Best rugged tablet case 2023

Someone holding up a tablet in a black rugged case.
Credit: Mous

Someone holding up a tablet in a black rugged case.
Credit: Mous

The best rugged tablet case is the easiest way to keep your tablet as safe as you can. Of course, having a tablet is great, but getting a heavy-duty case for it essentially safeguards it from any damage occured through those inevitable drops, bumps, or scrapes it incurs across its lifetime.

This will probably be particularly important to you if you own a fairly pricey tablet, such as the iPad Pro or Samsung Galaxy Tab S9. But even if you have one of the best tablets under 100, it's still worth the investmen tin our eyes.

As far as tablet cases go, we’ve selected the best rugged options based on our research into their specs, features, general reviews, and other general points that we think make them worth considering. We’ve also answered some of your most frequently asked questions so you can pick the best ones for you.

Let's not waste any more time then. Here are our top picks...

Best rugged tablet cases

  1. Otterbox Defender
  2. Mous Tablet Case
  3. UAG Metropolis
  4. Spigen Rugged Armor Pro
  5. Poetic Revolution Series
Otterbox Defender product image of a black case on a tablet.
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Credit: Otterbox

1. Otterbox Defender

Best rugged tablet case from Otterbox

The Otterbox Defender looks like a fantastic case to keep your tablet safe.

It features a polycarbonate shell, which should be rather durable, as well as a synthetic rubber slipcover to offer an extra layer of protection. 

You’ll also find it features port covers that prevent any unwanted dirt and dust from entering your tablet’s connection ports. If anything does get in, though, you'll need to know how to clean it.

In addition, you can also take your tablet partially out of the case and use the case’s main back piece as the basis of a stand, whilst retaining its sidepieces, so your tablet can be protected whilst you use it upright, in either portrait or landscape orientations.

There’s also a handy built-in screen protector to keep your display protected, as well as the back of the case itself, giving you all-around protection.

Mous Tablet Case product image of a black foldable case.
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Credit: Mous

2. Mous Tablet Case

Best rugged tablet case from Mous

If you’re after a stylish option for a rugged tablet case, the Mous Tablet Case should be a marvellous choice.

What you’ll be getting here is a rather suave-looking case that doesn’t scream its purpose as a rugged case, featuring a subtle black outer shell that will fit in well in whatever space you’re using your tablet in.

The Mous Tablet Case is rather sturdy being comprised of polycarbonate, as well as featuring a fibreglass stiffening plate.

It also features Mous’ own AiroFoam lining, which is a material that can help to dissipate the energy that can come from dropping your tablet and let it land safely, even from the largest of drops. 

It comes in the form of something known as a non-Newtonian fluid that creates strong hydrogen bonds when it senses an impact to provide a secondary hardened, protective layer for your phone.

UAG Metropolis product image of a black and red rugged case.
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Credit: UAG

3. UAG Metropolis

Best rugged tablet case from UAG

The UAG Metropolis looks like a brilliantly sturdy case for you to put your tablet into.

Since this tablet case is comprised of polycarbonate and TPU, it should be pretty durable, so it'll last when protecting your tablet. In addition, the back of the case is also non-slip, which means that you should be able to keep a strong grip on your tablet whenever you’re using it. 

In terms of aesthetics, the UAG Metropolis is quite the mean-looking tablet case that’s also available in a range of colours, including black and red, so you should be able to find one that matches the aesthetic you’re going for.

The tablet also comes with an Apple pen holder, so you don't have to worry about forgetting your pen when you're on the go.

As for compatibility, there are versions of this case available for iPads as far back as 2018, Microsoft tablets from the Surface 4 onwards and Samsung tablets such as the S7 line, the new S8 line and a range of the A-series ones, too.

Spigen Rugged Armor Pro product image of a black rugged case shot from multiple angles.
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Credit: Spigen

4. Spigen Rugged Armor Pro

Best rugged tablet case from Spigen

The Spigen Rugged Armor Pro looks like an incredible rugged tablet case, in our humble opinion.

It looks rather suave with a matte black finish and is comprised of both polycarbonate and TPU to ensure that this case is also rather durable. There are also some cool-looking carbon fibre details that help it to look especially sleek.

The Spigen Rugged Armor Pro also features Spigen’s own Air Cushion technology which is especially useful for protecting against any shock or drops your tablet may encounter.

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On the back, there’s also a kickstand if you want to prop your device up and view any content, or just to get a different viewing angle.

When it comes to compatibility, there are versions of this case available for a vast range of tablets including the Samsung S-series with the S7 and S8 supported, as well as a multitude of different iPads, which is rather useful.

Poetic Revolution Series product image of a black case propped up.
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Credit: Poetic

5. Poetic Revolution Series

Best rugged tablet case from Poetic

The Poetic Revolution Series of tablet cases look rather good if you’re after a clever all-around case for maximum protection.

It looks to be quite the sturdy option, featuring TPU outer bumpers and a premium polycarbonate shell to ensure that this case is as durable as it can be. Those TPU bumpers are going to be especially handy for making sure your device can withstand shocks and drops especially.

The Poetic Revolution cases are also all-around cases, as you get a built-in screen protector so your entire device is protected from any potential impacts, as opposed to just the back, which is rather useful. This screen protector is also comprised of polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate is a transparent plastic that can easily be mistaken for glass, but it is much more resistant to impacts and is pliable at room temperature.

For the sake of convenience and if you want to use your tablet in its horizontal orientation, then this case also features a built-in kickstand if you want to prop your tablet up.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about rugged tablet cases.

Should I buy a rugged tablet case?

In our humble opinion, a rugged tablet case is a brilliant thing to buy if you want to keep your device protected.

They're a little bulkier than a standard tablet case, but if preventing damage is of paramount importance, then there isn’t a much better thing to buy than a good rugged tablet case, and it may just save you from having to look up guides on how to fix a Samsung tablet screen.

How much should I spend on a rugged tablet case?

Spending between $30 and $75 is likely to get you a brilliantly sturdy rugged tablet case that should offer some great protection for your device, as well as also look rather good.

Spending more may get you something comprised of higher quality materials with some better looks, but if that isn’t all too important, then stick in that $30-$75 price range, and you’ll find a great case.

What should I look for in a rugged tablet case?

As a general rule, you’ll want to principally look for some sturdy materials, such as TPU and polycarbonate, to ensure that the tablet case is durable and will offer more than adequate protection for your device.

As for additional features, some may also feature port covers so no dust or dirt can get in, whilst others will offer a kickstand if you want to prop your tablet up and use it at a different viewing angle.

It’s worth considering these additional things, as they may just swing the balance in a specific case’s favour if you’re after a certain something.

Are rugged tablet cases heavy?

This all depends on the case itself, but typically rugged tablet cases can be quite heavy, given the extra thickness and durability on offer compared to a more standard option for tablets.

What are the best rugged tablet cases made of?

Rugged tablet cases are usually made of hard plastics to offer a durable frame as well as extra drop protection. They can have multiple different layers if plastics in order to provide extra protection, as well as other features such as hardened corners for protection against drops on the corners of your device.

Like phone cases, they may also feature a fabric or softer material lining to act as a cushion and extra barrier against any potential bumps and scrapes, such as Mous' AiroFoam, which transfers much of the impulse of a falling device to the molecular bonds of the fluids inside.

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