Test-driving Apple Watch bands from Nomad and X-Doria

If I didn't know any better, I'd guess it was summer in the northern hemisphere, since we're getting so many requests to review "sports bands" for the Apple Watch. 🤔 Today I'm taking a look at two more of these bands, both of which are designed for the sole purpose of keeping your Apple Watch (Series 1 or 2) comfortably attached to your wrist while you're engaging in athletic endeavors. The Nomad Sport Strap (US$49.95) and X-Doria Action Band (US$34.95) are both made of waterproof silicone, but use slightly different buckle designs.

Nomad Sport Strap in black and slate. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

Nomad Sport Strap in black and slate. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

Nomad Sport Strap

The Nomad Sport Strap comes in two available color combos -- black and slate (gray) or black and volt (fluorescent greenish/yellow). Like the Nomad Rugged Strap, the Sport Strap is made with vulcanized LSR silicone and is hypoallergenic. It comes only in a 42mm size. 

Installation is a piece of cake, as it is with all Apple Watch Bands I've tested. I found the Nomad Sport Strap extremely easy to adjust, and the closure method is very simple. The portion of the strap with the oblong holes is pulled over a small polycarbonate stud, and then the leftover strap is tucked away into a slot on the bottom of the strap. 

Back view of the Nomad Sport Strap. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

Back view of the Nomad Sport Strap. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

Compared to the Belkin Sport Band reviewed last week, I found the closure to work much more smoothly. On the other hand, the Nomad Sport Strap doesn't have the "corrugated" underside that the Belkin strap does, so it tends to be a bit warmer than the Belkin band, especially when exercising. The Nomad strap is also a bit wider than both the Belkin and X-Doria bands

The top of the Sport Strap has a light crosshatching on it as an accent texture, otherwise it looks like a rather mundane black strap. 

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★

The colorful green/mint X-Doria Action Band. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

The colorful green/mint X-Doria Action Band. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

X-Doria Action Band

The X-Doria Action Band is available in three color combos -- black yellow, green mint (two tones of green) and purple pink (purple on the outside, pink on the inside). There are metallic pieces on the Action Band -- the buckle and the two prongs that are used to adjust the band to the proper fit. This could be an issue for people with sensitivity to metal, as the buckle does come in contact with skin.

The outside of the Action Band is two-tone, featuring a thin stripe of the contrast color (yellow, mint or pink) in the main color of the band (black, green or purple). The band has a light herringbone texture to it. 

The minty green freshness of the X-Doria Action Band. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

The minty green freshness of the X-Doria Action Band. Photo ©2017, Steven Sande

The closure isn't as simple as that on the Nomad Sport Strap. I found that I had to pull a bit harder to get the two metal prongs into the holes on the strap, but it does tend to stay put. There's a silicone slider that sits over the metal piece to protect it from scratching anything that may come into contact with it.

The X-Doria Action Band felt very comfortable on my wrist, and the color scheme was quite refreshing after the rather dull black design of the Nomad Sport Strap. It's also $15 less expensive than the Nomad and Apple bands and $5 less than the Belkin band.

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★