The Apple Watch is expensive, and so are the official bands for sale at the Apple Store. While Apple tries to tightly control its ecosystem, thankfully there’s not much it can do about third-party manufacturers making cheap replacement watch straps or homemade Apple Watch charging stands.
That means you can pick up a fancy metal hoop or an alternative funky colored band for a fraction of the Apple price. Since it’s so easy to swap one strap for another, you can put together a collection of bands and replace the ones you already wear
So, here are some solid third-party Apple Watch band ideas to increase your wearability.
Got a New Apple Watch Series 4
That means all of these bands should be compatible with the new Apple Watch, as long as you make sure you buy the right size. Once you’ve got the right band, you can move on to customizing your Watching experience with different faces.
iGK Silicone Sport Band
Got a black band and fancy something a little more colorful? Maybe you can’t match the finish of your favorite Apple Watch and silicone band at the Apple Store. For a fraction of the price Apple is charging, why not just grab some replacement iGK silicone bands?
This silicone band is sweat- and water-resistant, and made of soft, flexible, and lightweight silicone that shouldn’t irritate your skin. According to item reviews, these bands are true to the colors depicted in the pictures and are of excellent quality for the price paid. However, the silicone is a little thicker than Apple’s band and isn’t flexible enough.
AdMaster Apple Watch Band
This AdMaster band is perfect for anyone who bought a regular Apple Watch but loves the look of the Nike+ band. They’re a little thinner than the official Nike+ band, but what do you expect for this price point? Overall, reviewers are very satisfied, noting great value for money compared to the original $50.
AdMaster makes these bands in a variety of colors. Choose anything from contrasting black and green or black and white for more subtle white/pink and black/dark obsidian variants.
VATI Soft Breathable Nylon Band
If you are looking for colorful nylon bands, you have many options. These VATI bands come in a dizzying array of 31 colors, including several designs that mimic the official bands in the Apple Store.
38mm and 42mm bands are available, each with a Velcro clasp (rated at 500 tears) to keep the band lightweight and free of nickel or other cheap metals. You will get a one year warranty as usual directly from the manufacturer.
Oittm Stainless Steel Bracelet
Crafted from high-quality stainless steel, this Oittm band features a double dial for a 42mm (or 44mm Series 4) watch. It is available in four colors: bright silver, bright black, plain silver, and space gray. Each one looks like it was made for Apple Watch business professionals, if that suits you.
It’s easy to put on, and you can adjust the band to fit your wrist from 5.5 inches to 8 inches using the included info removal tool. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, and the one-year warranty plus durable stainless steel should make it safer than some of the cheaper bands on the market.
FireLine Paracord 42mm Watch Band
If you want your watchband to be safe, stylish and functional, then the FireLine Paracord ticks the boxes. Paracord is three times as strong as regular nylon, and you can detach each rope to provide more than 10 feet of cord for emergency use.
The band also features a laser engraved stainless steel clamp to keep the cord securely on your wrist. The FireLine’s Paracord band is available in three colors (black, urban camo, and firefighter tan). It might just be the perfect band for the on-the-go Apple Watch explorer.
Floraler Soft Silicone Bands
If you find plain silicone bands a little boring, Floraler’s colorful jazzy designs might be more appealing. Despite the name, they are not all floral (though there are several floral designs available), with five different flavors to choose from.
Reviews shine, though don’t expect this out-of-the-world quality at such a low price point. The band is made of silicone with an elastomeric coating, available in 38mm and 42mm sizes.
Penom Milanese Loop
The Milanese loop is a timeless band design, and this one from Penom looks just as good as the rest. The band has a magnetic clasp, allowing you to adjust the size the first time you wear it.
Verified customer feedback has been excellent, with users noting the quality of the design, magnetic strength, and luxury Apple-esque packaging as highlights. You have three finishes to choose from: black, silver, and rose gold.
Misker Milanese Loop
Since one Milanese loop is never enough, this Misker model puts a vivid colorful twist on the design with a range of stainless steel bands available in 38mm and 42mm sizes. Like the Penom above, reviewers were pleased with the quality of the band and the strength of the magnetic clasp.
What stands out is the “colorful” design featuring a gradient effect. But the band is also available in red, purple, and blue, among other usual options.
Rockvee Stainless Steel Bracelet
The Rockvee stainless steel bracelet band is unique in that it is slightly thinner than the Apple Watch itself, providing a more elegant way to showcase your wearables in a fine dining restaurant. It comes in four colors: black, silver, gold, and rose gold.
Reviewers note that the ribbon is lightweight and well-built, although the links (which you can remove with the included tools) are quite bulky. You also get an 18-month warranty from the manufacturer, which in many countries is longer than the warranty Apple provides on watches.
AYIBEN Hardwood 42mm Bracelet
While impractical at times, there’s no denying that wooden watch straps look great. This AYIBEN strap is one of the most expensive third-party straps we’ve come across, due to the hardwood finish and stainless steel connectors.
Like similar metal straps, AYIBEN comes with a info removal tool. You can pick up the 42mm version in maple, sandalwood and walnut, plus the 38mm version in walnut only. Keep in mind that while wood is hypoallergenic, the rope is not waterproof — so it’s not the best choice for everyday use.
Carterjett Silicone Glowing/Tire Tread Band
Carterjett silicone tape is more expensive than most, and as a result enjoys excellent reviews and customer feedback. They are tough, secure, and available in ten different styles.
By far, the most interesting finish is the glow in the dark, which is perfect if you often have trouble finding your own wrist. But who needs a good reason to own a glow-in-the-dark watch strap? The slightly off-white finish looks great during the day, and glows green at night as long as you “charge” it under light first.
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