If you’re looking for some of the best Oculus Quest 2 and Meta Quest 2 accessories, then Kiwi Designs has probably come up in your search.
Kiwi has been around a few years now and offers a range of accessories for different headsets. As you might expect, more recently the company has shifted to a focus on the hugely popular Quest 2 with a suite of add-ons for Meta’s standalone headset. For the past few weeks, we’ve been testing out some of those products. Here are our impressions of the company’s Elite Strap, Knuckles controller covers, Facial Interface set and Controller Dumbbell Weights. You can pick these up on the Kiwi Store.
Kiwi Quest 2 Accessories Reviews
Kiwi Design Oculus Quest 2 Upgraded Elite Strap Review
It’s not exactly a secret at this point that Meta’s own Elite Strap for Quest 2 can be a bit of a gamble. Many users have reported snapped straps over the past few years, to the point that Meta even suspended shipments of the kit in 2020 before resuming with a two-year replacement offer. In fairness, this hasn’t happened to everyone — I’ve used mine for two years with no issues — but it’s common enough that you might want to look for alternatives.
If that’s the case then Kiwi’s Upgraded Elite Strap is a very solid choice. It works same as the official release: two connectors snap onto the sides of your Quest 2 and a hard plastic strap loops around the back of your head with a rear dial to adjust length and top strap included too. The strap also features a lot of leather padding for the back and top of your head. There’s even a hinge on the side straps so you can adjust the angle that the headset rests on your face.
I’ve been using the strap for a little over a month now and, having tried the official Elite Strap and modded alternatives like battery counterweights and the Vive Deluxe Audio strap, I can say this has been one of the most comfortable ways to use my Quest 2. The generous leather padding prevents contact areas like the top of my head from getting irritated during long play sessions and the dial works just as well as the official Elite Strap.
If I have any complaints about the Upgraded Elite Strap it’s that the kit doesn’t exactly feel premium in every area. It very much has the air of several 3D printed parts snapped together. But this isn’t really an issue once you’re wearing the thing. It also costs $50, which is the same price as Meta’s strap. I’d have liked to see a slightly cheaper price given it’s an unofficial product but, considering that the kit arguably provides more comfort than that option, it’s an acceptable price.
Kiwi Design Oculus Quest 2 Touch Knuckle Grips Cover Review
Lots of Quest 2 controller covers offer some protection for the tracking ring, and they’re a pretty smart investment if you’re playing especially active games in especially tight spaces. Certainly, we’ve had some close calls in sessions of Gorn and Beat Saber. But Kiwi Design’s covers don’t just have a tracking ring protector – they also come with an extended rubber grip and a strap to cover your hand. This means you can let go of the controller itself and it’ll stay in place, just as with the Valve Index controllers.
This gives you a sturdy hold of your controller and even adds a little length to the handle which I find makes it a little more comfortable to hold too. The cover even includes its own insert for the battery compartment. At $47, the price for the protectors is seriously steep but the build quality is definitely up to par. If you’re looking for more of a luxury alternative for Quest controller grips, these are a good choice.
The tracking ring protectors, meanwhile, are a little flimsy compared to some others I’ve used, but the soft rubber casing seems ready to absorb at least some shock from any impact.
Kiwi Design Oculus Quest 2 Upgraded Fitness Facial Interface Set Review
Facial interface sets are the meat and potatoes of any VR accessory maker’s store. They allow you to fine-tune your headset’s fit with different facial linings of different sizes. Kiwi Design’s Fitness Facial Interface offerings are pretty much what you’d expect: you get three different lining sizes, a glasses spacer and a material lens protector to rest inside the headset when not in use. It costs a hefty $52, but you can also get a scaled down offering with two linings for $42.
Overall the offerings here are very agreeable. The extra ‘Sport’ lining in the upgraded pack is made of a comfortable, breathable fabric whereas the other two have PU leather which makes them easier to clean. Each is soft to the touch and feels sturdy, and the plastic inserts required to fit them are solid without much risk of snapping, even on the nose gap where the plastic can be quite thin.
This is perhaps the product that competes most with Kiwi Design’s main VR accessory rival, VR Cover. From a functionality and build quality perspective, both offerings feel the same, but VR Cover does tend to have a lot more choice in color and style of its peripherals and comes in cheaper at $29 compared to the $42 for even Kiwi’s base offering. Kiwi’s kit does include an extra glasses spacer — one of which already comes with the Quest 2 — and an anti-scratch lens protector, but I wouldn’t call these essential extras.
Kiwi Design Oculus Quest 2 Controller Dumbbell Weights Review
One of Kiwi Design’s more interesting products is this set of weights to attach to your Quest 2 controllers, adding an extra 150g to each hand. Why the heck would you do this? Well, VR fitness is becoming an increasingly common application for headsets but feather-light controllers don’t put up much resistance when boxing or swinging your arms in Beat Saber. By adding extra weight, you’ll be giving your arms even more of a workout. You may also just want them attached to burn a few extra calories in Superhot or The Walking Dead.
On paper, the idea is pretty smart; a bottom cover nestles itself on the underside of the Touch tracking ring. You can then add up to three weight discs (50g each) into the cover, attach the top part and screw them in place for a weightier VR controller. Included spacers also let you adjust the amount of weight you implement.
Having used these weights for a few workouts now, I can confidently say there’s added benefit to having them on. An extra 150g might not sound like a lot, but wait until you’re throwing fast punches in Les Mills Bodycombat. Trust me, you’ll start to notice the difference very quickly. In fact, I’d usually score near the top of the leaderboards in my sessions on that app without the dumbbells. With the weights attached I quickly dropped to the bottom of the charts. Maybe not ideal for high rankings, then, but I’ve definitely been getting more of a workout as a result.
You should definitely be mindful about overuse of peripherals such as these, though. It can seem like a great idea to keep them on at all times but doing so might increase risk of straining yourself in VR, especially with fast, unexpected movements or over prolonged play sessions. We’d recommend them to fitness-focused players, but only if you’re prepared to regulate their use.
That said there’s some fairly significant caveats to the dumbbells too. Alongside reduced scores, VR fitness games just aren’t designed with these weights in mind, and you might find that some exercises are too demanding or fast-paced to handle with them attached. The dials you twist into the lower cover to hold the weights in place also get in the way of your thumbs when using analog sticks, so it’d be a pretty annoying experience to play a game that relies heavily on smooth locomotion or other such control schemes.
The weights also make the controllers top heavy and it’s a shame there isn’t a design that could balance some of that out beneath the grip too. Plus the curved top means it’s impossible to store the controllers top-down like you normally would. You can use the weights with the Knuckles controller cover, which is an unexpected bonus, but you can’t use them with the top tracking ring cover, so you’ll have to make a choice between the two with every session. Still, at $36 (or $41 with protective covers), they’re reasonably priced.
Overall you should really only consider the Kiwi Design Dumbbell weights if you’re committed and serious about VR fitness. They might impact your performance like they did for me at first but, with consistent training, you could use them to push your VR workouts further.