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iGrip Vehicle Mount Options: Arkon Vehicle Mount Kit Still My Favourite

Last week I was browsing the Treonauts Accessories Shop and I was surprised to see that the three different models of iGrip vehicle mounts – #1 iGrip Holder with Vent Mount; #3 iGrip Holder with GooseNeck and #4 iGrip Cigarette Mount – had become the bestselling ones while still leaving my favourite Arkon Vehicle Mount Kit as #2.

I naturally wanted to find out for myself why the iGrip models had become so popular and what if anything made them ‘special’.  I therefore ordered all three of them and installed them in my current rental car pictured above with my Treo 700p, Treo 750v and Treo 650.

iGrip Holder with Vent Mount

While the idea of a vehicle mount that simply attaches to your car’s air conditioning vents is certainly appealing because the overall unit is smaller, lighter and less obtrusive than one with a gooseneck the fact is that I found it to be absolutely awful to use in real life.

I personally found this type of holder to be filled with flaws.  For starters you cannot easily and quickly adjust the position of the mount so that the angle of your Treo is perfectly within clear eyesight.  Then there is also the fact that once the clips are inserted into the vent it is almost impossible to remove them – my frustration was extreme.

iGrip Holder with GooseNeck

There is no doubt that this type of mount is by far my preferred choice and by far the single one that I would recommend to anyone looking for a secure and convenient flexible vehicle mount.  I personally also found the quality of the iGrip – both the holder and the flexible mount – to be significantly inferior to those of Arkon’s range of products and this is why my choice is still without a doubt either the Arkon Vehicle Mount Kit or the Arkon Vehicle Mount (also see my previous review Treo Car Mount & Charge + GPS).

iGrip Cigarette Mount

Again, this type of mount may sound and look interesting at first (I was genuinely excited about its proposition) but I found the practical use of it to be frustrating.  It’s true that in this particular case my rental car’s cigarette ligher plug was hidden deep inside a compartment (making my Treo useful to see from a gearbox but not from a steering wheel angle…) but after testing it I would still not immediately see myself ever recommending this type of mount.

Conclusion
There is no doubt that a vehicle mount is an extremely convenient option to hold your Treo in the car and an essential accessory if like me you frequently use the TomTom GPS bundle, another Treo navigation solution or simply want to always have your Treo within easy reach. 

However, I hope that this review will have helped you to notice that not all vehicle mounts are quite the same.  A few Treonauts may have particular requirements for a Vent or Cigarette mount but I would personally always recommend a standard windshield-mounted flexible model – specifically the Arkon Vehicle Mount Kit or the Arkon Vehicle Mount.

Treonauts always keep the highest standards


Posted by Andrew on October 30, 2006 at 03:05 PM

Treo Accessories , Treo Car Kit

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Comments

1
by Howard | Oct 30, 2006 3:11:10 PM

While I agree with you that a windshield mount is the most convenient and useful, such mounts are illegal in California and, I believe, Minnesota.

Do you know of any any good dashboard mounts?

2
by Andrew | Oct 30, 2006 3:24:55 PM

Howard - Thank you very much for your tip. I was not aware that the windshield mounts are illegal in California and I have always used them when I was there...

I found this info: "NOTICE TO DRIVERS IN CALIFORNIA AND MINNESOTA: State law prohibits drivers in California and Minnesota from using suction mounts on their windshields while operating motor vehicles. Other dashboard or friction mounting options should be used. (See California Vehicle Code Section 26708(a); Minnesota Statutes 2005, Section 169.71)"

What a bummer... This may perhaps help to explain why the Vent and Cigarette mounts have proven so popular in recent months.

I have not tested any dashboard mounts to date but I will certainly do so now to find alternative solutions for Treonauts in California and Minnesota.

Cheers, A.

3
by Andrew | Oct 30, 2006 3:30:11 PM

Howard - actually, now that I think about it the Arkon Vehicle Mount Kit comes with not only a windshield option but also a Vent Mount and a Dash/Console adhesive disk so this will still be my favourite option ;-)

http://shop.treonauts.com/content/accessories/3-78--574-1.htm

Cheers, A.

4
by Eric W | Oct 30, 2006 4:29:37 PM

I wanted to suggest another mount for those of you who are not switching cars on a regular basis: the ProClip. It's a rock solid mount that is purchased in two parts: a clip specifically for the car you drive, and the mount which is device-specific.

Its a little pricey, but very very solid. I've been using one for my Treo for about 2 years now. I believe there is nothing better. (no affiliation, just a fan of the product.)

Its at www.proclipusa.com.

Eric

5
by mstein | Oct 30, 2006 7:10:14 PM

A less obtrusive, if counter-intuitive way of using the windscreen suction mount and gooseneck is to have it come up instead of down.

1. Rotate the mount 180 degrees about the long axis
2. Angle the gooeneck to come up rather then down (this can be hard becuase they're not designed to bend so much)
3. Place as low down on the windscreen as possible
4. If you're using an Akron mount rotate the mounting clip so gravity holds it in place.

Voila, a much less obtrusive mount.

6
by Mark Schaefer | Oct 30, 2006 9:38:46 PM

7
by Andrew | Oct 30, 2006 10:03:13 PM

Mark - thanks for that link. I have not tested it yet but as it says it may be just a little too "over-engineered"... Having said this, I'll get one to review shortly.

Cheers, A.

8
by Federico | Oct 31, 2006 9:30:28 AM

I use an inexpensive magnetic dashboard mount for my Treo 650. You can buy it at many car accessory stores (it should cost less than $10), but you have to make sure that it comes with a magnetic sticker to attach (via crazy glue) to the Treo. The Treo battery and back do not contain enough metal to remain attached to the magnetic holder by themselves. Once you have glued the sticker on the back of the Treo, however, you will have an efficient dashboard display system.

9
by Paul | Oct 31, 2006 10:18:42 AM

I second the comment by Eric - I have never seen anything as good as the Proclip mount. I'm very particular with my cell phones, vehicles, and mounting issues. The Proclip is by far the best I've seen. Very rugged, is adjustable once mounted, can be removed without damaging the vehicle, and looks good. Try it - you WILL like it.

10
by Tom Arnette | Oct 31, 2006 11:11:42 AM

While this will not work conveniently for all cars, applying Velcro to my Treo back and to my car dashboards (Chrysler Town & Country, Volvo 240, Chrysler Sebring) is a cheap and effective solution. It allows me a place in each of my cars. I applied 2 strips to my Treo and 2 strips to a car dashboard. One Velcro strip holds the Treo well. The 2nd strip creates more stability. With the Velcro strips applied, my Treo still fits comfortably in my Seidio belt clip. If I am renting a car, I apply 2 small strips of Velcro and I am good to go.

11
by Geoff | Oct 31, 2006 3:04:17 PM

I also use ProClip and have my iPod mounted on the same bracket as my Treo 700p. The ProClip is taylor made to my car (a Saab) and is pretty unobtrusive. The only downside is the price, but it was definitely worth the cost.

12
by Mr. Peabody | Oct 31, 2006 3:16:55 PM

I found the wiring easy for the Seidio G4100M CAR KIT, found at http://www.seidioonline.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=239, and I've never looked back. No need to mess with additional on-the-spot wiring to listen to music/podcasts via my Treo, and I can switch to phone easily and hear it over the car stereo. And no need to mess with pesky bluetooth headphones, either. Similarly, if you're fondle of bluetooth and don't need to listen to your music/podcasts, get a bluetooth attachment for your compatible stereo (similar to an XM or iPod hookup in the back); when Treo rings, music stops! Just talk into the mic! If only the Treo had stereo bluetooth, one of these cradles would be just dandy.

13
by Bill | Oct 31, 2006 3:48:22 PM

Could you elaborate on why you didn't like the cigarette mount. I own an Audi Q7 that has two 12v outlets, one mounted horizontally on either side of the gear shift. There are no obstructions terribly close to either of them so it would seem that the cig mount would be ideal.

Was it not stable, as in loose, in the 12v outlet itself?

14
by Mark | Nov 1, 2006 8:03:02 AM

Another ProClip fan. Having my ipod and 650 right next to each other at the perfect angle in my sight line is so helpful. They are expensive but very worth it.

15
by Andrew | Nov 1, 2006 10:25:35 AM

Bill - as I believe I outlined in my review there is not much inherently wrong with the cigarette mount - it was perfectly stable and not loose. IF you have a 12v outlet within easy reach in your car then this will be a perfectly good choice.

ProClip fans - I have not yet tested this type of mount but it should be noted that it will only work in _one_ car and is therefore not a choice for people like me who need a mount to travel with.

Cheers, A.

16
by Brian | Nov 2, 2006 9:21:41 AM

Andrew- another ProClip fan here. They do have an option available for use between multiple cars. You get 2 dash mounts and 1 phone mount. Pricey, but well worth it. I should note that if you are traveling and renting different cars all the time then you are correct - probably not a good option.

17
by Eric W | Nov 26, 2006 10:12:30 PM

Just because you can't use the Proclip due to your traveling job/lifestyle, doesn't mean you shouldn't review it. After all, this site is dedicated to the best smartphone (Treo) and the best accessories! :)

18
by Mike | Feb 27, 2007 8:48:48 AM

Will the IGRIP cigarette lighter mount work with a skinned Treo? I don't want to have to remove the skin each time I travel.

Thanks.

Mike

19
by Aaron Roth | Jul 2, 2007 11:49:36 PM

Great review! I particularly like your loyalty to Arkon products. We try our best to deliver quality products backed by amazing service.

You'll all be happy to hear that Arkon's just developed the first truly removable vent mount. The problem with air vent solutions in the past has been that they are always difficult to remove from the vent. Users could potentially damage their vents trying to pry the prongs from the air vent louvres.

However, the soon to be released, patent pending, removable vent mount pedestal from Arkon will provide you with the option that you've been looking for to be able to move a mount easily from car to car. The windshield mounts still remain King and Arkon's new CM014-KST mounting pedestal is small, sexy, and extremely functional. However, if you're not too keen on windshield suction pedestal (or perhaps scared by the laws in CA and MN that prohibit them) then the removable air vent pedestal by ARKON will surely fit the bill.

20
by car air conditioning | Sep 28, 2011 5:23:25 PM

that's really cool! my brother needs to have this one. he constantly travels with our family car because his school is far from our house and he loves cellphone so i think he would be perfectly happy if he got one.

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