Nomad launches reimagined ChargeKey with Lightning and USB-C versions [Hands-on]

Back in 2013 in Nomad’s early days, the company launched an innovative charging solution for iPhone called ChargeKey. Now the “world’s most portable charging cable” has been redesigned with a modern and metal build and it comes in both Lightning and USB-C versions.

Nomad’s super minimal ChargeKey arrived after ChargeCard and raised over $170,000 on a $50,000 crowdfunding goal.

Over a decade later, Nomad is back with a reimagined ChargeKey that delivers the company’s premium quality in a modern and upgraded form factor.

Nomad ChargeKey specs

  • Available as USB-C to Lightning or USB-C to USB-C
  • Fast charging for iPhone up to 20W
  • Usable cable length: 12cm (4.72 inches)
  • Folded length: 7.6cm (2.99 inches)
  • Metal housing with nylon braided cable
  • Price: $35 for Lightning, $25 for USB-C

For a fun walk down memory lane, here’s the original ChargeKey that featured a flexible plastic build:

In use

The new ChargeKey uses an aluminum and braided nylon build. A delightful and functional design choice is a magnet embedded on the inside of the two cable ends so they always stay together when you’re not using the cable.

The magnetic design also means it’s easy to attach it to something without having to use a keyring, carabiner, etc.

Here’s a close-up of the nylon braided portion of the cable. I haven’t been able to use it for an extended period of time, but it feels like it’s built to last for the long run.

The d-ring where you attach ChargeKey to your keyring or similar is also much more robust with the modern version using solid aluminum compared to the original’s plastic build.

Here’s another perspective on how compact the new ChargeKey is next to an AirPods Pro case:


With a great new design that means you’ll have a cable on hand wherever you are, it’s easy to recommend the modern ChargeKey.

And with both Lightning and USB-C versions for iPhone, iPad, AirPods, Android, and most any other device, plus a sturdy build quality, ChargeKey is a solid value at $2535.

Plus with iPhone 15 switching to USB-C for the first time, the USB-C to USB-C version will be more useful to Apple users than ever. For an Android perspective on the new ChargeKey, check out my colleague Ben’s review.

You can pick up the new ChargeKey now direct from Nomad.

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