You may decide to purchase an Apple Watch Ultra, but you are not sure which band to choose. Apple has divided its premium watch bands into three categories: adventurer, diver, and runner, but when it comes to which one is best for you, or even which is most comfortable on your wrist, things can become a little complicated.
While it might seem like there are three versions of the Apple Watch Ultra, the watch itself, but there are also three straps that differ. While it appears like there are three different watches on the Apple website, all youre really choosing is the band. Of course, you may even get a replacement at a later date than most Apple Watches, but the bands are interchangeable, but at $99, replacement Apple bands aren''t quite cheap.
I''ve been fortunate enough to run, swim, shower, and, and, sleep, wearing all three of the Apple Watch Ultra bands in the last few weeks. Below, you''ll get a look at the pros and cons of each of the three bands to help you choose which is right for you. One has become a clear winner for me.
Want to learn more about the Apple Watch Ultra? Check out our Apple Watch Ultra review here, a guide to how the Action Button works, and our Apple Watch Ultra vs Apple Watch Series 8 face-off.
Apple Watch Ultra bands: The Alpine Loop
The Alpine Loop seems to be the fan favorite available in orange, green alpine, and starlight. It is made from two layers of high-strength yarn, and is fastened with a titanium G-hook fastener. During my first few days of testing, I felt very congruent to grips with the strap the G-hook made. It felt stiff and would pinch my skin if I didnt align the hook properly.
After a few weeks, the band grew on me. Sure, neither of the other straps is to get on and off, but (thanks to the improved battery life on the Apple Watch Ultra) if you are only taking it off every other evening to charge it, this isn''t quite a worry. It''s designed to stay put when you''re scaling the side of a mountain, and the strap doesn''t loosen or give once its on.
It''s important to see your wrist beforehand as there are only a few loops to play with. I wore mine on the second loop from the top when I was exercising, as it was as flat against my wrist as possible, but all times, I kept it on the third loop, so I didn''t notice the watch as much.
I have very small wrists at the age of 5; I tested the Alpine Loop in the medium size, but I might have been able to benefit from sizing down to the medium. The size guide is as follows: small (130mm-160mm wrists), medium (145-190mm wrists) and large (165mm-210mm wrists).
After two weeks of wear, my Alpine Loop looked a bit gloomy, but perhaps the inevitable downside of a material band. Fortunately, my colleague provided a guide on how to clean an Apple Watch band, but this forced me to leave the watch to dry for a couple hours.
Apple Watch Ultra bands: The Trail Loop
The Trail Loop is designed for endurance athletes and runners, and Apple believes it to be the thinnest Apple Watch band to date. The woven textile is designed to be soft and flexible, with a Velcro-like tab allowing you to customize the fit.
The Trail Loop is definitely the most comfortable band to wear and to get on and off, although it''s still not the most comfortful. The band comes in two sizes, a S/M, designed for 130-180mm wrists, and a M/L, designed for 145-220cm wrists. It also comes in three different colors, including yellow/beige, blue/gray, and black/gray. I tested the S/M band in the yellow/beige colorway.
The band is extremely comfortable and easy to adjust. I appreciated how I could tighten it when doing a run and then loosen it slightly when I got back to my desk so that it might not slip out completely on my wrist bone (one of the disadvantages of a so large watch).
The Trail Loop made me feel like a long stick, but it went flawlessly after a shower or a shower. This isnt the end of the world, but I didn''t particularly enjoy the look of the soggy wristband around my shirt or appreciate the wetness. I was then very pleased with this, but this band made me smile.
Apple Watch Ultra bands: The Ocean Loop
Last up, the Ocean Band, which was designed for extreme water sports and recreational diving," is a waterproof band that is made of flexible rubber. It is also a long tail for a snug fit over a wetsuit.
The Ocean Loop makes it more simple to remove the strap like a traditional watch strap. This isnt your everyday silicone watch strap because it is made up of many small tubes and has an adjustable strap holder to keep the band from flapping around on your wrist.
Once you get used to it, you can easily slot the bottom of the metal strap holder into your tube of choice, then place the top in and wiggle the band through. The benefit of the strap being rubber is that after a swimming exercise, it is unlikely that the sweater will be wet as you walk to work.
The Ocean Loop comes in one length, but there are three options to choose from: yellow, white, and midnight. You may also purchase an extension band for the Ocean Loop skiding over thicker wetsuits. Although I didnt get the opportunity to try the Ocean Loop with my wetsuit, I found it useful on my wrists, so imagine on my wrists, it would fit fine.
Can you use 45mm bands in Apple Watch Ultra?
Yes, although Apple has made the following claim: The Ocean Band, Alpine Loop, and Trail Loop are all 49mm bands that are specifically designed for use with Apple Watch Ultra when you are traveling, running, climbing, kiteboarding, diving, and others. Apple Watch Ultra is also compatible with 45mm bands, but 45mm bands should only be worn for casual, everyday wear."
I used the 45mm sport band from my Apple Watch Series 7 and had no trouble with the Ultra being too heavy. In fact, it was one of the most comfortable runs with the watch if its not broken, but you can only fix it.
Which Apple Watch Ultra bands should you purchase?
The length of the band you buy is totally dependent on what you intend on doing with the watch, and at the end of the day, which you consider most attractive. While I loved the appearance of the orange Alpine Loop, on my smaller wrists, the most comfortable option was, without a doubt, the Trail Loop.
I''d probably wear the Ocean Loop purely because I dislike how grubby, wet, and inevitably smelly the material bands get. However, Ive read a few Reddit posts where users suggest using the band in the washing machine once they start to smell (although please do not blame me if this affects the band).
Plus, as I mentioned in my review, this is only the start when it comes to the Apple Watch Ultra. It''s very probable that Apple will release additional bands to fit the 49mm watch in the near future. For now, I hope this article has helped you choose which strap to wear on your wrist.