Like most people, when I ordered my Apple Watch, I had no clue what to expect from it. Because of this, I really didn’t want to spend a ton of money on it and accessories. So I ordered the 42mm Sport with the white band and left it at that. I chose white because I thought it looked pretty sharp, and I stayed with the white band for quite some time, but before WWDC I ordered the Brown Leather Loop to try out.
And then, with the launch of some new colors recently, I picked up the Red and Midnight Blue sport bands. While the Leather Loop never really worked for me, the sport bands do. Having more options for Sport Bands at my disposal, I have really started enjoying changing around the looks of the Apple Watch.
If you own an Apple Watch, then I really think you should own a few extra bands for it.
At first I couldn’t see why I would want anything more than the perfectly comfortable white Sport Band. And having the Leather Loop be my second band didn’t help with my thinking and feelings towards the white Sport Band, but after picking up some more Sport Band colors I’ve found myself changing the band out quite often to fit my mood, surroundings, weather, or whatever. It’s made the Apple Watch feel far more versatile and fresh than I would have otherwise guessed.
Notes on the Leather Loop
A lot of people have written about the Leather Loop, and for the most part it is a band that people don’t love. You can count me in the not-loving-leather-loop group as well. There’s three main reasons I don’t love it:
- You can’t, or shouldn’t, get it wet very often. There have been tests done to show that it holds up remarkably well to water, but I still wouldn’t get it wet. The thing is, wet leather is wet leather. Most tests show the band taking hours to dry out after it has been wet. This essentially means wearing something damp and uncomfortable for hours. Further: I shower with my watch on. So using the Leather Loop causes me to change how I go about my day as I have to remember to take the watch off before showering. I also have kids, so during bath time I find myself taking the watch off if I am wearing the Leather Loop so I don’t have a wet band for the rest of the day.
- The Leather Loop design is crinkly. Like how wind breakers always make swishing sounds as you walk around. Because of this, when I move my wrist certain ways, the band rubs in a manner which tricks me into thinking that the Taptic feedback just went off. I’ve had a few others try on my band and confirm that they notice this too, so I know I am not going crazy here. I thought this might be an issue with the leather being too new, but even after a solid month of wear the issue is still present. Every time I wear the Leather Loop I think I am getting a notification when I am not. It’s maddening.
- It can be quite difficult to put the Apple Watch on your wrist with the Leather Loop. You can choose to either slip it on while the band is looped, or to loop it over your wrist. Either one is difficult to do. If you choose to slip it over your wrist, it to be a very tight fit and often will come undone and therefore negate the benefit of trying to slip it on. When I try to loop it over my wrist, it takes concentration to get it clasped one handed. I never have issues with the Sport Band, which makes the Leather Loop clasping doubly frustrating to me.
None of these issues is to say the Leather Loop is a bad band, but it certainly is not nearly as good as the Sport Band. Which is a shame because the Leather Loop band looks quite nice when you are wearing it. From a purely aesthetic view point, I like the Leather Loop a lot. Functionally though, I find it far behind the Sport Band in comfort and function.
I could forgive everything else about the band, if it weren’t for that constant feeling that I am getting tapped on the wrist when I move my hands and arms about during the day.
Sport Band is Still King
I now have three Sport Bands, and I honestly can’t imagine why you would want any other band for the Apple Watch — or any other watch for that matter. I have a lot of watches at my disposal, and none of them are as comfortable as the Apple Watch with Sport Band.
The white is modern and clean, the red is bold and in your face, and the midnight blue is perfection. Seriously, get the midnight blue.
I wouldn’t waste money on the Leather Loop unless you really need a leather band for some reason. Even then, there are far better third party options out there for a fraction of the cost.
But no matter what, do yourself a favor and pick up a couple extra Sport Bands — you won’t regret it.