Review: UAG's rugged silicone Apple Watch straps add a stainless steel clasp

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited January 21
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.

UAG Civilian and Scout Apple Watch straps
UAG Civilian and Scout Apple Watch straps


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.

Scout

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.

The back of the UAG Scout Apple Watch band
The back of the UAG Scout Apple Watch band


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.

The olive green Scout UAG Apple Watch strap
The olive green Scout UAG Apple Watch strap


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.

Stainless steel buckle and tuck on the UAG Scout band
Stainless steel buckle and tuck on the UAG Scout band


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.

Civilian

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.

UAG Civilian band
UAG Civilian band


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.

Slate and orange UAG Civilian strap
Slate and orange UAG Civilian strap


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.

Pros
  • Great quality

  • Unique look and rugged style

  • Very strong metal clasps

  • Compatible with all Apple Watch models

  • Multiple colors available
Cons
  • Only a few color options

  • Color accents on Civilian could be more pronounced

Rating: 5 out of 5

Where to buy

The Urban Armor Gear Civilian band is available on Amazon for $39.95. The Scout band is also available on Amazon for $24.95.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    I will have to try once the series 6 watch comes out. I have had on my last 2 iPhones the UAG Monarch case. Also planning on new iPhone this fall as well so will get another Monarch case providing they sell them still. No affiliation with UAG other than just a satisfied customer. 
  • Reply 2 of 5
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,341member
    I have two watches and two straps: black silicone and SBSS link band

    I paid through the nose for that SBSS series zero watch with the link band. 

    I’ve seen posts of people showing off their band collection and all I can think of is how much money has been spent In the name of style.  Good for my AAPL stock.  Before the Apple Watch, some people had (and still have) watch collections.  To each his own.  

    There isn’t a watch band on the planet I will pay extra for.  I just hope my link band doesn’t break or that Apple doesn’t change the connection mechanism. It would be like iPod dock to lightNING all over again!
  • Reply 3 of 5
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,274member
    eriamjh said:
    I have two watches and two straps: black silicone and SBSS link band

    I paid through the nose for that SBSS series zero watch with the link band. 

    I’ve seen posts of people showing off their band collection and all I can think of is how much money has been spent In the name of style.  Good for my AAPL stock.  Before the Apple Watch, some people had (and still have) watch collections.  To each his own.  

    There isn’t a watch band on the planet I will pay extra for.  I just hope my link band doesn’t break or that Apple doesn’t change the connection mechanism. It would be like iPod dock to lightNING all over again!

    LOL...  Yeh!  I get it!  I would not pay extra for a watch band either.   But then, these days, my idea of getting dressed up is wearing a new pair of sweat pants and my collection of suits, white shirts and ties hasn't seen the outside of the closet in years.

    As for Apple changing the connection between the Watch and the band, my bet is that will happen when Apple begins to use the band to extend the functionality of the watch by using it to add sensors or batteries.  But, while I have no doubt that Apple is looking at that, I see no indication that it will happen anytime soon.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    I switched to a "shark mesh" band made of stainless steel with a PVD coating. $15 on eBay direct from China. Probably made in the same factory as the full price ones, but with flaws that I don't even notice. The relatively open and flexible mesh is much more comfortable and breathable than any silicone band I've had. Breathability is important as it gets warmer. It weighs a bit more than silicone, but most of the time, I don't even remember I have it on.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    looplessloopless Posts: 215member
    I bought a UAG civilian band based on this review. Super comfortable and secure. Sadly the band split at the buckle after a few months of use. Its basically a bad design with too little material used in certain area. They need to rethink the design.
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