One of my favorite aspects of the Apple Watch is its customization potential, particularly regarding straps. It’s incredibly easy to modify it to suit the situation or activity, and there are thousands of different straps available, made from hundreds of different types of materials. Matching a strap to the watch face creates an entirely new look, changing the style quickly and simply, in a way that’s not really possible with other types of watches.
Recently, I wore the Apple Watch Series 4 on a long weekend away, and took a selection of Apple’s new springtime strap collection with me, plus the necessary charging cable too. Carrying all this around while traveling is usually a messy endeavor, with straps and cables at the bottom of a bag potentially getting grubby and ruining the look. To make sure this did not happen, I used the Southern Straps Watch Roll, which comes with some stylish alternative straps when you buy it.
It’s my recommendation for anyone who wants to enjoy the Apple Watch to the fullest while traveling, and treat Apple’s often expensive straps in the way they deserve.
Springtime straps from Apple
Apple announced its new spring 2019 collection of Watch straps recently, and I’ve had the chance to try a few out. The Sport Loop design continues to be the pick of the range. It’s just so comfortable and adjustable, with the hook-and-eye band not only looking casual and cool; but also suitable for all wrist sizes. The two in our photos show the standout colors for 2019 — the darker spearmint color, and the teal tint Nike Sport Loop band.
The Sport Loop bands are $50, which is the same price you’ll pay for the Apple Sport Band. This is a more traditional-looking strap, which has been available for the Apple Watch since version one. The delft blue version seen here is very attractive, without being too loud or too bold, making it easy to match with different outfits. While I prefer the comfort of the Sport Loop, the Sport Band is more versatile.
Finally, our pick of the bunch is the Nike version in teal tint/tropical twist combo in our photos. It uses the same fastener as the Sport Loop, but the strap is perforated in a sporty style. The teal color on the outside is paired with a darker green underneath, that peaks through the strap holes. Soft and pliable, sporty, colorful, and very cool, the Nike band is the strap we turned to most on an active weekend.
For the evenings, when something sporty wasn’t really suitable, a classy Southern Straps black leather strap — which costs $85 — was called upon, or a neutral colored, $45 NATO-style nylon strap.
Southern Straps Watch Roll
There’s no need to treat straps poorly. Keeping them safe will pay off in the long-term, as they look better and remain wearable. The Southern Straps Watch Roll has six pockets to store at least five straps, plus the Apple Watch’s charging cable and puck. Made from really thick suede leather, it feels incredibly strong and very hard-wearing. It’s secured by a long piece of thin leather, which wraps around the roll and keeps everything from falling out.
You can fit the Apple Watch into one of the pockets, but it doesn’t feel that safe to do so. Without a strap fitted, I felt the Watch was too exposed and at risk of slipping out, while with a strap on it didn’t fit inside properly. I fold the flap on the roll over to protect the contents, but it can be left up if you don’t want to fold the strap when one is attached to the watch. This tiny point aside, the Watch Roll is a stylish travel accessory I really like.
To fill the Watch Roll with straps takes a sizable financial investment. The roll itself is available from Southern Straps for $150, and that comes with three different straps with hardware that matches the color of your Apple Watch.
Each springtime 2019 Apple Watch band seen here costs $50, but others can be three times that, so a collection of six could end up matching the initial cost of the Apple Watch itself. However, this gives you a classy, versatile collection of straps to make your Apple Watch more versatile.
In addition to Apple’s new springtime strap collection, you can find our other favorite strap picks here.
- The best Apple Watch bands and straps for 2021
- Best cheap Apple Watch deals for April 2021
- The best fitness trackers for 2021
- How to change your Apple Watch band
- The best camera straps for 2021