UAG combined stainless Steel buckles combine, with Hook and Loop closure for a comfortable one-size-fits-all experience.
Before I had an Apple Watch, I sported a Casio G Shock. I loved the Atomic time keeping feature, the alarms, the date function and the solar charging. In fact, I think I had upgraded my Casio watches about every five years, starting about the age of eleven. Despite the upgraded tech features of the watches, the bands were typically rubberized and had adjustment holes, buckle tongues, and a free loop. I had grown accustomed to the feel of the weight of the watch and the rubberized material upon my left wrist. Yet, I was never fully satisfied with the adjustment holes because the sizing did not comfortably match my wrist. Additionally, the rubberized material lacked adequate ventilation. Wanting something a little different than the norm, I knew Urban Armor Gear would have what I needed.
The UAG ACTIVE strap for Apple Watch 44/42mm arrived in an attractive 3 inches wide by 7 5/8 inches tall by 7/8 inches thick retail package. The clean white background proved to be a wise decision, as it allowed the bold black “UAG” title to drastically contrast against the clean white color. Thanks to the contrast, my gaze was immediately drawn to the 1 3/16 inches wide by 6 1/2 inches tall image of the black watch strap. More than a static image, the slightly raised, glossy image of the UAG straps assumed a lifelike appearance. The product name “Active Straps” was conveniently located along the bottom left, along with information that the straps were designed for the 44mm/42mm Apple Watch. Each of the side panels displayed “UAG//BUILT TO GO FURTHER” in Black/Orange font, upon a geometric background. The rear panel provided a large “UAG URBAN ARMOR GEAR” across the top and two attractive black and white images along the middle/bottom of the panel. Although I appreciated the images of the person photographing the barrel wave and the motorcycle stuntman, they felt gratuitous and provided no information to me as a consumer. Looking at the bottom panel, I was forced to shake my head in disbelief. The company used valuable retail space to inform the user that the device was not included, detailed the Apple/Apple Watch, Made in China and legal/trademark information. Lastly, the top panel provided a large black plastic hanging tab.
Returning to the cover, I lifted the front magnetic flap. The inner panel provided a close-up labeled diagram of the watch strap and detailed the stainless steel custom hardware/buckles and the secure hook & Loop fasteners. Diverting my gaze to the right, the UAG Active Strap rested within a black foam cubby. I gripped the 1.2-ounce strap and lifted it out of the box. The upper 2-inch section had a 1 1/16 inches long by 1 1/8 inches wide central strap, a 1 3/8 inches long watch attachment bracket, and a 1 5/8 inches wide by 1-inch tall “UAG” etched buckle. The lower 7-inches long section had a 4 3/4 inches long by 7/8 inches wide hook section followed by a 1 1/2 inches long by 7/8 inches wide hook section, all upon a nylon mesh backing. Contrasting against the black nylon coloration, there was a small red/black nylon tag and a sewed-on “50 Meters ISO 22810 UAG” patch. To install the straps, slide the apple connector into the slot on the Apple Watch. I caution you to use care with the step because you may scratch the finish of the side of the Apple Watch. Make sure that each of the strap connectors fully seated into the channel before attempting to wear the watch.
The nylon strap, combined with the Apple Watch 44mm, measured 2.5 ounces total. I placed the watch onto the dorsal aspect of my left wrist, slid the lower strap into the buckle, wrapped the strap downward and then affixed the hook/loop material. The large buckle conveniently rested along my ulna (pinky side) and did not place pressure along the ventral aspect of my wrist. Many of the straps place pressure onto the lower part of my wrist and some even cause numbness/tingling in my fingertips. This lightweight strap setup was immensely comfortable and would likely allow for a nearly universal fit. If you desire to wear the watch a little more loosely, readjust the strap to your desired position. If you wanted to wear the watch a little more tightly, you could adjust the strap accordingly. The hook/loop section was quite secure and provided a good Velcro-style connection. This setup does not add waterproofing, does not add bezel protection, nor does it add screen/front/back watch protection. As this device was only an Apple Watch strap/band, I guess my earlier statement about the “Device not Included” was a little less shocking than I previously thought. Despite my criticisms of the packaging, the UAG Active Straps watch strap was the most comfortable strap that I have used thus far.
While reviewing the watch strap, my wife asked what I was testing. I showed her the Active Straps, described my experience, and then she made a face. Since everyone knows the phrase “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” I asked her what the face meant. She stated that the watch strap was nice, but it gave a juvenile appearance to the expensive appearing Apple Watch. I noted that the bands were like clothing accessories and shoes. You would not wear flip flops and a bathing suit to a nice dinner, nor would you wear a tuxedo to go play racquetball. These analogies hold true for the Active Strap sport bands. For just about every casual experience, this band will work better than most of the rubberized bands. You can adjust the fit to your liking and you can enjoy a nylon feel against your skin instead of a rubberized one. If I desire something a little more formal/waterproof, I may slip into a Catalyst Waterproof case or an Impact Case. The UAG Active straps do not add to the protection of your watch. I would still consider purchasing a bumper for your watch, for added protection. I really enjoyed the strap and the secure hook/loop connection. The weight was ideal, and I was finally able to obtain that Goldilocks fit; it fit my wrist perfectly.
If the black strap color did not suit your fancy, you can also purchase the product in orange and midnight (camouflage).