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Protecting your tech gear from the outdoors this summer

Monday, July 16, 2012

Your favorite electronic devices are at risk to the elements this time of year, especially during trips to the beach, mountains or even the backyard pool. There are specially designed bags can offer some protection. Consumer Reports tested four against everyday sealable kitchen baggies.

Summer means spending time at the beach or at the pool. And you want to take your tech gear wherever you go, right? So what happens when your pricey piece ends up in the drink?

You can buy bags to protect your stuff from the elements. Consumer Reports tested several, ranging in price from $15 to almost $40.

The first challenge: Dropping each one into water.

"We really didn't want to risk real electronics devices, so we used objects that were similar in size and weight, like paperback books and Post-It notes," said Consumer Reports Associate Editor Carol Mangis.

All the bags kept the contents dry as a bone.

Next challenge: Sand.

This time the cases were dropped in sand and partially covered. The bags got the job done here, too. The best of the bunch? The DryCASE bags. they also provided the most secure fit. You'll pay $38 for the large one and $29 for the small.

"We decided we'd also try out a regular grocery-style plastic bag with a sealable top to see if that protected devices just as well," said Mangis.

It turns out the Hefty OneZip gallon-sized bag protected against water and did a fine job with the sand. And at just 10 cents a bag, you'll have more money to spend on sunscreen.

Consumer Reports says the Hefty bag should work well for trips to the beach or afternoons by the pool.

For more extreme outdoor situations like kayaking or mountain-climbing, it's probably worth getting one of the bags specifically designed to protect your electronic gear.

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consumer reports, technology, product review, iPad, iPod, save money / consumer news, ric romero
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