Native Union Belt Cable Review

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Not all cables are designed with carry in mind. As a result, stock cables or cheap alternatives tend to tangle, fray, or end up becoming a hassle to carry in general. Native Union, on the other hand, puts plenty of thought into something as simple as our charge/sync cables. They sent over their BELT Cable for me to check out — here’s my quick review.

The Specs

  • 1.2 m (4 ft) cable
  • Durable, tangle-free braided cable
  • High-speed charging, Apple MFi-Certified syncing
  • Handcrafted genuine leather cable tidy

Design, Fit & Finish

Retro styling aside, the BELT Cable’s design is rather straightforward. It’s not revolutionary so much as it aims to improve upon a design you’re already familiar with, but using better materials. Its namesake feature is a “belt” handcrafted with genuine leather used to keep the cable bundled together.

To be clear, Native Union is not a leather goods company. If you’re after the highest quality leather craftsmanship to manage your cables, you’ll be disappointed here. The leather used here feels thin and flimsy. Its edges look unfinished too.

The rest of the cable, however, hits the mark. The braided cable has some stiffness to it to ensure it won’t ever tangle or knot up in your bag. Besides its tangle-free properties, it just feels durable and looks great.

The cable terminates in a branded Lightning connector (micro USB is available for non-Apple users) and a standard USB. While they’re not ultra-minimalist, they at least have smooth edges and properly solid stress reliefs to prevent fraying that’s all too common with lower quality (and even first party) charging cables.

Operation and Performance

The BELT cable doesn’t offer much extra in charging and syncing than what you’d expect from something first-party. Its can accommodate faster 2.4A charging as well as safely sync your data, thanks to Native Union doing the legwork to get their products Apple MFi Certified.

The stiffness in the cable might take some getting used to if you’re on your phone often while you charge it at your desk or on the go.

Also, the leather BELT can freely move down the length of the cable, giving you some control over where you bundle the cable. But the belt itself has only one notch in it — and it’s best suited for when the cable is fully bundled. Letting out some slack to charge or use your phone leaves the belt a little loose, feeling almost ornamental. Often I didn’t bother using it. Strangely enough, it felt like a minor convenience.

Carry Options

Once you’re done using the cable, wrapping it up and fastening the belt turns what’s usually a nightmarish mess in your backpack into something so much easier to manage. It reaches a size that comfortably slips into pouches, compartments, or loops your bag might have.

Before, I would be using much thicker, heavy-duty cables that got so thick and stiff I had to loop them in a circle, which got unwieldy. The BELT Cable offers similar durability, but in a more compact package with the looks to match.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Solid cable and connector durability
  • Easy to carry
  • Versatility as charge and sync cable

Cons:

  • Cable tidy belt feels flimsy and doesn’t work as well unless the cable is fully bundled up

Conclusion

Native Union touts this product as the smarter way to carry your cable. Besides the actual belt portion of the cable, which I feel could be improved in some ways, the cable delivers where it matters most — charging, syncing, and durability. At $25 you pay not much more than you would for a cable from Apple, but you get the same functionality and the peace of mind that this cable won’t wear out on you when you need it most.

BUY ($25)

Disclosure: Native Union sent this product sample free of charge to be considered for review. This does not affect my opinion of the product.

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Discussion (5 total)

Nice review Bernard! I'm really enjoying all the interviews and product reviews lately.
Thanks Peter! The team and I are doing our best over here to bring you guys some fresh content. I appreciate the comment.
nice! i may have to pick this one up, i have the night cable that i bag carry but 9 ft of charging gets to be much when ever i need to charge up at different places, really like my key cable that i carry on me. NU makes good stuff !
I just bought two I love the leather belt to hold the cord!!!
I just bought two I love the leather belt to hold the cord!!!