I carry an iPhone 4S at my job and previously used an earlier-model Griffin Technology case. I was excited to hear that they were going to offer one in camo and I was also curious to see if they had made improvements.

The press release for the Survivor case particularly grabbed my interest:

“Outdoors enthusiasts appreciate products that can withstand the elements and the beating that can come with the outdoors lifestyle,” said Chris Paradise, Sr. Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at Mossy Oak. “We’ve put the Griffin Survivor cases to the test and they live up to their word. We’re happy to have our pattern on such a great product.”

Griffin’s Survivor case is a natural fit for the Mossy Oak lifestyle, with its extreme-duty protection for mobile devices. Survivor is built to military standards, protecting devices from drops, wind-blown rain, vibration, and more. Since its introduction nearly two years ago, Survivor has become Griffin’s best-selling protective case worldwide.

My iPhone securely contained in the Survivor case.
My iPhone 4S securely contained in the Survivor case.

According to Griffin (pdf), the case meets or exceeds US military standards. It is designed to tolerate a shock/drop from a height of six feet. It is dust- and dirt-resistant—it survived Griffin’s tests simulating a driving sandstorm for three hours. It’s also water-resistant, purported to be able to make it through significant downpours.

It is a hard polycarbonate case, covered in a rugged silicone skin. Tight flaps cover the “silent” button, the charging connector port, the camera lens, and the headphones jack. The volume adjustment buttons are sealed as well. This all bolsters the water-resistance of the case.

This case is clearly well-made and well-thought-out. It is easy to assemble and get onto your phone. The directions provided are not extensive, but they are sufficient to get your phone set up in the new case. The screen over the touchscreen allows it to be used with no problems. The camo just looks cool!

One of the problems I experienced with the original Griffin case I owned was the camera lens cover. You had to hold back the flap in order to take a picture. This was difficult to do while manipulating the camera controls with your other hand. This newer Survivor case fixes that problem. The lens cover still seals up nice and tight, but now when you need to take a picture, it pivots out of the way.

The biggest problem I had with my previous Griffin case was the belt clip. In spite of a small recess for the home button, it wasn’t enough. There was a “bump” in the silicone over-case and when clipped-in, it was easy to unintentionally press the home button and activate voice control. This is much improved in the new Survivor case. Although sometimes the silicone case seems to be messing with the home button, I didn’t have any instances where it activated the voice control when holstered. The belt clip works great. It can lock open or closed on your belt, and it rotates 360 degrees to find the best position for you to wear it.

The case's camera lens cover easily pivots out of the way, a notable improvement from the previous model of Griffin case I used.
The case’s camera lens cover easily pivots out of the way, a notable improvement from the previous model of Griffin case I used.

I only really found one small thing to complain about with this particular case. The silicone “plug”—the tab that seals the charging connection port—seals so tightly in the recess that it is hard to get out so you can plug in the charger. I usually have to use a knife or some other small gadget to get that cover piece out of the hole. Your fingertip alone won’t do it.

I use this case every day. I show off the six-foot-drop feature frequently at work. I have had the phone out in the rain (hard to do in Arizona) and in the field subjected to wind and dust (much easier to do). All in all I am very impressed. The mil-spec design gives me confidence when I have the phone in rough environments, that it will stand up just fine. The Mossy Oak case looks sharp and draws lots of comments. A great case for your iPhone, all-around.

Images by Marshall MacFarlane

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One thought on “Griffin Technology Mossy Oak Survivor iPhone 4/4S Case

  1. I have used the survivor for over two years (for my iPhone as well as my iPad). This is by far the most durable case you will find bar none. I have dropped my phone and ipad numerous times with no ill effects. I even left my iPad sitting face up on the back of my truck with the iPhone sitting face down on the iPad through a 3-1/2″ rainstorm. Both were wet inside but suffered no damage and worked flawlessly.
    I see only two drawbacks, the covers are bulky and the silicone rubber is sticky. The phone will not fit in the cell phone pocket on most cargo pants and if you have a tight pocket the silicon rubber sticks making it difficult to get out of your pocket. Both drawbacks are probably a necessary evil for the added protection, well worth the extreme durability provided by the covers.
    They are also available in a multitude of colors. I use the lime green/fluorescent yellow cover which makes it easier to find.
    You can’t go wrong with this cover!

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