I love the Apple Watch Ultra, but I can’t deny that it’s a pretty big smartwatch for everyday wear. Before my recent trip away, I chose to wear the Ultra, and I wanted to try a different band. I wanted it to be more comfortable, but not at the expense of style, or by wearing a leather strap, which I don’t think fits at all.
Quite serendipitously, I found what I think is the perfect band for the Apple Watch Ultra when you’re not exploring the mountains or the ocean, and just want to show off this awesome smartwatch on the streets.
One easy change for the Apple Watch Ultra
I purchased an Apple Watch Ultra with the Ocean Band, which like the two custom Apple Watch Ultra bands — the Alpine Loop and Trail Loop — are chunky and durable. They look great and fit perfectly in the Ultra model. It matches fonts and size perfectly, and I’ve always hated changing it because of this. I needed a new band that matched the look, but improved comfort, which is a tough job.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is less sensitive to band changes, with the vast majority of available bands matching the size and shape of the case very well. Not the same with the Apple Watch Ultra. Straps that are too thin, too thick, or with sharp tapers feel odd compared to the Ultra’s bulky 49mm case, and since the watch already commands enough attention on your wrist, pairing it with the wrong strap will. mistake kind of interesting.
For example, the leather straps look weird on this watch. This is not a dress watch, so anything too smart would not fit in it at all. Same with a metal bracelet. The Ultra is heavy enough without bulking it up any more, and even the best metal bracelets can’t be called comfortable. Standard Sport Loop straps are too boring, and the shapeless Sport Loop is too square. So where do you go from here?
The band I’ve been wearing my Apple Watch Ultra with is Apple’s simple Solo Loop, and I think it looks great. It’s Apple’s great design job that the band doesn’t look too thin, and the curvature matches perfectly with the corners of the case, making it feel as cohesive and “made for ultra” as the Ocean Band or Alpine Loop. But it’s not just about style; The change makes the Apple Watch Ultra feel a lot less cumbersome and a lot more comfortable, too.
Safe, light and comfortable
I chose the rubber Solo Loop instead of the Braided Solo Loop. The rubber Solo Loop fits the Apple Watch Ultra’s outdoorsy style better, in my opinion, and I find that it keeps the smartwatch centered better on my wrist, too. While I love the Braided Solo Loop and wear an Apple Watch Series 8 with one, it doesn’t hold the weight of the extra Ultra case well, causing it to slip annoyingly around my wrist.
This does not happen with the Solo Loop rubber. It has a better grip against my skin, and in addition to keeping it centered, it doesn’t shift under the cuff either. Another benefit is weight. With the Solo Loop, the Apple Watch Ultra weighs 74g, but with the Ocean Band, it weighs 95g — and you can really feel the difference on your wrist.
Since it’s so thin on your wrist, it’s less of a hassle when doing things like typing, too, if you have to do that when wearing the smartwatch. I do, and previously, I would often take off my Apple Watch Ultra because it got in the way. I wore the Ultra for four days, during which time I didn’t need to charge the battery because it lasts so long. It also didn’t get stuck to clothes, didn’t sweat or feel too tight, and – perhaps most surprisingly of all – blended into the background because the size and weight were made smaller.
Buy this band
The combination of the Apple Watch Ultra and the Solo Loop prevents the smartwatch from looking like a gadget watch. The case is the focal point because the strap is so simple, it becomes more wearable in more situations, and with more outfits too.
I wanted the Apple Watch Ultra on the Series 8 because of its attractive looks, but I didn’t want to put up with a standard “lifestyle” strap. I wasn’t expecting the basic Solo Loop to be such a hit, but I’m really glad I gave it a try. It completely changed the Apple With Ultra, and that’s the sign of a really cool watch and bracelet pairing.
The Apple Solo Loop comes in a range of different (and often very bright) colors and costs $50. The darker colors match the Apple Watch Ultra, but I’d love to see some with the new Canary Yellow Solo Loop. Why not make a bold statement with the strap as well as the watch?
If you haven’t purchased a Solo or Braided Loop before, be sure to size up. They’re both the same size — a size 6 on my 6.5-inch wrist — but I’d recommend trying the size Apple suggests and the size below, too. Apple’s sizing tool says I should take a size 7 Solo or Braided Loop, but in reality, it’s way too loose.
Don’t be put off by Apple not explicitly listing the Solo Loop as an Apple Watch Ultra band. They fit perfectly, look great and completely change the way you wear a smartwatch.
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