in that video?
    Georgia, you're KILLING me.
  • I'd take the Aquapac personally if I had the choice. And as I've already destroyed a camera by taking it into the pool accidentally, I think this would be perfect for me.
  • I'll take the Aquapac to protect from my kids @ the pool.
  • Sorry but you can put your iPhone in a Ziploc bag and it will stay dry and cost a hell a lot less.
  • I'm liking the overboard, and I live in New I need it to go outside.
  • Overboard cause I'm always at the pool with my kids. Plus a take it on the boat at the lake (people love hooking into my wifi). Not to mention all the football games this fall. I'm sure there will be rain at one or two.
  • Aquapac! Yippee!
    I'd use it at the beach and surfing. 
  • Aquapac for me! I need one for two reasons - first, we have a pool and I'm clumsy. Can't tell you how many times I've almost gone in when working around the pool w/ iPhone in pocket. Yikes!
    Second, Whitewater rafting baby!
  • Action speaks louder then the words. I think the fight will be now between the color preference and my choice is Black.Just kidding both are great. Thanks for the generous offer.
  • Aquapac so I can watch a movie when I jump in the bath with peace of mind
  • I like the aquapac most for the look and I really need one because I am firefighter and I loose several phone for wather damage. Great review!!!
  • Aquapac since it does not have the black outer. I'd take it back country camping!
  • I'd do the aquapack, because the lining is black... Like my soul
  • I'm completely with you, Derek (#4). Been reading TiPb a lot more since Georgia joined. ;D
  • I'd love to take the aquapac into the shower.
  • I'd go with the Aquapac because it is all clear. This is very handy for us motorcycle riders who get caught in the rain...
  • As Georgia said, they both are very similar. I wouldn't mind owning either one, but if I was forced to pick one, it would have to be the Overboard. I think I just like it's looks a bit better.
  • Oops, forgot to say where I'd use it...I go camping and hiking all the time. It's usually near a lake, river, or waterfall. I just hiked about 10 miles along some mountain creeks to see Bridal Veil Falls in NC this past weekend.
  • Please Married me
  • I bought an Aquapak after my car was stolen while surfing. I now take my electronic key with me while surfing and it works great. I am still pondering whether to take my iPhone4!
  • They both look pretty good to me.
  • Nice Georgia. I like the Overboard one.
  • Personally, I'm liking the Aquapac. The Overboard just doesn't seem to have that design aesthetic that iPhones crave. I do a lot of walking in the rain (not by choice - blame Mother Nature).
  • Taking phone calls/recording video while in the bag. Does it sound ok/record audio ok?
  • This has to be the best test video ever! Great job, great review!
  • I wish I'd had either at the beach last weekend....
  • I'd choose the Aquapac for my wife...
    Wednesday she rolled down the car window and showed me her dripping wet iPhone she had placed in the cup holder, only to realize there was a clear punch cup with water vying for the same real estate.
    Hopefully I wont be out another $199 with the help of either of these two cases.
  • Other than the black border they seem the same so I would choose the Aquapac for the completely clear plastic. I need a waterproof case for when I travel to Japan to see the underwater "pyramids."
  • I like the overboard better. It would come in handy when I go on my cruise next month.
  • the OB Aqua reminds me of a condom for some reason.. ahem.. :) so i'd rather have the Aquapac please.. mainly because it is more versatile :)
  • I would love the Aquapack, it looks great, and would be awesome for my bath time routine, I'm always afraid of my iPhone falling into the water, I can't afford a NEW PHONE! lol.
  • Aquapack! I could really use one because I'm frequently wakeskating, wakeboarding, wake surfing, and air chairing. I am also swimming and if by the beach or pool alot. It would be really nice not having to worry about my phone getting wet while on the boat because we like to use my phone to film us doing tricks. Also we use my phone to film skiing and it would save slot of worry there as well! Thanks!
  • I like the Aquapack! Looks a little less obtrusive. If i had one i would use it to record around the pool and definitely at the beach trips with the fam!
  • I would just like to say that I have a pool and Georgia can come swimming anytime. Oh, and both of these cases looked like they worked well in the carwash..didn't really notice the cases in the pool test.
  • Yee haw! A great review to help decide which for me... and it's the Aquapac! I should really get one because the only reason I have my new iPhone4 was getting caught in a rainstorm hiking with my 3GS. This would be the perfect compliment to justify since I already take the thing everywhere, including pools, amusement park water rides especially! Good stuff guys & gals
  • Aquapack looks like it is easier to see and use being it's all clear. But both did the job.
  • the things that bloggers do to their iPhones...
  • I would choose the Aquapack because the main reason I'd use my iPhone underwater is to take pictures - and you said that one can be better because the view of the screen is not obstructed. Whatever makes it better to take pictures wins, so that's Aquapack! I hope I win too! (I'd probably use the Aquapack to go snorkeling...would it work with that? Hmmm....I wonder if the iPhone flash could be used underwater to see the fish!?) Thanks for the contests!
  • I'd take the aquapack, like the grey color, it matches the ip4 antenna. Use it to go to the beach and not worry about phone getting stolen cause it will be on me. Also good for when it rains at theme parks.
    So side note- anyone else's heart stop seeing these tests?!?!
  • I'll take either. What is their depth rating? I'm a scuba diver and have been dying for a way to be able to take my phone down so people topside cand text me info on what's going on up there!!!
  • Overboard beats the aquapac
  • Aquapac's warranty is 3 years, and they cover the phone itself if it gets damaged. Overboard is 1 year and doesn't cover the phone.
  • Andy thanks that is an excellent point which I didn't mention in the review and I should have.
    The warranty in this case is a huge factor in deciding a case, and covering the phone is massive. Ill add it in now
  • I'd use the Overboard to take pics/movies of my soon-to-be 1 yr old daughter. She loves my aunt's pool!
  • Aquapac for the win! Is use it for shooting storm/lightning footage like there was nothing to it! No more standing behind a window indoors!
  • Overboard wins it for me. Looks like a better case. Heading for the pool next week would be a nice addition.
  • I'll take the aquapac!!
  • The aquapac would make me much less stressed while at the pool with my kids :)
  • They both look great, but I like the look of the Overboard a bit better. I would love this for next month when I will be riding Splash Mountain!
  • Both functional - but I like Overboard a teeny bit better: it looks like even though there is black, the plastic is a bit clearer.
    I'd take it skiing and hiking - never know when you'll be getting wet.
  • I'd go with the Aquapac. & I'll be using it to take some great playing-in-the-sprinkler photos.
  • They both look good but like the Aquapac - anyone know if you can get them in the UK?
    Will this competition including international members I know most don't (unlike my old favorite
  • I prefer the Aquapac - it looks nicer to me. Great for trips to the beach or amusement parks!!
  • I would have to choose the aquapac as it would be a great addition for taking videos of the waves and surfers near the water
  • Great review. You are much braver than most running their devices through the carwash :)
  • I'd have to go with the Aquapac. I live in Florida so there's the beach, tubing on the rivers, pools everywhere, and of course there's always the heavy rains and hurricanes. Yup, it would be great to have for my new iPhone4. Got my fingers & toes crossed. Thanks for the chance.
  • Nine comments and no one brings up a sexy woman in a bikini?? I'll go there....
    To hell with the cases, owwwwwwww!!! Wolf call!!
  • I aquadpac I will be a life guard teaching little kids how to swim and i dont want my iphone to slip in and im out of luck.
  • I have used the aquapac while snorkeling with a small digital camera and had no issues. Excellent product and I'd have no reservations about using it to protect my iphone in and around water
  • Aquuapac since Mike has used the brand and the warranty for aquapac is so comprehensive.
  • I would want the Overboard because it has a nice black look to it and it's got the nice closing mechanism. I would use it in many different situations, such as going to the beach and being able to use my iPhone on the sand and in the water. I can also freely take pictures and videos at the beach and in the sea without being afraid of the water. Another situation where I might use it is at the water-park. Everyone loves to take photos and videos at water parks, but at the same time extremely afraid their electronic devices might get wet. This case would absolutely solve my problem!
  • I like the look of the overboard better. I would use it when i go hiking, swimming, and just everytime it rains and i am going to be outdoors.
  • Both look great, but I like the fact that the entire screen is visible in the aquapac. Would make me a whole lot less nervous when bringing my daughter to the pool or beach.
  • The Aquapac please! Need one for the pool!
  • Can they build a water proof case that doesn't look like a plastic baggy you carry around to pickup dog poo?
  • PS, the photo for this article is my new Lock Screen
  • the aquapac is much better looking. I would use it since I live in Florida and hit up the beach all the time. I wonder how the cases are with sun glare?
  • You should give one away to someone that uploaded wallpaper to that contest. :P
  • Overboard is nicer looking in my opinion
  • I would like the Overboard. They both seem nice. I would find it useful next time I'm on a Carribean cruise or on a 3 day backpacking trip. It'd be nice not to worry about my phone getting wet and not having to resort to a ziplock snack bag, like I usually do (although those are a nice solution if you have no other alternative).
  • Your video is pretty awesome. I could have used the Aquapac at Canada's wonderland this summer.
  • I would choose the Aquapack since they have a three year warranty. I run offshore power boats, and a phone could be the posible lifeline in the unlikely event of a rollover. Currently I double bag in Ziplock bags. I have lost phones to the water, by either me falling in or the phone falling out of it's pouch. I was the first to loose a Motorola 8000s in 1986 according to the Motorola sales rep. That phone cost me $2972 back then.
  • ..... Im sorry what is the product your reviewing again..... Gorgia Gorgia Gorgia