Review: UAG's rugged silicone Apple Watch straps add a stainless steel clasp
Urban Armor Gear has refreshed almost its entire Apple Watch strap lineup, keeping the leather and NATO option but also adding two new silicone designs — Scout and Civilian.
The change in design means UAG's previous velcro strap has gone away, which may be for the best. While they had great designs, without a real buckle, they weren't as rugged as they needed to be, and they still had a chance to come free in extreme conditions, such as while playing sports.
Now all of UAG bands feature two points of contact. Its silicone bands have a buckle as well as a tuck to keep the band coming free, the NATO band has two loops to hold the band in place alongside the buckle, and the leather band has a snap for the free end and a buckle.
We've already looked at UAG's leather and NATO bands, so here we are taking an in-depth look at its new silicone ones.
The first of the new bands to be released is the sleek Scout band. It blends a silicone sports band with a traditional metal buckle.
UAG is using a custom black stainless steel buckle as the clasp, with an extra-wide buckle tongue and a matte finish. The silicone is a soft-touch antimicrobial material that is very comfortable to wear.
It is very flexible which makes it perfectly suited for moving about and is easier on your wrist than a more rigid leather or metal band. On the back of the band is an angled lined pattern that provides a bit of breathability.
Solid backs, like Apple's own sports bands, tend to stick to your skin when you are sweaty.
Outwardly facing, the band has an indented center strip where the various adjustment holes are located for the buckle tongue to secure to. On that same side it also has the UAG logo recessed into the silicone.
On the shorter buckle side is an angled slot to tuck the spare end of the band. This makes it ideal to slide it into place and is easier and more comfortable than a normal loop.
This strap comes in orange, black, and — as seen in our shots — olive. It will run you $39.95.
UAG's second strap to be introduced is its new Civilian band. Outwardly, the Civilian bands are quite similar in functionality to the Scout bands above.
It has the same velvety-soft silicone, stainless steel buckle, and handy loop tuck. Even the rough silhouette is similar.
While the shape is similar, there are slight differences to note. The Civilian band is louder, with a bulkier look, the buckle-side of the band is wider and more pronounced, and the free end with the adjustment holes is also wider.
It is also a two-tone design, with the back of the band sporting a hypercush honeycomb design in a bright, vivid contrasting orange color. It peaks out along the edges in a few locations for a sporty look as well as where the free end is tucked away.
The exterior sides are more solid than the beveled edges of the Scout and are very familiar to those who've seen the Civilian iPhone case.
Civilian Apple Watch bands are available in both black and slate with orange accents. Due to its two-tone design, it carries a slightly higher price tag of $49.95.
Should you buy UAG's new Apple Watch straps?
We perpetually have our eyes peeled for new Apple Watch bands. We see a ton of leather options but most rubber bands are just knock-offs of Apple's own.
We praise UAG for not only coming up with their own design but implementing it well. Both of these bands are comfortable, durable, and stylish with unique appearances unlike any others on the market.
Which of the two you prefer, is going to be your call.
- Great quality
- Unique look and rugged style
- Very strong metal clasps
- Compatible with all Apple Watch models
- Multiple colors available
- Only a few color options
- Color accents on Civilian could be more pronounced