No sooner than Apple’s launch of the Apple Watch Series 5 did I quickly hop online to pre-order my space black titanium Edition model. I’ve since experimented with a plethora of different Apple Watch bands, and with that in mind, I’ve decided on those I like best and use frequently, depending on the occasion.
Since I can’t be the only one with a never-ending hunger for new Apple Watch bands, I’ll be using this piece to delve into my five favorites. I’ll first discuss what it is I enjoy about each one, then talk about the things I don’t like, and lastly, I’ll attempt explain what I think each band is best suited for.
My favorite Apple Watch Bands
Without further ado, let’s jump right into it, shall we?
1. Nomad Titanium Band
Leading my list is the beautiful black Titanium Band from our friends at Nomad. I originally purchased this band for my Apple Watch Series 4, but knowing darn well that I was ordering the new space black titanium finish this time around for Series 5, it didn’t take very long for me to put two and two together and get used to this fabulous combination.
I like this band because it’s strong and hefty, and perhaps more importantly, the black DLC finish is a near-perfect match to that of Apple’s new space black titanium Apple Watch Series 5. The band is adjustable by way of removable pins and an included adjustment tool, so it can accommodate several different wrist sizes including my own small wrists.
If I had any negatives to say about this band, it would be that the lugs themselves aren’t titanium as well. I also wouldn’t mind it if the clasp buttons were made a little more subtle, as they can be harsh on the fingertips when pressing.
The Nomad Titanium Band is a sturdy, stout bracelet that works best for indoor occasions such as working in the office or taking the significant other out on a fancy date. Because it lacks expansion, I wouldn’t recommend it for workouts, as there are more elastic options available. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I own more than one Apple Watch strap.
If you’re interested in picking up a Nomad Titanium Band, then you can do so from their website for just under $200. Silver titanium and stainless steel versions of this same band are also available, with the latter costing ever so slightly less.
2. Speidel Twist-O-Flex
Next on my list of favorites is the black Twist-O-Flex strap from the wonderful folks over at Speidel. Those looking for a classy metallic bracelet look without compromising on flexibility will love this strap, and its color is almost right on the money with my space black titanium Apple Watch Series 5.
My favorite part about this strap is that it maintains the office-professional appearance but introduces flexibility in a clasp-less installation every time you put it on or take it off. The band is, quite literally, stretchy, and can accommodate up to five additional inches at full stretch.
The biggest downside to this strap is the complexity of adjusting its size. It requires the delicate precision of a surgeon’s hand, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll end up marring the finish and it’ll look like crap. Another downside is that it’s prone to catching and pulling your arm hair, but you’ll get used to that in time.
The black version of the Speidel Twist-O-Flex strap is available on Amazon for $80, but you can also opt for a brushed version for just $50 or a silver version for slightly more than that, but less than the black. These straps are also available from Speidel’s official website.
3. Monowear Urban Canvas
When I saw the modern design of the Monowear Urban Canvas strap, I knew it was one that I’d want to have for my collection. It brings casual dress attire to an otherwise high-end wearable tech device, and comes in three different colors including blue, gray, and red, and I distinguished right from the very beginning that I wanted the red model.
My favorite feature of the Monowear Urban Canvas is the custom lug design, which fits snugly against my Apple Watch Series 5. Other notable things are the comfortable leather interior that feels great against my wrist in any condition and the Apple-esque clasp design that reminds me a lot of the Apple Sport loop, but with a retention loop for the loose end.
If I had any complaints about the Monowear Urban Canvas, it would be that it’s somewhat stiff from the get-go, but it seems to loosen up a bit with time. Given that the strap doesn’t stretch as much as others, I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it for workouts.
The Monowear Urban Canvas strap makes a great option for everyday dress, whether you’re at work or just hanging out with friends in public, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it for strenuous physical activities, or messy ones for that matter.
The Monowear Urban Canvas is one of the best bangs for your buck in this list, coming in at just $38 from Monowear’s website for anyone who might like to change up their style with the latest fashion.
4. Urban Armor Gear Nato Strap
For all those other occasions where a dressy or casual strap won’t do, you can’t go wrong with nylon. Urban Armor Gear’s Nato Strap is stitched together from high-quality nylon and feels ten times sturdier than any of Apple’s nylon offerings.
My favorite part about the Urban Armor Gear Nato Strap is its simplicity. It uses a standard hole and pin lock system like most other Nato straps do, but the material is also slightly stretchy and highly breathable, making it ideal for workouts without the fears of excessive wear and tear or sweat staining that you might experience with stuff akin to Apple’s Sport loop.
If I had any complaints about the Urban Armor Gear Nato Strap, it would have to be the non-adjustability of the retention loops for the excess nylon material after clasping. Someone with small wrists such as myself will find that this system leaves a lot of excess material hanging off the end than it would for someone with large wrists, but that’s not that big of a deal.
I would trust Urban Armor Gear’s Nato Strap to perform well for most things, be it during a workout, a day outside in the rain, or casual dress while out and about with friends. It’s not overly dressy or expensive, so it fits most budgets and works great.
If you’re into simplicity and function, then you can pick up one of Urban Armor Gear’s Nato Straps from Amazon for just under $40. It’s available in both gray or olive drab green.
5. Apple Milanese Loop
What kind of strap roundup would this be if I didn’t include one of my favorites from the first-party manufacturer? In this department, I shy away from Sport bands and Sport Loop bands because they feel chintzy, but Apple’s Milanese Loop is right where I like to be in terms of premium feel and adaptability.
As I’ve discussed in previous honorable mentions, I like this strap because it’s ‘infinitely’ adjustable and doesn’t have pre-set locking points. Its adjustability is among the best in this entire roundup being that it’s clasped together with magnets, and this makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
If there was anything I didn’t like about this strap, it would be that it might look more feminine than some of the others presented in this list. Still, however, that won’t stop me from wearing it when I feel like being comfortable at family gatherings or date nights.
The Milanese Loop’s timeless appearance and practical functionality make it a great choice for most. It’s available for just under $100 on Apple’s website, and I would strongly recommend going for the first-party option over third-party options because there’s a significant difference in thickness, magnet strength, and overall quality.
These are just some of my favorite Apple Watch straps to use with my Series 5 throughout the week, and I frequently change them out depending on my plans for each day.
Admittedly, however, everyone has different opinions when it comes to style and comfort, so you’re welcome to leave a comment below if you’ve had better experience with a different Apple Watch strap from any of those listed here.