Rugged USB keys are nothing new, but lately they’ve reached a level of badassery previously only reserved for Maximum PC editors and lumberjacks. We’re talking supreme toughness, with hints of leather, peppered beef jerky, and English Gentleman aftershave thrown in. To see which key is the most badass we’ve assembled the top two candidates—LaCie’s XtremKey and Corsair’s Flash Survivor—and set out to discover which is the top dog. They are both USB 3.0- and 2.0-compatible, come wrapped in some form of metal, and can tolerate environments ranging from super-heated to ice-cold. We put them through their paces to let you know which key you need in your pocket the next time you’re immersed in glacial waters and then set on fire. No editors were harmed in testing, of course, but these two keys certainly were.
Note: This article was originally featured in the March issue of the magazine.