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Protecting gadgets at the beach

July 3, 2012 3:07:56 PM PDT
There are lots of summer hot spots that are far from tech friendly. Consumer Reports has just checked out bags designed to keep you connected and protected.

Summer means spending time at the beach or at the pool, and you want to take your tech gear wherever you go, right? So what happens when your pricey piece ends up in the drink?

You can buy bags to protect your stuff from the elements. Consumer Reports tested several, ranging in price from 15 to almost 40 dollars.

The first challenge? Dropping each one into water.

"We really didn't want to risk real electronics devices, so we used objects that were similar in size and weight, like paperback books and Post-it notes," Carol Mangis of Consumer Reports said.

All the bags kept the contents dry as a bone.

Next challenge? Sand. You know how that gets everywhere! This time the cases were dropped in sand and partially covered. The bags got the job done here, too.

The best of the bunch? The drycase bags. They also provided the most secure fit. You'll pay 38 dollars for the large one and 29 for the small.

"We decided we'd also try out a regular grocery-style bag with a sealable top to see if that protected devices just as well," Mangis said.

Turns out the Hefty Onezip gallon-sized bag protected against water and did a fine job with the sand. And at just 10 cents a bag, you'll have more money to spend on sunscreen.

Consumer Reports says the Hefty bag should work well for trips to the beach or afternoons by the pool. For more extreme outdoor situations, like kayaking or mountain climbing, it's probably worth getting one of the bags specifically designed to protect your electronic gear.

Get more information about this test at ConsumerReports.org.

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