Slim Sport Band for Apple Watch
Living in the Midwest, we have had hotter than average temperatures over the last week. Thanks to the strap, and more specifically, the included grooves, I could walk, bike, run, and enjoy my day without an uncomfortable swampy extremity. The lightweight straps were well designed, physically comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing. Honestly, I would not expect less from the NOMAD crew. When considering the easy-to-install mechanic, waterproof nature of the rugged/durable strap/material, and the sub $60 price tag, the strap should be a staple for every Apple Watch aficionado. The straps should work for Apple Watch Series 7, SE, and all previous versions of the Apple Watch (45mm/44mm/42mm). If the black design does not meet your accessory need, consider picking up a strap in glacier blue, sage, or bone.
- EASE OF USE
Sport Band helps you enjoy a touch of rugged simplicity.
I have been a fan of watches since I was in middle school. My father, a long-time lover of G-Shock watches, gave me my very own watch. I never fell into the leather wallet/chain trend, into hats, or other accessories. However, my watch was always on my left wrist. When we went to the beach to boogie board, to the pool to swim, or to a band concert, the black rubberized strap case was always present.
I thought it would be a bit of a shift to change over to the Apple Watch, but I was surprised to find the design very similar to the G-Shock. I loved the ability to change the color, design, and material of the straps. This added a level of customization that was previously underutilized. Whether you want a sportier or a fancier strap, a thicker one or a thinner one, or simply a different color, you have several options to enjoy.
The NOMAD Slim Sport Band arrived in a visually appealing 3 inches wide by 7 3/4 inches tall by 7/8 inches thick hanging style package. The NOMAD name was printed across the top of the cover panel in a bold black font, which contrasted nicely against the silver backdrop.
The Slim Sport Band name and Apple Watch Sizes 45mm/44mm/42mm were provided within the lower white informational row, while a photo-quality image of the band dominated the majority of the cover. The slightly raised, glossy image showcased an Apple Watch with the attached rubberized band. I loved the display, the tactile feel, and the contrast against the silver backdrop.
Each side panel provided the NOMAD name atop a silver background with topographic map style accents. The lower white informational segment listed the strap color, FKM material, and provided a visual color bar. The rear panel provided two slightly raised images of the band. Whereas the cover picture showcased the front of the strap plus the attachment to the watch, the rear images provided additional views.
The upper image of the sport band’s box showcased the free loop, strap, adjustment holes, and buckle prong. The lower image showed the top/bottom straps, free loop, and rear face of the Metallic Nomad buckle prong. Nomad did a great job with the imagery, successfully avoiding redundancy. Like the lions forming Voltron, the images added to more than the sum of the parts.
Beneath the images, you will find information about the FKM material, the stainless steel closure pin, and the “slim breathable design.” Lastly, the white lower segment provided the NOMAD name and a helpful “Learn More” QR code.
The bottom panel provided a small FSC logo, product manufacturing labels, a unique UPC/SKU barcode with a jeep climbing the peaks, and the “Climate Neutral” logo, which should have been bigger, in my opinion. To add to the allure of the packaging, the play on light and dark, and the quality imaging, NOMAD utilized a nylon mesh hanging loop instead of a common plastic one.
I gripped the mesh loop and pulled the inner tray up and out of the outer shell to access the strap. I removed the elastic straps holding the sport band into the tray, separated the prong from the adjustment hole, and evaluated both halves of the band.
The lower half weighed 0.5 ounces; the segment measured 5 3/8 inches long by 13/16 inches wide at the midpoint and tapered to 9/16 inches at the end. The strap was 1/16 inches thick and had fifteen evenly spaced adjustment holes. The Apple watch connector measured 1 3/8 inches long and had three watch attachment points.
To attach the strap to the watch, slide the connector into the watch groove, making sure to align the metal prong side facing the bottom of the watch. Once installed, I heard and felt the satisfying click. The sportband did not slide to either side and remained affixed until I pressed the lower release button. The sport band was easy to remove after pressing the button.
The top half of the sport band weighed .5 ounces and measured 3 11/16 inches long. The strap had a 13/16 inches wide by 1/4 inches tall oval loop cutout located 2 5/16 inches from the watch connector (1 1/8 inches from the end of the strap). Like the lower segment above, the upper segment provided adjustment holes for the prong.
However, the upper strap only had five holes to the fifteen on the lower strap. The strap measured 1 3/8 inches wide at the connector, 13/16 inches wide at the mid/end segments, and 1 1/8 inches wide at the open loop. At the end of the upper strap, you will find a 1/2 inches wide by 1/4 inches tall metallic base with a 1/4 long by 1/16 inches wide by 3/16 inches tall raised prong. The prong flared slightly at the ends to create a friction lock when attached to the adjustment holes.
Interestingly, when I flipped the strap over, the metallic silver oval did not have the NOMAD name like the picture on the outer packaging. Although this was not ultimately that big of a deal, I found the difference interesting. Since the flat plate rested flat against my arm, the absence of the etching likely meant less debris to clean out later. Perhaps the absence was a design enhancement and not a missing feature?
Like with the strap above, I aligned the watch connector and slid it into the watch groove. The strap clicked into place, and the watch was ready to adorn. Even though I prefer to wear the Apple Watch on my left wrist (nondominant hand) with the crown dial toward the top right, there is really not a “right” way to wear it.
You can wear it on your left wrist, your right wrist, or crown dial top right or bottom left. When I placed the watch on my wrist, I immediately realized the benefit of the NOMAD design. The rear surface of the straps were designed with grooves at each of the adjustment holes. Several strap manufacturers have forgone this core feature and left the strap to rest directly against the surface of the arm.
Without air movement, you will experience sweating and sometimes an uncomfortable stickiness. However, this was not true with the NOMAD sport band. I wrapped the top strap over the top of my wrist, looped the lower strap over the prong, and inserted the prong into the Goldilocks ninth adjustment hole. I tested the strap with the prong placed into the eighth hole and tenth holes and found it was either too tight or too loose. Lastly, I slid the free end of the strap into the loop end to complete the process.
The only negative of the sport band that may be considered would be the lack of bezel protection. As the device is a slim sport band and not a watch case, I did not feel that this was negative for the brand/design. Some individuals may want protection for the watch itself and can consider an add-on bezel protector. Luckily, there are several options available for purchase through Amazon and other retailers. For those interested in elegant, yet rugged simplicity, look to NOMAD.