Don't Be Fooled By The Cheapest NATO Straps: The High Cost of Low Quality
When it comes to NATO straps, there's a big difference between the cheapest NATO straps and high quality NATO straps. While the cheapest NATO straps may seem like a good deal at first glance, they often come with a number of drawbacks that make them a poor choice in the long run.
One of the biggest differences between cheap and high quality NATO straps is the materials used. Cheap NATO straps are often made with low thread count nylon which are prone to wear and fraying over time. These materials may also cause skin irritation or allergies, especially if you're wearing the strap for extended periods of time. High quality NATO straps, on the other hand, are made with materials like 600D nylon or genuine leather, which are much more durable and long-lasting. These materials are also softer and more comfortable to wear, and are less likely to cause irritation or allergies.
The colour of the cheapest nato straps can be a concern too as the straps are not UV resistant so the colours fade quickly with sunlight and water and can also leave colour stains on the wearers clothes and wrists.
Another difference is the construction of the straps. Cheap NATO straps are often poorly made, they use heat bonding or even glue instead of being stitched which splits easily resulting in straps that come apart and are low strength. This can be frustrating, especially if you're in the middle of an adventure and your strap falls apart. High quality NATO straps, on the other hand, are carefully constructed with tight, even stitches that are built to last. This means that you can wear your NATO strap with confidence, knowing that your watch is secure.
As well as cheap strap material, the metals for the buckle and keepers are usually thin alloy or low grade steel. They bend and snap easily and are not rust resistant. The metal hardware in all of our military style straps us 316L Stainless steel. This is the same steel used in the marine manufacturing industry. It's strong, light and highly resistant to both saltwater and sweat which means its ultra reliable and stays looking good forever.
In addition to the materials and construction, high quality NATO straps also offer better comfort and fit. Cheap NATO straps can be stiff and uncomfortable to wear, and may not fit your wrist properly. This can be a big problem if you're wearing your NATO strap while engaging in activities like hiking, climbing, or swimming, where a comfortable fit is crucial. High quality NATO straps, on the other hand, are often softer and more comfortable, and are designed to fit a wide range of wrist sizes. This means that you can wear your NATO strap with confidence, knowing that it won't slip or fall off during your adventures.
Another final point to note is the length of the strap. Manufacturers of the cheapest nato straps often make the straps shorter usually 260-280mm long as every millimetre of strap material saved is extra profit so the fit of the straps is a concern as there often isn't enough material to loop back on the keeper which results in an unsightly look and fit.
If you have a cheap, replaceable watch or daily beater then a cheap NATO strap can be a good choice but if you care about your watch and don't want to lose it, it's worth paying extra and not living with the regret in years to come whilst your Seiko or Rolex begins a new life at the bottom of the ocean.
Overall, while cheap NATO straps may seem like a good deal at first, they often come with a number of drawbacks that make them a poor choice in the long run. High quality NATO straps, on the other other hand, offer better materials, construction, comfort, and fit, making them a much better investment in the long run. So, if you're in the market for a new NATO strap, it's worth it to invest in a high quality strap that will last for years to come.