For the last few weeks I’ve been testing out the Apple Watch Strap by Survival Straps which is made with a mix of paracord and high quality stainless steel. While there are lots of cheap Apple Watch band options on the market, Survival Straps’ deliberate approach with custom craftsmanship and quality materials makes this product worth looking at.
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Survival Straps use military issue 550# test paracord for its Apple Watch Strap. Each strap is custom-made to fit and the company offers 49 color options. Depending on your measurements, each Apple Watch Strap includes roughly 12 feet of useable paracord.
Marine grade 316 stainless steel is used for the closure and is guaranteed to never rust or break. You can choose either a clevis pin or screw pin for the closure and Survival Straps also includes a break-away pin.
You can choose either Silver or Black for the lugs (the hardware that connects the straps to your watch). I tested out the Silver lugs which match my Stainless Steel Apple Watch (there doesn’t seem to be a matte finish option for the Silver lugs for now). The Black lugs look like they will match the Space Gray Apple Watch Sport, although I haven’t seen that color in person.
Beyond material quality and getting a custom fit, another aspect that sets Survival Straps apart the from competition is that they are all handmade in the U.S. The build quality is really solid and makes me feel confident it will be able to handle lots of wear and tear with no problem.
In the event that you need to use the paracord, you can deploy it by hand with a few forceful tugs on the ends. If you have to use your Survival Strap in an emergency, the company will replace it for free (just send in your story and $5 for shipping).
Survival Straps includes a 30-day return/exchange period and has what it calls a “Straight Shooter Guarantee,” with a goal to make sure all customers are 100% satisfied. The company also donates a portion of every purchase to supporting men and women in uniform.
As Survival Straps mentions in the owner’s manual, a brand new paracord strap will be quite rigid and stiff at first and will soften up over time with use. With the initial strap rigidity and the shackle style closure, it can be a bit tricky to put on this strap at first.
After mine softened up a bit and with a little practice, I found it wasn’t much harder than putting on Apple’s Sport Band. One trick that made it easier for me was putting the clevis pin through one side of the shackle, then using one hand to line up the other side while pulling both straps together with the other hand.
While you’ll get a custom fit strap based on the measurements you give Survival Straps, you still get some flexibility with how tight you’d like to wear your Apple Watch; each shackle has 3 holes to choose from. If your wrist measurement is in-between the available sizes, Survival Straps recommends rounding down to the nearest size.
Whether you love the look and feel of paracord or have been looking for a durable and robust Apple Watch band option, Survival Straps’ handmade, customizable Apple Watch Strap is a good value at $49.99 and is available for both 38mm and 42mm Apple Watches.