Review: Urban Armor Gear Active Watch Strap

Thanks to the folks at Urban Armor Gear, I’ve found the best Apple Watch strap for those who lead active lifestyles. And it’s called the Urban Armor Gear Active Watch Strap.

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It’s a two piece band made of high strength nylon and it has a large amount of Velcro as well as a lot of stainless steel for the lugs and one section of the band.

57cmjNIiTvaTrC6jJbwoLQ I am going to focus in on the lugs for a second. They have very minimal play and they are on the large side which gives the Apple Watch a bit of a different look.

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Most of the branding on the strap is seen below. The only other branding is on the buckle. And if you are wondering what the ISO 22810 means on the logo that’s on the strap, here’s a quick description from here:

ISO 22810 defines no minimum standard for water resistance; instead, it presents testing criteria for the widest possible practical range for non-dive watches, and also makes it the manufacturer’s responsibility for stating “warranty conditions and precautions to be taken to maintain the quality of the watch over an extended period of time.” Rather than requiring any tests, it provides testing procedures which it is then the manufacturer’s responsibility to define at the production stage “if he wishes to be able to guarantee that they satisfy the requirements of the International Standard.” 

This is a reference to the ability of the Apple Watch Series 4 to survive in 50 meters of water during activities like swimming and the like as described here.

So, when my wife and I got our respective straps from UAG, we wondered how to test them. Our first test was to do a 50 KM training ride our our bikes which would help to prepare us for our upcoming fundraising ride later in June which I have written about previously. The strap felt very secure and stable on our wrists during the two hours on the bike and it was very comfortable. But my wife took it to the next level by taking it to her CrossFit gym and did a full workout involving weights, apparatus, and doing things like burpees and the like. Again, there were no issues as according to her. But again my wife took it to the next level beyond that. She signed up for an obstacle trail race called Rugged Maniac. Here’s how the organizers describe it:

our 3-mile course packed with 20+ epic obstacles designed to both challenge and thrill Maniacs of all fitness levels, from couch potatoes to marathoners.  

What they don’t say is it also has mud that deep enough to suck your shoes off and water deep enough to be interesting. And there was a fire pit too. If there was one test that would really highlight the strengths and weaknesses of this band, this would be it. When she lined up in the start pen, a lot of people thought that she was nuts for wearing an Apple Watch for something like this. Even she was skeptical given that this wasn’t exactly the best environment for an Apple Watch even though it was water resistant. But she ran the three miles in under 84 minutes, and had to overcome stuff like this:HhEWAW1gTL+T1+ld4d090Q

And this:

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And this:

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And here’s what her Apple Watch with the UAG Active Watch Strap looked like at the end of the event:

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The Apple Watch was a mess and it took me over half an hour to clean it. The UAG Active Watch Strap was a mess too. But I solved that by throwing it in the washer. As for the Apple Watch, it was in working order as well. According to my wife the Apple Watch was solid on her wrist the entire time and she never felt it was going to come off her wrist. Clearly if this band can survive this, it will survive anything.

Gripes? In the case of my wife, she did comment that on her slender arms and on her 40mm Apple Watch, the band can look overwhelming. In my case, a reflective option like the Apple Nike band would be welcome. But neither of those are deal breakers in any way as this is a great Apple Watch strap overall.

The Urban Armor Gear Active Watch Strap goes for $83 CDN on their website. It can clearly survive anything we threw at it, which means that it will survive your active lifestyle with ease.

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