11 Stylish Ways To Protect Gadgets From Damage

Let’s revisit one of the most traumatizing moments of my life, shall we? I was standing on the side of a two-lane highway in Pennsylvania, watching helplessly as an 18-wheeler cruised by and shattered my phone into five billion pieces. While you may keep your devices away from highways, keeping your phones and laptops from breaking can still seem impossible — especially when you're just one misplaced elbow away from a cracked screen.

I could sit here and list the things that are mortal enemies to your phones and laptops. But as you know, those device-offenders can be anything from bathtubs to sidewalks, so I’ll save you the time and say this instead: Unless you’re planning to live your life in a plastic bubble, adequate protection for your devices is definitely a good idea. Thankfully, companies make them, and they make them well — no matter what kind of technology-related accident you’re prone to having. So, if surfing Pinterest with a cracked screen isn't your idea of a good stress release (and you have zero interest in waiting two weeks for a new phone to come in), listen up. Here’s a list of the best covers, cases, and gadgets for keeping your screens unshattered, your backs unscratched, and your ports unclogged.

Stay Sleek, Clear, And Protected

Sahara Case iPhone 6 Protective Case , $22, Amazon

For those who appreciate subtlety, this protective iPhone case is thin, clear, lightweight, and super durable. It’s made from premium rubber and hard plastic, has non-slip ridges in all the right places, and comes with a screen cover to stop scratches and cracks before they happen. Reinforced corners provide extra protection if you drop your phone, and all ports and buttons work exactly as they should. Reviewers love that they can see that rose gold color they paid extra for, and they still don’t have to compromise on safety.

Ding-Repelling Bumpers Protect Drop-Prone MacBooks

Thule Vectros 15" MacBook Pro Retina Bumper , $60, Amazon

Thule is known for crafting awesome gear in general, from hiking backpacks to bike carriers — so you better believe the Swedish brand knows a thing or two about protecting finely tuned gadgets from outer elements (like, ahem, the floor). This polycarbonate bumper is also available for 13" MacBooks, and its beveled edges ensure shocks are absorbed by the ridges, not your laptop. It comes with a scratch-proof, translucent skin for the exposed parts of your laptop, and you can even snag one in white. Reviewers consistently say it's like an Otterbox for your computer, and one fan said, "It sits solid on any table with no slipping. Well worth the money."

The Most Hardcore iPhone Case There Is

Otterbox Defender Series iPhone 6 Case , $26, Amazon

The Otterbox Defender is one of the most popular iPhone cases out there, and that’s because it’s heavy-duty and robust, and stands up to scratches, cracks, drops, bumps, and shock. The case itself has three distinct layers, and also has a built-in screen protector to keep the glass safe and intact. Port covers fold back into place to keep dust and dirt from getting inside your headphone and charger jacks, and one reviewer even posted a picture of her phone — still in one piece, mind you — after she accidentally left it on a stove burner. Yep. It's that intense.

Stop Your Screen From Cracking And Scratching

IntelliGLASS iPhone Screen Protector , $20, Amazon

If you’ve got an issue with cracked and scratched screens (and let’s face it, almost everyone does), this IntelliGLASS iPhone screen protector is one of the best options out there. It covers the entirety of your screen to prevent surface-level damage, and because it’s tailor-made for your iPhone, the home button and camera hole line up perfectly. The cover itself is bubble-resistant and super easy to clean, so smudges and fingerprints won’t cramp your style, and reviewers say they hardly realize it’s there.

Workout Without Worries

DanForce Sports Arm Band, $16, Amazon

All runners, hikers, and gym-goers — this one’s for you. The DanForce sports armband fits snugly around your arm while you’re moving, and your phone fits snugly into its pocket, so you never again have to worry about it falling out of your shorts and breaking. The touchscreen is entirely functional through the clear cover, the armband is adjustable for any sized arm, and the case also includes a key holder and secure spots to store ID cards. It fits any iPhone 6 or 5, and because it’s super lightweight, sweat-resistant, stretch-proof, and durable, it’ll quickly become a staple of your workout routine. Plus, there's a 100 percent money-back guarantee, as long as you own the band.

Absorb Shock With Lightweight Aluminum & Rounded Corners

R-Just Aluminum Shockproof Phone Case, $25, Amazon

This drop-resistant cover for iPhone 5s is crafted from lightweight aluminum, so you get durable protection without the heavy, bulky feeling that usually accompanies it. Your phone's camera lens and volume buttons remain unobstructed, and an inner water-resistant silicone seal also shields your phone from dust and dirt. Flattened corners add coverage where you need it most during a drop, and you can pick your preferred color from five options. It comes with a screwdriver to tighten up edges as needed, too.

Secure Sliding MacBooks With Rubberized Hard Cover

Kuzy Rubberized Hard Case, $25, Amazon

Macbook Pros are extremely popular, but in my opinion, they always feel just a little too fragile. This rubberized MacBook Pro case adds a little extra protection while still looking sleek and classy. Whereas a hard plastic case can still slide, this protector fits a 13-inch MacBook perfectly, prevents scratches, and creates a hard layer between your laptop and the world. Plus, it's vented for proper heat distribution and feels silky smooth as it securely grips any surface you set it on, and you can pick your favorite shade from 15 colors. One user said of the piece, "The vents help to keep the unit cool and the rubber feet give it a great feel on a table top or lap."

Keep Your Phone Dry And Clean During Beach Season

Voxkin Universal Waterproof Case , $10, Amazon

If you often find yourself pool- or beach-side, Voxkin's waterproof case is a must-have. It fits any smart phone (in addition to money, passports, and IDs), and is so waterproof that some people use it to take underwater photos. Touch-screen function isn’t inhibited, so your phone is still entirely usable while inside the bag, and because it comes with a trusty wrist cord and a built-in compass, this bag is also awesome for hiking or skiing. No more sweating a phone slip into the pool!

Protect Any Laptop From Spills, Bumps, And Scratches

Kamor Water-Resistant Laptop Case , $13, Amazon

If you’re looking for something that’s both lightweight and protective for your laptop, look no further than this Kamor water-resistant laptop case. It’s waterproof and ultra-cushiony to protect against moisture, bumps, scratches, and shocks, but because it’s slim and sleek, you can carry it by itself or fit it into any book bag. In addition, the zipper and the material are super high quality for extended use, and it comes in your choice of 11 different patterns and colors.

Cushion Your iPad 2 With Flexible Silicone

Hococase Soft Silicone Drop Resistant, $10, Amazon

Even your iPad 2 deserves to be drop-resistant — this soft silicone case brings you one step closer to that. Not only is the slip-proof material nontoxic and eco-friendly, but it's flexible, making it easy to install with no hassle or stress. Reviewers say the simple design hits all the marks with additional padding on corners, which can be more prone to everyday dings and scrapes. One user said, "The case hugs the iPad nicely with the inner front edges not flaring out."

Tempered Glass Can Protect Your iPad, Too

iPad Air Screen Protector, $11, Amazon

If you're rocking an iPad Air or iPad Air 2, why aren't you protecting its screen? This tempered glass screen protector is laser cut for perfectly rounded corners and ultimate HD clarity, in addition to providing your screen with a shock-proof shield that keeps it free from scratches and dust build-up.

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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (11)