When it comes to buying USB jump drives, I have tended to buy name brand ones based on the best price. I have an assortment of different sized ones made by HP, SanDisk, Kingston, and Lexar. They have all been reliable and I have never had problems with any of them. Several months ago, I wanted to get one that I could keep on my car’s keychain so that I would always have available a number of important documents. These included a list of the medicine I take, advanced medical directives, and power of attorney. Since I was going to keep the drive on my keychain, I went looking for one that could take some knocks and would be sturdy enough get dropped and jangled around with other keys.
While out shopping at the local Apple store, I saw on display the LaCie RuggedKey. It is a key shaped USB 3.0 flash drive encased in a bright orange cylindrical rubber sleeve and has a sturdy key ring attached. It also comes with AES 256-bit data encryption. The rubber case protects it from 100-meter drops and provides heat, cold and water resistant protection.
Even though the 16GB one was a bit pricey at $39.99 (pretty standard price, but can be found for $34.99 online), but I decided to go ahead and buy it as it impressed me with its sturdiness. Several weeks ago, it got a good test as to its being water resistant. I try to swim 2 to 3 times a week and went off to the pool in my trunks. As I got out of the car, I put my car keys in my swim trunks pocket and went on to check in and take my pre-dip shower. I got into the pool and after swimming for 30 minutes felt this lump in my trunks pocket. Yes, that lump were my keys with the LaCie drive attached. While LaCie only states in its specs that it is resistant to both dust and water projection, it does not suggest you go swimming with it. I am happy to report that upon my arrival at home, the drive worked fine and came out of the swim in great shape.
While I do not recommend testing it in this manner, I came away impressed with the ruggedness of this device and find that it lives up to LaCie’s description of it. If you want a well-protected USB 3.0 jump drive to take with you on the go, then this is a great selection.
Our rating for the LaCie RuggedKey is a 10 out of 10 (A).