Your Apple Watch Deserves a Braided Solo Loop Strap

Even if it is pricey

Key Takeaways

  • The Braided Solo Loop is an utterly gorgeous Apple Watch strap.
  • It's expensive for what it is, but you'll love how it feels.
  • The Braided Solo Loop is so comfy you'll forget you're even wearing your Apple Watch.
Apple Watch sporting the braided solo loop strap and worn on an arm
Jennifer Allen / Lifewire

Apple has carved out quite the niche in expensive accessories that are almost frustratingly effective.

I spent weeks eyeing the new Apple Braided Solo Loop for Apple Watch. It looked gorgeous, yet felt expensive at $99. Eventually worn down by my constant window shopping, I hit the buy button. You just can't beat Apple quality, even if we don't blame you for feeling uneasy about spending $99 on a watch strap.

What Is the Braided Solo Loop?

Apple describes the Braided Solo Loop in a fascinating way that also sounds like fancy (and baffling) marketing terminology at first. It's made from 100% recycled material, which is great for the environment-conscious consumer. It offers 16,000 polyester yarn filaments in each strap, which are interwoven with thin silicone threads which are laser cut to an exact length. 

Side view of the apple watch with braided solo loop strap in blue
Jennifer Allen / Lifewire

Unless you're an expert in clothing design, it's unlikely much of this truly explains why the strap costs what it costs. Nor does it really convey just how great it feels, but we'll come to that in a bit. Crucially, alongside all the fancy use of material, it doesn’t utilize Velcro or have a clasp. Instead, it stretches over your hand before snugly fitting around your wrist.

Unassuming Early Moments

Since the Braided Solo Loop isn't like other watch straps, you need to get the right size for your wrist. Measuring is a matter of printing out a measurement chart via the Apple site. It takes seconds, and it's far easier digging out a tape measure and measuring by inches or centimeters.

"It looked gorgeous, yet felt expensive at $99."

Once my watch strap arrived, it felt a little underwhelming. Packaged in a box as long as an Apple Watch, an almost too small watch strap emerged from it. It's hard to know how a watch strap could look more impressive than a simple piece of material, but still, this looked so ordinary. 

That was until I slipped it on. 

It Just Works

The Braided Solo Loop definitely looks too small to fit before you wear it. When unattached from a watch, the Braided Solo Loop looks like a tiny strap of material that couldn't possibly fit around someone's wrist. Don't worry—it does; this is when you realize this watch strap is magic. 

It's difficult to explain just how comfortable something can feel on your skin. My best suggestion is that after my first day of wearing the Braided Solo Loop, I forgot to take it off before I went to bed. I genuinely forgot it was on my wrist—something that never happens with the dozens of wearables I’ve tried over the years. 

Apple watch with blue braided solo loop held in someone's hand
Jennifer Allen / Lifewire

The moment I swapped out my seemingly comfy Seashell Sport Band, it was like a night and day level of difference. While the Sport Band always was noticeable, yet reasonably soft, unlike my previous plastic wrist strap, the Braided Solo Loop was forgettable in all the right ways. 

It's snug too, yet not too snug. While it looked far too tiny to fit around my wrist, I quickly pulled it over my hand and it just settled itself in. I'm no fan of an overly tight fit, but also who wants something that feels loose and liable to slip? The Braided Solo Loop straddles the potentially awkward space between those two. Like Goldilocks seeking out a bed, it all felt "just right."

It looks gorgeous, too. Sometimes, it feels like you can see how beautifully designed it all is. I bought the Atlantic Blue variety to match my general taste in clothing, but I'm already wishing I could justify buying the other color schemes. 

Treat Yourself (If You Can)

If you're like me, you'll be delighted with the Braided Solo Loop. It's yet another example of what Apple does well: charging a premium price for something that's almost annoyingly worth every penny. However, you'll still feel uncomfortable knowing you paid so much for a strap of material, since there are far cheaper third-party options out there. 

"The moment I swapped out my seemingly comfy Seashell Sport Band, it was like a night and day level of difference."

But try to think of this like buying new clothes. It's sprucing up your wardrobe and enlivening something that may have looked a bit tired before. My existing Apple Watch, with its sport band, was looking a little stale and unexciting. Now, it feels like a brand new watch; it feels like a reasonably cheap upgrade compared to buying a new watch altogether. 

Just bear in mind that you'll always feel a teensy bit awkward for buying something so small for quite so much.

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