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Garmin Watch Keyring & USB-C Chargers: $9 for Two Pack

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As a purveyor of quirky charging cables, I’m back with another installment – this one for not one, but two different Garmin USB-C watch chargers. We last left off two years ago with the $9 two-pack of Garmin charging pucks that generally work far better than the stock ones (literally, that was exactly two years ago to the day from this post). Since that time, according to Amazon alone, roughly 20,000 of you have picked up those cables (seriously). Granted, I’ve got one on basically every surface here in the DCR Cave and at home, so perhaps most of those are mine.

In any case, with more and more computers (and ports) becoming USB-C only these days, I figured it was time to revisit things with two additional solutions. Actually, three solutions. Two of which are USB-C, and one of which has been sitting on my desk a few years and I figured it was time to share that too.

With that quick and efficient intro out of the way, let’s dig into it. Much to the chagrin of my wife, I bought all these cables myself. Though she sometimes steals them too. Point being, none of these no-name companies know who I am, nor is this sponsored. This is just me doing my cable fetish thing.

In case you’re too excited to read through this, here’s what I’ve been using and liking (these links should localize properly to your local Amazon store):

$8.99 for a two-pack of USB-C Garmin watch keyring chargers (7.99EUR for a two-pack  UK here)
$6.90 for a one-pack of a USB-C Garmin watch charging cable  (8.90EUR for a single cable)
$13.99 for a Garmin watch charging stand/cable (regular USB) (12.99EUR for a single unit)

As long as you’ve got a Garmin watch that uses the standard Garmin charging port of the past few years (shown above with four small dots, but NOT a clip-on charger), you’re good to go.

As with the past two-pack of regular Garmin charging cables, the exact name will often vary slightly between Amazon countries, though it’s all the exact same product (and always the exact same stock-photo imagery). So, let’s dive into it!

USB-C Keyring Charger:

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Back this spring COROS announced a little keyring charger for their watch. It was super cool, since you could stick it on your keyring, and always know that when you travelled if you forgot your main charger, this was there as a backup. Albeit, there wasn’t a lot of travelling going on last May.

Now, this is basically the same concept as that, but a bit more tidy, and a bit smaller – and only $8.99 for a two-pack. With the COROS charger, it had a USB port built into it, whereas this one assumes that you’ve got a USB-C cable handy. Which, is a fair assumption.

With the Garmin charger, you can see that one side of the tiny pod is the Garmin charger/port:

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While the other side is a USB-C port, that you plug any USB-C cable into.

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Meanwhile, on the edge is the small hole for the string that came with it to connect to your keychain charger:

DSC_6787 DSC_6790

Else, you can just put the keyring through that, a bit more secure that way (and less floppy).

In any case, the idea here being that you’ve got it attached to your keys or such, and then you can just plug a cable in and charge your watch. I treat this as a backup charger, more than a daily use charger. For example, if I’m travelling or something and realize I forgot a charger.

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(And don’t be worrying about putting my keys on the interwebs. First, because frankly I don’t even know what half those keys are for. Second, the half that I do know either aren’t shown, or don’t matter. For example, that red key? It’s for the old bakery doors in Paris. Never got around to taking it off.)

In terms of usage, I’ve tried it with half a dozen USB-C cables around here, all with no issue – including my MacBook charger:DSC_6768 DSC_6772

It’ll correctly pass through data too (seen below), however since USB-C is a bit of the wild-west of cable specs, your mileage might vary there. But in all the random cables I have on my desk and in my bag, it easily passed through data with no problem. I didn’t dare go open the large plastic container of random USB-C cables in the storage room, as I’d still be sitting here testing them.

Garmin-ChargerFR745-KeyringData

Fit-wise, mine feels crispy, and better than the stock Garmin charger. Albeit I’ll give a slightly higher crispy rating to the red USB-C cable listed below, it’s super sharp sounding.

Given it’s a two-pack, you can keep one on your keychain, and then stick another on…I don’t know, another keychain. Maybe inside your wallet, or deep in your backpack. Look, more backup charger locations is better. How you manage proper redundancy is your problem, not mine.

Compatibility for this charger is any watch that has the standard Garmin charging port. Flip over your watch, and as long as it looks like this, you’re golden:

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This does not include things like the clip-style watch chargers (e.g. Garmin FR645 or Garmin MARQ). So if your watch came with a clip-on charger, it won’t work.

And with that, that’s all there is to know about this charger. Again, I’m a fan of ‘just works’, and this fits the bill. Here’s the link for it – $8.99 for a two-pack of them (or 7.99EUR for a two-pack).

USB-C Cable Charger:

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Next up, let’s say you just want a single USB-C cable with a Garmin charging port on the end. In that case, the above is your cable. I bought the red one, because, that’s obviously cooler. Also, it was the only option.

I’m not going to beat this to death, other than to note that it charges just like your previous cable. I’ve tested it both with wall plug USB-C ports as well as USB-C ports on my computer. For example, this morning I charged my FR745 from 11% to 96% in 60 minutes.

DSC_6764 DSC_6765

The cable feels well built, perhaps actually slightly over-built. It’s just a bit more rigid than the existing/stock Garmin charging cable. The cable measures 1.5m long. More notably, it’s got a super crispy snap when you put it in place. Like, it actually made an echo. Watch the video!

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The cable works for both data and charging, here’s it connected to my computer, showing the contents of the FR745:

Garmin-FR745-CableData

I also copied a bunch of music over to it using the cable, and the speeds were normal. I’ll give props to the company’s marketing materials, they went the extra distance on creating fancy graphics showing that it has all sorts of voltage protection stuff. It also says they bend-tested it 6,000 times. Next time I’ll employ my children to bend test instead. Should keep them busy a while.

ChargingProtection

Oh, and this cable has 10,477 reviews at 4.5/5 stars on the Amazon Germany store, which honestly seems like they’re blending together multiple SKU’s shown in the ratings. But on the Amazon US store it’s a single SKU and shows 115 reviews at 4.5/5 stars.

Cable

Compatibility for this charger is any watch that has the standard Garmin charging port. Just like the first unit  – Garmin has only ever made one port that looks like this (with four pins). This does not include things like the clip-style watches. So if your watch came with a clip-on charger, it won’t work.

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Now, as is often the case when buying cables on Amazon, some models/brands are good, and some are bad. For example, I didn’t just buy the red one, I also bought another one from another brand – because, why not? In that case, it didn’t work at all. It wouldn’t charge anything. Maybe it’s just a one-off, but I just wanted to throw that out there in case someone was trying to save a dollar or two by finding some other random cable. In that case, that cable is no longer offered (I bought it a year ago), and the reviews are horrible. So I guess the system worked.

Anyways, back on the cable that works, – $6.90 for one cable (or 8.90EUR for a single cable).

One More Thing:

Also, because I never wrote a review on it, there’s one more not-USB-C Garmin charger that I use almost daily as well, which is this little stand charger. It just sits at my desk and receives a never-ending flow of Garmin devices that need topping off before various photographic adventures. Or, because I just need to charge my watch. I bought this two years ago (actually, two years ago to the day in fact):

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The little charging port can orient one of two directions, depending on which Garmin watch you have. This supports four orientations (top/bottom/left/right). It takes two seconds to pop-out the back and swap it:

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Compatibility on this is the same as the previous two ones, basically any watch that supports the standard Garmin charging port. This does not include things like the clip-style watches. So if your watch came with a clip-on charger, it won’t work.

This one has gotten frequent use for a very long time, and is perfectly happy. I use it for both data and charging, with no issues on Mac or PC. Of course, it doesn’t care, it just acts like any other Garmin charger, except all proud of itself on its stand. The stand costs $13.99 (or 12.99EUR).

Wrap-Up:

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This is one of the neat things that happens when a company manages to stick to their charging cable for more than a year or two: 3rd party companies start to develop for it. Now arguably, Garmin should be offering these sorts of things themselves (as COROS has done) – perhaps with premium quality, but hey, it’s cool that 3rd parties can develop for this easily.

As for risk here, it’s pretty low risk. Starting with the fact that countless Garmin employees have told me the 3rd party charging puck I posted about two years ago is used by many Garmin employees. But secondly, the way USB works is that the device in question (your watch in this case) actually specifies how much power to pull. So the watch requests how much power it needs, and the USB charging port simply delivers it.

In terms of why have a special port at all, well, it’s all about waterproofing. While it would make a crapton of sense to have Garmin switch over their Edge cycling devices (and other non-watch devices) to USB-C for charging, it actually doesn’t make sense to have USB-C in a wearable. Waterproofing such as port is challenging and usually fails in a sport device. For phones and such it’s easier to have waterproofed USB-C/etc ports, because they don’t get daily pouring sweat/grime/mud/etc in them. But once you start having dripping sweat piling up and drying out, over and over again, it’ll kill things. There’s a good reason why Polar never did another USB port in their watches after the M400.

As far as wireless charging goes – honestly, I’m kinda mixed there. I appreciate the ability to quickly offload and online large files to a watch using USB if I need to. WiFi has started to do that in some watches of course, but that doesn’t tend to help with troubleshooting when you need to. Historically wireless charging for watches has also been slower, though we’ve seen improvements there too in the last year or so.

Until then though, if I have to have a non-standard cable, I appreciate that I can get them cheaply and in a variety of form factors from various vendors.

With that – thanks for reading!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Watch Keyring Charger, Garmin Watch USB-C Charger or Garmin Watch Stand Charger or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

Found This Post Useful? Support The Site!

Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, I’m an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase – so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so it’s a fair bit of work (and labor of love). As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments – and there’s quite a bit of detail in there as well.

If you're shopping for the Garmin Watch Keyring Charger, Garmin Watch USB-C Charger or Garmin Watch Stand Charger or any other accessory items, please consider using the affiliate links below! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. Even more, if you use Backcountry.com or Competitive Cyclist with coupon code DCRAINMAKER, first time users save 15% on applicable products!

And of course – you can always sign-up to be a DCR Supporter! That gets you an ad-free DCR, access to the DCR Quarantine Corner video series packed with behind the scenes tidbits...and it also makes you awesome. And being awesome is what it’s all about!

Thanks for reading! And as always, feel free to post comments or questions in the comments section below, I’ll be happy to try and answer them as quickly as possible. And lastly, if you felt this review was useful – I always appreciate feedback in the comments below. Thanks!

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50 Comments

  1. Michael

    Thanks for the recommendations! Perfect additions to the Christmas Wish List of things I kind of want, but don’t really need so haven’t gotten around to buying for myself already.

  2. The Real Bob

    Thanks for posting. Appreciate the time you take putting this accessory posts together. I don’t have the time to search out all of these accessories and see if they work. The fact that you do this saves me time which = money!
    Take care

  3. Tim

    We have some of the “puck” chargers previously noted and have real trouble with them and intermittent connections between my wife’s fenix 6s and my old 935. Often needing to place some weight on the watch to keep it charging on them.

    My 945LTE seems to refuse to charge on either of the “pucks” at all as well as my wife’s fenix 6s Garmin cable. It almost seems like my 945LTE is slightly different in charging connector features. The cable that came with the 945LTE works with it very reliably, however.

    • Bummer to hear that with the pucks. On the whole, it’s been pretty good feedback there. I have heard of a few people having bad pucks here and there, which roughly sounds like your case given you’ve got multiple watches all having trouble with the same puck.

      I’ve got a FR945LTE that was on the puck yesterday no problem, and use them constantly for every watch in the Garmin fleet. Thus they definitely work, but my guess is something is wrong on your puck connectors.

    • Brett

      I’ve had the same problem with the recommended puck charger. I used two of these and at some point the watch (Fenix 5 plus) won’t connect anymore. One of them I used on the order of 20 times before it failed. The connection seems to get loose.

      I can’t say I’m impressed with Garmin’s connector design. The OEM cable that came with the watch now connects only intermittently after a couple of years use. I’ve never had any other type of computer cable that fails at the rate the Garmin design does.

    • Yeah, my wife’s Fenix 5S (original, not Plus), won’t connect at all with her regular cable, but does better on the puck, I assume because the weight is supported on the puck.

    • Dave Lusty

      I am very curious why she’s not upgrading, I’m assuming the Girl could have her pick of any watch? My other half really likes one of the F5 designs and dislikes every design and colour combo since. Naturally she also doesn’t actually care about the tech side! Admittedly I just bought a F6pro because there wasn’t a silver ti version of the solar so I guess tech isn’t everything.

    • Jens

      Some of the pucks comes with slightly smaller “Cut-out” for the optical HR sensor. I have had trouble Ferring food connection with these while pucks with a larger Cut-out works perfectly (945 & Fenix 5+)

    • Jon D

      I’ve also seen (and experienced) a pin on the puck get stuck. Seems like there’s some small corrosion that occurs both on the watch end and the plug end, and that keeps the pin from coming up and making contact. I can free it up after some poking with a small flathead or paper clip, and some isopropyl alcohol.

      Appreciate the other options out there! I’d suggest for anyone who wants a durable cable to buy that USB-C adapter and buy an Anker cable.

    • Christian

      Just for the record, I also got a two-pack (or just two) of the puck chargers via the link in the old post. One was dead on arrival, one started out working, then worked intermittently, and then the ‘intermittent working’ got so rare that it’s essentially dead also. bought it about a year ago and stopped using it like 3 months later.

    • tim

      Sounds good, appreciate the confirmation. With how low cost they are I was considering just trying another set (I _think_ they worked better earlier on, maybe they just wore out on us).

    • The Girl

      Hi Dave,
      The Girl here 🙂 Yup, I agree with your other half on the design on the watches since the Fenix 5S. Personally I really love the brushed champagne bezel on my watch paired with the suede strap. The size and weight of the watch is perfect for me, but I love a big watch face. Plus, my watch still works and realistically way over kill for the features I’m even using these days. So, no need to drop any more money for an unnecessary upgrade. But that’s just me.

  4. Brian

    I’ve had several of the little puck chargers, as well as the stand, all bought based on your previous recommendations – however all of them have crapped out on me in less than a year of use. I wish I knew what I was doing wrong, I’m quite sure mine are seeing much much less use than yours!

    I have a few extra versions of the OEM Garmin cables and those fortunately still work fine.

  5. Alistair

    Looks like the keyring adapters are sold out or not available in the UK – following the link I just get a couple of USB-A Garmin charging cables, and can’t find any by searching.

  6. Koen

    One small correction: we have 3 garmin watches in our house and all 3 have a different orientation. The port is placed left and right on mine (fenix 5 plus/fenix 6x pro) and on the top on my wife’s vivoactive 3.
    I use the pucks and original cables with almost the same results. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but after cleaning the contact points on the watch there is usually no problem. I might check to see I can find a stand somewhere for a reasonable price to test it out (no amazon here).

  7. Peter

    I had the same issue with the puck after about 12 months of use with my Fenix 5+. Some days it would work fine and others I’d be disconnecting and reconnecting and putting something on top of the watch until a stable connection was made. Still, for the price it’s hard to complain when I got 12 months of use before the issues started.

  8. John

    It would be great if the little keyring charger held a charge.

  9. Jens

    The Garmin accessory I would really love is a round/puck watch shaped powerbank – maybe 5mm thick. Even a very small unit would enable dramatic increase of “battery life” for ultra events etc.

  10. M S

    I also bought two of these older pucks a while ago and both stopped working after a few months.
    First no data transfer but still charging then no connection at all.
    Used on two different Fenix 6X

  11. Ludo

    Hello,
    Thanks for these useful recommendations.
    Unfortunately 15,44€ for the keyrings on amazon.fr
    I think vat doesn’t account for the 200% price vs the one you saw. Amazon.de wouldn’t take into acount my frnech prime account.
    Can’t wait to try these and never again fear that I forgot my charging cable 🙂

  12. Imagine how cool that keyring adaptor would be if it could actually add an ickle top up to your watch too or instead. My Vivoactive started to struggle to record a bike ride as soon as the warranty ran out, so now I need to charge it when out on a decent length ride. But at least that adaptor means I don’t need to carry a Garmin specific cable with me as well as USB cables.
    Currently not available on Amazon UK BTW.

    • Mark H

      Hi Ray,

      Often my 935 or VA4S will fail to charge, and it’s not because of a bad connection. I put them on the charger, their HR LEDs turn off, the screens indicate they’re charging, and my inline power meter indicates the things have started drawing current. But sometimes minutes later they’re still on the charging screen, but the current has dropped to zero. I leave them on for hours but they don’t charge- and in fact, lose a percent it two- so it’s not like they’ve temporarily stopped charging due to overheating or anything.

      Have you seen anything like this? I can’t be the only one to have this problem, but I never saw a comprehensive test video like you did for the Hero 10 overheating.

    • No, that’s not normal. I’ve never seen that (ever, on any watch, on any cable). Either it charges, or it doesn’t (and doesn’t show the charging screen).

      In my experience with the Garmin charging port, if it doesn’t charge it won’t show the charging icon, and usually it’s because the port or cable is dorked up and won’t make a crispy connection. Sometimes if it’s a port issue it can be solved via a good cleaning. Whereas if it’s a cable issue then most times it’s best just getting a new cable (whether it’s a Garmin cable or otherwise).

      If you’ve tried other cables, and presumably other ports (since you’ve obviously got some tools to measure this), then I’m honestly out of ideas. That’s crazy weird.

  13. Mike P

    They must not like Canadians as the ‘$8.99 for a two-pack of USB-C Garmin watch keyring chargers’ is $31.35 CDN. I know there is an exchange rate to factor in, but that is substantially more.

    • JS

      Yes really bizz exchange rate for Canada: the joy of Amazon algorithms…
      By the way I bought the 2 pucks 2 years ago after DCR recommendations, use them a lot… and without any problem.

  14. Fred

    How long can you store these without use and still have a charge? I would use for emergency charging or out in the field.

  15. CJ

    YES! FINALLY USB-C to Garmin! GREAT find Ray!

    BTW: I’ve had Tusita USB-A to Garmin cables in past and they’ve all worked flawlessly so I’m not worried about the “4.5/5” rating.

  16. Interesting article. When doing bikepacking trips, I would find very useful to be able to browse my Garmin watch content from a ‘File Manager’ app as I am doing with OTG usb sticks. This way, in case of change of plans, I could trace an alternative route, and then transfer it by wire to my watch. The bluetooth file transfer is not always working great.

  17. usr

    Oh, this appeared literally the day I was comparing the original Garmin cable and a noname aftermarket one (the 50cm one from the “pair of cables, different length” variation of the USB-C cable linked) on the scales to see which one I’ll pack for lightweight travel. Guess I’ll add another item to my charging arsenal: adapter will go to the radically light backpack set (where it will live with the awesomely compact “Goobay 73276” that apparently isn’t made anymore), the “50 cm” one will be relegated to accompany the big 4x charger for occasions where the luggage is transported off-bike.

    What a shame that Uncle Bob’s Online Shop failed to present the adapter in the “Products related to this item” or “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” lists, I know I scoured those for alternatives.

  18. I already have a stand (that is a lot smaller) but that keyring charger is a great idea, thanks for the idea!

  19. Dave

    USB-C seems a no-brained for upcoming devices.

  20. Dan945

    As someone who was on a business trip to India (and forgot both backup Garmin cables) 2 years ago, I can confirm that it was impossible to find a Garmin charger anywhere without buying the whole watch. (Looked in Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune). So these usb-c solutions would have saved me. thanks!

  21. Steve

    Hi,

    Do any of these plugs work with Garmin 645M? (using a clip-on charger currently, so NO?)

    Thank you,

  22. Nigel

    Thanks Ray. BTW, the USB C pocket adapter you linked to isn’t shipping until mid January 2022 in the States.
    Now if they would just do a right angle one. If you are doing a long event and don’t want to take the watch off to recharge it, the puck ones are better for this.
    I also like using a port cover between charges along with an occasional liquid contact lube.
    Some of the other models at Amazon say only “USB A to USB C cable not USB C to USB C.” 🙁
    I can tape a pocket adapter to my Nitecore power bank. Or attach to my USB multi cable. And save the hasel of an extra cable.

  23. Pavel Vishnyakov

    I have both the puck and the stand changer and while they were working perfectly initially, after a while the satisfaction ratio dropped: stand charger stopped working completely and pucks only charge in a “weird” position (when your watch is on the puck, but effectively next to it, as the charging connector is direction-less). The stock cable that came with the watch is, surprisingly, the most reliable charging solution

  24. Marius Svanevik

    Would you be concerned about charging with a high Power USB c charger. Like the Apple MacBook Pro charger?

    • No concerns there. For fun, I just plugged it into my wall laptop USB-C 95w charger and my FR745. Charged easily and nothing blew-up.

      The reason is because the way USB power works (simplified), the receiving device actually requests how much power it needs, and then the USB ‘transmitting’ charger delivers the power requested. So despite my 95w charger being vastly more powerful than the FR745, it only delivered the tiny bit of power the FR745 requested.

  25. kwolana

    I would like this dongle to be also a powerbank, not just an ordinary adapter

  26. Charlie

    This is a bit off topic, but along the lines of little garmin gadgets.

    I rotate between 2-3 pair of running shoes but am too lazy to update my daily shoe selection in the garmin app or Strava in order to track shoe mileage.

    Is there any device, like a small tag for each pair of shoes, that would allow me sync my shoes with my garmin watch so I don’t have to manually do this? Im thinking of something like the tile trackers.

  27. Rusty Painter

    I went on a cruise this past weekend, and forgot my charger. Luckily, I was able to find another runner on the ship, and she was nice enough to let me borrow her charger.

    That keyring charger would have been perfect! I’m buying it now.

    • That’s awesome!

      And also one of the cool things about a standard charger (almost every Garmin watch in the last few years uses it). And on a cruise ship, it wouldn’t take too much wrist stalking to find someone with a Garmin.

    • Rusty Painter

      That’s exactly what I did! I was running the track around the 4th deck, and finally found someone with a Garmin.