The Meta Quest 3 already has some excellent accessories, from companies like BoboVR, to Meta itself. However, when it comes to praise for third-party brands, KIWI Design is usually one of the most beloved in the VR community, with its accessories worn like a badge of honour for a tight-knit group of gamers.
I've had my fair share of best Quest 3 accessories already, including the BoboVR M3 strap, and while I've heard great things about KIWI Design's products, I haven't used them. At least, until I received the Quest 3 SPC Battery Head Strap and the associated RGB Vertical Stand for review.
Before going ahead with the review, it's worth noting that these products are available to purchase separately from KIWI Design's website, but they certainly work better as a pair.
The first part of the equation is the KIWI Design SPC Battery Head Strap. While the Quest 3 is one of the best VR headsets available right now, the battery life is anything but great. There's a few options out there to extend the lifetime of your virtual reality sessions, from having batteries on belts to other similar head straps. However, from my experience with the standard, BoboVR M3, and the KIWI Design straps, the latter almost certainly takes the win.
The standard cloth strap is definitely better than the Quest 2's original strap, which was uncomfortable for long sessions and, arguably, forced you to purchase a premium offering. However, a battery strap is my preference over the Quest 3's cloth one, and I find the KIWI Design's option to be the most comfortable one.
KIWI Design's SPC Strap, when it comes to comfort, feels top of the range. While it can be quite fiddly to install, as well as being occasionally stubborn to actually put on your head at times, the memory foam padding at the back and the single strap over your head feels wonderful. Many times, the BoboVR M3 would become slightly too uncomfortable before the battery died, but I could wear KIWI Design's offering for hours, right until it died.
That, of course, brings us to the battery life. KIWI Design states that the battery of the strap alone can increase your playtime between two and four hours longer than the Quest 3 itself, and I'd say that's a fair statement. Games like Blade & Sorcery Nomad can take the battery down quite fast, but I had hours of fun with the SPC Battery Strap. Not only that, but you can keep the KIWI Design battery pack plugged into the Quest 3's USB-C port, as opposed to the BoboVR M3, which suffers with an annoying, humming battery.
There's also the fact that you can constantly charge your Quest 3 and the KIWI Design strap at the same time thanks to the RGB Vertical Stand. The stand can hold your controllers and the Quest 3 at the same time, with an RGB strip subtly showcasing that it's working. The stand itself can charge the Quest 3 without the need for the strap, but by taking off the magnetic USB-C clip, it doubles as a charging station for both.
While I had my qualms with the KIWI Design strap's occasional hiccups when first putting it on, I have absolutely no issues with the stand. It fits very nicely at the top of my entertainment shelves, which even the PlayStation 5 struggles to, and it takes up very little space considering it holds an assortment of expensive things. There's also the ability to change the colours of the RGB, as well as turn it off completely, which is a nice touch.
It's also ridiculously easy to install. You'd be forgiven to think that the stand was the hardest part to assemble over a simple battery strap, but alas, the stand took mere minutes to put together over the fiddly nature of replacing my BoboVR M3 with the SPC Strap.
The overall build quality of both accessories is also outstanding, considering it is much, much cheaper than Meta's offerings. The Meta Quest 3 Elite strap with battery is £139.99, while buying both the stand and the strap from KIWI Design will set you back £121 for the combo.
I've heard great things about KIWI Design for the years that I've been involved with the VR gaming community, so my expectations were, rightly, very high. I can happily say both the SPC Battery Head Strap and the RGB Vertical Stand impressed me, enough to solidly recommend them to anyone who wants to get the most out of their Quest 3 headsets, and while I had some minor issues, they've more than lived up to the hype that the brand garners.