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Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery review: An excellent upgrade (if it doesn't break)

Immerse yourself in virtual worlds with no ill-fitting strap or low power warnings to distract you

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery close-up
(Image: © Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Our Verdict

Daily VR users have two options: buy the Elite Strap with Battery or find a third-party strap and velcro a power bank to the back of the headset. The official Oculus accessory helps you avoid modding, is much more comfortable than the original, and increases your battery life from 1.5-2 hours to 3.5-4, more than enough for most people. That being said, the Elite Strap with Battery isn't without its flaws.

For

  • Drastically improved balance and fit over default strap
  • Doubles your playtime per charge
  • Installation takes 5-10 minutes
  • Charge headset and battery simultaneously

Against

  • Makes the headset heavier, takes longer to charge
  • Expensive
  • Still sporadic reports of straps breaking

As much as we love the Quest 2, Oculus (now Meta) clearly cut corners to hit a low price point, with its terrible default strap as exhibit A. It does nothing to offset the front-heavy design or cushion your head, so active VR games will have the headset wobbling in whatever direction you move. You need a replacement; the only question is which strap to buy.

Meta sells an official Elite Strap, as well as a version with a Battery pack built into the back portion of the strap. The former costs much less but does nothing to offset the Quest 2's dismally short battery life. If you want a headset that'll last you 3-4 hours consistently, the Battery version is the easiest way to achieve that.

The question is, should you choose a third-party strap replacement and velcro on a battery pack instead to achieve the same result? Oculus' Elite Strap has gained notoriety for being somewhat fragile, so you may want to look elsewhere. Still, you can make the case that the Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery is worth buying as a convenient all-in-one upgrade.

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery: Price and availability

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

The Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery retails for $109 and is available from most major tech vendors, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. You can also buy it directly from Oculus. 

You may purchase an Elite Strap for $49 with no design differences except for the lack of a battery pack. Or the Elite Strap with Battery and Carrying Case costs $129. The case typically retails for $49 on its own, so you may want to buy this bundle if you need a Quest 2 case anyway.

The Elite Strap with Battery launched alongside the Quest 2 in October 2020 before temporarily pausing sales due to reports of Elite Straps snapping when tightened too much. The battery version frequently sold out during 2021 but now remains regularly in stock.

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery: What you'll love

Man wearing a Quest 2 with the Elite Strap with Battery

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Having used the default Quest 2 strap for far too long, I can safely say the Elite Strap with Battery runs laps around the original in comfort and fit. That strap barely holds the headset in place unless you uncomfortably tighten the top strap, usually catching stray hairs in the process. The headset weight shifts sideways if you tilt your head and otherwise presses down on your nose by default.

For comparison, the Elite Strap has a wheel on the back to tighten and secure the headset in place. I have a big head (physically, not metaphorically) and struggle to find hats that fit, but the Elite Strap easily slots my head inside. Playing rhythm and exercise games like Pistol Whip and Beat Saber, I could lose myself in the game because the headset stays securely in place no matter how fast you move.

The Elite Strap with Battery is quite heavy at 11.32oz (321g), about 5oz heavier than the basic Elite Strap. Most of that weight skews towards the strap's back, offsetting the 17.7oz (503g) headset weight. The extra weight converts the Quest 2 from front-heavy to balanced, with the tightening dial handling the difference in weight. 

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery back knob

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

You can easily handle the extra weight; in fact, I'd argue it makes the Battery version a better design choice because you'll rely more on weight distribution than a tight knob to keep it firmly in place.

Because the Elite Strap fastens the headset so firmly, you will want to choose a new face cover, assuming you don't already have one. A simple silicone cover will help keep your face cool (and more sanitary) compared to the default foam. But armed with that, you'll feel snug and safe using your headset compared to before.

Best of all, installing the headset is genuinely simple. Simply remove the face cover, unthread the default strap, attach the Elite Strap to the Quest 2's sides, and thread the new top strap into the loop. I completed the process in about six minutes by following the video guide below.

As for how much extra time the Elite Strap with Battery gives you, I found I would burn through it in about 2 to 2.5 hours, effectively doubling the life of the headset. It's a major boon for me, because my Quest 2 battery tends to die after about 90 minutes of gameplay. My new Strap lets me enjoy longer play sessions — at least until my cat starts getting in the way.

The Elite Strap with Battery plugs into the charging port; whenever you need to charge the Battery and headset, you simply plug into a USB-C port on the bottom-back of the strap. Recharging both to full takes several hours, but I just appreciate that it supports passthrough; if you use a 3rd-party battery pack, you'll have to recharge it separately from the headset. 

And in-headset, you can see the current charge of the headset and Battery separately, giving you a clear sense of how much time you have left.

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery: What you won't love

Oculus Elite Strap Side View

(Image credit: Android Central / James Bricknell)

We'll start with the elephant in the room: the Elite Strap can snap if tightened too much and may wear down over time. While Oculus claimed this issue affected a "very small percentage" of buyers, widespread reports across VR forums suggest the problem hasn't been solved, even for new buyers.

My Elite Strap hasn't snapped yet; if it ever does, Meta now provides a two-year warranty on any Elite Strap so long as you bought it new from an official retailer. You can submit a claim at Oculus support (opens in new tab) if anything goes amiss. The main downside is that you'll have to wait for them to send you a free replacement, so you'll have to switch back to the old strap for a few days.

You also have to accept how expensive the Elite Strap with Battery is, especially if you're buying other Quest 2 accessories simultaneously. But a built-in battery that doesn't rely on velcro and fits inside a case may be worth the price.

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery back padding

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Any other complaints with the Elite Strap with Battery qualify more as nitpicks:

Adding the Elite Strap makes it much heavier to hold and less likely to fit inside a third-party case. But that applies to most strap upgrades, not just this one.

The back strap has no padding, so it may feel slightly hard when firmly tightened. You can buy extra padding to go there, but that's yet another expense.

Lastly, because the Elite Strap has a rigid, hinge-less design, you may not get the perfect vertical angle between your eyes and the lenses. Our favorite 3rd-party strap (see the next section) adds a hinge that lets you adjust the angle to your preferences. You'll have to shift the strap up or down on the back of your head to simulate the effect.

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery: Competition

Kiwi Quest 2 Elite Strap Side Hero

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

In terms of the Elite Strap itself, we've rounded up several 3rd-party Elite Strap alternatives that are more affordable and oftentimes more comfortable than the official model. 

Of that list, our absolute favorite is the KIWI's Quest 2 elite strap, which offers the same secured fit for a lower price. Its inspired design has a second hinge near the strap's front so you can adjust the angle between your eyes and the lenses. The back padding is thicker and cushions your head better, and the strap itself is sturdier. The only real downside is that there's no battery pack built-in; you'll have to buy a strap and manually attach a power bank yourself.

If you're looking for a Battery competitor, the VR Power 2 from Rebuff Reality is a 10,000mAh pack that attaches to the back of any strap, giving you enough juice to last eight straight hours of gameplay. It's heavy but does provide an even better counterweight to the front of the headset, which many will appreciate. It won't work well with the default strap but can attach to the back of any rigid strap replacement, including the non-Battery Elite Strap. 

Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery: Should you buy it?

Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap Hero

(Image credit: Android Central / James Bricknell)

You should buy this if...

  • You're frustrated with the Quest 2's short battery life
  • You frequently play active VR games and need a better fit
  • You don't like complicated modding setups

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You tend to play the Quest 2 in short bursts
  • You're on a tight budget
  • You care more about padding and fit than battery

Depending on whether you bought the 128GB or 256GB headset, you may or may not have extra money to spare. But out of all the Quest 2 accessories, a proper strap is the one thing you should splurge on. And despite its unreliable reputation, the Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery isn't a bad purchase.

Yes, it may crack down the line, but if you're careful not to overtighten it, you can hope it'll last a decent while. Despite the frequent examples to the contrary, many people have used their Strap since launch without it breaking. And if you're worried about comfort, you can augment the Elite Strap with this VR Cover foam pad (opens in new tab) to cushion the back of your head.

If you're unconcerned with battery life, you can choose the basic Elite Strap (or any of the excellent, cheaper third-party options). But the Battery gives it a natural balance, whereas the rest would make you attach an unwieldy power bank to your head or else accept seeing low power warnings after an hour or two.

Overall, I'd recommend the Elite Strap with Battery as a simple, relatively reliable solution. Just keep the receipt in case of a worst-case scenario.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.