Minimalist phone case for travel – RhinoShield bumpers


I’m excited to have a new iPhone “case” coming. It’s the next rendition of the fabulous RhinoShield (Evolutive Labs) CrashGuard “Bumper.” It’s called the Mod and it’s their next-generation bumper but with an optional backside too.

RhinoShield CrashGuard Bumper Case

CrashGuard Bumper Case

I have loved the RhinoShield CrashGuard — a “bumper” protecting my iPhone. Light and minimal while doing a great job of keeping my iPhone from breaking — and keeping in my hand where it belonged when in use.
I didn’t have to worry about my phone sliding out of my pocket or handbag because the CrashGuard bumper keeps it from sliding. At the same time, it wasn’t thick and sticky, not difficult for me to pull the phone out or a pocket or my Lewis N.Clark Waterseals water-resistant pouch when I needed it. This and a plastic (not glass) over the screen was a perfect combination for my phone’s protection while traveling.

Note: CrashGuard is available for iPhones 5S and newer, and also for many Android smartphones. The Mod is only for iPhones as I write this, March 2018 but RhinoShield is planning on  bringing this to Android models as well.

But Deb…

If you’ve followed me since the 2011/2012 beginning of my life-as-a-longterm-traveler adventures, you may wonder how I could travel with a “case” that allows my beautiful Apple logo to show. In fact, you’re likely thinking to ask me: Deb, have you gone mad? What about the Apple logo showing? Don’t you remember that you were robbed of a MacBook Air and an iPhone because of that lust-worthy logo?

You’d be right to wonder this! Yes, I was worried about letting my logo show. I was conflicted. I love the look of the iPhone and I always hated covering it. (My first iPhone had a beautiful cherry-red original Speck hardshell case and I adored the look. Hiding my logos was a change for my travels. But here’s the thing: I don’t travel with a current model iPhone. In fact, my phone is so noticeably not current that people who meet me on the road look at my phone and ask: “If you’re really an expert on all this stuff why don’t you have a new phone/computer?” Truth is, that aside from a few possible locations, no one would want to steal my hardware because they wouldn’t want to use it and wouldn’t get anything for it if they tried to sell it.

CrashGuard in real — and travel — life

I had my doubts about the CrashGuard when it was first presented to me at CES. So thin. So minimal. It looked impossible. Would it really protect? I know my phone is old but I still rely on it. I can’t have my phone breaking! Intrigued by the claims, although nervous, I was willing to try it.

Turns out, I had no reason to worry. The first time I dropped that phone on my wood floor I held my breath as I picked it up. It was fine. I could breathe and continue using it. It became my daily case.

Once, when I had the CrashGuard off to change my SIM card, the CrashGuard fell to the floor and I stepped on it at the bottom where the charging cable goes in. My footstep broke one of the thinner sides there. This case is doomed, I thought. But no, it held up!

Some months later, I took it on the road with me. And because I was seriously down-sizing my backpack, it was the only case with me on the road!

I have dropped that phone plenty of times — on wood, fake wood, and tiled floors and outside. This bumper protected it. I continued to use that phone day and night for over 6 more months. The case is still protecting that phone although I am no longer using that phone.

Next bumper version — the Mod

Configuring a RhinoShield Mod to your own liking

Configuring a RhinoShield Mod case for a Rose Gold iPhone

So now, as I took a travel break for a wedding, I have a new [for me, used] iPhone. It’s currently wearing a BodyGuardz Ace Pro case that is actually for iPhone 8 and 8 and I really like this case. (I’d seen and actually asked for it at CES.) It’s pretty and protective and I can recommend it. However, I can’t use my wired earphones with it and my minimalist packing and all of my down-sizing calls me back to bumper-only. I was about to get a new RhinoShield CrashGuard when I noticed their new case: the RhinoShield Mod.

In short, the Mod is bumper 2.0 — but you can add or remove its back piece, the BackPlate and use the Rim that comes with it instead. There are 100 BackPlates to choose from or you can design your own. See, you don’t have to let your logo or phone info show if you don’t want to. I may never use the BackPlate but I’ll still have the protection of the even better bumper.

And a great friend of mine who just got an iPhone 8 has my beautiful BodyGuardz Ace Pro case to grace her phone. She’s loving it!

RhinoShield Mod with lens

The RhinoShield Mod with a lens

Extra camera lenses from RhinoShield

The Mod offers another ability as well. You can purchase one of their “Lens” which works in conjunction with their BackPlate. I have long liked the innovative original clip-on iPhone lens by olloclip but didn’t want to remove my case in order to use it or maybe use their case. (A cellphone’s extra lens needs to be snug against the camera’s lens in order to work.)

Note: The Lens lenses only work on iPhone 7 and up because the iPhone 6/6s camera is too close to the edge of the phone.

Will it be viable to keep a RhinoShield Lens on the BackPlate and remove it when I’m not using it? I don’t know yet.

I will keep you apprised of how I like and use the Mod.

Meanwhile, you can check it out at the RhinoShield website.


Wondering about RhinoShield? I love knowing the story behind a company or product. RhinoShield is a brand name of Evolutive Labs. Evolutive Labs was founded by students from the University of Cambridge in April 2012.


Disclaimer: The images here are by RhinoShield and are from the RhinoShield website. They are of iPhone 7 and 8, I believe. (Because my phones are older.)

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