Apple’s Sport band is the basic bro of Apple Watch straps. If you want something a little more rugged — and a lot less forgettable — strap on a Tire Tread Sport band from Carterjett. These sturdy silicone bands come in brilliant colors, with extra-large sizes and surprisingly small price tags.
They’re a perfect option for revving up your Apple Watch collection.
It’s not that Apple’s sport bands are bad. Far from it. The fluoroelastomer material feels comfortable. The fastener is both novel and functional. And they are great for sports — just as Apple’s designers planned.
But, because they come standard with Apple’s most affordable watch — mostly in nondescript colors plucked from the world’s least-offensive palette — they can feel very generic.
The Carterjett Tire Tread Sport doesn’t.
The textured zigzag rising off the band’s exterior stands out in a sea of sameness. The vivid blue color I tested looked simply stunning — a truly eye-catching cobalt.
The space gray hardware matches my aluminum Apple Watch Series 3 wonderfully and fits snugly, with none of the third-party wibble-wobble you find in lesser Apple Watch straps.
The inside of the Carterjett watch band is ridged to help keep the silicone strap from sliding around on your wrist. A raised pattern on the watch band keeper that seems to depict a constellation adds a bit of subtle intrigue. (Help me out, stargazers!)
Looks-wise, my only quibble is that the zigzag pattern can attract dirt and dust. However, it’s easy to clean (which is probably a good idea anyway if you’re doing any serious sweating as you close those activity rings).
Comfort-wise, the Carterjett Tire Tread band felt fine. It’s thicker and less flexible than both the Apple Sport Band and the Nomad Sport Strap.
It seems very heavy duty, but it tends to flop around a little when it’s off your wrist. Its reassuring bulk sort of reminded me of scuba gear. It’s like something a Navy SEAL might wrap around his hulked-out wrist.
Thin and light it ain’t, but that’s part of the appeal. Most Apple Watch bands err on the side of svelte, but not this one. In fact, one of the Carterjett Tire Tread strap’s big selling points is that it goes large.
Like, really large. The L/XL size fits wrists up to 11 inches around. It’s ginormous enough to fit over some ski gloves. The 42mm M/L size I tested needed an extra hole added to maintain a tight enough fit to keep the Apple Watch heart-rate sensor happy.
I’m no bodybuilder, but I’m no pencil-neck geek with slender marmoset wrists, either. These bands are just straight-up sized to fit big boys. (Big girls, too, I suppose.)
Conversely, the Tire Tread’s price tag seems Lilliputian considering the quality you get. At just $24.99 — half the list price of an Apple Sport band — you can afford to buy two to give yourself an array of color options.
In addition to that bold blue, the Tire Tread bands come in red, orange, pink, tan, white and black, so you’ve got plenty to choose from. And really, swapping out bands to suit your mood, outfit or situation is part of the fun of wearing an Apple Watch.
The black version looks more like an actual tire, but please, I implore you, go with something a little more edgy and interesting.
Look, wearing an Apple Watch doesn’t necessarily endear you to the tough guys at your local biker bar. If you want to come off a little less effete while crushing your fitness goals, embrace your inner badass and kick your basic bro Apple Watch Sport band to the curb.
Then run over it with a Carterjett Tire Tread. Ouch, that’s gonna leave a mark.
Buy from: Watch Store
Carterjett provided a review unit to Cult of Mac for this piece. Read our reviews policy.
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