Virtual reality is fast becoming the next big space in video games. The Meta Quest 2 is the current leader among the best VR headsets that don’t require a PC to run — though the PSVR 2 has just emerged as competition — but it does have issues (not least a price hike). My biggest gripe is the Quest 2’s head strap. It’s aggressively average, which means it can and should be replaced with something more pleasant to use for long periods of time.
The best head straps have plenty of support around the back of your head, as well as firm fittings to the front. In order to test out these Quest 2 head straps, I spent a lot of time playing in VR. It’s not easy playing games for a living, but I endured it for you. Here’s a list of my favorites.
Having a battery on the back of your head strap is very helpful, but most of the straps on this list have a battery integrated into the band, so they can only offer a finite amount of extra charge. Once the battery and the Quest 2 run out of power, you’re done playing.
The GeekVR uses replaceable batteries that can be charged off of the head strap and swapped in as needed. This means if you had a few extra batteries, you could play indefinitely. The batteries are easy to swap, too, as they use copper contacts to transfer the energy. They simply slot into the back. It’s so easy you can do it while the headset is still on and running.
I love the level of comfort this strap gives me. The weight of the battery helps balance the HUD and the forehead cushion makes the entire headset feel secure through the most energetic games.
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A new version of this headset was recently released with a new ratchet on the back and a more comfortable front shape. The extra comfort now makes this my go-to head strap.
One of the most important parts of a head strap is the padding, as it keeps your head secure while maintaining a good comfort level. This head strap from Yoges took that importance onboard and went all-in on making sure your head is padded everywhere. The strap even has extra pads that offer a counter to the pull from the back as the ratchet is tightened.
For long-term use, the Yoges offers one of the most comfortable experiences I’ve had so far. My only gripe is the center strap. It’s a little too short for my head, so it doesn’t feel as secure across the top.
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The Kiwi head strap is a great budget alternative to the Elite strap, with a few nice editions that make it stand out from the competition. My son loves using this for long Beat Saber sessions, so it’s a firm favorite in our house.
Often when you’re wearing glasses with VR, the headset can often be uncomfortable to remove. I’ve banged my glasses and knocked them off a few times. The Kiwi head strap can tilt at an extreme angle, allowing you to put the headset on without knocking it into your face. It’s a far more comfortable experience than the Elite strap.
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I am constantly impressed with the comfort of the Yoges straps. The padding all around makes it incredibly secure and the added weight of the battery helps to balance the front screen. The battery is only 5,000 mAh but that’s enough to fully charge the Quest 2 about one-and-a-half times, so should keep you playing for a good long while.
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When I was looking to upgrade to an “elite” head strap for my virtual reality experience, I didn’t necessarily want to spend the cash for the official Elite version (see below). I was looking for a Quest bundle that combined accessories, and I found this one from Esimen.
It includes a nice carrying case, which is what sold me on this. The strap is as good as others on this list, but the case is a bonus that the others lack.
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I bought the Elite strap as a bundle with my Quest 2 at launch, and while some people have suffered from breakages in that first batch, mine has performed admirably. This latest run of the Elite strap has removed the flaw altogether, so if you want to have a fully branded head strap, this is your best choice.
I’ve used my Elite strap for more hours than I count. From playing sweaty and energetic games like Supernatural to sitting in VR for an eight-hour workday, the only time the Elite strap felt uncomfortable was when I tightened it too much. If you can get it dialed in, it’s great.
Colohas via Amazon
One of the best things about a wireless VR headset like the Quest 2 is sharing it with others. Having brought my headset to a number of parties, I can say that hearing a disappointed “aww, OK” when you tell someone they can’t play because the battery died is a real bummer. I’ve used third-party battery packs that clip to your belt in the past to keep other headsets going, but the Meta-made battery strap for the Quest 2 is something entirely different.
For starters, the added weight of the battery strap is a good thing — because it’s in the back of the headset, it causes a balancing effect that removes pressure from your nose and forehead. The battery also adds 2 hours of gameplay, and you never have to take it off. If you want to charge the headset, you just charge the battery. The power will flow through to both with no noticeable performance differences. It’s such a joy to use that I genuinely can’t imagine using a Quest 2 without one at this point.
Helpful head strap accessories
Having a better head strap is going to improve your VR experience, but there are also ways to improve your new head strap that will make it even better than that. Here are some of our favorite add-ons.
I’ve used Anker battery banks for my phones for years now, so it makes sense that I’d favor them for my Quest, too. You could just put it in your pocket and attach the cable, but it works much better when connected to your head strap in any number of ways. I’ve even used velcro. The bank isn’t too heavy, but it has enough bulk to help offset the Quest 2 headset and plenty of power to top up your Quest 2.
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While I think it is a better idea to buy a complete head strap replacement, it can cost more than you might have. After all, the headset wasn’t cheap in the first place. This cool little add-on from Kiwi adds a halo ring to the existing head strap to increase your comfort.
Adding a halo to the back of your head distributes the weight more evenly and makes it much more comfortable over long periods.
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What should you look for in a head strap?
There are a few essential things to look at when choosing a head strap:
A good halo that sits comfortably around the back of your head will help keep some of the weight away from your neck, making the Quest 2 feel lighter than it is.
Padding is essential. Your skull has minimal padding; that padding needs to come from the head strap, not you.
A ratchet to tighten up the Quest 2 is helpful as well. You don’t always want the head strap to be as tight as possible, but you need it to stay at the right tightness despite your jumping around.
Lastly, it would be best if you had a strap that can twist but not break. You’ll be putting the head strap through the wringer, so the side pieces need to hold up to that.
Does the Quest 2 Elite strap still break?
While there are still isolated reports of breakages, the issue that plagued the Elite straps seems to have abated. Most of the issues we see now are from misuse as opposed to regular wear and tear. Our last bullet point on what you should look for exists because of this issue, so make sure whatever strap you choose has good reviews and doesn’t break regularly.