Review: Tech Bergen Sport Loop Flash Band

If you own an Apple Watch, and you actually use it for sports, you want a sport loop band for the following reasons:

  • You can adjust it to fit your wrist perfectly which makes it more comfortable than the fluoroelastomer bands that Apple offers.
  • It tends to provide much better results for the heart rate monitor because you can ensure that it is secured to your wrist tight enough to provide accurate results.
  • The fabric is more breathable than the fluoroelastomer bands that Apple offers.
  • It tends to stay in place better when doing vigorous exercise.

To all to the above, Apple when they came out with the Series 4 Nike Edition Apple Watch did something smart. They came out with a reflective version of their sport loop band which adds a bit of extra safety to those who run at night. However you can only get it with the Series 4 Nike Edition Apple Watch. It may be available at some point down the road from Apple as a separate part, and if it is, it will go for their typically insanely high prices that they charge for Apple Watch bands. But in the here and now there is an option which is the Tech Bergen Sport Loop Flash Band:

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The packaging screams “Cheap Chinese Knockoff.” Which isn’t a shock seeing as it was shipped from China. But you’re not buying this for the packaging so I’ll let that slide. Here’s the band outside the packaging:

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It looks like Apple’s Sport Loop and my exam of it didn’t find any flaws or quality issues. When I put it on my Series 4 Apple Watch, there was very little play in terms of the mounting points. I wore this all day just doing what I normally do and I found it to be comfortable. That’s when I decided to take things to the next level by running some tests on this band.

The first thing that I tested was the reflective properties of the band. Here’s a picture in normal light taken with my iPhone XS.

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You can see the reflective yarn that they used in the band in this picture. But it isn’t over the top and it isn’t all that noticeable without using a camera. That changes in the dark:

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When the flash from my iPhone XS hit the band, it turned out to be very reflective. The logic is that your wrist moving while a cars headlights are hitting the band will attract the attention of the driver of said car. Which means that they are less likely to hit you if you are out running at night. Now my wife who is an avid runner questions if something that small would make a difference, but from my perspective I believe that every little bit helps to keep you safe.

My next test was to do something athletic. So I did a ride on the Zwift virtual bike riding platform. Something that usually generates a ton of sweat. Now I usually use a heart rate monitor on a chest strap when I ride my bike virtually or otherwise as that tends to produce the most accurate results. But for this ride, I used the Zwift Companion App for Apple Watch to see how accurate it would be with this band. I ended up doing two one hour rides:

Ride #1: I did a one hour ride wearing both the chest strap and my Apple Watch with the Tech Bergen Sport Loop Flash Band. Both were recording heart rate data. I didn’t find much difference in the heart rate waveforms except for a drop out in the heart rate data near the end of the ride on the Apple Watch. By drop out, I mean no heart rate data was recorded for about a minute or so.

Ride #2: I did a one hour ride wearing both the chest strap and my Apple Watch with a fluoroelastomer sport band. Both were recording heart rate data. I didn’t find much difference in the heart rate waveforms. But the fluoroelastomer sport band had 9 drop outs in heart rate data over that one hour period.

Clearly the Tech Bergen Sport Loop Flash did its job.

Gripes? There was one. It had a weird chemical smell when I took it out of the box. It disappeared after a few hours of wearing it. So I am not sure what the deal with that but I am guessing that it was due to the box that it came in as the band was in a cardboard box with a foam insert which held the band. But nothing else jumped out at me as a negative. One positive was the price which was $15.99 CDN. Seeing as Apple is likely to sell their version of this sport loop at $65 CDN, if they ever decide to do that, this is a deal. And it will become my default band for workouts once I get my Road ID for Apple Watch onto it. If you don’t want to wait for the official Apple reflective sport loop to appear, if it ever does, have a look at the Tech Bergen Sport Loop Flash Band. You’ll be glad you did.

One Response to “Review: Tech Bergen Sport Loop Flash Band”

  1. […] Now to the bands themselves. For sporting purposes, I am currently using the Tech Bergen Sport Loop Flash Band: […]

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