The Top 5 iPhone Cases For The College-Bound

There you are, full of gumption, standing next to a packed car. You’re off to college. You’re about to set off into the world to, as they say, make something of yourself. Armed with your trusty iPhone, you’ll likely reach your lofty goals. But an iPhone can be more than just a smartphone. With the right case, an iPhone can be a multifunctional tool, converging the power of the Internet with personalization more brilliant than the mating dance of a peacock.

Rocking a naked iPhone is a sign of confidence with a side of stupidity. One drop, and the phone will die. Thankfully, there are countless iPhone cases that will wrap the phone in protection while providing plenty of charm and character. As explained in the Legend of Zelda, it’s dangerous to go alone. Take one of these (iPhone cases).


Available in black and white, the $40 Opena is an iPhone case with slide-out bottle opener. It’s a bona fide crowd pleaser that will turn any chump into a lady-killer. As I wrote in 2011, cool kids are never without bottle openers and the Opena iPhone case sticks one on the backside of your iPhone.

Now, as an owner and occasional user of this case, I can profess that it’s worthy of your money. First off, the case itself is very durable and withstands nearly everything. It’s hard as nails. But more importantly, the bottle opener works very well. It’s a bit of a novelty, but it performs as advertised and even after likely hundreds of uses, the iPhone has survived despite the dock connector’s proximity to the beer bottle. The Opena is a must-have iPhone case.

Playa Case

The Playa Case comes from the makers of the Opena. The backside of the polycarbonate case sports a discreet storage compartment. The possibilities are nearly endless. Store your lunch card or computer lab’s access card in there. Slip in some notes.

Or use the case as it’s designed and store two condoms with your iPhone. For $35 the Playa case will protect your iPhone and your future: Don’t store condoms in your wallets, guys.

Speck SmartFlex Card

iPhone cases with card slots are pocket savers. Ditch the wallet and store your credit cards, IDs and access cards with your iPhone. However, there is a big downside: If you lose your phone, you essentially lose your entire life.

The SmartFlex case from Speck is my favorite. It’s durable, comes in a range of colors, and at $35, it doesn’t drain the beer fund. Or, for a few dollars more, Speak also sells the CandyShell case which also holds cards but offers a bit more protection.

Mophie Juice

The iPhone’s battery life sucks. It just does. There are plenty of ways to recharge the phone while on the go, but leave the battery charger at home and snag a Mophie Juice case.

Starting out at $80, these iPhone cases add a bit of heft to the sleek iPhone but they basically double the phone’s battery life. For $100 the Juice Pack Plus offers 25% more battery life, at $130, the Juice Pack Pro sports military-spec construction and even more battery.

Durable cases

College is a brutal environment. It’s best to protect your iPhone from the mayhem. There are several solid options available, too.

Lifeproof cases are the gold standard when it comes to durable iPhone cases. They’re a tad expensive, but they work. Since Lifeproof brags its cases can protect an iPhone from water, dirt, snow and shock, I’m sure it will protect against beer, mud, slushies and dropkicks as well.

G-Form makes several durable cases that are rather attractive as well. At $40 each, the X-Protect and Extreme Grid wrap the iPhone in the company’s shock absorbing material and provide extreme protection against droppage. Plus, they look pretty rad.

See all of our back to school coverage right here.