Back in 2017, I featured Nomad’s Sport Strap in my yearly camping gear roundup. This band has been my go-to for hiking ever since because it is so comfortable and washes right off. Last year, the company added a waterproof leather option to its lineup for a dressier look. The Active Leather Strap (reviewed here) is made with waterproof Heinen leather from Germany. The naturally tanned leather is hydrophobic, infused with natural lipids that maintain water-resistance without requiring additional treatment. It doesn’t get the same natural patina that Nomad straps made of Horween leather do (since it’s already permeated with lipids) and it doesn’t get quite as flexible, but the trade-off is the leather always looks new. And you don’t have to worry about taking it off to go swimming…
Both are great choices. But what happens when you want to combine the comfort of a sport-friendly rubber design with the dressier look of leather? Nomad has the answer in its latest release the Active Strap Pro. This is a hybrid design that combines the best of both worlds.
On the outside surface, you’ll find the waterproof, German Heinen leather (in black or classic brown). Lining the leather is micro-textured FKM fluoroelastomer rubber, with integrated ventilation channels for additional comfort. Those channels help your skin to breathe and prevent sweat or water from pooling under the band. The Active Strap Pro is completely waterproof and offers a way to dress up your Apple Watch with a premium leather band—but one that is extremely comfortable, even when worn during heavy activity. If it gets dirty, simply rinse it off under the tap. Dirt, sand, and salt will simply wipe off the leather surface.
Nomad’s Apple Watch hardware (lugs and buckles) are always top-notch, and in this case, they’re custom metal-injection molded and made of 316 stainless steel.
I suspect I’ve found my new hiking favorite, but the cool thing is I can give it a quick rinse after and wear it out that night as well instead of having to swap bands. The Nomad Active Strap Pro is priced at $79.95, available in black or brown leather with silver or black hardware, and in 42mm/44mm and 38mm/40mm sizes.
Disclosure: Nomad provided a Nomad Active Strap Pro for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.