UAG wants to strap *clap* you up

Is Urban Armor Gear (UAG) headed up by Hans and Franz? I have no idea, but that’s what popped into my head while coming up with the headline. And for all you 80s kids, I’ll pop a video in down at the end for your enjoyment. Any which way, we’ve told you about stuff from UAG before (here and here), but they don’t just have stuff for phones – oh no. They’ve even got straps (which we first wrote about here) for your smart watches! That’s what we’re talking about today.

UAG of course has straps for the Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch, and then the “generic” bucket, aka Universal, which is where we’re reviewing things from. They come in 20mm and 22mm lug widths (which are pretty standard), and the styles here are similar to what you’ll see in the other brand-specific looks. In this case, we’ve got the Leather strap and the Active strap.

At first blush, the Leather strap (MSRP is $69.95 but it currently shows as $59.95) looks like your standard padded leather strap. And in many ways, it is. There are a couple of key differences. First, take a look at the cutouts for the buckle tang – those are rectangular, which is to fit the broader tang of the buckle. Secondly, you of course have the UAG branding stamped into the strap (which you may or may not like). The most interesting detail, however, is on the floating keeper. It’s actually got a snap built into it, with the other half of the snap on the tail of the strap. This means this floater will always be snug in place at the end of the strap, no matter what you’re doing.

This sounds silly, but it actually makes a lot of sense, and I rather liked it. I’ll often find that floating keepers (especially on leather, once they stretch out) will either slip off or slide up; in both cases you’ll have the end of the strap just flopping around. The reverse side of the strap is just bare leather, so that can conform to your wrist a bit more easily; you’ll also notice the quick-change spring bars, which we’re seeing more and more.

The Active strap also has those quick change bars, but it is a strap of a different sort. While you may not want to get a leather strap wet (either swimming or sweating), the Active strap is made of a woven nylon. Rather than a standard configuration to connect (generally, passing through spring bars), these connect as any other strap, so you don’t have extra bulk under the case. The strap itself closes with velcro, after passing through a larger metal buckle of sorts on the shorter top portion. This makes for a fairly robust – and secure-feeling – setup, and makes it feel like your watch will stick in place no matter what you’re doing. This strap is listed at $59.95 as well, but currently shows at $54.95.

When it comes to watch straps, you’ve got all sorts of options out there, and the UAG ones I would say are right in the middle of the road in terms of qualities, features, and pricing. The snap on the floating keeper of the leather strap is a unique feature, and could be something that would tip your choice. And hey, with quick change spring bars, you’ll love how quickly you can change the look of your watch.

Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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