Nomad Active Strap Pro Review: Waterproof Leather Makes It the Ideal Apple Watch Accessory

The Lowdown

The Nomad Active Strap Pro looks like it is made from refined, beautifully tanned leather and Nomad’s own custom stainless steel lugs and buckles. It looks that way because…. it is.



  • Looks like a classic, refined leather strap
  • Waterproof
  • Hardware has clean lines
  • Comfortable


  • Nothing, the Active Strap Pro is the perfect strap for your Apple Watch this summer

During most of the year, my Apple Watch is dressed up in Nomad’s Titanium Band. It’s great for both business and casual wear but a bit on the heavy side. Now that it’s warming up, I wanted something lighter. The Nomad Active Strap Pro fits the bill. Made from waterproof leather, the $79.95 strap and comes in either black or brown.

Nomad Active Strap Pro

Gotta love the streamlined packaging designed by Nomad’s Chuxin “Becky” Liu!

Once June arrives and our pool is open and heated, I try to get in it every day to swim laps. My Apple Watch does a great job of tracking the number of laps I’ve done. And because both my Series 4 Apple Watch and the Nomad Titanium Band are waterproof, I could easily jump in and start swimming without giving it another thought. But the Titanium Band is a bit on the heavy side. The Nomad Active Strap Pro is significantly lighter and, because it is made from waterproof leather, it is ideal during the hot summer months.

Nomad Active Strap Pro

At just under $80, the Nomad Active Strap Pro is less than half the price of the Titanium Band. Nomad describes it this way:

Built with hydrophobic leather and ventilation channels, Active Strap Pro is designed for heavy everyday use. We took our Modern Strap design and recreated it with waterproof Heinen leather from Germany. Active Strap Pro offers an advanced hybrid construction of waterproof leather and FKM rubber.

Nomad Active Strap Pro

The Nomad Active Strap Pro looks like it is made from refined, beautifully tanned leather and Nomad’s own custom stainless steel lugs and buckles. It looks that way because…. it is.

The band itself is made from a hybrid construction that brings waterproof leather and FKM rubber together. While wearing the watch, it looks like a classic leather band, not like a band you would wear into the water. But this leather is special waterproof Heinen leather imported from Germany. It yields the classic look of the leather band with the rugged functionality of a sports band.

Nomad Active Strap Pro

The underside of the band is made from a high-performance FKM lining. Ventilation channels along the underside of the strap keep you cool no matter what you are doing. The company explains that they chose to use FKM on the underside of the strap due to its flexibility and durability. And it isn’t just functional as the microtexture of the FKM makes it as comfortable a strap as you will find. It is a fantastic combination that, as Nomad puts it, makes the Active Strap Pro “ready for anything from a morning surf to a night on the town.”

Nomad Active Strap Pro

The Nomad Active Strap Pro’s waterproof leather is unusual and deserves a bit more explanation. The company explains that it is created using a high-tech tanning process that infuses the leather with natural lipids. The result of this approach, which was developed in Germany, is a hydrophobic strap that doesn’t need additional coatings that, over time, can wear off and result in the strap looking worn. Saltwater just washes off. Sweat, dirt, and sand do too!

One of the things that have made Nomad straps for the Apple Watch among the best straps currently available is the use of custom lugs and buckles in their construction. Created using metal injection molds, they are made from 316 stainless steel and add to the Active Strap Pro’s classic look. When ordering, you can choose between silver and black hardware. My review sample has black hardware, and it looks great.

All of these features come together to create an incredibly comfortable watch strap.


  • Hybrid Construction: Active Strap Pro is built with waterproof leather bonded to an FKM interior for ultimate versatility. Ventilation channels in the FKM liner allow for breathability where sweat and water would otherwise build up. No matter what you put your Apple Watch through, simply rinse with water, and Active Strap Pro is ready for a night out.
  • Waterproof Leather: A high-tech tanning process developed in Germany infuses this leather with natural lipids, making a thoroughly hydrophobic strap without using any artificial surface coatings. Saltwater, sweat, dirt, and sand are all easily wiped off without damaging the strap’s waterproof nature.
  • Active FKM Design: We chose FKM on the interior of Active Strap Pro for its flexibility and durability. FKM is a high-performance fluoroelastomer used in demanding applications where more common materials aren’t up to the task. The comfortable microtexture on Active Strap Pro’s FKM interior creates a strap ready for all-day wear, no matter what your day looks like.
  • Custom Lugs. Modern Style.: Available in both Black and Classic Brown waterproof leather, Active Strap Pro is fitted with our custom-designed, metal injection molded (MIM) lugs and buckle. High tolerance fit and sharp details are created with this industry-leading 316 stainless steel. The active strap Pro is available in your choice of Black or Brown. Each color is available in either 44/42mm, for the larger Apple Watch or 40/38mm for the smaller Apple Watch.

I LOVE my Nomad Titanium Strap but, now that it is summer, I’ve swapped it out in favor of the Nomad Active Strap Pro. I just wore it for a long hike in the woods, and it was incredibly comfortable. And while $79.95 might seem like a lot for a replacement Apple Watch strap, the difference between the look and feel of this strap, compared to the less expensive straps on the market, makes it a great, classy choice. If you plan to wear your Apple Watch this summer, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The Nomad Active Strap Pro sells for $79.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Nomad Active Strap Pro for Apple Watch

What I Like: Looks like a classic, refined leather strap; Waterproof; Hardware has clean lines; Comfortable

What Needs Improvement: Nothing, the Active Strap Pro is the perfect strap for your Apple Watch this summer

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.