what company makes the best 3rd party bands?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by razmonster, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. razmonster macrumors regular

    razmonster

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    #1
    I just got my first watch a S3 Blk SS and i got the milinese band.

    I originally was planning to order the sports band but opted for milinese at the last minute

    Is there a good outlet to get similar bands like Apple's sport and sport loop?

    I've seen some sport bands on Amazon that look similar but i want get recommendations

    Is there anything I should keep an eye out for when buying third party bands?

    I would rather not pay Apple prices if there are other quality bands for a fraction of the cost
     
  2. Dwood1970 macrumors regular

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    #2
  3. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #3
    I don’t really have any recommendations for any sport bands, because there are so many and many of those third-party manufacturer third party bands get discontinued after so long. But your best source is Amazon and reading the reviews of what others are saying.

    I can tell you third party Sport bands sports are not going to be the same thickness, quality and material as Apples OEM sport bands. However, third-party sport bands will resemble Apples almost identically.
     
  4. iKevinT macrumors member

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    #4
    I’ve bought several different bands from Amazon and have been happy with all of them. I don’t think brand matters because they’re all sold by different companies and seem to be the exact same thing made in China. I just bought my wife and I our first sport loop bands for around $15 each and we like them. The Milanese loop bands we bought months ago for around $15 have held up very well. I compared my black Milanese band to a black one in the Apple Store and honestly couldn’t tell any difference. Amazon used to have a lot of leather loop bands, hard to find now. Those synthetic leather bands tended to separate at the metal watch connector and they may have stopped making them. There was another one that I bought recently and it’s a harder plastic. Tried a similar one by Castify for $35 more and the only difference other than poorer color (black is a very dark brown) was a Castify name stamped on it, very disappointing as those fake leather loop bands were our favorites prior to the Milanese loops. We’re both impressed with the nylon sport loop bands, very soft and comfortable. My only advice for the Amazon bands is try to get them sold by Amazon in case you want to return it if they send the wrong size, but they’re few and far between, most are fulfilled by Amazon and come from China.
     
  5. barjam macrumors 6502

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    #5
    None of the bands you will find on Amazon are worth the money. I tried a bunch and ended returning them all in favor of the real deal.
     
  6. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #6
    For the price point, and how they resemble Apples bands, some of the third-party bands are actually decent. However, Third party bands do not meet Apples quality and that’s immediately noticeable when you’re holding an Apple band and third-party band in your hand.
     
  7. Dwood1970 macrumors regular

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    #7
    This is why I didn't bother with the imitation Nike Bands and got a real one. I have some sport bands that only cost me about $7 each and for that price I'm good. The OEM bands do wear better though.
     
  8. razmonster thread starter macrumors regular

    razmonster

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  9. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #9
    Yep, I bought 2 3rd party bands and one caused my wrist to burn and break out, the other one absorbed a cooking smell from a restaurant and would not stop smelling no matter what I did to clean it.

    I ended up just buying an official Nike one from Apple. Months later I'm happy with it.

    I still get tempted --

    I just got this in the mail today to try it out and wow - it's the most Apple Watch band like feel out of any 3rd party. The grey is not grey though, it's almost a brown grey - but feels nice so far. I figure I'm increasing the life of my Apple official Nike band by getting these - but I almost always throw them away after a few weeks cuz of problems though, so we'll see how this one goes!
     
  10. Dwood1970 macrumors regular

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    #10
    Hope it works out for you but yeah you're right there is nothing like and original band. I got a pure Platinum Nike bank and the bought a black one as well.
     
  11. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #11
    This is day two of wearing it and I’m impressed ! Doesn’t smell chemical like and it’s a bit looser than the apple band. Looks and feels Apple too. Thanks again for the recommendation.
     
  12. J.R.3681 macrumors newbie

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    #12


    I have the same watch. Let me tell you one thing the Apple bands and the third party bands are not the same. Although Apple bands and the third party bands are both made in China, apples direct suppliers that make there stuff are a lot better quality. I’m assuming because Apple has a higher standard. For months I was trying to find a knockoff stainless link band, but at the returned all and yes paid a lot for apples link band. Also ended up buying a Nike watch band from Apple , because the knockoff I bought from amazon was cheaply made comparing the two. Just my opinion and thought I’d share my experiences.
     
  13. iKevinT macrumors member

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    Dec 14, 2017
    #13
    Update to my previous reply. Happier with the recent Amazon purchase at first than a few days later. I just noticed the watch connection at the top is loose. This is my first sport loop band and really like the concept and comfort. Think I’ll order one from Apple now. This was the 3rd Sport Loop Band I’ve ordered from Esay on Amazon, the first was a 38mm for my wife, second was a 42mm for myself. They sent two 38mm bands so my wife has two now. I need to check hers for connection fit. Gave them two stars in Amazon review because it’s convinced me to stop buying bands on Amazon, especially from third party sellers, and they deserve some credit for that.

    Another 3rd party band worth mentioning:
    https://www.survivalstraps.com/products/apple-watch-band
    I bought a couple of those for my wife and I over a year ago and they are very well made. Apple has nothing like that if you’re interested in a paracord survival band.
     
  14. Pseudo-Fed macrumors 6502

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    Jan 28, 2017
    #14
    I have 25 watch bands. About half are Apple and half from various Amazon suppliers. The silicon offerings from Amazon in particular, while available in various colors, very comfortable and built well enough, have one major problem to me.

    The silicon bands collect 50x more dust and lint than the Apple fluoroelastomer bands. For this reason I will not even wear my black, brown, or dark blue silicon bands (bought them all at same time unfortunately). I do sometimes wear white or light gray as it's not as visible.

    Maybe just my peeve, but I can't stand the static cling of the silicon bands. Same goes for silicon bands for my Garmin Fenix watches--though I only got a couple of them. I will only buy Apple bands in the sport style now.
     

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13 March 2, 2018