Testing out Apple liquid silicone Solo Loop and yarn Braided Solo Loop

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in Apple Watch
Along with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple debuted the Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop bands. We've been wearing them and here are our impressions, as well as a look at each of the colors.

Apple's Braided Solo Loop and Solo Loop
Apple's Braided Solo Loop and Solo Loop


Both the Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop have a one-piece design. Rather than a two-part design, like the classic Sports Band, these two are one long loop. As such, they are required to be available in a variety of sizes -- nine to be exact.

Sizing guide for Apple Solo Loop bands
Sizing guide for Apple Solo Loop bands


Apple makes a free sizing guide available through its website for you to print at home. Just print, trim, and wrap it around your wrist and it will tell you what size band you should order.

In my case, I got right between a seven and an eight. I ordered an eight and if I ordered again, I'd probably opt for the seven. The eight was fine, but borderline loose. Oxygen reading and ECG readings would benefit from a slightly snugger fit.





If you go into an Apple Store -- assuming its open -- Apple has sizing guides available there as well.

Solo Loop

As the cheaper option, most users will likely opt for the Solo Loop over the Braided Solo Loop, as it costs $49 and is available in seven colors. The (PRODUCT)RED version was not available at launch, so we picked up the remaining colors.

Solo Loop black on Apple Watch Series 6
Solo Loop black on Apple Watch Series 6


Once we opened it, we were surprised how flexible the band was. It was very soft and stretchy, reaching more than double its original size at full extension.

The back of the band has a slight channel that should aid airflow and prevent sweat buildup. It's quite similar to the Sports Band.

All the colors of Apple's Solo Loop
All the colors of Apple's Solo Loop minus (PRODUCT)RED


Apple says the band is made of liquid silicone and its elasticity is key to its function. It stretches to go onto your wrist and keeps your watch fairly snug against your wrist while still remaining quite comfortable.

In our experience, the new Solo Loop is more comfortable than the standard Sports Band.

The Solo Loop is available in Pink Citrus, Deep Navy, Cyprus Green, Ginger, Black, and White. We aren't sure if we have a favorite, but the Deep Navy is a solid contender for that new blue aluminum Apple Watch Series 6.

Braided Solo Loop

The Braided Solo Loop is a bit pricier at $99, with four colors of the woven band available to buy at launch. It comes in Atlantic Blue, Inverness Green, Charcoal Black, Pink Punch, and a still unavailable (PRODUCT)RED.

Three colors of the Braided Solo Loop
Three colors of the Braided Solo Loop


These bands are made of recycled yarn interwoven with silicone threads to make it almost as stretchy as Solo Loops, but with a classier look.

These have metal caps on either end for the lugs, which are inserted into the Apple Watch. These fit well but at angles, the silver metal can be slightly visible, which is a negative if you have a Graphite stainless steel or Space Grey Apple Watch.

The silver is just too obvious and detracts from the dark aesthetic, even if it is minor.

Active users may prefer the Solo Loop to the Braided Solo Loop since the yarn is likely to hold onto sweat easier. We see no reason this band cant be rinse and washed, but the liquid silicone is probably a better workout material.

Apple's Braided Solo Loop and Solo Loop bands
Apple's Braided Solo Loop and Solo Loop bands


There are fewer colors of the Braided Solo Loop. Again we were particular to the Blue which looked great with our Space Black Series 5, and the green was also a handsome option for us.

The Charcoal was just about all the way black, despite the name implying a bit of grey.

Both of these new styles of band are welcomed, and the Braided Solo Loop is what we opted for when getting our new Apple Watch. It only runs you $50 more than the base price of the Apple Watch, which is better than buying an Apple Watch with yet another Sport Band and shelling out the extra $99 for the Braided Solo Loop.

One note though is these have a slightly tapered lug to them which makes them only compatible with the redesigned Apple Watch, meaning it will fit the Series 4, Series 5, and Series 6, but not the Series 3 and earlier.

Apple Watch 6 pricing and deals

Apple Watch 6 prices start at $399, with the latest deals and discounts on new styles, as well as closeout Series 5 models, at your fingertips in our Apple Watch Price Guide.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Just upgraded to the series 6 and the sports loop Thus review covers everything that I experienced when I was in the Apple store by appointment to try on a few of the loop watch bands
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 21
    XedXed Posts: 1,433member
    I’m looking forward to Apple Silicon inside the Apple Silicon Solo Loop.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,303member
    Does anyone have the Braided Solo Loop yet? Do they seem like they would easily fray or snag if brushed against something?
    I almost bought the Nike blue/mango yesterday, and now I’m glad I held off. The above video shows the Mango as almost pinkish in color, whereas the Apple website depicts it as more orangish. I should have learned my lesson by now, those Apple pictures online are never completely accurate in the real world. 
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 21
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,467member
    Just to support and supplement Andrew's comment about the sizing guide:

    1. Kinda tricky to print out if you don't have a printer at home. I print exceedingly rarely, but you can put the guide on a USB stick and stop by your local print shop/office supply store to print it out. It looks nicer that way anyway (unless you have a laser printer at home).

    2. As Andrew notes, if your size happens to come in exactly halfway between two sizes, go for the smaller size -- it'll stretch no problem, and you'll get better results from the health functions.

    Thanks for the great look at the new bands!
    edited September 2020 ronnrandominternetpersonkurai_kagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    Wish they made an Atlantic Blue colored iPhone, iPad.
    MplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    I’ve played with the braided Sport Loop in the store and it feels quite lovely and sturdy,  folks that have bought one seem to really like it. I will be purchasing one too to go with my stainless steel (series5) watch.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Do the silicone-based solo loops get sweaty after a while?

    I find the normal plastic bands for Casio watches uncomfortable for extended wear as the sweat will pool underneath after a while. Since the solo loop is intended to fit snugly I wonder if it'll exacerbate the problem.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,616member
    These bands are also a good option for people with limited dexterity of other conditions that make fastening a clasp-type band difficult. A prime example would be someone who has had a stroke. They are at more risk for falling, so the Apple Watch would be great for them. 

    I wonder if the silicone bands will tend to stretch with time? That would be another reason to go with the smaller size. 
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 21
    h4y3s said:
    I’ve played with the braided Sport Loop in the store and it feels quite lovely and sturdy,  folks that have bought one seem to really like it. I will be purchasing one too to go with my stainless steel (series5) watch.
    What’s the difference between the aluminium and SS? Seems quite a premium you’re paying for the same watch!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21

    1. Kinda tricky to print out if you don't have a printer at home. I print exceedingly rarely, but you can put the guide on a USB stick and stop by your local print shop/office supply store to print it out. It looks nicer that way anyway (unless you have a laser printer at home).
    The sizing guide on the Apple Store also had instructions for using a strip of paper, marking it, and measuring with a ruler.
    It’s not as fancy as a printed sizing guide, but just as effective...
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    I bought a braided Sports Loop:

    1. Using Apple's template I purchased the recommended size. What I received is comfortable and easy to put on but not at all "snug". 
    2. I like the appearance of the band a lot but I wonder how it will wear over time -- the braided material is, obviously, porous and will collect dirt.
    3. The biggest negative I've found is that the band definitely stays damp after exercise -- it's impossible to dry it out completely using a towel or similar. For a couple of hours after a workout I can still feel that the band is slightly wet. Before this new band I was using a Nike Sport Loop (the one with holes all around) and I could take that band off, give it a quick swipe with a towel and have it feel dry after exercise.

    All-in-all I'm not certain that I'd buy the braided Sport Loop if I had it to do over. I like the convenience of no buckle/fastener (which really IS nice) and the appearance. I'm not 100% happy with (1) the fit, (2) the potential endurance and (3) the way it feels clammy after exercise. For the high price -- $100!!! -- it should be perfect and IMO it isn't.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,183member
    Do the silicone-based solo loops get sweaty after a while?

    I find the normal plastic bands for Casio watches uncomfortable for extended wear as the sweat will pool underneath after a while. Since the solo loop is intended to fit snugly I wonder if it'll exacerbate the problem.
    Great question. I have a regular Sport Band with the clasp and it’s a sweat fest on me. I have to periodically move the watch to my other wrist to reduce the irritation caused by the sweat. I can only imagine the Solo Loop is even worse. I found the leather strap too flimsy and the Sport Loop gets dirty too easily. I’ll probably try one of the Nike bands with the holes in it to see how that works out. If anyone has experience with the Nike bands and how they work with respect to sweat, please post.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,963member
    chasm said:
    Just to support and supplement Andrew's comment about the sizing guide:

    1. Kinda tricky to print out if you don't have a printer at home. I print exceedingly rarely, but you can put the guide on a USB stick and stop by your local print shop/office supply store to print it out. It looks nicer that way anyway (unless you have a laser printer at home).

    2. As Andrew notes, if your size happens to come in exactly halfway between two sizes, go for the smaller size -- it'll stretch no problem, and you'll get better results from the health functions.

    Thanks for the great look at the new bands!

    It would be cool if they had a table that cross referenced the loop sizing to your preferred hole on a Sport Band. So, if you have a "Large" Sport band and secure it using the third hole from the watch, your size for the loop would be 9, for example.
    razorpitd_2Japheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    If Apple ever did come out with that “Air Power matt these bands would be a pain in the butt.
    blurpbleepbloopwatto_cobraMplsP
  • Reply 15 of 21
    gremlin said:
    h4y3s said:
    I’ve played with the braided Sport Loop in the store and it feels quite lovely and sturdy,  folks that have bought one seem to really like it. I will be purchasing one too to go with my stainless steel (series5) watch.
    What’s the difference between the aluminium and SS? Seems quite a premium you’re paying for the same watch!
    The differences are weight and the material the watch crystal is made from. Aluminum has a glass crystal, and SS has a sapphire crystal. The sapphire is more scratch resistant. The first watch I bought was the aluminum Series 0, and within a week it had a big scratch across the face. My Series 3 is SS, and is scratch free after two years of daily wear.

    Is it worth the extra $300? I think so, but as always, YMMV.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
     These fit well but at angles, the silver metal can be slightly visible, which is a negative if you have a Graphite stainless steel or Space Grey Apple Watch.

    The silver is just too obvious and detracts from the dark aesthetic, even if it is minor.


    How come this doesn't show up in any of the pictures in the article?

    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    Here's my concern with the solo loop. Has anyone ever had experience wearing LiveStrong bands or other "Pride" bands? What happens to them after awhile? They snap. I've never had one last more than six months. The constant stretching to put them on and removing them eventually takes its toll on the material - fact of life. Yes, these bands are beefier but they aren't made from a miracle material (but at $49, maybe they are) What about those poor lugs on the band being stressed and stripped with the constant tugging?

    Perhaps the next generation of solo bands will be called "Magic Solo Loop" because they don't snap after a "machine-tested 50,000,000 stretches." Getting Apple to make this modification will only come after yet another class-action lawsuit... you know the drill.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    dcgoodcgoo Posts: 258member
    I sized up a braided loop, and it is perfect. My wife did the same and it came in a little loose. Anybody wanna swap a 4 for 3?  Blue.  Oh well.., she prefers her Milanese loop from her old series 4 anyway. But still..,
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    I received my Series 6 with the braided solo loop a couple of days ago (Monday night). 

    Note that the sizing guide gives you the option of measuring your wrist with a measuring tape and entering the measurement in mm or inches, if you can't or don't want to print the sizing guide. This is what I did, using a cloth measuring tape.

    My wrist measured 210mm, and when I entered that it told me they didn't have a size big enough to fit me. :neutral: I took a chance and ordered the largest size, and it turns out that it fits great! Pretty snug, but not uncomfortably so.  

    I'm loving it so far. At least as comfortable as my previous favorite, the sport loop. 

    Also, I'd like to correct an error in the article. You stated that the new loop bands don't fit the Series 3, which is not true. I can personally confirm that the braided loop fits both the series 3 and the original 1st generation ("series 0") watch (at least across the larger 42mm/44mm models). 
    edited September 2020
  • Reply 20 of 21
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,616member
    Xed said:
    I’m looking forward to Apple Silicon inside the Apple Silicone Solo Loop.

    FTFY  :wink: 
    edited September 2020
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