From now until 2013, we’re going to take a look at some New Year’s Resolutions and a Gear Diary way to help you keep them.
New Year Resolution: Drive More Safely
Okay, let’s get this out-of-the-way upfront – the safest place for your phone while driving is in your pocket or bag. That helps ensure that it won’t become a distraction while you fly down the road at 65 miles an hour. If you aren’t going to keep your phone out of the way, however, you’d best have a secure place to keep it lest it become a projectile during a crash.
I have long been a fan of ProClip’s various device offerings and had the opportunity to install two of them in my car over the past weeks. Far from the cheapest mobile device accessories, these holders and cradles are among the best available. Let’s run down the ones I put into my IS250.
I wanted to have the option for my iPad Mini to serve as a GPS device so I got one of their iPad mini mount systems. This consists of the holder with tilt swivel ($49.99), the company’s angled extension plate ($14.99), a tilt swivel mount ($12.99), and a ProClip console mount ($29.99) specifically designed for my make and model. And while that comes to over $100, the system is well-designed, holds the iPad securely and all but the iPad cradle can be used with future devices once the proper cradle is available. (For example, if a new iPad mini came out with a different design I would just need the new cradle design and I would be good to go.)
The installation process was rather simple and the excellent documentation walked me through without an issue. I needed one Phillips head screwdriver (not included) and that was it. The console mount snapped in place and immediately felt quite secure. I screwed the swivel mount into it and then added the angled bracket in order to raise the iPad mini up high enough to clear the console and be within reach.
It all goes together quite well and I have total confidence that my iPad mini, once in place, will stay there until I choose to remove it. This solution works just fine, even with a Bodyguardz Armor skin on the back. Yes, it is a bit of a bummer that this won’t work unless the iPad is sans case but case designs are so different from one to the next that there would be no way to accommodate all cases.
I also got a ProClip Adjustable Holder for Small to Medium Cases with Cable Attachment ($59.99). This cradle is a great solution if, like me, you change cases on your iPhone 5 with great frequency. It holds pretty much all the cases I use and gets a nice tight grip on the phone once it is closed around the device. You can use this cradle on its own, but it also has a slot for the Lightning Cable. You need to bring your own cable to the party, but it is a terrific solution that holds the new adapter quite securely and lets you easily charge your iPhone on the go. (There’s an option that fits the LifeProof fre and other large cases. This isn’t it.)
I already had a phone cradle base in place, so I simply found a way to attach the ProClip Adjustable Holder for Small to Medium Cases with Cable Attachment to it and was all set. I expect I won’t use the iPad mini all too often but this iPhone cradle is going to see use on a daily basis.
Finally, the company was kind enough to send one of their Adjustable Holder for Cable Attachment with Car Charger Adapters to me in the review package. I didn’t need two iPhone 5 holders in my car but had been looking for one by my bedside. It fits the bill quite well!
As I noted in the beginning, I have long been a fan of ProClip’s products. They are among the toughest available. That’s a good thing when you are trying to keep your devices safe and secure on the go. And while the ideal situation would see all of use keeping our mobile devices out of sight and reach while driving, that’s just not realistic right now. A thoughtful and secure holder is the next best thing and that’s what ProClip has to offer. Yes, the products are pricey and the ala carte approach means the cost can add up quickly, but these are quality products that will perform well for the life of your device. You can learn more here on the company website.
MSRP: Prices vary depending on product and configuration
What I Like: Well-designed; Strong and sturdy; Wide variety available; Mounts are car specific which means a better design and grip
What Needs Improvement: Pricey at best and extremely pricey as additional items are added into the mix
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample