Terry While recently blogged about “the perfect smartphone car mount.” I can’t vouch for that – I did order one for use in rental cars. I’d been using a beanbag mount, but the problem was that it seemed like there was no good place to put the large beanbag base where I could both see the phone and not have it slide around. There aren’t many large, flat surfaces on top of dashboards anymore (at least in the cars I’ve been allowed to rent).
I’m not keen on using a vent mount full-time in my own vehicle though. I just worry that long-term it won’t hold (or the vent will eventually give way). So while I plan on giving the vent mount a try on my next trip for work, I won’t be using it in my car. For a few years now I’ve been using custom solutions from ProClip USA.
ProClip designs a custom mount for each and every vehicle on the market. Generally, they slip into a seam in the dash somewhere and snap in. I have never had one let go in all the years I’ve been using them – but after selling a vehicle that had a clip in for years, I found it simple to snap back out, and you wouldn’t know it had ever been there.
They use a two-part process. First, there’s the custom holder for your interior. For some vehicles there will be more than one option for placing your mount. I actually have two in my car. Originally, I used one mount (up near eye level) for my dedicated GPS, and the lower mount for my iPod (and later iPhone) for music only. Now that I can get directions and music from one source, I don’t use the second mount anymore.
So here’s what my mount looks like:
It;s hard to see (because I’m no photographer) but there is a V-shaped section in the middle. That’s an optional piece – with that, it allows me to swap in different device holders. Otherwise, you’d screw the second part – the device holder – to the flat piece in back to mount it. (ProClip has a newer system than this “slide in” system that snaps in, but back when I bought everything this was the only option.)
Here’s the mount with the holder in it:
It just slides in from the top, and has never come out unless bumped from below.
Here’s the iPhone inside the holder:
Yes, I know, an even worse shot (and this was after I tried cleaning it up in Photoshop – where you can see I am also a stranger). I had to shoot this with my iPhone 4 as, well, the 5 was in the holder. But hopefully you get the idea. The phone just slides in from the top.
Now, this isn’t cheap – the whole setup is around $70. But with the slide mount, I can move the iPhone 5 holder to my wife’s car (where normally she uses the iPhone 4 holder for her 4S) and vica versa. I can also put the old Garmin back in if need be. And if I need a new holder for another device, I can slide that in too.
At the ProClip site they walk you through finding the right mount for your car and the right holder for your device. They support a lot of vehicles and a lot of devices (even bigger devices like tablets). So if you are looking for a durable solution, take a look at ProClip USA.