The 4 Toughest Hard Drives for Your Next Adventure


We keep our cameras and lenses cushioned and protected, so it only makes sense that we take equal, if not more, care of our data. These days, the rugged hard drive market is booming, with new releases and new functionality arriving all the time. Many of these drives are designed to take a beating, making them perfect for travel and some more trying adventures. Here are five solid drives we recommend.

G-Technology G-DRIVE ev RaW

When you see the large rubber bumper on the G-DRIVE ev RaW, you know that G-Technology’s offering can hold up to some bumps and drops. Rated to protect against falls from 4.9' onto a carpeted concrete floor, this drive will be sure to keep your photos, videos, and data safe. The G-DRIVE is bus powered, which makes it a great option for travelers, allowing you to leave the AC adapter at home. It’s also quick, using a USB 3.0 interface to facilitate transfer speeds up to 136 MB/s. Certain models are compatible with G-Tech’s ev System, so they can be quickly connected to the G-DOCK ev or even G-SPEED arrays with ev Bay Adapters.

G-Technology 4TB G-DRIVE ev RaW USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hard Drive with Rugged Bumper

You can pick them up in 1- or 4TB as a standard HDD, or in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations as an SSD, which boasts speeds of up to 425 MB/s.

LaCie Rugged RAID Pro

Designed by Neil Poulton, Lacie’s beautiful orange bumpers have become among the most recognizable of the rugged drives. They now offer an exceptional variety of rugged types, but I want to highlight the 4TB Rugged RAID Pro. This 4TB device uses two hard drives to create a RAID 0 or 1 configuration for extra speed or protection, respectively. This alone would make it a unique option in the portable, tough hard-drive field. The RAID takes things a step further with a USB 3.0 Type-C interface, 250 MB/s, and a built-in UHS-II SD card reader. As a MacBook Pro owner with only Thunderbolt™ 3/USB-C ports, this is incredibly helpful. Now I’m not hanging multiple drives and card readers from my laptop just to perform a transfer and backup. The drive is also IP54 rated, can withstand 4' drops, and can even be run over by a one-ton automobile.

LaCie 4TB Rugged RAID Pro Mobile USB Type-C RAID Drive

SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD

If one of these devices was meant to be an everyday-carry drive, it is the SanDisk Extreme Portable series, thanks to its pocket-sized design. But don’t let the small footprint fool you—this is a seriously fast SSD rated for read speeds up to 550 MB/s. These blazing speeds are made possible through a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C interface. For the rugged part, the drive is IP55 rated, meaning it will be fine in a water flow of up to 30 kPA for three minutes, will hold up to 1.5 kg of shock, and 5 gRMS of vibration at 10-2000 Hz. The drive’s small size contributes to this durability, and it will be fine even if you drop it from 6.5' onto concrete. If you are looking to pick up one of these you will be able to find it in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB varieties.

SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable USB 3.1 Type-C External SSD


At first glance, the GNARBOX seems like a regular tough drive, but hidden in that compact body is a complete portable backup and editing system for when you are on the go. Built-in processing, memory, and a mobile app let you offload data quickly from memory cards or other drives and then quickly review and even edit your footage. This is meant to join adventurous folk wandering the wilderness with GoPros and the like, but it works just as well with professional camera systems. Integrated microSD and SD card slots, as well as two USB ports, make it compatible with a variety of equipment and, then, once everything is safe and secure you can review it on the app. Beyond this there is even a complete video- and photo-editing suite so you can put together your Highlight Reel before you even get home.

GNARBOX 256GB Portable Backup & Editing System

What is your go-to portable storage solution? Any of these pique your interest? Make sure to talk to us in the Comments section, below!

Don’t forget to check out all of the hard drives and storage solutions available at B&H. Click this link for more information.


IS there any device like these where you don't need Windows or Apple software.   Suppose I only have my camera and an Android phone and I like to back up the SD card.  What do I do in these circumstances.?

Hi Michael,

There are actually some perfect options coming out these days, the most recent one I tested is the LaCie DJI CoPilot (don't worry it's not just for drones). You can read the full review here:

Also, I would say stay tuned as there is an article in the works that rounds up all these drives.