ioSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive

September 27th, 2011

A problem presents itself. I’m off on assignment to America photographing two of the UK’s best rock climbers. I will be photographing digital stills, shooting video footage and writing every day for two months. I will be working amongst the rough granite of Vedauwoo, I will be living in the Utah deserts, camping and bivouacking in the dirt, travelling in old trucks on rough, bumpy dirt tracks. The problem is how on earth do I safely store the vast amounts of digital data I’m going to accumulate? A quick search on the internet for rugged portable hard drives brings up the ubiquitous orange Lacie and some others. However my attention was drawn to a review on National Geographic Adventure and I make my decision. My ioSafe Rugged Portable external hard drive arrives quickly and suprisingly I unwrap an object of beauty.

ioSafe Rugged Portable


It’s reassuringly heavy and solid. A litle bit wider than a Moleskine notebook and twice as fat. If it was gold coloured you could easily mistake it for bullion bar. The packaging also contain a rubber skin for extra protection and two sets of USB cables. Happily the ioSafe with the skin attached fits snugly inside a size 3 Alpkit Padded Cell. The instructions provided guide me easily through syncing the drive with my MacBook Pro and it is compatable with Time Machine. The specs are impressive – my aluminium HDD protects data in drops of 10 feet, submersion in salt water for ten days, it can withstand 2500 ibs of crushing and is safe from UV, blowing sand, dust, rain, salt fog, icing and freezing rain.

The internet is awash with reviews and videos of  the ioSafe rugged hard drive and numerous tales of attempted destruction emerge. In various reviews the ioSafe is dropped, hit with hammers, submerged in diesel for hours, driven over by trucks and blasted by shotguns. I’m not going to do any of that. I’m simply going to use it for two months. It will bump along with me on Monument valley dirt tracks, lie next to me in the freezing temperatures of my tent and back up my data in dusty Utah deserts.

ioSafe plugged into my MacBook Pro in the granite dust and winds of Vedauwoo. After crossing the Atlantic ocean and living in the boot of our hire car for two weeks it worked flawlessly. Six weeks to go.


ioSafe Website is here –

UK Importer is here –

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