From the three bands Apple designed especially for the chunky Apple Watch Ultra to several other worthy options, you have plenty to choose from when it comes to a rugged band that can handle whatever you throw at it and Apple’s toughest timepiece.
In our roundup below, we cover Apple’s best options for bands to pair with the high-performance Apple Watch Ultra. Plus, we found other great (and more-affordable) choices from brands like Carterjett, Kordiz, Mifa, Nomad, Pinnacle and Spigen.
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Best Apple Watch Ultra bands
When it comes to Apple Watch Ultra bands, your best options for materials include high-performance forms of rubber, multilayered nylon, leather, carbon fiber and combinations thereof.
Note that any Apple Watch bands designed for 49mm, 45mm and 44mm/42mm watch sizes will fit Apple Watch Ultra, as they all have the same band connector. But here we’ll emphasize the larger end of that scale, because the smaller the band, the more out-of-place it might look attached to the hefty Apple Watch Ultra case.
Tough Apple bands designed for Apple Watch Ultra
In any exercise like this, you can’t overlook the bands Apple designed especially for the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra. As usual, you can spend less elsewhere, but we’ll get to that. These three straps should be on your list of contenders.
Apple designed the Trail Loop, Alpine Loop and Ocean Band specifically for Apple Watch Ultra. These bands pair best with the 49mm case size — the biggest, thickest Apple Watch yet. The bands also work with 44mm and 45mm cases.
We will outline less expensive, but perfectly suitable, options further down the page.
Apple Alpine Loop (49mm)
The rugged Alpine Loop is made from two textile layers woven together into one continuous piece without stitching. High-strength yarns reinforce the top loops. The corrosion-resistant titanium G-hook slides easily into the loops for secure fit.
It comes in three wrist sizes and a choice of green, orange or starlight colors for $99.
Apple Ocean Band (49mm)
Designed for divers and other aquatic adventurers, Apple molded its Ocean Band from a high-performance elastomer. Its tubular geometry allows it to stretch for a perfect fit, even over a neoprene diving suit.
The corrosion-resistant titanium buckle and adjustable loop secure the band during high-speed water sports.
It comes in one size only (Apple says it fits 130mm to 200mm wrists). For extra length, an extension kit (sold separately for $49) adds an extra 55mm to fit over the bulkiest wetsuits around.
And you’ve got three color choices: midnight, white and yellow. It costs $99.
Apple Trail Loop (49mm)
The thin, lightweight Trail Loop is made from a soft and pliable double-layer nylon weave with a convenient pull tab for quick adjustments on the go. It’s sure to be a comfortable option.
The Trail Loop comes in three wrist sizes in black/gray, blue/gray and yellow/beige colors and costs $99.
Other rugged band options for Apple Watch Ultra
If one of Apple’s $99 bands designed for Apple Watch Ultra isn’t for you — or if the price isn’t for you after you already spent $799 on the watch — you can find more options for less money below.
They’re all tough, stylish, durable bands that should be worthy of your new Apple Watch Ultra.
Nomad Rugged Band (45mm/49mm)
Nomad designed its new Rugged Band to give your Apple Watch a modern, rugged look for daily wear or for adventures.
The breathable, ribbed band is made from FKM, a soft-yet-strong fluoroelastomer that combines all-day comfort with lasting durability. Custom-designed, injection-molded stainless steel hardware provides a secure fit and a jolt of style.
Comes in black with black or silver stainless steel hardware for $59.95.
Nomad also offers its waterproof Sport Band in Ultra Orange for $44.95.
Where to buy: Nomad
Carterjett Tire Tread Sport Apple Watch Band (42mm/44mm/45mm)
Made from strong silicone, Carterjett’s Tire Tread band for Apple Watch is great for even the toughest workouts. And it doesn’t mind getting wet and it’s easy to clean.
In addition to the robust silicone straps, it features stainless steel adapters that ensure a secure fit. It also avoids any screws, minimizing the chance of failure.
The Tire Tread is available in three wrist sizes in white, orange, blue and red colors, for $29.99.
Carterjett also offers a rugged nylon strap that could suit Apple Watch Ultra.
Where to buy: Cult of Mac Store
Kordiz Survivor Pro – Paracord Apple Watch Band
An outlier on this list — dominated as it is by nylon and rubber straps — the Kordiz Survivor Pro band is made from premium-quality 550-weight paracord with an adjustable “shackle” with three positions. Kordiz said “you just won’t find a higher quality or safer product anywhere in the world.”
Comes in two wrist sizes and three color combinations — black-green/micro-coyote, coyote/micro green and green/micro-coyote — for $38.25.
Where to buy: Amazon
Spigen Rugged Band (49mm)
Spigen’s adjustable and lightweight Rugged Band offers a comfortable fit. The matte-black finish with carbon-fiber accents add a modern look. Spigen said the band’s stable and secured fit counts on Smart Lock Technology.
Comes in a matte black finish for $24.99 on Amazon and $39.99 at Spigen.
Where to buy: Amazon or Spigen
Mifa Nylon Sports Nylon/Leather Apple Watch Band (42mm/45mm)
Maybe you’re looking for something with a bit of a “tactical” look to it? Want to look like you’re going on patrol when you’re just headed to the flower shop? Well, stand down, because your mission may be accomplished. And at 30mm wide, this band should not look out of place with an Apple Watch Ultra.
Mifa uses durable nylon as a long-lasting and comfortable base structure. On top of that, an exterior genuine leather layer and precise black stitching provide plenty of character. The woven nylon finish and Velcro strip help provide sweatproofing, too.
And Mifa uses upgraded adapters to provide a secure connection between the leather band and Apple Watch.
You can pick this one up for $25.99 in two wrist sizes, regular and XL.
Where to buy: Cult of Mac Store
Pinnacle Nylon Rugged Loop Outdoor Band for Apple Watch Series 8 / Ultra (49mm)
Similar to Apple’s Alpine Loop, this layered nylon band is waterproof and sweat-resistant. But unlike Apple’s band, you can get it in black. And you can pay about $55 less than Cupertino’s price while Pinnacle’s band is on sale.
Pinnacle Luxuries uses precision laser-cutting technology to provide a good fit for its bands for all Apple Watch series, including Ultra, the company said.
Comes in green, starlight, orange and black. Currently on sale for $44.95, down from $99.95, according to Pinnacle.
Where to buy: Pinnacle