Everything you need to know about the EscapeCapsule iPhone 4/4S Case


Congratulations, we are thrilled that our first product will be with you on all of your future adventures!  The EscapeCapsule® is a waterproof case that allows you to utilize your iPhone 4/4S in, around, and under water.  Every waterproof housing uses a rubber gasket or o-ring to create an air and water tight enclosure and the challenge with waterproof products is that the seal can leak if something as tiny as a hair, grain of sand or trapped dirt disrupt that seal.  The advantage of the EscapeCapsule is that we designed it to be clear so that you easily see the edge of the O-ring as it seals against the case and make sure the seal is intact.  This ability to visually check the O-ring's seal will allow you to confidently use your EscapeCapsule in any environment.

The EscapeCapsule has been engineered to be easy to put on and taken off of your iPhone.  With a little bit of care you will be able to enjoy your EscapeCapsule for a long time and have the freedom to take your iPhone anywhere.  We have even included an extra o-ring for your peace of mind.  Like all waterproof equipment, it is important to rinse your gear after exposure to pool chemicals or saltwater.  A little bit of petroleum jelly to lubricate your headphone plug and O-ring will ensure that your EscapeCapsule will be with you for years to come. 

The EscapeCapsule is IPX8 waterproof rated at a depth of 2 meters for 30 minutes.  As part of our commitment to quality, EVERY EscapeCapsule must pass our waterproof quality control test, which is submersion at a simulated depth of 2 meters for 30 minutes, before each unit is approved for sale.  Please do not exceed the depth of 2 meters (6.6 feet) while using your case.  We have successfully tested the case at far greater depths in order to ensure a wide margin of safety when using your case underwater. 

After you read all of the instructions, please click here to register your EscapeCapsule.


Before using your EscapeCapsule for the first time, you read ALL of the instructions to understand how to use and maintain your case. 


Features & Maintenance

It is your responsibility to understand each of the features on this product and how to maintain the case to ensure your EscapeCapsule works as intended.  You are 100% responsible for the safety of your iPhone and it is important that you understand that you expose your device to potential hazards at your own risk. 


The Sound Membranes

Do not, under any circumstances, touch, manipulate, or poke the thin membranes on the ear-piece, top microphone or bottom microphones.  These acoustic membranes are specifically engineered to be impermeable to water, resistant to chemicals and strong enough to withstand water pressure at depth.  The acoustic membranes are very thin and damage to these membranes will render your EscapeCapsule not waterproof.  If sand or debris are trapped between the protective grill and membrane, use a gentle stream of water to clean this area.  Never use a tool, fingernail or sharp object to poke around the membranes or protective grills.  

NOTE: If you notice a change in volume from the earpiece membrane, you may have a pressure imbalance inside the case.  To equalize the pressure in the case first ensure that you are in a location that will not expose your device to water, then open the headphone plug to allow the pressure to equalize. You will notice an immediate increase in volume. 

The O-Ring

The EscapeCapsule features a silicone O-ring seal that forms a water proof barrier between the lid and main housing of the case.  When properly installed, the O-ring will form an uninterrupted visible compression line that should be visually confirmed before you expose your device to water.  It is extremely important that special attention is paid to ensure the seal is completely seated in the groove of the lid.  If the seal is loose, out of alignment, twisted or pinched in anyway, it will compromise the waterproof integrity of the case.  Any debris such as hair or sand will keep it from forming a watertight seal and should be cleaned off before use.  If your O-ring is damaged and is leaking when you test the case in steps 1 through 6, do not use the case until you have replaced the O-ring.  

To increase the lifespan of use of the o-ring, it is advised that you periodically remove the O-ring and apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to lubricate the O-ring.  It is important to apply petroleum jelly to the O-ring if you intend to use the case for extended periods in the water.   Do not use silicone grease as this will ruin the silicon O-ring.  Do not overstretch the O-ring.  Also it may be necessary to remove and clean the O-ring after extended use in salt water.  Please see the images below that illustrate how to remove, clean and apply petroleum jelly to the O-ring

  1. Using the specially design " finger recess" on the lid, gently pull the O-ring up and away from the groove in the lid.
  2. Gently remove the O-ring from the groove of the lid.
  3. If the O-ring is dirty, please use mild soap and warm water to clean the O-ring and the lid.  Then take a small amount of Petroleum jelly and put it between you thumb and pointer finger.  
  4. Apply a very thin layer of petroleum jelly to the surface of the O-ring as you gently pull it through your fingers. 
  5. Re-insert the O-ring into the top of the lid first and let it hang down, careful not to get petroleum jelly onto the lid.
  6. Careful not to put to much stress on the O-ring, hold it in tension as you gently pull it towards the bottom of the lid. 
  7. Gently pull the O-ring into each corner.  Careful not to overstretch the O-ring.
  8. Finish placing the O-ring into the lid's groove.  Careful not to twist the O-ring. 
  9. Use a microfiber cloth to clean any excess petroleum jelly from the surface of the lid. 

The Headphone Jack Plug

The EscapeCapsule features a port to allow access to your headphone jack for use with your Apple headphones.  This port is not intended for use with any other headphones, even if they claim to be waterproof, and using headphones will render the case not-waterproof.  Do not open this port in or under water, as this will flood your case and ruin your iPhone. 

To increase the lifespan of use for this port, it is advised that you periodically use a very small amount of petroleum jelly to lubricate the plug that inserts into the cavity.   A little petroleum jelly is also important for extended periods of use underwater. 

The Main Housing and Touchscreen

The EscapeCapsule has a clear polycarbonate plastic housing which allows your cameras to operate through the optically clear material, as well it allows you to see the compression line of the O-ring as it seals against the housing.  To clean the housing please use mild soap water and a soft fabric towel, tissue paper or a micro fiber cloth to wipe it  dry.  Do not use a paper towel or other abrasive material, as this will scratch the housing.

The touchscreen membrane has been designed to be as responsive as possible in a waterproof housing.  It also has a scratch resistant coating for durability.  If you notice an air gap between the touchscreen and the iPhone, please find a dry location and open the headphone jack plug to equalize the pressure within the housing.  The iPhone’s battery will release a small amount of gas during operation, and it may be necessary to occasionally equalize the pressure using this method.  If the case is empty it is important not to put any unnecessary pressure on the touchscreen. 

NOTE: The iPhone's touchscreen uses a capacitive sensor and water is by nature a capacitive fluid, so you will notice that when submerged the touchscreen will not respond to touch.  If there are large drops of water on the touchscreen, this will also compromise the performance of the touchscreen.  Simply shake the water off of the touchscreen for normal use.

Key Tool

We have included a small tool that will assist you in opening the lid of the EscapeCapsule.  To use the key tool, simply slot it into the gap on the side of the case and give it a gentle twist (like a key) to pry open the lid.  The key tool has been designed so that it easily attaches onto the silicone lanyard for your convenience. 

Never use any metal object such as a knife, car keys or coins to open your case, as this WILL damage your case!  

Silicone Lanyard

The lanyard is easy to instal and comes in handy when the going gets wet and slippery.  Simply insert the nylon loop into the clear lanyard attachment slot located directly below the home button on the case, and thread the rubber lanyard through it to secure it into place.  Do not over stretch the silicone lanyard.  The lanyard is only meant to be installed onto the lanyard attachment point.  Installation in any other location on the case will void your warranty. 

How to WATERPROOF test your EscapeCapsule

To verify that you have sealed the case properly we strongly recommend that you test the product without an iPhone 4/4S inside before initial use. This test is designed to ensure the safety of your iPhone, as well as to give you confidence in the performance of your EscapeCapsule. Please follow the testing instructions below.

1)  With the case is open, verify the O-ring seal and O-ring sealing area is clean, undamaged and free of debris. Also, ensure that the O-ring is properly seated in the groove of the lid.

2)  With the case empty, place the lid onto the opening of the main housing and slowly press the lid into place one corner at a time. Note: The “Catalyst” brand name will be readable through the lid from the back side of the case when properly installed.

3)  Ensure that the plug for the headphone jack is free of debris and completely plugged in. 

4)  With the lid is installed, visually inspect the outside of the case and ensure the O-ring seal is installed correctly. If the seal is dirty, out of alignment, twisted or pinched in any way it will compromise the integrity of the case and should not be used for protection. If you find the O-ring is not seated correctly, gently open the case and re-install the lid and check again. When the O-ring is seated correctly you will notice a continuous compression line of the O-ring onto the inner wall of the main housing. It is important to make this visual observation every time you put the case onto your device.

5)  Submerge the assembled EscapeCapsule under water.  Note: It is normal for there to be some air bubbles to be present on the edges of the lid and around the microphone and speaker membranes when first submerged. Please shake the case while submerged to free all bubbles trapped on the outer surface of the case before testing with your iPhone.

6)  Place your fingers on the lid of the case, and your thumb onto the touchscreen membrane.  Gently press and squeeze the touchscreen.  There should be no bubbles that escape from the case when gently pressing the touch screen.  If you see any bubbles escaping from the O-ring or plug, please remove from the water and follow steps 1 through 6 again. 

7)  If you observe no bubbles coming from the case in step 6, please leave the case submerged in the water for 30 minutes.  A heavy object wrapped in a small towel can be placed on top of the case to keep the case submerged.  Note:  Take care not to put any unnecessary pressure on the touchscreen

8)  After submerging your EscapeCapsule in water, gently shake or tap out any water that may be trapped on the features of the case, especially within the space between lid and main housing.

9)  Please use a soft fabric towel or micro fiber cloth to dry the case.  Do not use an abrasive paper towel.

10)  After you open your case, please inspect the interior for any signs of water.  If you find that your case leaks, do not use the case for protection.

NOTE:  It is important to do this test periodically to ensure that your EscapeCapsule is in good working condition.  If you accidentally drop your EscapeCapsule, you must follow steps 1 through 6 of the testing procedure before you expose your case to water or the elements. This test is designed to ensure the safety of your iPhone, as well as to give you confidence in the performance of your EscapeCapsule.

Installing the iPhone into the EscapeCapsule

Note: Please install you iPhone into your EscapeCapsule in a clean and dry environment.

1)  First clean the surface of your iPhone so there is no grease, dirt or lint on the glass front and back.  Also please make sure your EscapeCapsule is also clean and free of grease, sand or debris inside. 

2)  Gently place the bottom of the iPhone into the housing so that the bottom microphone is lined up with the features of the acoustic port.  It is important to have uniform compression onto the acoustic port features to prevent echos when making normal phone calls.

3)  Gently press the top of the iPhone so that it sits flush within the rubber rim. 

4)  Inspect the rubber feature at the bottom of the iPhone around the acoustic microphone port illustrated with the red arrow.  Please ensure that this feature is free of dirt and evenly compressed and not deformed.  This is the most important feature for ensuring a clear loud phone call when using the case.  If the person on the other end of your phone call is experiencing an echo, this feature may not be working correctly.

5)  Gently place the lid onto the back of the housing with the "Catalyst"  logo readable from the outside.  

6)  To install the lid, it works best to press one corner in at a time.  

7)  Press each corner slowly and securely into place while paying attention so that the O-ring does not get caught in the edges.

8)  Finish by pressing the middle latches into place.  Please inspect the O-ring seal to ensure it is properly seated and completely sealed. 

9)  Lastly open your headphone jack plug to equalize the internal pressure so that your touchscreen membrane lays flat onto your iPhone's screen and then re-insert your headphone plug.  Now you are ready for adventure! 

Temperature Range

The EscapeCapsule has been engineered to withstand temperatures between -20° to 70° Celsius (-4° to 158° F) .  However, the operating temperature for the iPhone is 0° to 35° Celsius (32° to 95° F).  Never expose your iPhone to temperatures outside of the iPhone’s operating temperature range stated in its manual.  Also, it is important to note that you should not take the iPhone when inside the EscapeCapsule™ into environments where the temperature fluctuates drastically as internal condensation may form  (i.e. from a cold pool to a hot sauna or hot tub).


Please store your EscapeCapsule at room temperature away from constant sunlight exposure. 

Air Travel & Altitude

When traveling with your EscapeCapsule in your checked luggage, please note that you must pack your case so that either the headphone port is unplugged or the lid is uninstalled on the housing.  This is because the case is 100% sealed from the environment and the extreme pressure differences in the cargo hold could cause damage to some features on your housing.  The same rule applies if you send you case anywhere by airmail. 

For Ages 5 and Up

WARNING: Do not allow children under the age of 5 to use this case.  It contains small parts that may present a choking hazard if the case is broken, damaged or disassembled.  Never allow children to play with the case or put it in their mouths. 

If your iPhone is accidentally exposed to water.

Don’t Panic.  Power your iPhone down immediately.  If you get a white pinwheel on the screen and it won’t turn off, you must then hold down the power button and home button until it turns off.   Make sure the iPhone is completely dry and remove the sim card tray.  Then place the iPhone into a bag of uncooked rice that is tightened and sealed so that all extra air is removed.  Keep the iPhone in the uncooked bag of rice for 48 to 76 hours after the water exposure.  After this time has passed you may then power your iPhone back on.

© 2011 Catalyst Lifestyle Ltd.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the EscapeCapsule® only designed to work for the iPhone 4/4S?

Yes, the EscapeCapsule is designed so that you can access the functions of the device so it is specifically built for the iPhone 4/4S (including AT&T, Verizon, White iPhone).  It is not designed to work with the iPhone 3/3GS, iPhone 5 or other electronic devices.

2. What functions of the iPhone can I use while inside the EscapeCapsule?

The fully covered case is designed to maintain the functionality of the iPhone so you will be able to use the touchscreen, home, on/off, and volume buttons, make and receive phone calls, listen to music and take photos or videos when using the iPhone inside the EscapeCapsule. 

3. Can I use a screen protector on my iPhone 4/4S with my EscapeCapsule? 

The case is designed to accommodate a screen protector front and back if you choose to use one. However, you will have better response from the touch screen if you use the case without an additional screen protector.  

4. Can I charge my iPhone 4/4S from inside the EscapeCapsule? 

No, in order to access the 30 pin dock to charge your iPhone 4/4S, you must remove your iPhone from the case first.  The case has been designed so that it is quick and easy to remove your iPhone.

5. Can you tell me more about the waterproof rating on the EscapeCapsule for iPhone 4/4S? 

The EscapeCapsule for iPhone 4/4S is designed to meet or exceed the IPX8 waterproof rating at 2 Meters for 30 minutes. As part of our quality control processes, we pressure test every unit for 30 minutes at 2 meters deep. Each EscapeCapsule that we ship must pass our stringent internal test before we ship it to you. 

When properly assembled, we are certain the EscapeCapsule will perform flawlessly in any wet environment, from hanging out in and around the pool to staying connected in the middle of a Typhoon. However, it is important to be reasonable in how you utilize this case to protect your iPhone from water. It is not recommended for extended periods of submersion for activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, or surfing in heavy waves. To avoid disappointment, we advise you to use your EscapeCapsule responsibly.  

6. How can I tell if the EscapeCapsule is sealed watertight when I close it?

The most important design element of the EscapeCapsule is the fact that the entire outer shell is crystal clear. This allows you to clearly see the edge of the o-ring as it seals against the main housing, confirm that it has made contact with he housing and is compressed. If there is any small grain of sand or hair that might disrupt the seal of the o-ring, this will be obvious from a visual inspection of the case before you take it into the water. This ability to visually inspect the seal will allow you to confidently take your iPhone with you everywhere. 

Before using the EscapeCapsule for the first time, you should read and follow all instructions on how to install, operate and properly maintain your case. These are available on our website 

7. What can I expect in terms of sound quality when making a phone call? 

Your iPhone will be fully covered inside a polycarbonate shell with thin membranes that allow the transfer of sound in and out of the case. You will be heard clearly and can clearly hear others through the case. You can also make hands-free calls using your Apple headphones or a bluetooth headset.  

© 2011 Catalyst Lifestyle Ltd.


Now that you have read all of the instructions and successfully tested your EscapeCapsule, please click here to register your EscapeCapsule.  

EscapeCapsule products are covered by a 90 day Limited Warranty from Labworks International Design Limited (“Labworks”).

Labworks, exclusive online retailer and licensee of Catalyst Lifestyle Limited ("Catalyst"), in exchange for certain representations and promises by you as outlined below, grants to you a warranty (this “Warranty”) for a total Warranty Period of NINETY (90) DAYS from the date of original retail purchase. In exchange, you agree to the following terms and conditions:

EscapeCapsule products are covered by a 90-Day Limited Warranty from Labworks International Design Limited ("Labworks").

Labworks does not warrant, and is not responsible for, any smart phone or other device made by anyone other than Catalyst or Labworks. This Warranty does not apply to any EscapeCapsule branded products which have been neglected, altered, abused, used for a purpose other than the one for which they were manufactured, repaired by Customer or any party without Labworks written authorization, or used in any manner inconsistent with the instructions for the EscapeCapsule available on the website of www.catalystlifestyle.com. Please refer to the care and maintenance instructions for the EscapeCapsule for more details. Product Instructions are available for download on the website of www.catalystlifestyle.com.

This Warranty applies only to Customers who purchased their EscapeCapsule product directly from Labworks via a website owned by Labworks or via a website which sells EscapeCapsule products under license from Labworks (“Labworks Sales Channels”). All sales of Catalyst-branded products other than via Labworks Sales Channels are governed by such warranties as may be offered by the retailer, distributor or manufacturer of that product. The Warranty Period commences on the date of the online purchase from the website of www.catalystlifestyle.com. Products must be purchased from this website and the Warranty is valid only for the original owner (“Customer”) who purchases the product. Transfers are not qualified for Warranty protection. This Warranty is not valid for products purchased through an unauthorized source.

Your purchase invoice showing the date of purchase is the proof of the date of purchase. A proof of purchase is required for Warranty service. Labworks, at its sole discretion (and without charging the Customer) and to the extent permitted by law will repair or replace any product components of an EscapeCapsule product that Labworks determines to be defective in normal use using new or refurbished components or a new or refurbished Catalyst-branded product from among those Catalyst-branded products sold by Labworks during the Warranty Period. This Warranty does not apply if examination or testing show that an alleged defect does not exist. For purposes of this Warranty, “refurbished” means a product or part that has been substantially returned to its original specifications. Labworks reserves the right to replace any out-of-stock, discontinued, or limited edition product with a comparable product. Discontinued products may not be available for Warranty replacement. In the event of a defect, these are your exclusive remedies. All freight, transportation, delivery, handling and additional charges incurred in the transport of the product to and from Labworks will be borne by the Customer. We are not responsible for any customs fees, taxes, regulations, or restrictions of products entering foreign domain or being returned to Hong Kong.

Labworks products allow you to use your smart phones and other devices in places, situations and activities where you may not have been able to use them before. However, some of those situations are inherently risky and require you to pay attention to your surroundings, and any additional risk involved in such situations is assumed entirely by you. Never use your device in dangerous situations. Never pay attention to your device to the extent that you fail to pay attention to your surroundings, your safety or the safety of others. You understand and agree that Labworks and its Affiliates (“Affiliates” meaning entities under common control with Labworks, which are owned by Labworks or which are owners of Labworks, and any entity with which Labworks has a contractual relationship related to the sale of Catalyst-branded products) shall bear no responsibility for personal injury, death or property damage or loss, whether yours or that of any third party, caused by your use of your device in any inherently risky or extreme situation. Participating in certain activities also increases the chance that your device will come into contact with water, dirt, sand, fine particulate matter, caustic or toxic chemicals, or that it will be dropped, thrown, crushed, shocked or otherwise impacted with force beyond your device’s or the product’s capacity to withstand such an event. You understand and agree that Labworks and its Affiliates shall bear no responsibility for such events. You understand that Labworks and its Affiliates do not warrant or guarantee that their products will keep your device safe, dry or functioning at all times and in all situations.

You understand and agree that if you take apart or attempt to service or repair the product in any manner or use the product in a manner in which it was not intended to be used, you void the Warranty and Labworks and its Affiliates shall have no further responsibility for the product.

You understand and agree that you should never use a broken, damaged or disassembled case or a case with any pieces missing. You understand and agree not to allow children under the age of 5 to use the case, and that it contains small parts that may present a choking hazard when the case is broken, damaged or disassembled. You understand and agree that you should never allow children to play with the case or put it in their mouths. You understand and agree that in no event will Labworks be responsible for damages of any kind if the case is used or handled under any of the foregoing circumstances.

You understand and agree that you have had an opportunity to review Labworks’ Warranty, Terms and Policies, that you are familiar with them, that you accept the terms and conditions, including the limitations, exclusions and disclaimers in them. You understand and agree that by providing your product serial number and electronically signing to agree to the Warranty, you will legally bind yourself to the Warranty’s terms and conditions, and that providing a false name or serial number voids your Warranty.

You understand and agree not to participate in any class action, representative or similar type of lawsuit against Labworks, Catalyst Lifestyle Limited or any of their Affiliates.

This Warranty excludes damage resulting from abuse, accident, modifications or other causes that are not defects in materials and workmanship. This Warranty does not include abnormal wear and tear, damage from misuse or cosmetic damage. This Warranty does not cover damage due to: acts of God; accident; misuse; abuse; neglect; modification; improper operation; improper maintenance; lack of maintenance; connection to improper equipment; or repairs conducted by a party other than Labworks International Design Limited. This Warranty does not cover products sold AS IS or WITH FAULTS.