Let's call it Apple Bandgate if you have to. It's the latest online dustup after Apple's recent Watch Series 6 release. The Solo Loop announcement was more or less glossed over during last week's big event, as watch bands aren't often the focus of hardware events.
As is so often the case, availability in retail stores was quickly followed by return by the buyer. That happens almost every time a new product is released, of course, but things were complicated here for several reasons. For starters, the straps are available in different sizes to adapt them to different sized wrists. This is made even more complicated by the fact that trying out bands in-store is not a great option these days.
The initial returns met with frustration from the buyer. For starters, many reported difficulties in getting the correct tape based on online measurements. Many also expressed frustration with a policy requiring the entire watch to be returned to Apple as part of the return process.
Apple has since sorted out and fixed some of the issues. For starters, users can now simply replace the strap (rather than the entire watch) either in the store or in the mail. This assumes that they are the replacement size. Apparently the company was having trouble keeping some of the styles / sizes in stock. The company has also updated the pricing table for the bands with additional details for a better fit. The tool is printed out, cut out and then wrapped around the wrist. Not exactly that Most high tech or most ideal methods, but hopefully they should work in a pinch.
For my part, I'll say I like the band a lot. It's comfortable and has a nice elastic spring that adheres well to movement. I'm a fan of the braided version in particular. Even so, the company seemed to have triangulated my potential size and gave me a few options to try. One of them fits well. Not everyone has the option to do this from home. So you should get it as close as possible with this tool.
And remember, it's not just a matter of comfort either. Some features like the new SpO2 monitor require proper fit, otherwise it can be a frustrating experience.