It might surprise you to know that I bought my first smartphone just three years ago.
I’m still using the same one.
I avoided the technology because I didn’t want to be sucked into screens all day like some of my buddies. I saw them answering work emails when we went out for drinks, and playing games during conversation lulls.
So I resisted tech for as long as I could.
But now I’m starting to wonder what I was thinking. Turns out, technology is helpful (but you still have to have limits—no emails on nights out).
I recently dove in and picked up a new Series 5 Apple Watch .
And the honeymoon phase began. I couldn’t stop playing with all the features on the watch—I wore it everywhere. The slim frame and easily breakable glass isn’t such a big issue if you’re a city dweller like me.
But I had a big camping trip planned last weekend. I’d be chopping wood, cooking smores, fishing—all sorts of things that would almost inevitably break my precious Apple Watch. So what could I do?
After going back through the TAM archives, I found a solution to my problem.
I picked up Rhino Band’s Stealth for my new Series 5 44mm Apple Watch. Wood was chopped, smores were built, and fishes were fished.
But did my Apple Watch survive the weekend? Keep reading to find out.
Our History with Rhino Band
We loved the protection it provided for the delicate and expensive watch, but we were a little underwhelmed with the style and color options.
And you know what else they’ve done?
They’ve added more colors.
It’s like they read our minds. Actually, it’s like they read our article.
Does Rhino Band Work with Series 5 Apple Watch?
The Series 5 Apple Watch dropped in September.
Rhino Band was quick to launch a few collections of their hyper-protective watch bands.
They offer two styles that fit the new, larger Series 5: the Rhino Band 2, and the Stealth.
My new Apple Watch has a 44mm case, so I picked up a fitting Stealth band in black to go along with it.
Did it keep my watch safe on my latest camping trip?
Rhino Band Stealth 44mm Review
Going into my purchase, I was pretty set on the idea that I would only use the Rhino Band Stealth in rugged situations. My thinking was: keep the band for workouts and camping but leave it for cafe workdays.
My Rhino Band showed up shortly after I ordered it. I unpacked it the night before I went camping and popped my Apple Watch in. It was very easy to install and get the watch locked into the band. No troubles with the fit.
The band, made from rubber-like fluoroelastomer, is a little stiff out of the box. After a few hours of wearing it though, it softened up and was much more comfortable.
One thing to note after wearing this band for the past week and a half—I haven’t had any reaction to the band at all. No rash, no rubbing. That’s obviously a deal-breaker for bands, so I was happy to see Rhino Band used high-quality materials.
But the real
I started my camping trip like all good camping trips—I drank too much coffee before leaving and had to pull over and use the restroom every five minutes. Rhino Band held up to its first
When we arrived, it was time to pitch the tent. Knocking in the corner pins and setting up the poles, I bumped my watch a few times. I couldn’t tell if this was because of the bulkier shape of the case or if I was really just that clumsy. So the Rhino Band doesn’t gain or lose points here.
The fun began when it was time to chop wood. I definitely missed my mark once and slammed my watch against the log I was supposed to chop. It was a scary moment. I was more worried about my watch than how the Rhino Band stood up to the blow.
And you know what? Everything was good. No harm, no foul. My watch was totally fine.
I’d only had it for 24 hours and I felt my Rhino Band has already paid for itself.
Throughout the next day, I engaged in various manly activities like fishing, diving at gophers, frisby, and snoring loudly by the fire.
The Rhino Band Stealth held up through the water and sand, leaving my Apple Watch without a scratch.
Since I’ve been back in the city, I’ve actually left my Apple Watch in the Rhino Band. I thought I’d be taking it out periodically when I wasn’t expecting any rigorous activities, but knowing how much protection the Stealth offers, I’d rather keep my Apple Watch safe.
The Stealth is still bulky, despite its name. I only use my Apple Watch in a few situations—when I’m working, and when I’m working out. I don’t need a sleek look for either of those activities.
New Color Options for the Rhino Band Stealth
While I went with the classic black for my Stealth band, in our previous review we were a little let down there weren’t more color options.
Well, Rhino Band delivered.
At the time of this writing (October 2019), the brand offers five different color variations for the 44mm Stealth: black, grey, tan, grey camo, and tan camo.
While it’s still not the breadth of options we’d like to see (everybody wants red) there are definitely more options here than when we last checked.
I like the simple, classic colors. They all pair well with the sort of activities you’ll need a Rhino Band for—biking, climbing, diving for gophers, etc. And the two camo options offer a little something different if you want a more flair from your band.
Further Reading: 5 Best Apple Watch Bands in 2020: Cooler Ways to Protect Your Tech
My Overall Thoughts on the Rhino Band Stealth 44mm
What I Like
The Apple Watch is great, but it’s a significant investment. Having it protected by a Rhino Band makes me more comfortable—I know a simple knock or bump won’t break it.
Rhino Band makes their straps from quality materials that don’t cause rashes or skin irritations.
The band held tight, even after a few nasty bumps. The clasp stayed firm and the band still works as good as new.
What I Don’t Like
The Stealth is bulky for my look. I don’t mind the size when I’m working out or jetting around for errands, but I don’t see it fitting into my wardrobe when I’m hitting the town.
The Rhino Band Stealth worked. Plain and simple. I had a few close encounters and my Apple Watch was totally unharmed.
Those scary moments made me feel like I’d already gotten my money’s worth. The great news is that the Stealth will last a long time—much longer than my Apple Watch, probably.
The Stealth is still a bit bulky for me if I’m looking to pair it with a fashion-forward outfit. But I have a great collection of watches I’d rather wear in those situations anyway.
For everything else—my workday and my workouts—I’ll be leaving my Apple Watch tucked away safely inside my Rhino Band Stealth.
While we'd love to see some more aesthetic style options available, the Rhino Band Stealth is an excellent choice if you need or want to have your Apple Watch equipped at all times.