Catalyst EscapeCapsule: A Rugged iPhone Case

Catalyst EscapeCapsule: A Rugged iPhone Case

Protecting your phone while you’re on the trail or relaxing at the beach, is serious business.

Getting soaked in a stream crossing, a sudden rainstorm, or cracking on rocks would be an expensive accident. Although a case can’t protect against all accidents it can certainly defend against most and enable your adventures. Like snowboarding or underwater photography!

I noticed the Catalyst EscapeCapsule recently. They have a pretty cool background story and the case itself was funded via Kickstarter.

In any case, (heh) I like that the EscapeCapsule (EC) is thick hardened plastic. Even on the touch screen it’s much thicker than my Lifeproof case.

Here’s what I found after testing out the EscapeCapsule for a few weeks.

Audio Test

Catalyst EscapeCapsule Podcast

Since the EscapeCapsule is solid, with no major openings, audio quality isn’t as great as say the Lifeproof case. However, it is sufficient to enjoy. Unlike other cases you can use your headphones without a special adapter, which is a big win for me. I hate the screw in headphone adapter that comes with the Lifeproof case.

If you like to switch your phone from ring to silent frequently then you’re outta luck because you can’t access the switch. It’s no biggie for me because I always keep my phone on silent.

Water Test

EscapeCapsule Water Test

I had to test it in the sink because I haven’t been able to make it to the coast. But after 30 minutes underwater, my phone was still dry (thank goodness!).

Sand Test

Catalyst EscapeCapsule Adventure Strong

Buried and dusted in both playground gravel and a sandbox the case is still good to go. No dirt or sand found its way inside the case and audio worked without a problem (nothing got clogged up). If you find yourself at the beach or a playground, just be careful about blowing the dirt/sand off and then rinsing it so as not to scratch the case.

Drop Test

Because replacing my iPhone would be expensive and I’m not a baller, no drop test was conducted. However, I would feel much better about my iPhone being in the EC while I’m out hiking than in the Lifeproof case. The included (and removable) wrist strap is gold for clumsy people, if you’re swimming, or photographing from high places.

The EscapeCapsule is like (nearly) invisible body armor.

But don’t get careless, a drop on a hard surface may crack the case. After a drop its always a good idea to go through the waterproof test again just to make sure no small cracks have compromised the case.


  • Rugged – Tough, hardened plastic plus a thin rubber lining provides solid defense.
  • Style – Stylin’. I really like the clear plastic look.
  • Function – No interference with photo or video image quality (although sound is a bit muted). Excellent headphone access without requiring a goofy adapter like the Lifeproof.

  • Charging – You’re unable to charge the phone in the case which means constantly opening and resealing it. This is both tedious and could potentially increase the chance of the waterproof seal failing.
  • Edges – The back piece has rough edges where you use the included plastic key to open the case. If this was my daily case, I could see those rough edges wearing out holes in my pants pockets. Plus, it makes the case slightly less comfortable to handle. Not a huge deal but it’d be better if the edges were rounded off and smooth.
Bottom Line: Catalyst has made a great case that you can feel confident using.

Final Thoughts

For lightweight tank-like protection the EscapeCapsule is a great choice for protecting your iPhone.

Because it lacks in-case phone charging, I won’t be using the EscapeCapsule for my daily use case but I will be using it on my hikes and other adventures.

I would like to note that the iPhone 5/5S case has addressed the charging issue. Additionally, the 5/5S case has a waterproof headphone adapter which is great for people that want to swim, ski/snowboard, or walk in the rain while listening to music and keeping their phone safe.

Visit Catalyst Lifestyle for more information or to get your own case.

If you have any questions about the case, or need additional details, I’ll do my best to help you out. Either comment below or contact me.

Note: The EscapeCapsule was provided by Catalyst Lifestyle at no cost but, as always, all opinions are my own.

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About Tim Moon

Hey there, my name is Tim. I love to spend my time outdoors - hiking and traveling.

  • Jeremy

    Awesome! My iPhone receives constant abuse. I need a good way to protect it.