The Q1 Knuckle Strap is a simple yet comfortable design that’s on par with its more expensive competitors.
The Oculus Quest Touch controllers are a great design, yet that hasn’t stopped many VR gamers from customising the official wrist straps, or purchasing accessories to improve the overall comfort of the controllers. We’ve seen numerous knuckle strap designs for the Quest’s Touch controllers. From homebrew hacks using hair bands, to more premium solutions from makers AMVR and Mamut, with their comfortable grips. The Q1 Knuckle Straps from Kiwi Designs is a simple adjustable knuckle strap design that doesn’t require any grips to attach them to your Touch controllers, but is it as good as a grip solution? Let’s find out.
The Mamut Grips have been one accessory that has never been removed from my Quest Touch controllers since they were first put on for our own review. They are comfortable, easy to slide on to your hands and their lace bungie-like knuckle straps make them feel not only secure, but they also allow you to change your grip on the controllers fairly easily without readjustment of the straps. But at £22 and £28 for the AMVR and Mamut grips respectively, the price of them can be a little too high for some Questers.
Although a grip and knuckle solution for your Touch controllers is probably the best accessory you can, and should, buy for your Quest, there are still two major flaws when using grips on your Touch controllers. The first is that using a grip can bulk-up the grip of the controller. This may be acceptable or better for people with bigger hands, but for average through to smaller hands, the grips can not only add extra weight, but they also add to the thickness of the controller handle too.
The second issue that using grips cannot avoid is that they restrict easy access to the controller’s battery compartment. If you are a seasoned Quester, it’s likely you’ll want to swap the batteries out of your Touch controllers every few weeks. With each grip covering the battery compartment, you have to always loosen the knuckle straps and pull off the grips in order to get to the battery compartment. Due to the grip’s tight fit, getting them off can be a bit of a hassle (especially during mid-gameplay) and they can add pressure to the sensor ring when you need to grip onto something to be able to easily pull the grips off.
The Q1 has taken a slightly different approach to the common knuckle grip solution for the Quest Touch controllers. Where most popular makers surround the handle of the controller with a plastic grip, the Q1 simply attaches to the controller itself by reusing the existing strap attachment point that’s located inside of the battery compartment. This means you do not have to wrap the controller in a plastic sheath to attach the knuckle straps to.
The strap on the Q1 comes in two pieces that attach together via a strip of velcro hook and loop material that runs down one side of each strap. This means they can be easily adjusted and fastened together to complete the strap loop, over the back of your hand. Thanks to the wider TPU plastic material of the strap, over a grip lace or ribbon material, its surface area and material grips onto the back of your hand and it feels firm and comfortable over the back of your hand. The bungie nature of the cloth and lace straps can give a little, meaning you tend to have them much tighter than what you need, do don’t get this the Q1’s more rigid strap, which means after a long session there are fewer strap marks on the back of your hands too – bonus!
How the Q1 also attaches to the top of the controller is also different from other makers too. In photos and instructions, you are told to slip the rubber loop ring of the top strap over the controller handle and have it rest across the face-button plate area, between the home button and the A and B or X and Y face buttons, thus not attaching themselves to the main sensor loop. This is all well and good, but I really didn’t like having the quite thick rubber ring sit under my thumbs. It isn’t as intrusive as you might think it will be, but when you start to feel it under your thumbs, it doesn’t feel good. Being a smaller loop around the handle, it makes the strap also have less freedom than what other knuckle straps offer, especially when reaching for the trigger buttons – and this is with pretty small hands.
After spotting a promotional image for the Q1 straps, I noticed that they also show the top strap fixed to the sensor loop, just like how other makers use theirs. I tried this and, for me, it felt much better, as it removed the ring from running across the face buttons and the wider loop allowed more room to reach the trigger button. The rubber ring you need to use to attach it to the sensor loop isn’t quite big enough to do a full pass around the sensor loop, but if you pass the strap through the rubber ring so that it passes through the underside of the ring, you’re not blocking any sensors this way, and thanks to the long velcro strap, you still have enough velcro to attach the strap back on to the bottom strap.
With the Q1 strap attached to both controllers, I had tried numerous active games with these straps, and they performed just as well as the Mamut grips. With the lower strap being fixed immediately to the bottom of the battery panel, it meant my hands could never slide down the handle of the controllers, so I never had any issues with the battery cover ever coming loose. This is a positive feature over a grip solution because this offers the same security and comfort of a grip/knuckle strap, but without having a grip over the handles. This makes for quick and easy battery removal, and in my book that is a massive plus for the Q1 strap.
Overall, the Q1 Knuckle Straps are a decent solution to adding knuckle straps to your Quest controllers. They not only look smart, but they are also well made; using a strap material that should last you. The velcro attachments allow for easy quick-release as well as allow fine adjustment for any size of hand. If you attach the straps over the sensor loop, they feel less restrictive this way and they can give the same level of support that any knuckle strap grip can give you.
All of this can be had for a wallet-friendly price too. Before my time of purchase, they were currently selling for £9.99 from Amazon, which is a competitive price against the alternatives. However, once I got around to ordering them, the price had risen to £12.99, and at the time of writing this review their price has increased again to £13.99. This is a clear sign of its maker capitalising on its popularity, and I don’t blame them for hiking the price up while it’s still hot, but personally, I think £9.99 to £11.99 is a more acceptable price point for this strap, especially considering you do not get any grips with these straps – it’s just two velcro straps that attached to the existing point on the controller. As simple as that sounds, the Q1 does its job very well and at a price point that is just about right. If you are looking for knuckle straps for your Quest controllers, don’t let its cheaper price and simplistic approach fool you into thinking the Q1 is inferior, they are anything but that.