As smartphones have gotten bigger and service providers have convinced more people to switch to plans where we’re renting instead of buying our phones, it seems like bulky protective cases need to fill some really specific needs to justify their extra size and weight. The Ballistic Hard Core Tactical case for the iPhone 6 ($99.99 retail) is a beast, offering Ballistic’s signature corner protection that promised to withstand a 12-foot drop.
The real attraction with this case is its MOLLE attachment for your tactical vest. It has the the same 200 lb pull strength as the case’s included holster with swivel clip. The case also comes with a screen protector, sturdy opening and port covers that offer an IP-54 rating for dust and water protection, and internal case supports that create an air gap for extra protection.
Ballistic’s Explorer ($39.99) aims to offer that same corner protection in a lightweight case. It offers 8-ft drop protection and it’s basically the Tactical minus that case’s external silicon layer. It offers a screen protector and a high degree of safety for its weight. The opening for the mute switch makes it tough to access the switch and there’s not a lot of water protection, but, if you’re prone to dropping your phone, the Explorer offers a good ration between security and bulk, especially at the $13 sale price at Amazon.