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Reviews > Communication Gear > Accessories > Sea to Summit TPU Accessory Case > Test Report by Lori Pontious

Sea to Summit TPU Guide Accessory Case
Test Series by Lori Pontious

INITIAL REPORT - January 2, 2012
FIELD REPORT - March 20, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT - May 23, 2012

Tester Information

NAME: Lori Pontious
EMAIL: lori.pontious (at)
AGE: 45
LOCATION: Fresno County, California, USA
HEIGHT: 5'7" (1.7 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (75 kg)

I backpacked, camped and fished all over the lower 48 states with my family as a kid, and then life happened. I restarted these activities about four years ago - I dayhike or backpack 2-6 times a month. I am between light and ultralight. I have a hammock system and own a Tarptent. My base weight depends upon season and where I go.

Product information

Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
Manufacturer URL:
Listed Weight: 0.7 oz (22 g)
Actual Weight: 1 oz (28 g)
Listed Size: Medium, 4.7 x 6.6 in (120 x 165 mm)
Actual Size (measured): 4.7 x 6.6 in (120 x 165 mm)
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large; 4.1 x 5.3 in (105 x 135 mm), 4.7 x 6.6 in (120 x 165 mm), 6.1 x 8.25 in (155 x 210 mm)

Product Description

The TPU Guide Accessory Case (aka the case, or the accessory case) is a roll top protective case designed to protect electronic devices, documents, or other water-sensitive small gear items. The case is made of rectangular clear UV stabilized Thermoplastic Polyurethane. There is an attachment loop on one corner large enough to be used with carabiners or other clips, and a smaller hole at the other corner that the included lanyard will fit. The closure at the top is comprised of two strips of hook, two strips of loop, and three folds of the plastic prior to fastening it all together. See picture:


The accessory case is described on the packaging as being freeze proof, crease resistant, and resistant to degradation due to UV exposure, as well as water and dust proof. The plastic is reported to not become discolored in sunlight. A warning informs me that the case is not designed for submergence or underwater use. I can find no flaws, upon completing my initial inspection of the case.

Initial Report

I played with the accessory case to see if it worked at home first, as I do with any gear item. First, I put the smartphone inside, and played Angry Birds. That was successful - the screen is responsive to touch even through the plastic of the case.

Next, I took a shower with my smartphone's stunt double, the old phone that the smartphone replaced. I suppose I could have used a paper towel or some other random object that wouldn't die in water, but where's the fun in that? I put the case on the floor of the shower and sang while I washed my hair and the water pounded the case between my feet. The case was in a puddle of water as well as having drops and streams of water flowing over it. My old phone survived the experience (both the water and the singing, wow!) without a drop of water getting into the main part of the case. There were some drops inside the first couple of rolls of the top seal, but nothing made it all the way inside.


Field Conditions

Point Reyes National Seashore, California, USA, January 13 - 15. Temperature Range: 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C)

Dewey Point, Yosemite National Park, California, USA, February 4 - 5. Temperature Range: 15 to 55 F (-9 to 13 C)

Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California, USA January 29. Temperature Range: 45 to 55 F (7 to 13 C)

Search and Rescue Training, Huntington Lake, California, USA, February 17 - 19. Temperature Range: 20 - 45 F (-6 to 7 C)

Henry Coe State Park, California, USA, March 3 - 4. Temperature Range: 38 to 60 F (3 to 16 C)

Search and Rescue Training, Fresno, California, USA, March 18. Temperature: 55 F (13 C)

Field Report

I used the case primarily to protect my smartphone from rain, snow and dirt. I took the case snowshoeing, backpacking, and dayhiking. I also took it on two Search and Rescue trainings.


The case doesn't fit well in most of my pants pockets. When I wore a jacket it was easier to keep it in those pockets. I have also stored it in the pack lid or in a side pocket.

The case has been subjected to a broad temperature range and some folding and crushing, and shows no sign of wear or abrasion. The clear plastic hasn't become brittle, despite some below-freezing nights out. Nor has it discolored after being left in a car seat for a few days in the sun (sans phone, pending another trip). No moisture was able to penetrate the case despite my dropping it in the snow or using the phone in the rain.

Using the phone through the case has been no problem; I can manipulate icons on the touch screen with my fingertips as if the case isn't even there. I can hear callers through the plastic fine, and manipulate the buttons on the sides and top of the phone as well.


Field Conditions

Henry Coe State Park, Morgan Hill, California, USA, March 30 - April 1. Temperature Range: 40 - 60 F (4 - 15 C)

Pinnacles National Monument, Paicines, California, USA, April 27 - 28. Temperature Range: 45 - 75 F (7 - 24 C)

Laurel Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA, May 5 - 6. Temperature Range: 45 - 80 F (7 - 27 C)

Long Term Report

I have used the accessory case for a total of nine nights out on the trail, plus a number of day hikes. In several instances I used the case in the rain.

It's handy to have a small waterproof case for electronics. I have mostly used the case with my smartphone, but have also put my GPS in it once on a very rainy hike. It was a tight fit due to the size and shape of the GPS, but it worked and the case was pliable enough that I could work the buttons.

I have found that over the past four months the case has remained in good shape - no obvious wear or discoloration, tears, or other sign of use, despite many trail miles riding in a pocket or my pack.

The one feature I did not use with the case was the lanyard. I do not care to have things dangling around my neck, so have never put it there. Since I am off trail a good part of the time while on searches and have been doing more off trail navigation on backpacking trips, I did not want to take the chance of leaving my phone dangling in the manzanita somewhere.

I wish that I could say I will be using it for many months to come - however, as I was packing for my last backpacking trip this past weekend, I failed to locate the accessory case. I hate losing it, and hope that I have merely managed to misplace it temporarily. I suspect that it will turn up soon.


In my field testing I have found the accessory case has weathered the conditions to which I have subjected it without obvious wear, and kept my phone dry and operational even while inside the case.

My thanks to Sea to Summit and for the opportunity to review the TPU Guide Accessory Case. If I can find it, it will be seeing more use on future hikes.

Read more reviews of Sea to Summit gear
Read more gear reviews by Lori Pontious

Reviews > Communication Gear > Accessories > Sea to Summit TPU Accessory Case > Test Report by Lori Pontious

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