The Oculus Quest 2 has a lot to recommend it. The standalone, wireless headset is by far the best VR experience for the majority of buyers, offering solid power, a great screen, and high-quality games for the low price of $299. However, there are a few drawbacks to the original, more expensive Oculus Quest model, the most notable of which is the flimsy strap.
The included fabric strap on the Quest 2 isn’t particularly effective at keeping the headset firmly and comfortably positioned on your face, though it is usable. If you’re willing to spend a little more money, Quest 2 owners have another option: the official Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap.
The Elite Strap is a major improvement and worthwhile pickup for anyone who doesn’t love the original fit. It’s available on its own for $49 or with a battery pack and carrying case for $129. With the integrated battery pack and included case, I tested the latter configuration.
Design: A more supportive strap
The Elite Strap is mostly plastic and significantly more supportive than the standard Oculus Quest 2 strap, which is simply made up of fabric bands—one around the back of your head and the other over the top. Because it uses the back of your head to secure the entire headset in place, it helps offset the weight of the visor itself, reducing the likelihood of it sagging or feeling heavy on your face.
The Elite Strap accomplishes this by having a soft plastic oval-like brace at the back of the head that gently presses against it. It’s held together in part by a single fabric strap at the top, but it’s secured in the back by a locking mechanism.
The fit wheel on the Quest 2 Elite Strap, unlike the PlayStation VR strap, does not lock into place and requires you to press a button to remove it from your head when you want to remove it. Instead, gradually tighten or loosen it until the headset feels snug but comfortable, then adjust it as needed. It doesn’t move.
It’s a significant improvement over the standard Quest 2 strap. The original Quest came with a basic plastic strap, but it was an improvement over what Oculus included with the sequel. The Elite Strap is a step up from both standard designs and one of the best VR headset straps available. It’s safe, simple to use, and comfortable, and it checks all the boxes.
The Elite Strap is a significant upgrade and a worthwhile purchase for anyone who is unhappy with the original strap’s fit.
The battery pack for this Elite Strap model is built into the back part of the strap, within the plastic housing. Although there must be a weight difference between this version and the standalone, battery-free Elite Strap option, it doesn’t feel heavy or noticeable.
Meanwhile, the bundle’s included carrying case is large enough to hold the entire headset, including the Elite Strap, as well as the two Oculus Touch controllers and the charger. The large pill-shaped design, which resembles light grey sweatpants and has a wool-like felt texture, is unusual for a gadget case. The case is a little difficult to unzip, but it’s functional and roomy enough to hold everything, even if it doesn’t look as cool as the contents it holds.
Setup Process: Snap it on
With the Quest 2, Oculus included a clever strap support system that allows you to securely and seamlessly attach various types of straps. When you take off the standard strap, you’ll see these plastic “wings” on either side of the visor, which you can snap into the Elite Strap’s plastic bands to secure it to the visor.
Simply plug the USB-C cable on the Elite Strap’s side into the Quest 2 visor once it’s secured, as this adds power from the battery pack to your total supply. The USB-C port beneath the dial on the Elite Strap now powers both the visor and strap batteries, allowing you to charge the entire headset.
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Comfort: Effective and adjustable
One of the driving forces behind the Elite Strap’s creation, and a major reason why anyone would pay $49 or more for a different strap, is comfort. Although some people may find the Oculus Quest 2’s strap to be ideal, I found it to be only tolerable in my testing: the headset felt heavy and was never as securely fastened in place as I desired. It was a big step down from the solid, rubberized plastic strap on the original Quest.
[The strap] alleviates some of the friction that bad straps can cause, allowing you to immerse yourself even more in the immersive illusion.
For me, the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap solves that problem, and I doubt anyone will find it less comfortable than the standard strap. It’s a clever design that takes cues from previous VR headsets to support the visor’s weight while allowing for minor adjustments without having to remove the headset from your head. It’s comfortable to wear, and it helps to eliminate some of the friction that bad straps can cause, allowing you to sink deeper into the immersive illusion.
Battery: Double the uptime
The built-in battery on the Oculus Quest 2 lasts about two hours, but the Elite Strap’s secondary 4,676mAh battery effectively doubles that time. It gives you an extra two hours of playtime, allowing you to play for longer periods of time and/or charge the headset less frequently.
I’ve never had a problem with the Quest 2’s limited battery life because I rarely play VR for more than an hour at a time. However, as more immersive games are released, people use virtual reality for social interactions, and you may spend more time watching idle content (such as movies) in a virtual reality setting, that extra buffer may be useful. The Quest 2 draws power from the Elite Strap’s battery first, and then charges everything with a single USB-C plug, as previously mentioned.
The battery pack adds about two hours of playtime, allowing you to play for longer periods of time and/or charge the headset less frequently.
Granted, there are some do-it-yourself options for extending the battery life of the Quest 2, such as plugging in a portable power bank and placing it in your pocket or otherwise attaching it to your body or headset. You could get significantly more uptime and at a lower cost from that kind of solution, depending on the size of the power bank—but it’s more hassle and less elegant than the official option here.
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Price: Not cheap, but it’s worth it
Some people might balk at spending another $49 for a different strap—or $129 for that strap, double the battery life, and a case—after spending $299 on a VR headset. If the standard strap on the Quest 2 isn’t meeting your needs, the Elite Strap is well worth the extra money.
It solves one of the game’s most vexing problems, allowing you to concentrate on the VR experience rather than how you got there. The Quest 2 is already a fantastic value for a standalone VR console, and it gets even better when you add the Elite Strap for an additional $49.
Do you, however, require the entire package, including the battery pack and case? If you only use the Quest 2 for a few minutes at a time and don’t mind plugging it in on a regular basis, then no. The battery can be a significant benefit, especially if you plan on staying in VR for longer periods of time, but this isn’t always the case for users. Within this bundle, the Elite Strap, in my opinion, provides the most benefit.
The case is nice to have, and considering the original official Oculus Quest case was $40 on its own, this bundle doesn’t seem overpriced. The Oculus Quest 2 headset plus this bundle costs nearly the same as the original Quest headset ($399) plus its carrying case did back when, but you get twice the battery life and all of the core Quest 2 hardware’s improvements.
Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap vs. Orzero Adjustable Headband for Quest 2
There are a slew of third-party straps for the Quest 2 on the market, fueled no doubt by the Elite Strap’s severe supply shortage following its release. Orzero’s Adjustable Headband for Oculus Quest 2 (view at Amazon) is a well-reviewed alternative that looks a little different than the official Elite Strap thanks to a much larger plastic shell on the back of your head, but it appears to work similarly to it. It’s $10 less expensive than the official option, so it could be a good substitute or less expensive option. However, there is no version with a built-in battery pack.
The Final Word
Pick up the Elite Strap if your Oculus Quest 2 isn’t quite right. It’s a much better-designed strap that keeps the VR headset in place securely and comfortably during use, and it’s well worth the extra money. True, the thought of spending more money on something that should’ve come standard with the headset may make you cringe, but the improved experience should ultimately outweigh that annoyance. The bundle with the battery pack and carrying case adds more value and is worthwhile if you want to play for longer periods of time or not have to charge the headset as frequently, but the Elite Strap is the most important addition to this set.