Although everything is online or stored on the cloud today, USB drives still offer an excellent storage option. The cloud might provide you with more storage; a rugged, waterproof USB drive still has its usefulness. USB flash drives make it easy and convenient to carry and transfer data. USB drives are excellent alternatives due to their better security and privacy protection. There are several USB drives on the market, with too many brands to name. All of these claim to provide unrivaled privacy and protection. However, only a few can claim to offer extreme ruggedness and protection despite an active lifestyle.
If you live an active lifestyle, you might want a USB drive that matches your lifestyle. Although USB drives last for a long time, a rugged, waterproof USB drive will last for longer. In this post, we have reviewed some of the best rugged, waterproof USB drives on the market. We have also provided a buyer’s guide on the factors to consider before making a purchase.
Best Rugged Waterproof USB Drives
- Water resistance up to 65 feet
- Impact-resistant up to 250 PSI
- USB 3.0 High-Speed Interface
- TPU material
If you are on a hunt for a rugged USB drive that matches your outdoor or active lifestyle, then the GorillaDrive 3.0 is an excellent option. It is one of the most rugged USB drives on the market.
Right out of the packaging, it is pretty clear that this is no ordinary USB drive. The appearance alone is indicative of the ruggedness and durability of this USB drive. It comes with a military-style design, with grooves and geometry that scream ‘tough.’
The exterior of the Gorilla USB drive is made of a durable, scratch-resistant TPU material. The grooves and the rubbery texture ensure you always have a secure grip of the drive, even in wet conditions.
The USB cap is designed to lock on to the head of the USB drive. This design ensures that even if the USB drive is submerged, no damage occurs to the device. It has a rated water resistance of up to 65 feet, which is one of the lowest depths we have seen a USB drive able to go.
The USB drive is built to survive drops from heights, bumps, and other accidents.
If you are careless with your devices, or if you work in dangerous conditions, you will appreciate the GorillaDrive 3.0
- Extremely durable build
- Waterproof for up to 65 feet
- Relatively fast data speeds
- Keychain loop gets in the way of the cap
2. Adata SE730H
- Reversible Type-C 3.1 connection
- IP68 rating
- 3-year warranty
- 500 MB/s write/read speeds
ADATA has slowly climbed the ranks of the best USB manufacturers in the industry. The SE730H is the company’s foray into the USB C-to-USB C data transfers. It is one of the most rugged and durable USB drives you can find.
The design is beautiful as it comes in a textured-metal finish that comes in gold or red. It is surprisingly lightweight despite the sturdy appearance and is compact enough to be carried around in your pocket.
It is one of the few SSDs to enter the market with an official IP68 rating. This rating indicates that the USB drive is resistant to dust, sand, and water. We observed that the drives survived up to 1.5 m in water.
Aside from physical appearance and ruggedness, the device offers impressive performance.
- Small, compact construction
- Dust, sand, and water-resistant
- Fast interface
- Maximum storage space of 512GB
- Not noticeably faster than USB 3.1 SSDs
- Metal alloy body
- Threaded screw-on cap
- USB 3.0 connectivity
If you are looking for a USB drive that can survive anything you throw at it, then look no further than the Lacie XtremKey.
The design of this USB drive makes it extremely durable. For example, it comes with a metal canister-style cap that ensures that abuse is absorbed without damage to the drive. The screw cap, as well as the O-ring seal, will keep out moisture, dirt, and sand.
No matter the conditions, whether in temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or baptism in water to up to 200 meters, there is simply no fazing this bad boy. Drop it from a height of 10 meters, and it will bounce right back up.
Aside from the physical characteristics and durability, the performance of the drive is also satisfactory. Not only does it protect your damage from physical harm, but the device also protects your data from other risks. It is protected by 256-bit AES software encryption, which is highly secure and is the same used by the government.
The only problem that we had with this USB drive is that the design doesn’t allow for a good grip. It is slick, and if your hands are sweaty, you might find it hard to remove the cap.
- An extremely durable USB drive
- Speedy storage
- Comes with free cloud storage
- It is slippery to hold
- Becomes hot after some time
- LED indicator
- High-Speed USB 3.0
- Plug and play compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS
The housing of the USB drive is made of rubber. This rubber housing ensures that it is safe from bumps. It also means that it is water-resistant and shock-resistant. The USB drive performed well during use. It measured read speeds of up to 115.3MBps and wrote speed of 48MBps.
It is lightweight. It also has an LED indicator that blinks to show activity. Although the USB dust cover is completely detachable from the device, it can be attached to the base of the USB drive for safekeeping.
- Rubber housing provides excellent grip
- Shock and Water-resistant
· Performance lags with random write activity
- USB 3.0 Speed
- Aluminum housing
- Limited lifetime warranty
This USB drive comes in a nice design that underlies its durability. Made of aluminum and featuring a sleek titanium blue and gray hue, it is very durable.
A user reported mistakenly leaving it in water for a while and he still used it without any hassles. While we do not recommend leaving it in water, it shows how durable this flash drive is. It can endure rough use and handling.
It also comes with key ring hole at the base of the body. This loop is quite firm and promises durable performance. However, it is quite small and you will need to find a really small key chain to fit into it.
Although the design and appearance are appealing, what really impresses about this USB flash drive is the superior performance. Although listed as reading data at 100MBps and writing at a speed of about 50MBps, we found out that our test model exceeds these specifications.
If your computer has a 3.0 port, then expect very fast connections.
The construction is very solid
It has a great design
It is very fast
It has a small key ring loop.
Buying Guide to the Best Rugged Waterproof USB Drives
When choosing a USB drive to buy, it can be beneficial to consider what other users think of the USB drive. Both good and bad reviews will help you make an educated choice.
Real reviews, like this article, are usually an excellent way to judge if you will enjoy using a USB Flash drive. This way, you can see the pros and cons of a USB drive from the firsthand experiences of those who have used the USB drive.
Depending on the type of work, or the use you will put the USB drive through, you have to consider the storage. After all, what is the use of having a USB Flash drive if it cannot accommodate the data you want it too? Before making a purchase, you should weigh this factor carefully.
It is better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. This can be applied to storage space on your USB drive. We have never met anyone who complained about having too much space on his or her drive. However, we have heard of people complain of too little space.
You can store files on your laptop or PC on these devices, and they can even serve as a backup. Thus, you need to consider seriously the amount of storage the USB device has. We have never encountered anyone who moaned about having too much space on their USB drive.
It is better to have surplus space than to have too little space. Therefore, when considering this factor, a general rule of thumb is that the bigger the storage space, the better.
The only downside bigger space has is that the price of the USB drive increases as the storage size increases.
If you opt to go for a USB drive with little storage space, say, for example, an 8GB USB drive, it will run out sooner rather than later, and you will have to buy another USB flash drive.
If your budget allows it, buy a USB drive with a larger storage capacity.
3. Safety & Encryption
If you will be sending sensitive information through your flash drive, then security is a serious factor to consider.
If you are sending sensitive information, you need a USB drive that will protect your data even if it somehow falls into the wrong hands.
The safest USB drives come with a digital touchpad or a fingerprint sensor. Some are also encrypted to ensure that your data is unreadable to unauthorized elements.
Anyways, if you have sensitive information, the least you can do is get a flash drive with at least password protection.
No matter how much protection your flash drive has, it is utterly useless if it is not durable. If your flash drive cannot withstand stress and survive bumps, falls, and bruises, your information is in danger of becoming inaccessible.
Thus, when buying a USB flash drive, go for USB flash drives that have protective housing. Some flash drives come with aluminum or metal casings. These are more durable than plastic flash drives.
Aside from falls, like all electronic gadgets, water is a bane. Therefore, it does not hurt to buy a flash drive that comes with water-resistant covering.
However, with cheap USB flash drives, most of them come with plastic casing. In this case, a flash drive with a dust cover is excellent.
5. Warranty & Support
Since you will likely be buying your next USB flash drive online, it is essential that you note if it comes with a warranty. Having a warranty assures you of the quality of the USB flash drive.
Furthermore, if the USB flash drive has any issues during the warranty period, you can get a replacement.
6. Data Transfer Speeds
Before choosing a USB drive, you should ensure that it has relatively fast data transfer rates. This factor is especially crucial for USB drives that will be needed to carry or transfer large files.
A drive with a USB 3.0 interface is generally faster than those with lower-numbered interfaces. There are also USB 3.1 interfaces, which are theoretically quicker than 3.0.
Before buying the USB drive, ensure that it is compatible with the ports or interface of your computer.
FAQs About Best Rugged Waterproof USB Drives
Q. What are the benefits of USB Drives?
USB drives are handy tools for several reasons. Here are some of them
1. They are portable
These nifty devices are tiny and can be carried about with you. Furthermore, they are easy to attach to key chains or hidden in the smallest pockets. Another reason why they are easy to use is the fact that they never run out of power.
2. They are cheap
These devices can contain up to 64GB of data. Yet they come less expensive than other storage devices. If you have a lot of information to transfer, you can get a USB with a larger storage space.
The cheap nature of these devices makes them readily available at retail stores. If you are running out of space, or you need a storage device on the fly, you can walk into any retail store and buy one.
3. Adaptable & Fast
These devices van connect with almost every device without any hassles. You can use them on different operating systems.
Most PCs and laptops have dedicated ports for USB Flash drives. Furthermore, we have some USB flash drives that can even be used on smartphones and tablets.
And some USBs have memory card readers too.
You can transfer data from one device to another at incredible speeds. The speed of transfer is not dependent on the availability or strength of your internet connection.
4. No moving parts
These devices do not have any moving parts. As a result, they consume far less power than other storage devices. They connect instantly and can be ejected with similar speed and ease.
6. They are secure
USB flash devices are very reliable. Since they are not linked to any wireless networks, they cannot be hacked via the internet. When cloud services fail, even if that does not happen often, you will be glad to have your essential information on a USB flash drive somewhere.
We have written this post on the best rugged, waterproof USB drives to help you in selecting the right one for you. Use this post to make the right choice and enjoy safe and fast data transfers.