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Review of 1BandID Sports & GPS watch ID bands

You’re likely very familiar with emergency contact ID tags – typically small bands that you wear on your shoe or person that identify who you are, and your emergency contacts.  These are invaluable in case you get into trouble and are unable to provide that information yourself.

Back nearly a year ago I wrote about the idea of combining an ID tag like a RoadID with that of a GPS watch.  Some letters were sent off to both Garmin as well as RoadID – without any results.  But earlier this summer I was e-mailed regarding a new company that’s aiming to fill that void.  Thus for the past month I’ve been wearing a new ID tag from a company called 1BandID that wraps onto your existing sports watch, including every GPS watch I’ve tried.  Those of you with eagle eyes probably noticed it in a few shots and videos, especially over the past week. In fact, The Girl has also been wearing one (hers is pink though, because…well…she wants it pink).

See one of the only challenges to existing ID bracelets that you wear on your wrist is that you need to actually remember to wear it.  While this sounds silly, I’ve found that I rarely remembered to wear mine – or just write it off to wear it next time.  I’m simply too lazy to run back upstairs and grab it.

But that’s what’s cool about the 1BandID system – it’s simply always there.  See for me, I never go out on a run without my watch.  And, even while I’m riding I’m almost always wearing the watch anyway.

So let’s get into what’s included and how it works.  Don’t worry though, this is a simple product, so I’m not going to overthink/overwrite this:

Box and Product Contents

The 1BandID comes packaged in a small mini-CD case.  Which, actually works pretty well in keeping it all neat and tidy.  I suppose they could have some fancy packaging, but this is honestly pretty effective and keeps it nice and flat.

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Inside you’ll find your ID tag already sewn to the Velcro strap:

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Each ID tag allows up to 6 lines of information to be customized (25 characters per line):

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Note that the above two ‘blank’ tags were sent to me as extras to illustrate what’s displayed on them.  In reality, these are sewn to the Velcro straps so they don’t come off.

Attachment & ‘Configuration’

Out of every product that works with sports technology that I’ve used, this is probably the simplest to install.  You simply take the Velcro strap and wrap it around the watch band.  And then you’re done.

The Velcro is wide enough to wrap about just about anything – and is strong enough to stay put.  Here it is wrapping around my Garmin FR610:

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See? Simple.

And here’s what the small Velcro piece with the band looks like without any watch:

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It’s pretty much impossible to mess up.

You can wrap it on either side of the clasp, though I find that the side that doesn’t have the metal clasp works best, since the other side on smaller wrists would mean that you have to wrap the watch band into the loop of the 1BandID.  Not a big deal, but it’s just easier the first way.

Compatibility with watches:

The Velcro strap is designed to be flexible and thus will work on virtually any watch out there.  Thus I decided to grab the majority of the watches I own and double-check them all for compatibility.  So, here’s the skinny on GPS compatible watches (the name of the watch is in the upper left corner of the image):

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There was one that didn’t pass the test – the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS – which was simply too darn wide for the Velcro strap.

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You can see that while it technically makes the ‘connection’, it would realistically last all of about one run before falling off.  And then someone would think you just got kidnapped when they found your empty tag, following which temporary chaos would ensue.

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But beyond that,  they all worked without issue.  They are virtually unnoticeable during normal use and there’s no reason to remove it from the watch band when in water (swimming, shower, or otherwise).

Summary:

From a product functionality standpoint the 1BandID works and stays on the watch flawlessly.  With a month of pounding thus far it’s stayed snug on my FR610 without any issues (and thousands of yards in the pool on my Swimsense watch):

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While we all hope that we’ll never have to use something like this, we also need to be realistic in that it can make a big difference if the time comes.  When I was hit by a car on my bike last year I was not wearing an ID tag on my person.  Had I been knocked unconscious and not been in a race at the time, it would have been very difficult for emergency folks to get in touch with my family.  For the $20 that this costs, it’s a small price to pay. And being combined with your sports watch, it’s virtually impossible to forget at home on the kitchen counter.

You can hit up their website to learn more about it (though their Facebook page has more info), the tags should be available shortly.

As always, if you have questions feel free to leave them below – I’m happy to answer them.  Thanks for reading!

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20 Comments

  1. this is a very good idea since you don’t have to have another “thing” to remember to wear, just attach it to what you frequently use and that’s it.

    Reply
  2. Seb

    I’ve been looking for a practical tag for a while now, looks like it’s coming!

    Now, dear all : what would be the information you would show on that?

    Name is obvious, address, and then?

    Reply
  3. Good to see I got one thing right when you asked us what we want in a tri watch!

    Reply
  4. I got my first Road ID last week. I’ve only used it a few times so far. It feels a bit odd moving around on my wrist, but I think I’ll get used to it pretty soon.

    I agree with you that I am likely to forget sometimes and won’t bother to go back for it. However, the reason I think I prefer it over the 1BandID is that I plan to wear it when I’m travelling round SE Asia just in case something happens. I won’t be wearing my Garmin on those days.

    Reply
  5. Seb, putting your address on these things is not recommended. Your name, your home city so people know if you are local to where you have been found, and name and phone number for at least one emergency contact. Also, any medical info (my RoadID has my penicillin allergy so they don’t pump the wrong antibiotic into me and make matters worse).

    Reply
  6. Great Idea. I have a RoadID and almost never wear it (it’s attached to my bike). But ALWAYS wear my watch.

    1-point to DC Rainmaker.

    Reply
  7. Marvelous idea! Will it work on wee wrists when the band is on the next to smallest hole (ie a lot of band overlap already) – I wear the 401.

    Reply
  8. I removed the strap from my FR305 and replaced it with my wrist strap Road ID. It seems to work pretty well.

    Reply
  9. I’ve got a FR305 with the quick release kit, and all I did was I sewed the tag from my RoadID onto the end of the strap. It was a bit difficult getting through the webbing and the velcro, but given enough “finessing” it only took about 15 minutes. I used a good heavy nylon upholstery thread, and looped it around several times at each corner. Given my wrist size there was plenty of room and the tag is thin enough that it slides through the buckle without issue, and like you said, it’s always there.

    Reply
  10. Great idea! However, I would be more interested to if they could use some stretch material on the back side instead of the velcro so that it would slides over the strap. It might also have a lower profile if constructed in that manner. This might also help avoid the issue with the Nike+ GPS Sportwatch because it would simply stretch to fit as opposed to having multiple sizes ;).

    Reply
  11. I like it – simple, easy, and priced right.

    I “used” my RoadID for the first time a few weeks ago when I was hit by a car during the Columbus Challenge tri. Broke my clavicle (didn’t lose consciousness), but all I had to do was hold up my wrist for the officer to get the important info for the report. Saved me a bit of spelling at a time that I wasn’t very focused.

    Reply
  12. I am still sporting the old school Garmin 301- do you think this handy new gadget would fit on that band? What a great idea!! Thanks for the review

    Reply
  13. I think, I need such watch.

    LED signs

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    Maybe I’m in the minority, but I really don’t get this RoadID deal….for a quarter of the price, a set of military dog tags with the same info can be made and shipped from numerous vendors….and now we’re talking about accessories on top of the bloated costs?

    Reply
  15. I have to agreed with Anonymous, I might check for dog tags, or a bracelet (RoadID), but I wouldn’t even think to look on a watch for an ID should I find someone at the side of the road. The first place I would look is for a wallet or similar.

    The cheapest option, tag a piece of paper to yourself with all the details, or place it on a bid belt just as you would during a race.

    Reply
  16. I sewed a elastic band to my 305 watch band similar to what the RoadID has and attached the roadID info tag to it. works well. Or I have it attached to my shoe.

    Reply
  17. Goofy Chaplain

    In response to those who mentioned dog tags…

    As someone in the military, I can say that I prefer not to wear dogs, even if they are cheaper. They are annoying! For several reasons: noise they make, flapping they cause, pain they create (the chain can get caught in hair), and the simple fact that they remind of being on duty and at work. Some people probably take pride in their military heritage and prefer to wear dog tags, especially when they are cheaper.

    Yet for twenty dollars, I am more than excited to try this 1bandID, so Ray..thank you!

    Reply
  18. Hi DC

    there is another company out there too. CrosstrainID… same things for $10.99

    Reply
    • R replied

      Thanks Kryten. The CrossTrain ID looks like a great less expensive alternative.

      Reply
  19. Marianne Evans

    For those with the Nike+ like me…what I did was use the RoadID Scout on my watch band. It works flawlessly, though after almsot a year I think or so, the rubber is starting to dry out, so I need to replace the band thing soon. I bought extras when I got it to get different colors, but I haven’t found them in my house. Hopefully I’ll find them before it breaks. Also, if you pair the ScoutID with using “Emergency Link” you basically get the RoadID elite without paying fees. I have my ScoutID tag printed with my name, dob, address, med info, Emergency link 800# and Emergency Link ID # on it, so that medical staff could call Emergency Link to get the full info I have on file with emergency contacts. Emergency Link also privides credit card sized cards, keychain sized cards, and stickers (I have one stuck to my mp3 player too), so that you can stash them in all kinds of places. I just found out too that they send you a set annually, so I got more (and you can request additional sets at any time too if you need more). I have my dog registered on there as well and stashed one of the keychain sized ones on her collar, which I tuck into a quietspot neoprene tag silencer pouch thing so it doesn’t get ruined. I guess I could get it printed on a ScoutID for her too, but she’s not rough on tags/collars, so I didn’t bother. She already has a tag with her microchip #, but since I don’t want to pay the ridiculous fees for HomeAgain’s annual program (and because she’s not a runner to bail from me at any chance she gets), the chip + EmergencyLink should be good for her. :)

    Reply

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