OtterBox DryBox 3250 review: The perfect rugged carrying case for the great outdoors

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OtterBox-DryBox-3250-review

The OtterBox DryBox 3250 is a great, rugged waterproof case that will keep your phone, keys, and other valuables safe and dry while partaking in outdoor activities.

Smartphone cases are definitely handy for protecting your phone from accidental drops and bumps but rarely do they provide full protection for the great outdoors. We’ve reviewed a few OtterBox cases in the past, and our OtterBox DryBox 3250 review takes a look at a rugged carrying case that keeps your smartphone and other important items safe and dry for hiking, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities.

Specifications

The OtterBox DryBox 3250 has the following features and specifications:

  • 55 cubic inches stores keys, small wallet, and phone with case
  • Waterproof up to 90 feet for 30 minutes
  • Tough polycarbonate construction
  • Stainless steel hinge and latch pins
  • Interior foam liner
  • Lock holes
  • Easy open/durable latches
  • Pressure release slot
  • External dimensions: 8.315” L x 5.086” D x 2.56” T
  • Internal dimensions: 6.89” L x 3.70” D x 2.01” T
  • Materials: Polycarbonate, stainless steel, polyethylene foam

What’s in the box

  • OtterBox DryBox 3250
  • Warranty information
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What’s in the box…

Design

To be perfectly honest, there’s not much to the look of the OtterBox DryBox 3250. It looks — and is — a very rugged box. The DryBox 3250 measures just over 2.5″ tall and is about 8.3″ long and 5″ wide. The polycarbonate outer shell is roughly 1/4″ thick on the front and back and about 1/8″ thick on the sides. The front features a pair of latches with stainless steel pins which are easy to open but snap tight and won’t come undone when jarred. Towards the inside of each latch is a hole in which you could place a small lock to keep the DryBox locked. The OtterBox logo is imprinted into the outer shell between the two latches.

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The OtterBox DryBox 3250 front view.

The back has a long stainless steel rod which goes through 16 alternating hinges. Each side of the DryBox has a long narrow opening for attaching a rope, carabiner, or strap. It’s only about 1/8″ wide, and while it’s perfect for straps, you’d need a pretty skinny rope or carabiner to attach it to the DryBox. On the bottom are four integrated feet which line up perfectly to cutouts in the top of the DryBox 3250, allowing you to easily stack and secure more than one box in a small area.

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The OtterBox DryBox 3250 back view.

Opening up the DryBox, you’re greeted with a grey polyethylene foam lining on the top and the bottom of the box. The lining is a little over 1/16″ thick and the OtterBox logo and mountain range is imprinted in the top of the foam. The bottom half of the DryBox has a small ridge around the entire edge while the top half has a foam lined channel which the ridge lines up with when closed. This ridge/channel system is what seals the box shut, allowing it to remain submerged to up to 90 feet for 30 minutes without getting the contents inside wet.

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Inside the OtterBox DryBox 3250.

Our review sample was black, but it’s also available in Trail Side (camouflage), Ridgeline (greenish), and Frost (blue/white). Just a note, the OtterBox and DryBox branding in the images above and below are stickers which can easily be peeled off.

Protection

The big question is, of course, just how well does the OtterBox DryBox 3250 protect your valuables placed inside? Quite well in fact. Depending on what you put inside, you’ll probably want to place your phone face down and then your keys or other items on top of it. Larger phones fit inside quite well, and I had no issues placing my Moto Z with the battery pack mod, my keys, a pair of earbuds, and my wallet inside. Latching it shut, I dropped it a few times from a height of around 4 feet onto the wooden deck and — as expected — everything inside was unscathed.

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There’s plenty of room for a smartphone, wallet, and more inside the DryBox 3250.

While OtterBox doesn’t specify an IP rating, as mentioned above they do say you can submerse the DryBox in up to 90 feet of water for 30 minutes and be sure the contents are still dry inside. To be honest, you’d have to have a pretty interesting situation in order to even be able to submerge the DryBox, my guess is a capsized boat or something that has sunk and trapped the DryBox inside. Even with three smartphones inside it — a Nexus 6P in a case, a Moto Z Play in a case, and a Note5 without a case — the DryBox still floated while the surface of the water lapped over the seal and top of the box. Needless to say, all three phones were bone dry with no signs of water inside the DryBox even when it was forced to the bottom of the sink and held there for a few minutes.

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Closeup of one of the two front latches on the DryBox 3250.

OtterBox does note that in order to maintain the integrity of the DryBox seal, you shouldn’t overpack it and should always keep the main gray gaskets clean and free from sand, dust, and dirt. While that is common sense, the company does include an insert with these notes printed on it.

Of course, the DryBox can be used to protect whatever you want to and can fit inside, so it makes it the perfect transportation device for other items that might get easily damaged when banged around in a suitcase or other bag.

Price/Value

Priced at $39.99USD, the OtterBox DryBox 3250 isn’t exactly cheap, but given the amount of protection you’re getting, it’s definitely well worth the investment for those who spend a lot of time outdoors.

Wrap-up

The OtterBox DryBox 3250 is a great, rugged waterproof case that will keep your phone, keys, and other valuables safe and dry while partaking in outdoor activities. If you’re an avid hunter, fisherman, hiker, quadder, or spend a lot of time outside in potentially adverse situations, you’ll want to pick one of these up to store your phone, keys, and other items while you’re out.

OtterBox DryBox 3250
4.8 Out of 5
Nailed it
Sturdy, solid, rugged. Latches tight. Waterproof. Floats.
Needs Work
The side cutouts could be a bit larger to allow for easier accommodation of carabiners or rope.
Bottom Line
The OtterBox DryBox 3250 is a great, rugged waterproof case that will keep your phone, keys, and other valuables safe and dry while partaking in outdoor activities.
Design4.75
Protection5.00
Price/Value4.75
*We were sent a sample of the OtterBox DryBox 3250 for the purposes of this review.
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