Our favorite bands for Apple Watch Ultra in spring 2023

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Our favorite bands for Apple Watch Ultra in spring 2023

Some of the best Apple Watch Ultra bands

Months after release, there are a lot of bands designed for the Apple Watch Ultra. Here are our favorite bands from Apple and third parties for any situation.

Bands for the larger Apple Watch sizes will fit the Apple Watch Ultra. But, since the new sport-centric Apple Watch has an ever-so-slightly adjusted body, some bands don’t fit it quite right, or look right, with the titanium build.

It’s been over seven months since the watch first hit store shelves and it seems manufacturers are just now finally showcasing bands that were designed with the Apple Watch Ultra in mind.

We wanted to first start by highlighting Apple’s first-party solution that it launched alongside the Apple Watch Ultra. These task-oriented bands have corresponding titanium hardware that perfectly meshes with the premium wearable.

Best Apple Watch ultra band for swimming — Apple Ocean band

The Ocean band is ideal for water activities — such as SCUBA diving. It is made of a stretchy rubber material and is easily adjustable to fit over a wetsuit.

Apple's Ocean band

Apple’s Ocean band for Apple Watch Ultra

It has titanium lugs and a NATO-inspired clasp crafted from the same luxury metal. Another unique aspect is that the added loop to hold the overhanging band is adjustable.

It has a spring inside so you can pull it apart, move it to another section of the band, and lock it back into place. The bumps also keep the band securely in place and the holes allow it to drain and dry quickly after a dip.

Best Apple Watch Ultra band for general outdoor use — Alpine Loop

The Alpine Loop is also for outdoor users. It has a climbing-inspired design that looks like something you’d find on a technical backpack or rock climbing harness.

Apple uses a custom S-clip to lock the band into place. The Alpine Loop is a single piece and the whole thing has loops, it is incredibly adjustable.

Apple's Alpine Loops for Apple Watch Ultra

Apple’s Alpine Loops for Apple Watch Ultra

This band comes in a great dark green color and a vivid orange to correspond with the International Orange Action button on the watch itself.

Trail Loop

That brings us to Apple’s final Apple Watch Ultra-specific band: the Trail Loop. This band was designed predominantly for runners with its lightweight fit.

Apple's Trail Loop for Apple Watch Ultra

Apple’s Trail Loop for Apple Watch Ultra

The band is once more a single piece and attaches with hook and loop closures that can be adjusted anywhere on the strap. It also features a large pull tab to remove and make adjustments quickly without breaking pace.

We picked up the black-on-grey version that features a bright orange pull tab that pays tribute to the watch it’s paired with.

It’s available for $99 on Amazon in blue/grey, black/grey, and yellow beige.

Beyond the three official bands, Apple has an arsenal of other bands that will support the Apple Watch Ultra. Any 42mm, 44mm, or 45mm band should theoretically fit.

Two were especially nice when paired with the Apple Watch Ultra, starting with the Leather Link.

Apple Leather Link

Apple’s Leather Link band

As a very sporty watch, most bands prioritized fitness. The Leather Link quickly became a favorite with the Ultra as it was an easy way to class up the watch for more formal settings throughout the day or evening.

It fits perfectly and easily goes on and off. The magnetic closure is easily adjustable and is one of our favorites that Apple has ever done.

Compared to third party version, it also is very secure and uses high-quality leather that holds up over time.

Find the Apple Leather Link on Amazon for $99 in a variety of seasonally-updated colors.

Finally, from Apple is the stainless steel link band. It is one of Apple’s original crop of bands, but it holds up here with the Apple Watch Ultra.

Even though it is steel and not titanium, they look good together. They have slightly differing finishes, but you’d only notice if you have an exceptionally keen eye and that sort of thing irks you.

Apple stainless steel link band

Apple stainless steel link band

Apple’s steel band is beyond well-designed. It is classic Apple, over-engineering even a simple piece.

Take the links as an example. They don’t have the usual holes on the side and there are small buttons on the back of each button you can press and they’ll fall apart instead.

It’s incredible how much went into the simple mechanism to remove links. Something you’ll likely do only once in the lifetime of the band.

Apple also has a perfectly flat clasp which helps prevent indentations on the underside of your wrist during wear.

Best Apple Watch Ultra band for fashion — Nomad Titanium Band

When it comes to third-party bands, Nomad’s titanium band may be the most sought-after. While this band was introduced before the Apple Watch Ultra’s introduction, its announcement caused Nomad to sell out almost instantly.

Nomad has both a steel and a titanium version of its wholly custom band though the latter is a spot-on match. Not even Apple has a metal link band for the Apple Watch Ultra.

Nomad titanium band

Nomad titanium band for Apple Watch Ultra

The band has custom links as well as a custom clasp. The links look modern, sleek, and unlike any off-the-shelf metal bands that flood Amazon.

Nomad includes a tool in the box as well so you can quickly adjust the links to fit your wrist.

The clasp on Nomad's titanium band

The clasp on Nomad’s titanium band

Our favorite bit though may be the clasp. This is also a super slim clasp that doesn’t leave any marks on your wrist.

To remove the band, you just squeeze the sides and it falls apart. When you put it back on, magnets align the ends together to snap it in place.

Best Apple Watch Ultra band matching the design — Sandmarc Titanium Band

Sandmarc is the only one to develop a custom band post-launch of the Apple Watch Ultra. Its titanium band was designed solely for the Apple Watch Ultra.

Its lugs match the curvature of the watch perfectly and it has a delightfully classic appearance. Plus, since it is titanium, it is nice and lightweight.

Sandmarc titanium band

Sandmarc titanium band

We do rank this slightly below Nomad’s band as they have a standard butterfly clasp which, while commonplace, does dig into our wrists a bit over the day.

Sandmarc titanium band

Sandmarc titanium Apple Watch band

Sandmarc, too, includes a link removal tool in the box to help with sizing. Pick it up from Sandmarc directly for $199

Nomad Sport Band

If you are in the market for something sporty, Nomad’s Sports Band may tickle your fancy. It uses a fluoroelastomer — FLA — material to be flexible and comfortable.

Nomad Ultra Orange Sport Band

Nomad Ultra Orange Sport Band

Nomad’s Sport Band has been around for a while and is a fan favorite. It has channels on the underside for breathability and it has custom metal hardware for the clasp.

For the Apple Watch Ultra, Nomad introduced a new Ultra Orange to match the International Orange Action Button.

Best Apple Watch Ultra band with unique designs — Pad & Quill

On the leather side, Pad & Quill has been a favorite for AppleInsider. They handmake their bands with the utmost quality and unique designs.

Pad & Quill Bradley Cuff

Pad & Quill Bradley Cuff

For rugged users, there is the Bradley Cuff. It’s a chunky cuff-style band that goes well with the bulk Apple Watch Ultra.

As big watches are in these days, it’s a great match.

Pad & Quill Bradley Cuff

Pad & Quill Bradley Cuff

The leather is in multiple pieces; the strap connects to the watch and the cuff that it weaves through. The cuff can pull away to retain compatibility with almost any charger on the market.

We love the contrasting stitching, brass rivets, and comfort.

Pad & Quill Bradley Cuff

Pad & Quill Bradley Cuff

The Single Tour NATO strap is a bit more typically from Pad & Quill with a one-piece design. The leather wraps behind the Apple Watch but it is much more minimalistic.

Pad & Quill NATO Single Tour

Pad & Quill NATO Single Tour

Since this is a NATO-style band it has your usual clasp that is similar to what Apple has on its Ocean band.

Pad & Quill NATO Single Tour

Pad & Quill NATO Single Tour

Pick up the Single Tour NATO band and the Bradley Cuff from Pad & Quill.

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