Skip to main content

This strap and case combo makes the Apple Watch the perfect travel companion

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

Andy Boxall/

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
How to watch Apple’s iPhone 15 event today: 5 easy ways
A screenshot of Apple event links from the Apple TV app on an iPhone

Apple's next press event is set to kick off today, Tuesday, September 12, beginning at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET. The uniquely named "Wonderlust" event will almost certainly introduce the world to the iPhone 15 series and next-generation Apple Watches — including the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. We could also see USB-C finally arriving on the Apple AirPods Pro.

Like last year's event, the iPhone 15 event will be streamed across various platforms, including Apple's website, on iPhone/iPad and Apple TV, X (formerly known as Twitter), and YouTube. Here's a look at how to stream the highly anticipated event as it happens later today.
How to watch the iPhone 15 event on your iPhone or iPad

Read more
Hermès removes all leather Apple Watch bands from its site
Apple Watch bands by Hermes.

Luxury goods retailer Hermès has removed its entire range of leather bands for the Apple Watch from its online store.

The change comes just two days before Apple is expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 9 and iPhone 15, and a week after Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claimed that Apple was set to “move away from leather on iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands” for environmental and sustainability reasons.

Read more
This case turned my Apple Watch into an Apple Watch Ultra … kind of
a Nomad Rugged Case and band on a wooden table

Whenever a new Apple Watch is released, I buy the less expensive aluminum model, even though it increases the risk of scratching or breaking the wearable device. Aluminum, unfortunately, is not nearly as forgiving as the titanium found on the Apple Watch Ultra or the stainless steel on more expensive Apple Watch Series 8 models.

Don't believe me? Last year, my teenage daughter inherited my Apple Watch Series 6, but it didn't last long after a minor bike accident on dirt and asphalt. Over time, even with regular use, you should expect some nicks and scratches on the aluminum Apple Watch models.

Read more