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I consider myself super diligent when it comes to keeping my devices charged. The moment I enter any establishment, I scan for power outlets like a hawk.

Even then, there are times a mobile battery comes in handy, like when I just want to spend the whole day out with just my phone. And with every good mobile battery, like the Nitecore NB10000, you need a decent cable.

With the NOMAD Leather Sleeve, and NOMAD ChargeKey.

Personally, the shorter the cable, the better. I usually have the battery-cable combo in the nifty TOM BIHN Ghost Whale Organizer inside the front compartment of my GORUCK GR1. If you know how flat the slash pocket of a GORUCK is, you'll know that keeping it compact matters.

That is why the ultra-portable ChargeKey immediately caught my attention. Like the length of the ChargeKey, this will be a short review, but hopefully, it will help you decide if you need it.


The product name suggests that the ChargeKey was designed to hang on your keychain; it's certainly small enough.

NOMAD is one of my favorite brands when it comes to design. Their material and color choices are always on point. The ChargeKey is no different.

The matte zinc cable housing exudes class, punctuated by the beautiful nylon braided cables. It's a lot of attention to detail in something so tiny.

Nylon braided

With every contour carefully considered, the NOMAD ChargeKey is gorgeous and sits on your keychain boldly, without drawing any attention. Even the logo is subtle yet inviting.

I don't think I've seen any cable at this length that is more beautifully designed (the Satechi USB-C to Lightning Cable comes close). If you know one, do leave a comment.


The zinc housing at the ends and joint of the ChargeKey feels incredibly solid. While I have it in the TOM BIHN Whale Ghost Organizer out of convenience, I would have no qualms letting it brave the seasons on a keychain hanging from a belt loop.

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With the TOM BIHN Ghost Whale Organizer, NOMAD ChargeKey, and Nitecore NB10000.

Within the housing, there are integrated magnets that snap the two ends in place so that it stays in a tidy little package.

Last but not least, braided nylon gives the cable better abrasion and erosion resistance.


I have the USB-C to Lightning version for review. The max power input on the iPhone 14 is 27W, and while you won't get max speeds with the ChargeKey, the 20W you get is still considered fast charging.

My phone has seen better days.

The cable is very short (12cm). The length is a double-edged sword. I would only recommend it be used with a mobile battery that you can put right beside the port for your device, or charging your phone from your laptop.

If you do decide to ignore common sense and use the USB-C to C version, to charge your laptop, 60W is the max you can get, even with a powerful adapter like the NOMAD Power Adapter.

60W is usually enough to charge most machines, unless you are running power-intensive games or operations like video rendering.

The small package also means it's easy to lose. It is designed to be on your keychain, so most shouldn't have this problem. But if you keep it in a pouch like me, you'd have to be careful not to drop it. I dropped it in Dalat, Vietnam, once, but luckily, the store owner alerted me to it.

Comes in a small package

The hole on the ChargeKey was designed for standard key rings, so you might have trouble looping carabiner or other key loops through it, like the ones commonly found on TOM BIHN bags.

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I found a 100 year old company that would create these heirloom quality canisters for me. They are handmade and will keep your tea leaves, coffee beans or anything that you need dry for years to come.

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It goes through, but the thick part of the key loop won't go through.

While the finish on the ChargeKey is beyond cool, the coating does come off with abrasion, as shown below, even if you have it in a pouch like I did. I personally like the battered look, but some might prefer to have it looking pristine all the time.

The cables were designed for charging, and while data transfer is possible, they are limited to transferring data at lackluster USB 2.0 speeds. I wouldn't count on them for data transfer, but they could work in an emergency.


The NOMAD ChargeKey is a stunning addition to any digital nomad's EDC. It's going to be hard for many to resist such a beautiful product.

The only consideration is the length, which limits its practical usage to mobile batteries that can be placed very near the device's charging port.

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Tagged cable nomad review tech usb-c