Straps and Lanyards for your iPhone

Lanyards and Straps for iPhones and iPod Touches

There are not a lot of ways to permanently attach a strap or lanyard to your iPhone or iPod Touch – but there are probably more than you think there are. Here are our best suggestions.

I became aware of the problem when Carol from OTsWithApps posted about clients who needed an iPod Touch with a lanyard for work environments:

Recent evaluations of individuals with disabilities transitioning to employment situations have resulted in recommendations for an iPod Touch […] What has been difficult is finding a sturdy, hands free case for protection and securing the device from loss.

Carol has since posted that the Lanskin Lanyard Case is working for her client which is great.

I have also been looking for a strap for my own iPhone 6+ case as well. I am happy with the protection of the Speck Candy Grip but I still drop it a lot and a strap would provided added security against expensive breakage, so I started looking at what was available …

Make sure you read all articles in this series:

Think First!

What are your needs? These are some questions to help you clarify what you are looking for:

What is the device you need the strap for? You’ll need to know if it’s an iPhone or iPod Touch and exactly what model you have as cases are often specific to a single model.

Do you want a strap that just goes around a wrist, one to wear around the neck lanyard-style, a handbag-style shoulder strap, or something else?

Should the user be able to unstrap the device from their body by themselves, or only with help?

Should the user be able to take the strap off the device by themselves, or should it always stay attached?

Is the device likely to be thrown, dropped, chewed on, or similar?

Does the user need to carry just the iPhone/iPod or are they also carrying something else such as a speaker, stylus, etc? If so, does this also need to be attached to the strap?

Designed For Special Needs Device Wearing

There are two systems that I know of which are designed for AAC device users who wish to wear their devices.

This black chatbag is made for an iPhone in an OtterBox case.

CHAT Bag – This allows a shoulder strap so you can wear the device over a shoulder or across the body. The CHATBag doesn’t always look too safe in photos with the bag gaping at the sides, but I looked up a bunch of reviews and everybody said it was fine once it’s in use and very secure. Lori from CHATBag told me:

We also have never had any complaints, nor have we personally ever had any device fall out of our CHAT Bags. Obviously no case or bag is 100% safe but we are thankful that this has not been an issue in the 4 years we have been selling them. Our bags do hug the device securely. Our daughter carries hers daily to communicate and can be pretty rough.

CHAT Bag’s main page only shows iPad and iPad Mini cases but if you look in the ‘Special Order’ section they have an order for CHAT Bags suitable for iPhone or iPod Touch.

Black chest harness on a manekin.
This model Gab and Go Harness is suitable for a small device. The red adhesive will stick to the back of the device.

Gab and Go harness – The harness fits across the upper body and includes a bluetooth speaker ideal for AAC users. The device is attached with strong adhesive and clips.

Cases with Built-In Straps

Lanyard Skin Case & Cover by Lanskin
OTs With Apps Reviewed this case and found it worked well for their adult user but was not hugely protective of the device so it would not be suitable for users who were tough on their devices or prone to throwing or dropping them.

Small child with a white iPhone case hanging around her neck.
Lanskin Lanyard Case

iStraps iPhone Case with Wrist Strap

iPhone/iPod podfob
I hadn’t seen the Podfob stuff before but for my own use I’d be very concerned that the cases it comes with seem to be very flimsy and not very protective.

iCat iPhone Retention Kits

SmartAngel have cases for iPhones with hand straps (at the back of the case) and lanyard-type neck straps.

Cases with Strap Mount Points

Built in strap or lanyard mounting points are usually reinforced because case makers know these points will be under extra stress.

Snow Lizard Products – The SLSport and SLExtreme iPhone cases come with lanyard attachment points.

InDepth’s waterproof iPhone cases have lanyard attachment points (and also built in bottle openers… go figure!)

Rearth’s Rinke Fusion case an a gold iPhone 6+, with inset showing lanyard attachment point.

Rearth’s Ringke cases also have lanyard attachment points.

BEELINE cases are heavy-duty cases with built in retractable locking stinger/carabiner which probably also can be used as a strap/lanyard mount.

iFace iPhone cases have a lanyard attachment point.

Handbag-style case for iPhone 5/5s – I suspect the actual handle/strap included with this case would not be too helpful, but if you remove it the attachment points look like they’ll let you add your own strap.

From AliExpress, these handbag-style iPhone cases may have unexpected utility for special needs users!
From AliExpress, these handbag-style iPhone cases may have unexpected utility for special needs users!

PureGear PX360 Extreme Protection System for iPhone 6 is super protective and comes with a strongly reinforced section where a strap or lanyard could be attached.

Cases with Built-In Handles

Many kids’ iPhone cases such as the Fisher Price Laugh And Learn Apptivity Case have built in handles.

There are several novelty iPhone cases which have handles that straps could easily be attached to. If your user likes being a bit unusual, they may wish to try one of these:

It’s not my style, but there are some disabled users I can easily imagining loving this case!

Mountable Cases

Mountable cases allow a variety of attachments to be swapped in and out.

Rokform Mountable Apple Cases – This one caught my eye because Rokform’s belt strap would be great for attaching a strap or lanyard, and some of their other mount styles could suit mounting onto a wheelchair or walker.

Adhesive Straps or Attachment Points

Adhesive attachment points sound like they wouldn’t be very strong, but adhesives today can be pretty amazing. The Gab and Go harness designed for AAC users also uses adhesive attachment points.

Gear Keeper Cell Phone Security Tether.

Snow Lizard Products – Snow Lizard’s TECTab is not being produced any more, but Snow Lizard have told me that if you contact the company directly it is still available. Email for more information.

This Tek Tab is on an Android device, but the principle is the same. Contact Snow Lizard if you'd like one.
This Tek Tab is on an Android device, but the principle is the same. Contact Snow Lizard if you’d like one.

LinkMount – The LinkMount device is currently in pre-order. I have one on order from their KickStarter campaign as it looks really handy!

Black linkmount on a black iPhone
The LinkMount can be attached to the phone directly or to a hard case.

Stick It universal retention system from Ek USA is available with a variety of accessories.

iPhone Adjustable Lanyard (Neck Strap) from is another similar option.

DIY Options

Attaching Lanyards to Hard Cases – LVMHGirl suggests looping lanyards through existing openings on hard cases. I suspect this may not be strong enough for uses who are tough on their devices, but she reports it working well for her.

Add a Lanyard or Wrist Strap to the iPhone Case – Jeff Scott suggests drilling small holes to add lanyards to hard cases. I have the same reservations about this procedure with regards to strength.

iPhone 5 Lanyard Case – This case design on Thingiverse can be 3D printed for individual users.

Once again, make sure you read all articles in this series:

Straps and lanyards are great for keeping an iPhone close to you with less effort. They will also help prevent some drops and knocks to the device, though not all. But they only work, of course, when they are in use. Before you purchase one, make sure you consider whether the user will be likely to want to use the strap, and how you can make sure it’s comfortable and easy to use. Even just getting a strap in a favourite colour or covering it with fabric featuring a favourite character or object can make a big difference.

For me personally, I can’t wait for my LinkMount to arrive – my iPhone’s hard case offers good protection but a bit more never hurt. How do you protect your iPhone?

– Ricky

8 thoughts on “Lanyards and Straps for iPhones and iPod Touches”

  1. I have had great luck with an attachment point and strap available from Photo Jojo:

    It’s $35US, and works by adding an attachment point to your iPhone 5 or 6 (all models of 5 and 6). It comes with a tiny screw driver and replacement screws for the screws on either side of the lightning or 30 pin connector at the base of the phone. Unscrew the existing screws and attach a small metal bracket to your phone with the replacement screws. The bracket is very low profile and sits just below the lightning or 30 pin port, so it will work with most cases that don’t fit really close to that port. You thread the included wrist strap through the bracket – it’s like a wrist strap for a camera.

    I got this for myself for hands-free carrying my phone while walking – I wear the phone on my wrist. For someone who needs close supervision it might not be a good solution, but for someone who just needs the phone to be within reach and has a suitable case already, it’s a great solution.

    • Jennifer: I’m really glad that worked for you! The reason I didn’t include it is that when I tried the same kit you described the screw quickly stripped its thread and the attachment point came off. Do you carry your phone via the strap or do you just use it as insurance against dropping the phone?

  2. I’m looking for a strap for an iPod that is used as a communication device for my nonverbal son. I would want it to attach to his pants and attach to the iPod – long enough to use the iPod but not long enough to be a danger or so the iPad can not be thrown very well. He throws his at his classmates in school with an accurate and strong throw – obviously we are working with a behavior analyst also, but until we solve his throwing, we thought this would help. I may have to customize something and your site/ideas/thoughts are VERY helpful – thank you!

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