Think fast — what's the most fragile and valuable object on your person right now? For most of us, the answer is a smartphone. These devices often cost upwards of $700, but they can be turned into expensive paperweights in the blink of an eye after one drop, splash, or spill.

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Survivalists know that it's essential for EDC gear to be tough and reliable, but we often forget to apply these same principles to our phones. A phone is a communication lifeline in case of an emergency, and should be protected accordingly. In more mundane terms, it also sucks to have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a replacement device.

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Catalyst has announced a new protective solution for users of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The Catalyst phone cases are fully sealed against water, dust, dirt, sand, snow, and other damaging elements. To say that this case is tough would be an understatement, since its clear polycarbonate construction also meets U.S. military standard 810G for drops and shocks up to 6.6 feet (2 meters). Imagine holding your phone above your head and dropping it onto hard pavement, without any damage to the device — that's the sort of protection we're talking about. The phone cases are also IP68 waterproof to 33 feet (10 meters).

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However, this protection doesn't compromise the phone's capabilities. An integrated True Sound Acoustics waterproof membrane allows clear audio transmission over a frequency range of 50Hz to 20,000Hz. The patented rotating crown dial lets you switch mute on and off, and the sensitive screen protector is said to not impede swipes or gestures. All buttons, sensors, cameras, flash, and Touch ID fingerprint scanner are unimpeded by the case. MSRP for the iPhone 7 case is $80, and the 7 Plus case is $90.

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Catalyst has also launched matching cases for the Series 2 Apple Watch, in either 38mm or 42mm varieties. These watch cases are waterproof to 330ft (100 meters), the same depth as most traditional outdoor watches. They also match the other features of the Catalyst iPhone 7 cases, such as impact protection and full feature access. MSRP for the 38mm or 42mm watch cases is $60 each.

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These new Catalyst waterproof cases are available for pre-orders now, and are expected to start shipping in January (except the iPhone 7 Plus case, which will ship in March). To pre-order or learn more, go to

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