THE BEST Elite Strap Alternative | KIWI design Upgraded Elite Strap for Oculus Quest 2 Review

Enjoy my KIWI design Upgraded Elite Strap for Oculus Quest 2 Review.

You can buy this great head strap for $42 from Amazon US here → https://amzn.to/2XoQ2Ab or $36 from their own store with 25% discount (code 3RD25) here → https://bit.ly/kiwielite.

Overview

So we’ve covered a lot of KIWI design accessories for the Oculus Quest 2. They always bring a high level of quality in the accessories they make, so when I saw they had made their first VR head strap for the Oculus Quest 2, I had to check it out.

In the box, you get the upgraded elite strap itself, which comes mostly assembled, with its sidebar attachments already fitted. You also get a plastic and foam-padded rear pad that attaches onto the inside of the main strap, and the thick foam-padded top strap is pre-fixed to the rear of this head pad. Finally, there is a large cleaning cloth and an instruction manual to guide you through the installation process.

Installation

Installation is very quick and easy. You first take the rear pad and clip it into the two slots that are located on the inside of the main head strap. You then remove any head straps you currently have on your Quest, and also remove the facial interface from the headset.

Then attach the side arms of the head strap onto the side rails of the Quest 2 headset, and feed the thick top head strap back through the top strap loop on the headset. Then reattach the facial interface back on, and you’re good to go.

Features, Fit & Function

KIWI design has taken the Official Elite Head Strap and they have enhanced it with a number of really nice premium features.

First of all, the whole build quality feels really nice. A lot more solid than the official Elite strap. The side arms, and side rail connections attach really well and it all feels very solid. The rear adjustment dial turns smoothly, and it doesn’t make any nasty squeaking sounds or sound cheap in any way. 

The rear pad clips in really securely and the surface area is bigger and more supportive than the official elite strap. There is also foam PU leather padding on the inner side, similar to the rear padding of the BestWin halo head pad I reviewed recently, which is thick and comfy. 

This whole rear pad is attached with velcro, and on removing this you notice that it’s using good strong quality velcro, and you can also see that the top head strap is attached to this rear velcro strip also. The rear pad is attached on top, to give the top strap some extra security.

Now onto the top strap itself. This is the most comfortable top strap you ever wear. It’s filled with foam padding for extra comfort, and then it tapers down to thin velcro so you can pass it through the front loop on the headset. This padded top strap, combined with the rear foam padding makes this headset super comfortable to wear.

“Pivot!”

You can wear the head strap in the same way as the official Oculus Elite Strap, by placing the head strap over your head and tightening the dial at the back. But if you look down the side rails of this head strap, you’ll see there is a round hinge point right at the point of where headset side rails end, and where the internal speakers are. This is where Kiwi has added another great new feature. In that, you can pivot the headset or the strap upwards 52-degrees. This is enough to either keep the rear on the strap at the back of your head and pivot the headset upwards, to speak to someone outside VR, take an eye break, or have a drink. Or you can use this to place the headset on your face first and pull the strap down to secure it in place. Similar to how you would put on a halo head strap. It’s a really nice system and it works surprisingly well. So well that I am surprised no one had done this sooner.

The pivot point doesn’t interfere if you want to use another vertical head side strap on this head strap, mostly because of how it is all solidly built and how near the hinge point is to the headset.

Official Oculus Elite Strap, Who?

The rear pad is much bigger than the Elite, so that makes it more supportive for larger heads. I measured the length of my launch Elite Strap and the KIWI design Upgraded Elite Strap and I would say the Oculus strap is around .5 to 1cm shorter. So if you feel you need just 1cm more extra room for your melon, then this strap is for you!

The size of the strap mirrors the official Elite strap pretty closely, so you shouldn’t have any problem getting it into any case that also supports the official Elite strap. Including the official Quest 2 carry case.

So overall this strap is very good and if I were to put it up against the official Oculus Elite Strap, I would recommend this strap from KIWI design, hands down, as you get so much extra for your money.

If you plan on using overhead earphones, you will have to be aware that the strap’s hinge points make the head strap become a little wider than the official Elite Strap. This can push the headphone ear cups much further away on certain headphones with very large over-ear ear cups. Both my SteelSeries Arctis 3 headset and Bost headphones fit JUST about with this head strap. You have to extend the headband much more than you would to compensate for the thicker top strap at the top. But I would say there is enough space below the side rails of the strap to fit medium-sized over-ear ear cups.

Battery Packs Work, Kinda

The rear halo pad also allows for battery pack support. The inner velcro is super strong, should you want to attach any battery straps to the inside of the head pad. I tried the VR Power 2 with it, and it worked surprisingly well. I had to use the inner velcro to attach it to the top strap, and the smaller straps were attached to the inside of the rear pad velcro. The wider and thicker stop strap stops the butterfly tabs from folding over or be passed through the loops, so I don’t know how secure this is, but for less frantic gameplay it should be fine.

Final Impressions – Buy It!

So there is a lot to like about this strap. It is like a halfway house between the Official Elite Strap and a Halo Strap. Like the Elite strap, it still adds more face pressure than a Halo would. So to compare it with a Halo strap is like comparing apples to pears.

The one issue I had with the strap is that the rear dial has this smooth plastic and it can be not as easy to grasp and turn. I would love to see an internal battery in the rear part of the strap, and a headphone audio solution too (I am working on my own mod with BestorX headphones with this strap. Check out my Instagram stories for more info on this. But overall, the KIWI design Elite strap really lives up to its ‘upgraded’ branding. Its comfort options and hinged side rails really enhance and excel what the official Elite strap offers.

This head strap retails for $47.99 from KIWI Design store as well as on Amazon and you can check out my links above to learn more and to buy yourself one. Its price is a little less than the official Elite strap, but you get so much more for your money. Plus, right now you can save $11.99 during their birthday sale, which makes it just $36. And at that price, it is a no-brainer if you’re looking to replace your default head strap, or you’re after the ultimate Elite strap-style head strap.

TIMESTAMPS:

0:00 – Intro
0:19 – Brief overview
0:33 – Unboxing
0:57 – Installation
1:24 – Features
2:56 – Fit
4:13 – Elite strap comparisons
4:53 – Headphone support
5:26 – Battery pack support
6:00 – Overall impressions

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