The clear OtterBoxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes. All of them are made from strong polycarbonate plastic...the same stuff used to make bullet-proof glass. While these boxes may not stop a bullet, they will most likely prevent our gear from getting crushed in our overstuffed packs :-)
A "piano hinge" connects the top with the base. This style of hinge has good strength and alignment...useful in a product such as these OtterBox cases, where a watertight seal depends on proper mating of the halves. The outside of the boxes have molded ridges for easy gripping. These ridges may also have structural functions, but we're just guessing.
To create the watertight seal, the clasp pulls the lid tight against the body. The silicone ring is pinched by the channel at the rim of the case to provide a water-tight seal. OtterBox claims their boxes are waterproof down to 100 feet. We'll have our resident diver test this claim on one of his dives!
Some (1000 series) are perfect for a cell phone and a few credit cards, others are sized for flashlights and other tall slim objects, and still others can accommodate a large collection of gadgets.
BTW...the first reader to correctly identify all of the items in the big case will get something chosen by our guest editor Eliot. We'll post the list when the prize has been won or at the end of the Summer...whichever comes first. If you don't see the list, there is still more stuff to be found. The usual haphazard list of rules applies. Send your ONE entry with the subject line "I'm OTTER here Puzzler " when you think you've got them all. "Huge" clues may appear and disappear at various times over the Summer.
The larger box (3500 series) has the same piano hinge along the entire length of the case. In order to provide even pressure along the entire seam, the 3500 box has two clasps. Both must be fully engaged for the box to be water-tight.
Taller objects (cigars, flashlights, etc...) would fit nicely in the 9000 series case. OtterBox has added a belt clip on this case so it may be worn on the body or attached to the side of a pack.
OtterBox also makes special purpose cases for many different applications. We will review some of their single purpose cases in the near future. If they are as well designed as their general purpose boxes, we think we may become huge OtterBox fans here at RainyDayMagazine.