Richard Sibley tests the Tech 21 Patriot iPhone 6 case, designed for rugged conditions.

Tech 21 Patriot iPhone 6 case at a glance:

Smartphones aren’t just useful for taking the odd snapshot, as there are hundreds of apps that can help you do everything from catalogue your images to finding out the exact direction of the sun. And then there are other essentials, such as navigational tools and, of course, making phone calls. This is why they’re an essential accessory for many photographers.

If you’re out in rugged shooting conditions, taking your valuable, and often delicate, smartphone can be risky.

Thankfully, the Tech21 Patriot case should protect your phone should the worst happen. The rugged case is made of a tough, but flexible plastic, while a built-in Impact Shield cover protects your screen and the home button. Tech 21 says it will protect your smartphone from a four-metre drop, and having dropped my phone from a 2.5-metre drop onto a wooden floor, and it surviving, I have no reason to doubt this claim.

It isn’t just protection from impact that the case offers. By covering the home button, screen and various ports and buttons, the case also makes the phone splashproof. Even with the cover the touchscreen is still usable, and all the buttons that are covered are mimicked on the case so they can all still be used. The only things, obviously, not covered are the front and rear cameras, so you can still snap away.

A useful addition is a removable plastic holster that includes a sturdy belt/strap clip. I found this to be very secure on my belt, or camera strap, yet it takes just a second to unclip and release the phone.

The case adds significant bulk to what are otherwise slender phones, but if you want to protect your phone while shooting it is a small sacrifice to make. Overall, the case offers superb protection for Apple iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPad Air and Samsung Galaxy 6.

SCORE: Five out of five

Tech 21 Patriot iPhone 6 case-back

The case offers edge and screen protection, as well as dust covers for ports