Review: Juggernaut Case Smartphone Ecosystem

While there’s something to be said about the ability to survive a crisis without any assistance from electronic devices, the reality is that most people will not immediately default to bushcraft or primitive survival methods when disaster strikes. Thankfully, whether it’s supply shortages, rolling blackouts, riots, or natural disasters, very few modern disasters include an absolute shutdown of cellular, Wi-Fi, or power grid infrastructure. In past articles, we’ve highlighted apps and techniques that allow you to use a smartphone for everything from secure communication to navigation to a beacon for help. But, just like shooting, emergency smartphone use requires two-prong planning that covers both software and hardware solutions. One of the most comprehensive hardware solutions we’ve come across for this purpose is Juggernaut Case.

Juggernaut has a long history of providing case and mounting solutions to military and first responders. Organizations ranging from Tier 1 Special Operations units to Federal law enforcement and municipal first responders rely on Juggernaut to not only protect the phones themselves — sometimes referred to as EUDs or end-user devices in military parlance — but also to integrate that immense processing power into other systems, from vehicles to body armor. This allows everyone from EMTs to Navy SEALs to stay connected even under the most demanding, most austere conditions.

Above: The Juggernaut Case IMPCT (left) is designed to be more sleek and EDC-friendly than the rugged military-spec SLEEV (right). Both are made in the USA.

Fortunately, their products are also available to civilians who can leverage Juggernaut’s technology, which is literally battlefield-tested, to maximize our phones’ utility into a wide array of preparedness applications. We were able to test and experiment with a variety of cases and mounts for this article, and what we found was a cohesive, near-seamless ecosystem of phone-mounting hardware.

Juggernaut Cases and Capabilities

Above: Juggernaut offers multiple case options that can integrate with their line of cable adapters and mounts.

We tested two of Juggernaut’s cases: the SLEEV and the IMPCT. The form factor and design principles were similar for both cases, but the SLEEV is the beefier of the two, with hinged ports on either end. The top port, used to load and unload the phone from the case, snaps closed with a molded-in clamp. The bottom port, used to access your charging/data port, actually screws closed to completely seal the bottom of the phone. The IMPCT has two small bumpers that can be fully removed. The IMPCT is also top-loading, and the bottom rubber bumper can be completely removed. For daily carry, we left this piece off for easy access to our charging/data port throughout the day, but some users may prefer to keep it in place for extra protection from dust and debris.

It should be noted that all Juggernaut cases are open-faced. There’s no glass or polymer screen protector built into the case. The open-face design also ensures maximum use of touchscreen functions. But the cases are designed to fit very snugly, so if you use a peel-and-stick screen protector, you may have to remove it just to slide your phone into the case. Both case models are fully compatible with the entire spectrum of mounting options, which we’ll cover below.

Juggernaut offers cases for a wide range of phone makes/models; they offer several sizes of case. Their webstore offers an easy-to-follow sizing chart on almost every individual product page, as well as a shop-by-model filter function. We used a Samsung S21 for the entirety of this article, which uses a medium-sized case and medium sized mounts. All of the in-mount photos seen here were taken with the IMPCT case, since it’s the smaller of the two cases and the most likely to be chosen for daily use and pocket carry.

We also had the opportunity to test Juggernaut’s IMPCT Cable, which is a replacement bottom bumper than includes a hard-wired USB cable and gasketed USB-C port for connection to the phone. Simply remove the soft rubber bumper that comes with the IMPCT case and replace it with the IMPCT Cable. Since the cable is fixed to the bumper, this piece isn’t something you’d leave on your phone all the time. But if you plan to attach the phone to a vehicle mount for long trips, a battery pack for extended charging, or a USB solar charging panel, it’s a nice-to-have addition. The SLEEV also has a line of screw-in cables that can be ordered for that case, should you be using it. Both versions can be ordered with USB or 6-pin “Mighty Mouse” adapters on the long end, or “unterminated” to hard-wire the cable into a vehicle or other platform for permanent attachment.

Belt Clip

Available in both vertical and horizontal carry configurations, the belt Clip Mount is exactly what you’d expect — a molded-plastic clip, with built-in bracket, that can be hooked onto your belt, seatbelt, or other straps for true EDC. This makes your Juggernaut case just as convenient for daily use as it is for disaster use. While it may look like the dozens of other belt-clip cell phone holsters you can buy off Amazon, this is only the casual-carry component of an entire hard-use mount ecosystem.

Tek-Lok Belt Mount

This is the next step up from the belt clip, consisting of a dedicated phone bracket attached to a Tek-Lok mount. While this Belt Mount is absolutely viable in an everyday use role, we find it a little overbuilt for that task. So, we added it to our Arbor Arms SALT battle belt. Whether you use a battle belt for range training, classes, or a waist-mounted bugout rig, the Juggernaut Tek-Lok, with it’s included spacers, can be fit to almost any larger belt system like 1.75- or 2-inch rigger’s belts. Since many battle belts now include cutout channels to weave the inner belt through a padded MOLLE sleeve, you don’t have to worry about hard-attaching this mount to MOLLE channels. If you’re OK with the extra bulk, this makes the Tek-Lok Belt Mount ideal for bouncing between a daily wear belt and a battle belt as circumstances require.

Above: The Tek- Lok Belt Mount works great for larger, thicker battle belts like this Arbor Arms SALT belt system.

Forearm Mount

The Forearm Mount allows you to use your smartphone like a digital “leader’s board.” First made popular by professional football players, who used them to keep a cheat sheet of plays right on their arm, these elastic sleeves were soon “weaponized” by military and law enforcement tactical teams who used them to keep everything from radio frequencies to maps of the battlefield within literal arms’ reach. Juggernaut’s solution is a little more elegant, featuring an armband made of Cordura, nylon webbing, and performance fabric that cinches down by use of the Boa “click” system, which sizes to fit and then locks down at the desired snugness. The sleeve is equipped with the now-familiar phone bracket to keep your phone visible and accessible all times. If you don’t have a PALS-equipped plate carrier or chest rig to mount your phone to, this is a good fallback solution that also works when you don’t need or want other tactical gear on your person. If you don’t mind carrying the extra bulk on your arm, this mount can stand in for the PALS mount, Pack Adapter, or belt mounts discussed elsewhere in this article. Combined with your favorite ballistic calculator app, this setup works well as a digital, adaptable version of the traditional sniper’s armband.

PALS Mount

Above: PALS mount on an Arbor Arms CAS Plate Carrier.

The PALS Mount was specifically designed for military use on MOLLE or PALS plate carriers. This allows Special Operations Forces to keep their phone accessible for hands-free use of navigation or situational awareness software like ATAK. It also allows your smartphone to be integrated into a “dual-comms” radio system, like those offered by Silynx or Safariland. We attached it to an Arbor Arms CAS, or Communicator Armor System. This is a full-blown “assaulter’s” plate carrier with specific features built-in to accommodate the extensive integration of the aforementioned military-style communications equipment.

There’s also a version of the PALS mount (not shown here) that includes inductive-charging capability. If you wear an armor system as part of your job and need auxiliary power to keep your phone running, you can wear a battery pack mounted on your plate carrier and hook the included cable directly into your powered PALS mount for extended mission use.

PALS Pack Platform

This is actually a two-part system that requires the PALS mount discussed above as well as the Pack Platform adapter. For this setup, Juggernaut teamed up with Mystery Ranch to create a nylon panel-and-strap system that lets you use a PALS mount with a hiking pack for hiking and backpacking use where armor isn’t required. We attached it to a Stone Glacier Avail pack, the author’s go-to weekend hiking pack. The Pack Adapter uses split-buckle sliders to attach to a pack’s shoulder straps and functions much like a sternum strap commonly found on many modern hiking packs. Just like with a PALS mount attached to a plate carrier, the Pack Adapter keeps your phone mounted high on the chest for using navigation programs like OnX or CivTAK. In a less-urgent use case, we use the Pack Platform to be able to scroll through our Amazon Music or Spotify playlists on long road marches for physical conditioning.

Vehicle Mount

Web Editor Patrick McCarthy covered the Vehicle Mount in-depth as part of his DIY overlanding truck build series in Issue 52. In case you missed that, the Vehicle Mount works in conjunction with a RAM ball mount, so you can swivel and adjust your screen position. Whether you’re navigating with OnX Off Road, Google Maps, or just making hands-free phone calls, the vehicle mount is a convenient way to use your Juggernaut ecosystem on the road. Just unclip your phone from your belt, pack, or plate carrier, and snap it into the vehicle mount before you get behind the wheel.

Like the PALS mount, there’s a powered version of the Vehicle Mount (pictured here) with a built-in USB cable that allows induction charging when plugged into your vehicle’s on-board USB port.

Multi-Mount

Above: The Multi Mount is a versatile mounting solution limited only by your imagination.

As the name implies, the Multi-Mount is a general-purpose mount whose use case is limited only by your imagination. Consisting of a molded plastic phone bracket with a long Velcro strap, the Multi-Mount can be wrapped around anything that’ll hold the weight of your phone. Branches, roll cages, PVC pipe, and anything of similar size is all fair game. The reverse side of the Velcro strap is coated with a grippy, semi-sticky coating that’ll adhere to itself as well as whatever you’re attaching to. Need to use your phone’s flashlight while fixing a pipe under the sink? Want to attach your phone to a tent pole for hands-free use at a campsite or hasty rally point? What about just wrapping it around a tree branch to film a quick bushcraft video for social media? These kinds of miscellaneous uses are where the Multi-Mount thrives and, if you’re going to invest in Juggernaut’s mount system, we recommend picking one of these up and keeping it handy for situations not covered by the more purpose-driven mounts we’ve already covered.

Above: The Multi Mount is capable of all kinds of unconventional use cases, such as setting up an impromptu trail cam.

Conclusion

While we’ve covered most of the available mount options, this list isn’t comprehensive. There are other niche mounts for everything from mountain bike handlebars to skydiving and Military Free Fall parachute rigs. By the time you read this, Juggernaut will already be shipping their next generation line of phone cases, which includes three models — the ENDVR, ADVNTR, and OPRTR — scaled for how severe your living/working conditions will be. We’ve been assured by Juggernaut that the new line of cases will not only include a wider array of phone models but also be backward-compatible with the existing mounting footprint. So, if you already have one or more of the mounts listed here, they’ll still be usable with the new cases, sizing notwithstanding if you change devices. They also have a line of tablet cases, with some corresponding mount options.
If you’re looking for case and mounting solutions for your portable electronic device that will stand up to daily wear-and-tear as well as in extremis survival situations, we’d be hard-pressed to recommend a better starting point than Juggernaut Cases.

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