Tip of the day: How I manage 15+ Heart Rate Straps

Until rather recently I stored all my various sports gizmos and gadgets in a simple Rubbermaid container.  Well, mostly.  They kinda spilled out all over the place, so it was more like the Rubbermaid container plus a 6 foot radius.

After a recent Ikea trip (including the 99 cent ice cream cones), a much better solution was found.  This solution allowed me to organize the different gadgets by sport (Swim, Bike, Run, Health, Random Stuff) – pure awesomeness!

However, while this was great for product boxes and misc parts, it was not so great for heart rate straps – which I iterate through depending on specific products I’m testing.  For example, if I’m using a cell phone to track heart rate, I may use the Zephyer Bluetooth Strap for some apps, but the Polar Nike+ strap for others, or one of the Garmin ANT+ ones as well.  Because I find that I remember HR straps at the last possible second when I’m trying to run out the door for a run/ride, I tend to be in a rush and so things get really messy as I frantically try and find a specific strap.  Thus, it looked like this:


But, after some pondering one day – I found a solution.  A simple $9 solution.  It started just like this:


And after a couple of quick minutes, ended up like this:


Pure brilliance!

Now I’ve got them all organized by vendor and then subtype within each vendor.  When I (or a friend) need a strap it’s easy to find and I’m quickly out the door.

Enjoy the weekend, and thanks for reading!


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  1. Hey DC,
    I don’t know how to tell you this gently… but most of us only have 1 (or maybe 2) “active” HRM straps at any one time. But the problem isn’t with you, it’s with us…
    Hope you’re enjoying your honeymoon!

  2. DROOOOOL!!!!! Just seeing that you HAVE that many to keep track of is insane. My 1 is a pain for me, but I like the simple idea of the wall hook. Will have to try that to keep track my measly single strap.

  3. And what about units? How are they stored? Attache to straps?

  4. I thought that this was a really cool solution to a problem that I share (albeit not quite to the same degree). I showed your solution to my wife . . . she just shook her head and told me that all triathletes are insane. C’est la vie.

  5. Hell with Insanity…to the wall with heart rate straps!

  6. Cool! When will we get to see your Ikea solution??

  7. Man I wish there was a standard. I only have two heart rate straps but I wear them both while on the trainer -#$$%^ !!!!

  8. looks like garter snakes

  9. How many are redundant and/or interchangeable? Do some work with multiple brands?

  10. Hannes

    Hi Rainmaker,

    with so many Heart Rate Straps you could make an outstanding “Heart Rate Devices Accuracy In Depth” test.

    I just have two heart rate sensors, my classic Garmin says 240 (after chancing already three batteries), while my adidas strap seems to work right.

    But with 15 straps, it would be really interesting who they perform when you are doing different activites…

  11. Hannes

    …how they perform…

    Sorry, i am just an austrian guy with poor English, surrounded by Alps!

  12. kontiky

    For what do you use Zephyer Bluetooth Strap?

  13. The main (and really only) use is for connecting to phones. All of the major phone variants have apps that support a Bluetooth HR monitor (Blackberry, iPhone/iPod, Windows 7 Phone, Android, etc…) – so this is a way to get HR data to a phone and/or Bluetooth device that doesn’t support either ANT+ or older analog HR straps (since almost none do).

    Polar actually has one as well that’s in the mix there. Battery life is a bit better than the Zephyer one.

  14. Justin

    Ray, do you know of anyone making a heart-rate sensor strap that transmits both ANT+ and coded 5kHz signals?

  15. Carl

    I second the request for a HRM review. I use HRM’s with both a 310XT and Edge 800 (sometimes simultaneously), and would also like to use with an iPhone 4s and later iPhone.

    In 3 years I have gone through 3 Garmin HRM’s. After 1 to 2 years they just stop working. I never got the Garmin soft straps to work even with eloctrode gel. The soft straps would randomly give unbelieveable high readings after 20 min of run. Even the original plastic strap which works OK for me at run start will fail if very hot (over 85F) and shirt becomes sweat soaked. Run without a shirt helps. Last, 2 of my plastic Garmin’s have failed after 1 to 2 years. They start to randomly report unbelievable low readings (less than rest HR when riding or running tempo) and at this point you have to get a new one. So I am thinking of the 4iiii V100 Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor.

  16. Janet Myers

    How do you clear the history/runs off the watch?

  17. 2klatte

    Another request for a “best of HRM” review. After years of running and cycling I figure it’s about time I actually track my progress. New to your site…..really appreciate your informative shares =)

  18. Robert Black

    Hi Ray perhaps you can help me, I know my FR610 and SWITCH can only connect to one hrm at a time, by accident I had them both fired up today, don’t worry I’m not after your job! :) anyways they both displayed the same heart rate, my question is how many devices can the belt transmit to simultaneously?

    • ANT+ HR straps (which is what the FR610 and Switch use), can connect to an unlimited number of display devices at once. It’s how I do much of my testing (one strap to multiple devices).

  19. They should have made them bluetooth and one would be used for all devices. So the waste of time, money and environmental waste would not be this high. Please support unified protocols to avoid waste like this.

    • Hmm, not exactly.

      First off, the reason I have so many straps is because products include them. Not because they aren’t compatible.

      Second, virtually all of the straps above are either ANT+ or Bluetooth – both widely used protocols.

      Third, actually, using Bluetooth legacy would be a poor choice these days, rather than Bluetooth Smart or ANT+, which are widely supported by devices/apps.

  20. Welmien

    Is there another product that does the same work as the Polar V800 but doesn’t have a heart monitor strap?

  21. Geoff

    What strap would you recommend for a waterproof HR monitor strap that is both BT smart and ANT +?

  22. Jay Wood

    I have an inordinate amount of trouble keeping track of ONE heart rate strap-

    too many black things generally is part of the problem.

    Maybe some color- coding….

  23. Manuel Doblado

    Need help with organization ideas. Bought a wire mesh drawer tower, but its too flimsy. Any ideas on where to find one with roller bearing slides? Thanks!

  24. Peter Apathy

    I’d love to get some tips on how best to wake up and pair various HR monitors. I’ve only got a couple but I almost always have to quit my iPad app(s), reboot the iPad or do some other mysterious combination of things to actually connect to either of the HR monitors. I only use Bluetooth connections to a Wahoo KickR Core, a Garmin Edge 520, my iPhone and a couple of different iPads. iPad apps are primarily Zwift and FulGaz. Any suggestions?