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A much better USB ANT+ stick for your Garmin Forerunner…by Suunto


If you’re like me and are constantly on a laptop – there are really two minor issues that I have with the Garmin USB stick that I use to download workouts from my Forerunner to my computer.  First up is the issue of simply losing the darn thing in my backpack or around the house.  But, I’ve since shared how I solved that problem.

Second, is the issue of it simply breaking off.  Having broken off various USB doo-dads from my computer before (as well as smart cards sticking out the side), breakage is a reality, and with it hanging off 1-2” into the wild blue yonder, it’s a prime target for a grade-A fail.

And I suppose a third issue is The Girl stealing it.  Somehow that paint scheme she did on hers only works one way in attempting to prevent me from stealing her stick.  But it doesn’t keep her from stealing my ANT stick.  And neither will this.  She’ll still likely try to steal it while giving me that innocent ‘I’m not guilty’ smile.

An alternative

So back in January when I was alerted to a much smaller USB ANT+ stick that could replace your existing Garmin ANT+ USB stick that you use with your current Forerunners I was pretty jazzed to give it a whirl.  I immediately ordered one and waited for the horribly oversized box from Amazon to arrive.


But I don’t think I was prepared for just how small it is once I got it all unboxed.  Just check it out in comparison to your normal ANT+ stick:


As you can see, it’s tiny.  And the best thing is that with being so small, I can leave it in my laptop 24×7.  In fact, aside from a few tests in other computers – it hasn’t left my laptop since the package arrived.  That includes plane flights, to and from work, and all assortment of wanderings around town.  Well ok, it left my laptop to take these photos:


But, you may be asking how is it that a Suunto branded stick works with Garmin watches?  See, when it comes to ANT+ USB sticks, there are basically two flavors – ANT1 (USB1) and ANT2 (USB2).  You can see the flavors on the back of virtually all sticks in tiny writing – “USB2 Wireless USB Stick”


ANT1 had a limited number of channels (4), whereas the newer ANT2 stick has more channels (8).  In common scenarios like downloading your data, it doesn’t really matter.  But when it comes to applications that may leverage the USB stick for real-time data transfer – such as TrainerRoad – the extra channels become really important if you have multiple ANT+ accessories (like Speed, Cadence, Power Meters, Heart Rate, etc…).  Or – if you’ve got multiplayer type applications taking advantage of it.  Each channel is limited to one ANT+ accessory.

So the Suunto stick is ANT2, which means that despite being Suunto it’s really just like any other ANT+ stick under the covers.  Thus it doesn’t look any different to the Garmin software than Garmin’s own stick.


Using the mini-USB stick

All you do is simply plug in the stick, give it a few seconds to grab the USB drivers from Windows Update (I’ve tried it on Windows Vista and Windows 7) – and you’re good to go!  You’ll note that initially when it first starts looking for drivers, it calls it the Suunto Movestick Mini (it normally comes with the Suunto Quest watch).


Once it finishes up being installed – it’s the same old ANT USB Stick 2 (ANT2).


For all you Mac folks, I was able to also download workouts without issue using the Garmin ANT Agent and in this case, a Garmin FR610 (but again, any Garmin watch will work).


Like the Mac, on Windows once you’ve got the drivers automatically installed, you’ll use the Garmin ANT Agent software just as you normally would.  It’ll simply download from any device you have (i.e. FR610, FR310XT, FR910XT, FR60, FR405, FR410, FR70, etc… – no problems!).


In short, plug it in, forget about it.

Now, I do want to point out that while this is a Suunto ‘accessory’, it’s the only Suunto accessory that will work with other ANT+ devices (like your Garmin).  The remainder of the accessories (i.e. heart rate straps) are using Suunto’s proprietary ANT variant which aren’t compatible with anything else.  And, while I’m at it – since I know a few of you have asked about the new Suunto Ambit GPS integrated watch – yes, I will definitely be reviewing it and should have a unit in my hands as we get into the first week of March.  Looking forward to it!

3rd Party Compatibility:

Now the cool part with being the standard ANT2 stick is that all of the 3rd party applications that use the ANT+ USB sticks support it just fine.

Take for example TrainerRoad (where I heard about the stick, and yes, a review is coming) – it easily works with the Suunto Movestick Mini seamlessly – you’d never know the difference:


Next up we have the Tacx Trainer – which also works just fine.  Just be sure to be on software version 3.7 or 3.8 (latest versions) – which added support for the ANT2 USB sticks out of the box (prior to that you had to jump through some hoops).  If you’re on the 3.5 or 3.6 – simply click the update button that’s been blinking at you for the past month or so.


And for those developers/testers in the house – yup, it works with the ANT+ simulator perfectly fine too (you may remember this from my ultra-long battery tests).


There are undoubtedly many more apps it works with, but these were just a few that I could think of that I had handy.

About the only downside I can think of is that if you do take it out of your computer and place it somewhere…there’s probably a good chance you’re going to have to search longer to find it since it’s about 20% of the size of the original one.

But, that’s a risk I’ll take…mostly because it’s never leaving my laptop.  Others have simply put a dot of epoxy on it to ensure it never leaves its home (though, it’s pretty darn snug in the port already).


The Suunto Movestick Mini stick runs between $35 and $39 depending on tidal patterns and other random pricing metrics. If you purchase the USB stick via Clever Training using the DCR reader coupon code of DCR10MHD then you’ll get 10% off your cart, as well as support the site.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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  1. Yuriy

    Hi Ray,

    Will you advise which Forerunner models come with USB2 Ant+ sticks (compatible with Android OTA)?
    Is it true that models since year 2009 (60/310/410/610/910) most likely will have compatible stick?

    • Honestly, it’s near impossible to tell at this point. The challenge is that Garmin (for good) updates the unit packaging to included the latest sticks. So for example, if you buy a brand-new FR310XT from Garmin themselves right now, you’ll get the new tiny stick. But, if you buy one from a small retailer that may have been sitting on a shelf for 9 months, it won’t have that. I wish I had a clear answer, but it’s a shot in the dark.

  2. Yuriy

    Thanks for the answer!
    But I assume that some older big sticks are also OTG compatible (if they marked as USB2…), aren’t they?
    Do you remember from your experience when they started to provide USB2?

    • Correct, if marked USB2. I don’t remember when though exactly unfortunately. I’m sorry!

  3. JIm

    Does the Mini work with the Computrainer heartrate ant+ update?

  4. Mr Nofish

    Hello Ray,

    any idea whether USB2 ANT+ sticks work on machines supporting only USB 1.1 ?

    I wanted to get that Suunto stick for Golden Cheetah, but my plan was to use an old laptop specifically for that task, and that doesn’t support USB 2.0.

    • Eek, I’m not sure on that piece. I was trying to find a USB1.1 port around my house, but all are 2.0. Sorry!

    • Mr Nofish

      No problem, USB 1.1 is really old stuff. Thanks for the quick reply!

  5. Reddy

    Should I go for Suunto’ Movestick or Dynastream’s ANTUSB-m?
    This is for an Android phone

  6. Jesse

    I tired the Suunto Movestick mini this past weekend using a laptop with W8. I downloaded Garmin ANT Agent and it states that it recognizes the Movestick, but it never picks up the signal from the Powertap G3 hub. I gave the wheel a few spins to make sure it was awake, but ANT Agent never stops searching.

    I also had Golden Cheetah open with the training mode and device searching and no signal was picked up from the G3.

    Not a hug deal to me since I record my training on either a Garmin 500 or 800 and upload to WKO, but so far I have not found a solution or reason why ANT Agent is not picking up the signal.

    • The ANT Agent definitely won’t find a PowerTap, it wasn’t designed to. It was simply designed to transfer files from Garmin watches. You’ll want to quit/disable it so it doesn’t run.

      If it’s running, it’ll block Golden Cheetah from finding things from the stick.

    • Jesse

      Thanks so much for the reply and letting me know that Agent was blocking GC from picking it up. In haste I did not read close enough what Agent was really used for.

    • HF

      Jesse, where you ever able to get you Suunto working with your Powertap? I’m looking to purchase one for use with my Powertap and was curious to see if it worked. Also, have you tried it with an Android device?


  7. Larry Nipon

    I have a computrainer, and heart rate has always been the weak link in their software. They recently added an ant+ patch that requires an ant+ usb stick. It specifically says 8 channel usb2 required. I have both a polar and a garmin ant+ heart strap. Does anyone know if the suunto ant+ movestick will work with the computrainer software and either of those heart straps?

  8. Gabriel Raff

    Can I use one Mini USB ANT to load activities from several watches or deviceS? or each should have it own? thanks

    • Yup, no problem. I’ve got an entire desk full of watches, all sharing the same stick. Enjoy!

  9. Michael

    I broke my Garmin stick while in my laptap and need a new one. Is the Suunto still recommended, or is the new Garmin M Stick a better choice? The Suunto is cheaper than the Garmin.

  10. John

    This may sound off the wall, but your comments about the number of channels and the look of the Suunto struck me as very similar to my Logitech wireless mouse stick.

    It may be too good to be true, but just to make sure, might the wireless mouse stick suffice to pick up readings from my Garmin cadence and distance sensor, or my heart rate chest strap?


    • No, the Logitech mouse isn’t using ANT/ANT+ unfortunately. Sorry!

    • John

      Oh well, worth a question . . . thanks and thanks also for the good information on the Suunto – – not to mention all the other great information as well!


  11. I didn’t know these existed! I just ordered one on Amazon Prime for $29 shipped to replace my Garmin one that I misplaced. Thanks DC Rainmaker!

  12. Gearóid

    So I bought this and ultimately ended up returning it. It only detected my Garmin 310XT about 1 time in 5, and even in the end just stopped detecting it altogether. FWIW I’m running WIndows 8.1 64 bit and had the latest version of ANT Agent installed (2.3.4).

    And not only that, it ended up getting stuck in my USB port!! I removed the dongle but the metal casing remained inside. After much fiddling with a tweezers I got it out and put it straight into an envelope and returned to Amazon.

    Maybe I just got unlucky…

  13. Rachael8000

    I thought the suunto mini could connect with ant+ but its suunto foot pod is only ant. Also it isn’t cross compatible with garmin ant+ foot pod and I’m very disappointed. The suunto ant foot pod won’t work for the outdoor interactive simulator online unless it is ant+.

    • Why do you say that?

      It does indeed, as many people have used it without problem. In fact, I’ve used it with Outside Interactive (assuming you have the iPad adapter).

      As for the ANT+ USB stick, it has never connected directly to the footpod (Suunto or Garmin). Rather, it requires an application to leverage that USB stick. For example, the Outside Interactive app on a PC. In that case, you just need to simply ensure the drivers are there.

      Finally, despite what the packages say, the Suunto footpod is dual ANT/ANT+.

  14. Adam

    I have the Suunto Mini and it works. I’m having some dropout problems with TrainerRoad/KICKR in sprints — maybe my appalling form is shaking things up. Does anybody know if the older Garmin USB2 stick had a better antenna?

    Alternatively i might put the suunto on the end of one of those active extension cables and bring it closer to the bike itself.

    • Strange. The antenna portion is the same from my understanding. I’d buy one of the cheap extension cables. You can usually find them on Amazon for about $5: link to amazon.com

    • Brian

      I am starting to have similar dropout issues using Bluetooth 4.0 with Kickr/traineroad. I was searching to see if ANT+ would have better results … apparently not. Adam, did you find a solution yet? I emailed support at Wahoo, and they are having me troubleshoot the kickr which seems to be getting nowhere. I found a blog with people talking about this issue and they recommended a ANTUSB-m doggle. Only problem is that I don’t know exactly what that is.

    • The ANTUSB-m one is simply the mini one (M being for Mini), as seen here by Suunto, but also Garmin’s new one.

  15. johnnydelva

    so much packaging for such a small device…

  16. Rob Bailey

    Does anyone know if this will work with a Garmin FR60 Black version? I got as a door prize not long ago at a fundraiser, but it is not much more than a HR monitor unless I can get the ANT+ key. I believe that the watch actually does operate as a GPS tracker for workouts, but can’t get that unless the ANT+ key is working with it.


    • Yup, it does.

    • Claudio MV

      Rob, the FR60 does not have GPS. You can get distance and speed by pairing it to a foot pod, but you won’t get route / position information. And the ANT+ USB stick will let you download the HR and (if you get a foot pod) distance info to a Mac/PC.

  17. Angeline

    I have been unable to get this to work. I “just plugged in” the Suunto movestick mini, and no data transfer will occur. Do I need to install some kind of software? I have a Mac and a Garmin 910XT

  18. Mike

    Could anyone recommend me a HRM to work with my Suunto movestick mini and my Bontrager node1.1 computer please? I’m using TrainerRoad with the Suunto movestick for speed and cadence (Duotrap).

    Ideally I would like an ANT+ HRM (to use with other gym kit) so long as it will work with the Suunto movestick mini although seems to be some conflicting guidance on whether this will work or not?

    • Any ANT+ strap would be what you want for use with that stick, the Node and TrainerRoad, so you could do a Garmin HRM3 strap just fine. Probably the easiest to find: link to amazon.com

    • Mike

      Thanks very much, purchased the Garmin Premium HRM and it works perfectly with Suunto stick and Bontrager Node 1.1

  19. Fayaadh

    Sorry for the noob question or if this has been discussed already (I haven’t read through the entire thread)…it seems the Suunto Movestick (PC POD) has been discontinued and only the Movestick Mini is now available. The key differences being size, and the ability to read & record HR info from the belt directly onto PC via the Movestick (up to 3 belts simultaneously), something lacking in the Movestick Mini. Is there any way around this? I have already bought the Movestick Mini following bad advice from a supplier, and it’s worthless to me if I can’t get the HR info without a wrist unit.

  20. I can officially confirm that the Movestick mini works for the Garmin 910xt, which I am delighted about as it’s really small and convenient and cost 2/3 of the Garmin Ant Stick.

    I was a little bit nervous to spend the money and find it didn’t work, so I called Garmin South Africa who could NOT confirm for me that it worked. Strange that. Obviously brands want to keep it within the brand. Suunto couldn’t confirm it for me either so trusted DCRainmaker and glad I did. Setup easy. Worked a treat. All data uploaded to Garmin Connect through Ant Agent.

    Going to get new Trainerroad account tomorrow and see if it connects nicely to my Power2max Power Meter. Excitement abounds.

    Thanks DC for your solid research / advice as always.

  21. I can officially confirm that Suunto Movestick mini works with Garmin 910xt watch.

    Great little device and 2/3 of price of Garmin Antstick.

    Interestingly, neither Suunto nor Garmin would confirm for me whether it worked. Obviously try and stay as “in brand” as they can. Pretty frustrating really.

    Thanks DC for putting this out there. Just created a TrainerRoad account last night and will test whether it connects to my Power2max Power Meter tomorrow. Holding thumbs.

    Thanks DC.

  22. Mathew

    Having a lot of difficulty pairing my 310xt. I constantly have to re-pair and or restart either the 310 or ant agent and it will eventually work. Although i haven’t got it to work on my new mac mini. And, I can’t seem to pair it directly to Garmin Connect. I have to use the ant agent. My wife’s corded fr10 works fine. What is the deal with the pairing issues with the 310 and why hasn’t Garmin resolved them. From reading threads on other forums, I know I’m not the only one having this problem. Any suggestions? Thanks


    • Lew

      Mathew: have you tried completely uninstalling Garmin ANT Agent, including getting rid of all the files within ~/Library/Application Support/Garmin as well as factory resetting the 310xt before reinstalling ANT agent and re-pairing? I remember needing to do something like that a couple years ago for my 610. No guarantees, but if won’t make it any worse.

      For what its worth the Suunto stick has been working great with my 2012 mac mini that I bought this summer as a refurb. My 610 reliably xfers workouts when I get home whether it’s immediately after a run or if I ran earlier in the day.

  23. Ivan Parks

    If I use this on my PC with Trainer Road I know it will pick up my Wahoo Kickr but will it also read the Garmin HR strap and cadence monitor? Thanks

  24. Vladimir

    Hi !
    Did any one try to connect PowerCal or any other Cycleops sensor to PC with suunto stick ? or GARMIN stick ?
    (basically i would like to try ZWIFT VR when it starts) ….



  25. Jeff

    Have you ever tried to update the firmware in the Movestick Mini? I’ve tried everything. It is v.1 as delivered (2 weeks ago), and it is hit-or-miss using it to update firmware on Quarq cranks; Garmin claims v 1.2 devices are more stable. Suunto shows the latest firmware as v. 1.2.4. But I can’t get it. It isn’t even listed by Suunto as a “device”, only the watches and HR straps are.

    Thx, Jeff

    • Jeff

      ^^correction to above^^ QUARQ says v.1 is less stable. I have not discussed the Movestick Mini with Garmin.


  26. Adrian

    I lost my Tanita bc-1000 garmin usb stick. Will this work as well?


  27. sangogi

    Two ANT+ sticks use a PC?

    1st ANT+ : use A Program
    2nd ANT + : use B program

    is Possible?

  28. Massimo

    So Ant + will work to sync the activities from Fenix 2 too? (As Garmin Connect upload via iphone has not been workign for weeks and it shows to be very unreliable…)

    • No, the Fenix series doesn’t sync over ANT+, only via the USB cable or via Bluetooth Smart to your phone.

  29. SFerry

    I have a question. Can I use a “Suunto Movestick Mini” with a MacBook Pro to “control” a Wahoo Kickr?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  30. SFerry

    Thank you very much !!!

  31. Adrian Lee

    will this or and the garmin stick work on the powerbeam pro and virtual trainer, my origional stick seems will not be recognised any more?

  32. Mike Woodhead

    Apologies for the noob type question, but can anyone tell me whether it’s possible (via Third Party software) to leverage Heart Rate data from a Suunto Ant HR belt using this Movestick mini please?

  33. Dave March

    I bought one of these recently, particularly as your review was so good. And it worked a charm with my Forerunner 410.
    However, since Garmin Express had an update on 27th Feb, my data no longer transfers to Connect. Garmin support have suggested it could be a compatibility issue with the Sunnto ANT stick and the new Express.
    Does your stick still work OK with Garmin software? If not then it might be wise to update your post so people don’t buy something that no longer works.

    • Have you tried a reboot by chance? I’ll double-check tomorrow (my stick is in my desk drawer at the office).

      But I’ve seen cases where the app will run two instances, causing an issue as it blocks itself. Silly…but true.

  34. Dave March

    Tried resetting the watch and reinstalling Garmin software and still no good.

    Ended up going back to previous version of Garmin Express ( and its working fine again.
    This is probably a temporary thing though and I’m sure I’ll end up having to buy a Garmin product, at least they make smaller (overpriced) ANT sticks now!

  35. Tim

    Hi DC, is it possible to use 2 ANT+ devices on one 910xt so I can have one ony laptop at home and one on my pc at the office?

  36. Michele

    I know this post is pretty old but I’m hoping someone sees this. I have ordered the Suunto mini from Amazon but have a question while I’m waiting for it. The instructions here and the comments all mention ant agent. When Garmin Express came out, I was told that ant agent had to be removed to use Garmin Express. Does that affect how the stick needs to be installed or how it will work?

    • Yup, no problems at all using with Garmin Express.

      However, it is correct that ANT Agent and Garmin Express do conflict. Generally when you install Garmin Express it’ll ask you to remove ANT Agent.

    • Michele

      Great thanks. Yes ant agent was uninstalled. The stick should be here in a couple days, looking forward to not having to plug/unplug every day. It matches the size of my Rocketfish Bluetooth adapter.

  37. Fraser

    This was answered a few years back but not sure if there have been any developments since? My wife and I have separate Garmin Connect accounts but all her data gets uploaded to my Garmin, Strava and Training Peaks accounts. To avoid this do you still have to manually load up activities to the respective accounts? How is this done? I can’t work out how to do it manually from the ant stick? Cheers.

    • There’s no much you can do there to be honest. If you have separate devices, then within Garmin Express you can associate a given device to a given Garmin Connect account. But if you share devices…there’s not much on the side of options.

  38. Spud Bullet

    Does this unit come with any software for installation?

    Anyone know if it is compatible through a Mio 505 / laptop and sensors/HR monitor to Zwift at all?

    I see the advice is that it will upload data once installed but that it installs via a pre existing Garmin USB agent…. I dont have that, so is it a no? lol, sorry for dump series of questions… somethings just aren’t idiot proof!

  39. shane

    how to disable or unhijack the port for the suunto dongle

  40. Kym

    Hi, I’ll admit I’m very green when it comes to this type of technology but will forge on….
    Looking to run Zwift through my Mac, have a Garmin 510, speed/cadence sensors hooked up ready to go but now I need a dongle. Are u saying that a Suunto would also work, as I’m assuming by all these comments that it’s far superior to the Garmin ANT+ USB2 dongle? Any advice would be appreciated!

    • Kym, I am using Zwift through a similar setup. GSC 510 and a Suunto dongle on a Windows machine.

    • Kym

      Thanks for your response, Abhi BikesZone, I’m confident in giving it a try!

  41. Ron

    Is this will work with the Tack Bushido (Tablet version)?

  42. Oisin


    With the release of windows 10 being tomorrow, I thought I’d ask if anyone knows whether this Suunto stick is supported by windows 10?

    Thank you,


    • Michael

      NO does not support Windows 10
      I made the mistake of installing Windows 10 and the Suunto stick does NOT work anymore. Worked before Win 10 and works on my Windows 8 machine. Suunto support has been very disappointing. Takes weeks to return emails, and when they do they are vague and don’t address the issue. I feel like we communicating in the Twilight Zone. My Question “When will you support Windows 10 with your Movestick? It does not work on my Windows 10 Machine” Answer “We no longer support Garmin Products, Please contact Garmin directly” When I responded again, their mailbox was full. Great product with Windows 8, but Lousy support.

    • Oisin

      my Suunto stick works just fine with Windows 10…
      I use it with Trainerroad, no problems.

      Before I installed Windows 10 I consulted Teainerroad support. They (as always) responded immediately and confirmed that their such stick works fine too.

    • I agree, also on Windows 10 without issues and that stick. If it’s not working download the Garmin Express software to get the drivers.

  43. Alex

    Will it work fine with Garmin Edge 510?
    I have both HRM and cadense/speed sensors and i plan to use it for TrainerRoad, will this stick pair?


  44. Michele

    I’m buying a new computer that comes with Windows 10 already installed. This stick works fine in my Windows 8 computer but I see some people mention issues with Win10. Should I plug in the stick first and download drivers and then install Garmin Express or install Garmin Express first?

  45. Grant Smith


    I just brought a mini stick and I’m running Mac El Capitan. I can’t seem to get stick to be recognised? Do I need additional drivers or something.

    I’m trying to connect Zwift with my Stages Power Meter.

    Thanks in advance

  46. Ge

    Do you know if this ANT+ stick will work with a ANT-only heart rate monitor, like this one link to suunto.com

    I’m using TrainerRoad with this ANT+ stick, and this combination doesn’t pick up the heart rate monitor. I’m not sure if it’s because limitation of the TR software or ANT stick

    • No, ironically the Suunto HR strap (any of them) isn’t ANT+, and just private-ANT. So actually, no device can pick it up except a small number of Suunto watches. :(

  47. Danan

    I have a question, i want to train with Zwift in my trainer. So here’s the setup:

    – Typical Roadbike
    – Minoura B60-R
    – Garmin GSC-10 Speed/cadence sensor
    – Fenix 3

    Is it possible with this setup? If so, what is the best option for the usb dongle?
    Thanks in advance.

  48. Tani Conidaris

    I am completely confused. I use a computrainer and have a Garmin 920XT. I upload all of my workouts to training peaks. To capture my heart rate in the Computrainer program. it is asking me to pair my Garmin HR monitor to my ANT+. I called Garmin and they said that there is not such thing. So then Racermate(computrainer) told me to purchase the ANT Suunto Mini Stick. My question is if I purchase this and down load the driver, will it pick up my heart rate if pair with the stick? Can I even pair my Garmin HR monitor to the stick? If not, how do I get my watch to upload to Computrainer and then to Training Peaks so I have my power meter, HR and work out all in one file instead of three?