WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Two reviewers check out OtterBox Defender Series for iPhone


Review 1: OtterBox Defender Realtree Max 1 

Meet our reviewer, avid hunter Dawn Wright, a former mining engineer for a huge aggregate company in the Southwest, and now, even busier with the lifestyle choice of raising twin daughters.

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.

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. ~ Dawn Wright

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 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. ~Babbs in the Woods

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





  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Tiffany says: June 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I have the one with pink camo by realtree and I love it. I actually like the bulkiness. I feel like I can hold onto it better.

  • Tammy says: February 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    The thing I like about my Otter Box is that I can find it in my purse or back pack just by the feel of the silicone. At first I didn’t like the added bulkiness, but have gotten used to it and prefer to have the assurance that it will be protected if I drop it, which happens once in a while. I definitely will be getting a camo Otter Box because I’m a camo-holic! L-o-v-e IT!

  • Ellen Benitz says: February 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Speaking for myself, I like the fact that the defender series is in camo, haven’t seen one like that yet. But as far as the otter box itself, not for me. I like the slimness of my iphone! (it’s the only thing about me that is slim! LOL) But seriously, I like to slip it in my pocket, shirt or jeans, to have it close and not bulky. I don’t wear a belt and most of the time have my shirt untucked so a belt clip doesn’t work so well for me even clipped on my waist band. I have a camo cover on my phone, but it really doesn’t protect it much, just adds fashion. (my kind of fashion!) yes I’ve dropped my iphone a hundred times without breaking it……until my grandson dropped it ‘just right’ on the corner, so now my screen has a spider web crack in the corner. Haven’t noticed anything not working so it’s just a blemish. But really, I know better than to let him play with it near hard surfaces……not his fault, but mine. His nick name is Mr. Distructo after all!

  • Jen Adams says: February 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Just bought this and I love it!!

  • Diane Hassinger says: February 16, 2012 at 10:10 am

    We purchased the Otter Box when my husband bought his iPhone a year ago. Within the first 15minutes of owning it, the Otter Box paid for it self (He dropped it into a giant puddle while crossing it). Since that time the box has withstood countless droppings, dirt, water and even being run over by the tractor. My husband works in glass recycling, so the abrasiveness of the ground glass destroys every phone he gets. As long as my husband owns a smart phone it will be in the Otter Box! Yes it is bulky, but after awhile that makes no difference. Remember when personal cell phones came out, they were in a giant bag, the battery was enormous. We still carried them.