🔨 The Best Tough & Rugged Portable SSD’s – 2019 Edition

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Okay, maybe I took a liberty by using ‘indestructible’ in the title, but, if you’re looking for a tough & rugged storage option then this article is for you!

Both Rugged Portable SSD’s and Rugged USB Flash Drives have their pros & cons. Rugged SSD’s have the advantage of having much faster transfer speeds and higher storage capacities while Flash drives are super lightweight and much cheaper.

So why choose a portable SSD?

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The main reasons are speed, reliability and capacity. While flash memory sticks are small and compact, they suffer from overheating which limits their speed. When you transfer files to a flash drive, the top speed quoted on the packaging won’t for long. This is due to a much smaller cache than you get on an SSD.

Portable SSD’s on the other hand, are proven to reach consistent speeds of up to 5 times faster than your typical flash memory. Tough & Rugged SSD’s take it a step further as you can get them wet, drop them and generally abuse them without worrying about data loss.

As someone who travels a lot, being able to throw a lightning-fast high-capacity drive into my backpack care free is fantastic.

I used to wrap up my old 1TB HDD in t-shirts to help protect it from shock and bumps, all the time worrying that the next time I plugged it all my data would be corrupted.

As SSD’s use solid memory with no moving parts they’re much less susceptible to shock damage. So let’s get to it, here are the best fully waterproof, shockproof and drop-proof portable SSD’s available. Enjoy!

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD 500GB

1. SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (2018/2019 Model)

SanDisk has upgraded their rugged portable SSD after having issues with the previous versions ports failing. The new version has reinforced the USB Type-C and totally redesigned the external protection.

The new SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD also comes sealed with an IP55 rating and drop protection to an impressive 2 metres.

Unless you need to enhanced IP68 waterproofing of the next portable SSD, the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD should be your number 1 choice!

Storage Sizes: 250GB | 500GB | 1TB | 2TB
Transfer Speed: Max 550MB/s
Connection: Detachable Cable – USB Type-C 3.1 (Type-C to Type-A adapter included)
Tough Credentials: Water & Dust Resistant (IP55), 2 metre drop protection, -20 – + 70 degrees storage temps.
Warranty: 3 Years

ADATA SD700 512GB Rugged Waterproof SSD

2. ADATA SD700 Portable SSD

The ADATA SD700 is our tried & tested portable SSD that’s been available for a few years now. It comes with USB 3.1 but unfortunately uses a SATA to USB cable which you’ll need to carry with you. It’d be great if ADATA updated the 2016 model to use a USB Type-C connection which is much more widely available. #dontmakemecarryanothercableplease

In terms of rugged credentials, it’s at the top our list with a MIL-STD-810G shock grading (tested to 26 drops at 4ft), an IP68 rating which means it can stay submerged at depths of 1.5m for up to 60 minutes. With a waterproof rating like this, dust & dirt doesn’t stand a chance.

All this protection of cause comes with an Achilles heel… the silicone seal. Forget to close this firmly and you can kiss goodbye to that waterproof rating.

Storage Sizes: 256GB | 512GB | 1TB
Transfer Speed: Max 440MB/s
Connection: Detachable Cable – USB SATA to USB Type-A
Tough Credentials: Water & Dust Resistant (IP68), MIL-STD-810G 516.6 protection, +5 to +50 degrees operating temps.
Warranty: 3 Years

G-Drive Mobile SSD 1TB

3. G-Drive Mobile SSD (R Series)

G-Technology is known for its range of high-speed drives and network servers. The G-Drive Mobile SSD is their portable rugged option that comes with all the tough features needed to earn it a spot in this list.

Available in three sizes, it comes equipped with a single USB Type-C connector with max speeds of up to 560MB/s thanks to the gen-2 USB 3.1 controller. The three meter drop-protection is impressive but if you read the small print this has been tested on a carpeted floor, so don’t expect the same results on a hard surface.

As well as drop protection it’s also IP67 rated which means it is protected from all dust and can withstand being submerged in shallow water for less than 30 minutes. Which is more than enough to handle wet weather conditions, just don’t take it swimming.

Storage Sizes: 500GB | 1TB | 2TB
Transfer Speed: Max 560MB/s
Connection: Detachable Cable – USB Type-C  (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
Tough Credentials: Water & Dust Resistant (IP67), 3 meter drop-protection, Shock & Vibration Resistant, 450KG crush protection, Aluminium Core
Warranty: 5 Years

INEO Rugged SSD Case

4. INEO Rugged SSD Case

If you have a spare SSD lying around from a previous upgrade, another option you have is to install it a case like the INEO Rugged IPX6 Case.

It comes with a waterproof rating, Military Standard Drop protection and support for USB 3.1 via the inbuilt Type-C cable. The frame itself is made from silicone to absorb drops and vibrations with is supported each side by a panel of aluminium for strength.

The benefit of a case like this is that you can upgrade to a larger SSD further down the line when storage prices drop.

Storage Sizes: 256GB | 512GB | 1TB | 2TB
Transfer Speed: USB 3.1 Gen 2
Connection: Inbuilt Cable – USB 3.1 (Type-C)
Tough Credentials: Water & Dust Resistant (IPX6), MIL-STD-810G protection
Warranty: 1 Year

G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD 500GB

5. G-Drive Mobile Pro SSD (Thunderbolt™ 3)

The G-Drive Pro drops the IP rating and switches the Type-C port for the Thunderbolt 3 port allowing it to reach sustained transfer speeds of 2800MB/s.

If you regular edit 4K or 8K video footage, then the G-Drive Mobile Pro can easily handle your workflow with you having to worry about shocks, drops or vibrations. There’s isn’t currently a larger 2TB version like we see on the G-Drive Mobile above.

Storage Sizes: 500GB | 1TB
Transfer Speed: Max 2800MB/s
Connection: Detachable Cable – Thunderbolt™ 3 Port
Tough Credentials: 3 meter drop-protection, Shock & Vibration Resistant, 450KG crush protection, Aluminium Core
Warranty: 5 Years

Samsung Bar Plus Rugged

6. Samsung Bar Plus

While the Samsung Bar Plus flash drives are limited in capacity, they are tough little buggers that only weigh 9 grams.

And since they’re so light, you don’t have to worry about dropping them, banging them, or even dropping them into water.

I take a couple of these with me travelling, as they’re tough, cheap and 512GB is all I need. They’re also fast if your laptop or computer supports USB 3.1, but just beware they’re not on the same speed level as the SSD’s above.

While memory pen isn’t your first thought when looking for rugged SSD storage, these Samsung drives might just become your lightweight backups for more adventurous trips.

Storage Sizes: 128GB | 256GB
Transfer Speed: Max 300MB/s
Connection: USB Type-A (v3.1)
Tough Credentials: Waterproof (72 hours SeaWater), Shockproof, Working Temps -25°C to 85°C, X-Ray Proof, Magnet Proof.
Warranty: 5 Years Limited

WD My Passport Portable SSD

7. WD My Passport Portable SSD

The least rugged of the selection is the redesigned WD My Passport portable SSD. It has blazing fast speeds thanks to its Type-C 3.1 connection giving you up to 540MB/s transfer speeds.

While it doesn’t have any dust, dirt or water protection it has been tested by Western Digital to be protected from drops up to 1.98 metres. This is in part due to its super lightweight design (41g).

If you’re looking to store secure files, the WD Portable SSD comes with 256-bit AES hardware encryption. This type of encryption is easy to set up and doesn’t slow down performance compared to software-based encryption.

Storage Sizes: 256GB | 512GB | 1TB | 2TB
Transfer Speed: Max 540MB/s
Connection: Detachable Cable – USB Type-C 3.1 (Type-C to Type-A adapter included)
Tough Credentials: Drop Protection 1.98 metres
Warranty: 3 Years (worldwide)

SEAGATE Fast SSD

8. SEAGATE FAST SSD

Okay, so the SEAGATE Fast SSD isn’t a typical rugged SSD, but it’s a great option for the style-conscious fellow who needs a little protection. The build quality is solid and it’s lightweight at only 82g for all for storage sizes.

If you truly want a portable SSD that you can throw in your backpack and forget about then this isn’t the right option for you. But if you just want peace of mind commuting too and from work, while achieving fast transfers? Then you can’t get much better looking than the Fast SSD.

It also uses a USB Type-C cable as standard, meaning you don’t have to mess around with any adapters during your next laptop upgrade.

Storage Sizes: 250GB | 500GB | 1TB | 2TB
Transfer Speed: Max 540MB/s
Connection: Detachable Cable – USB Type-C
Tough Credentials: Shock Resistant
Warranty: 3 Years Limited