At Mobile Reviews Eh!, we do reviews based on actual usage. We do tests and use the products for days and maybe weeks even if it means getting incredibly annoyed at them. In order to find the best workout Apple Watch straps or bands, the only thing we could do was to use them in our daily lives.
If you like how we do our reviews, please consider buying the products on the links scattered on this article.
Sport Band is your basic band. Sport Band is the band that showed us that it was possible to use a laptop and wear a watch at the same time. When it comes to working out, this is our least favourite band. This is because sweat tends to accumulate in the middle of the band. We also take the watch off completely after a workout to wipe off the back.
When we first got the original Apple Watch, the Sport Band strap was the thing that impressed us the most. We were extremely surprised at how good the strap felt, how easy it was to adjust and how secure it felt. No other fitness based device weʼve used has this feature. The closest was the Microsoft Band 2. However, the Microsoft Band 2 was a side project for Microsoft so they donʼt make them anymore.
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Nike Sport Band
The Nike Sport Band is basically a regular Sport Band with a bunch of holes in it. The Nike Sport Band allows for a bit more color than the regular sport band, Nike Sport Band also addresses our biggest issue with the Sport Band which is the the sweat. The holes in the band offer a bit more air to reach your skin. This means you can focus more on your workout rather than the thinking about your sweaty wrist.
The Nike Sport Band is going to be your go to band if youʼre a swimmer or a really sweaty gym person.
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This is our favourite Apple Watch strap to workout with.
The Sport Loop was one of the newer bands that was introduced with the Apple Watch Series 3. Itʼs even quicker to adjust than the Sport Band. Not only that but the Sport Loop also doesnʼt suffer from sweat accumulation since the strap never really sits 100% on your skin. The velcro pieces allow for a bit of airflow between the band and your skin.
We were initially concerned about the fabric watch band smelling after a while but itʼs held up quite well given that we havenʼt gone out of the way to clean it.
Sport Loop is also the most comfortable Apple Watch band weʼve used to date due to its materials. There are a couple of bands that share the same loop design like one of the leather loop and the Milanese Loops.
However these bands are only comfortable because you can get the tension of the strap just right. Most watch straps have pre-determined notches that arenʼt as flexible. Some days youʼll notice that your non-looped Apple Watch is just too loose and the tighter notch is just too tight. You never have that problem with the Sport Loop.
However Sport Loop is made from fabric so it will absorb water. Aaron isn’t a terribly sweaty person and none of us swim so the Apple Watch is never really submerged or gets really wet.
Our simple water tests with the band has shown us that it takes a while to dry so if you are sweaty or swim a lot, donʼt use the Sport Loop. Go with the Nike Sport Band.
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3rd Party Apple Watch straps
In addition to the Apple Watch bands, weʼve also used a Catalyst sports band, a Clayco band and an older Lunatik Sports band. In general, none of them come close to the Apple Watch bands. The ease of use and attachment to your wrist is just unbeatable.
The Catalyst Sports Band is probably the next best band weʼve used as it offers the same breathability as the Nike Sport Band. However, Catalyst Sports Band is incredibly hard to adjust on the fly. Weʼve never been worried about losing our Apple Watch because of the straps. But the Catalyst Sports Band is going to have a slight more secure latch to keep your device on your wrist.
We were excited to use the Clayco band but the gigantic loop at the bottom of the band reminded us why we donʼt like watches. Itʼs definitely noticeable when we use a laptop.
We know companies try to be different and unique but there are somethings that are worth copying from Apple. Like the size of the loop. From our perspective, a great Apple Watch strap would have the hardshell protection of the Clayco strap with the ease of use of the Sport Bands.
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Milanese Loop and Nylon loop
Personally, we wouldnʼt recommend working out with Milanese Loop and Nylon Loop.
But if we had to choose, we would go with the Milanese Loop. This is because it operates similar to the Sport Loop. You can easily adjust the the size of the loop to fit your liking. The Milanese loop is the only loop-based strap that weʼd use in a swimming pool as well. It will dry off much easier than the cloth based sport loop.
The one strap that we wouldnʼt workout with at all will be the Nylon strap. This is just a normal watch strap that sits either too loose or tight on the hand. It also isnʼt as easy to adjust on the fly and gets pretty sweaty during a workout. Having it bounce around on the hand during a workout is extremely distracting.
For us, the only reason weʼd get a Nylon band is to match the watch band to our outfit. The different colors on the watch strap is going to be appealing to people looking to add a bit of pizzazz to their look.
We always wonder why companies just donʼt copy Appleʼs watch straps. Honestly, phone designers tend to borrowʼs the iPhoneʼs design cueʼs left right and center but never the straps. Weʼd be more endeared to our Fitbit Versa if the straps werenʼt a hassle to use.