Twelve South’s ActionSleeve puts Apple Watch in a better spot for some sporting activities

Twelve South recently released their new Apple Watch-oriented armband called the ActionSleeve, which relocates the Apple Watch to the upper arm for certain activities, such as rigorous sports, where the wrist isn’t the ideal place to have it.

In this review, we’ll talk about the ActionSleeve’s build quality, comfort, and usability, as well as where you can get your own.

A solution for some rigorous sports

The Apple Watch is designed to be both a watch and a fitness tracking accessory. It normally sits on your wrist, but the problem is that some sports and other forms of physical activity tend to require your wrists more than others, so sometimes the placement of your Apple Watch is inconvenient.

For example, if you’re doing push-ups, then you might be flexing your wrist a lot, which has the potential to stretch out your stock or aftermarket Apple Watch wrist strap or put extra strain on the holes that the clasp normally interlocks into. That said, you’re more prone to wearing out your wrist straps faster in these scenarios, and they can get pretty costly.

Another problem has to do with sports where you are actively using your wrists in blunt-force scenarios and the Apple Watch could become damaged. For example, if you’re playing volleyball and you give your Apple Watch a few good whacks because you misjudged a serve or ball return, it’s possible you could end up with a damaged device.

ActionSleeve is here to put your Apple Watch in a place where it’s out of the way, but can still accurately monitor your health and fitness activities. Because it’s still connected to a part of your arm, you’ll still get heart rate information and it’ll continue to track your calorie burning.

Build quality


First off, ActionSleeve isn’t as sexy looking as some of your classy Apple Watch wrist straps, like the timeless Milanese Loop or the fancy leather options from Apple or Nomad. Nevertheless, it’s intended for sporting activities where heavy use is expected, so function is certainly more important than form in this case.

It’s basically an elastic strap with a flexible shell embedded inside of it with the sole purpose of popping your Apple Watch inside of. This protective shell helps keep your Apple Watch safe from shock that could occur from balls hitting it or being tackled, etc.

One side of the shell provides easy access to the side button and the Digital Crown:

The other side has two openings for both of the microphones, keeping vocal clarity at its highest:


The strap itself is extremely comfortable to hold and to feel on your upper arm thanks to the elastic fibers. A strong Velcro pad helps tie the ActionSleeve to your arm wherever it’s comfortable. Your personal preference for adjustment isn’t going to be a problem because it’s infinitely adjustable to fit any arm.

It’s a little awkward to gaze at your Apple Watch screen from your upper arm when you’re used to glancing down at your wrist, but it’s not impossible. In fact, you can easily read what it’s saying and control your Apple Watch from your upper arm. The fact that it’s now closer to your mouth also makes it more convenient to mutter words to Siri too:

The good, the bad, and everything else

ActionSleeve is a highly affordable accessory for your Apple Watch, priced at just $30.

It fits both the 38mm and the 42mm versions of the device, whether you’re using the original generation or second generation of the device, which means it fits every Apple Watch made to date. Also important is that, it comes in both black and red colors, which are the signature colors of Twelve South themselves.

Here’s a short list of pros and cons for anyone who like short summaries:


  • Very affordable
  • Helps get the Apple Watch out of the way for some sports and activities
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Flexible and durable fibers are sure to have a long service life
  • All fitness functions of the Apple Watch sill work on the upper arm
  • Unique and original idea


  • Not everyone will like having their watch on their upper arm
  • Can be a little awkward to get used to seeing the watch screen this way

Overall, I recommend this product to anyone who uses their Apple Watch for sports and wants to try something new that might help to get the Apple Watch into a more convenient location where it won’t get battered or worn out faster.

If you want to pick one up, you can head over to Twelve South’s website today, where they’re $29.99 with free economy shipping anywhere in the United States.

What are your thoughts on the ActionSleeve? Share in the comments below!