Does your iPhone camera deteriorate in your jersey pocket?

Here’s an interesting topic to discuss.

Every iPhone I’ve ever had has suffered from camera deterioration over the course of its life. At first, I thought it was planned obsolescence with the product, but I did a little research and this appears to not be the case.

I’m beginning to think that daily exposure to a sweaty pocket is the issue. Does anyone else have experience or feedback with this? Does anyone have experience using one of those cases with a camera lens cover, and has it helped?

Haven’t taken a ride without an iPhone in the jersey pocket in 11+ years. 300 days, 300-400 hrs a year, racing and training. Despite having sweat acidic enough to eat the finish off off cameras and guns, my iPhones have shown no damage whatsoever from riding in a sweaty jersey pocket.


I’ve been using a Life Proof case for years. Keeps phones happier, I still use a plastic bag to make sure I can snap photos since the lens will still get foggy.

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I’ve never had a long-term issue with the jersey pocket. Mounting it on my handlebars on the other hand has destroyed a few cameras before I stopped doing that outside.

Normally though, I do keep my phone along with my wallet and keys in one of these cases from Rapha.

I started doing that because regardless of if sweat does permeant damage to my phone or not, the problem for me is keeping my phone unprotected in my jersey pocket would get sweat on the lenses and make it all but impossible to actually use the camera while out on a ride. I’ve noticed that just keeping it in a bag and pulling it out when I want to take photo seems to be the best way to ensure high quality photos.

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If I know I’m going to get particularly sweaty on a ride, I put my phone in a ziplock bag. My other concern is sweat getting inside via the charging port.

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You need a zip lock bag my friend.

I got this nifty Assos zip lock that came with a pair of shorts but mostly over the years I’ve used a sandwich baggie to keep my wallet, money, phone dry.


These phones are sealed well enough to be submersible now. No issues with sweat damage on mine. I don’t use a case or plastic bags and I am a heavy sweater


Yes, prolonged vibration is in fact known to damage these cameras.

I have my phone in my pocket for every ride. I’ve only had issues once when the home button of my iPhone 4 misbehaved for a few days after a particularly wet ride (rain, not sweat). A few hours in the hot sun baked it out and it was fine after that.

Other than the camera getting foggy from condensation on the outside, I’ve had no issues with my 6s, 11, and now 14. I don’t use ziplocks.

Now, if your phone is in a pocket (not just a Jersey pocket) with other stuff, then that stuff could rub the coating off the lens, which would make for poor photos.


I’ve had the same Samsung for five years now. Sweaty AF and it’s either in my jersey pocket or in my cargo bib pocket. Never had an issue with salt. Charging is fine. Camera is fine.

I was on vacation with my wife a few weeks ago and noticed her iPhone photos were noticeably bad. She got that phone the same time as me… We looked at older photos and noticed that the camera had progressively become worse. She treats her phone like a normal non-sweaty person.

Do you clean your lens?

I use this Waterproof Phone Pouch - IPX8 - Colourless‎ - Itiwit - Decathlon

Thanks for the feedback, y’all. Seems a bit mixed, but generally feeling like putting a modern smartphone in your jersey pocket shouldn’t be an issue.

Don’t clean your phone harsh cleaners or even those wet lens wipes. They will strip the oil-phobic coatings from your lens, screen…. And your eye glasses.

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