July 8, 2008

GPS Arkon Friction Mount Review

ArkonFrictionMount.jpg
For a lot of people mounting a GPS on a windshield is not legal (CA & MN), or just not desirable which leaves them either sticking an adhesive disk on the dashboard, or investigating the idea of an alternative mount like a friction or vent mount. I got in a friction mount and a vent mount with various connectors recently for a review of how they do on my dash and how they hold up. The company is Arkon, and they make a dizzying array of mount styles with some great capabilities.

Friction Mount
This Arkon Weighted Friction Mount has a flat front that allows you to use your stock suction cup mount from makers like Garmin, TomTom and others that have some pretty small, minimalistic mounts. The mount has plenty of heft and sits firmly on the Dash through a normal week of driving. It's a pretty confidence inspiring mount and while it may not stand up on the NASCAR track pulling a few G's it performed well in my normal driving through traffic, around town and on the highway. Just in case you decide to take the fourth turn at Daytona, you'll keep things steady with the little safety loop on the back of the mount that allows you to put it around the adhesive hook (included) that you can fasten to the dash. Its base is about an inch wide, is pretty unobtrusive, and doesn't scream - "Steal the GPS under the Seat" like a regular adhesive disk might. The Hook is a bummer if you wanted a clean dash. To be clear in my time driving I didn't bother with the hook and the mount didn't move at all, even with a Dash Express suction cupped to it.


FrictionMountTomTomXL.jpgI was able to use factory mounts on the friction base as well as Arkon mounts made specifically for TomTom and for Garmin. The factory mounts were a bit slimmer and smaller, while the Arkon adapters had some more length to them and added the ability to adjust to different heights and lengths.



iPhoneMount.jpg
PDA/Phone Mount - I was also supplied with a mount for a PDA/Phone; which comes in customized styles. I had the generic, which fit my iPhone well, and when it comes time to navigate with the iPhone 3G, the Arkon mount should help.
iphonemountrelease.jpgThe mount has configurable bottom "feet" to hold the bottom of the phone so you can slide them back and forth to get plugs into the bottom of the phone. The sidewalls slide in and out and have a soft rubberized interior to cushion your phone. A quick pinch of the sidewalls keeps the mount snug on the phone, while a touch of a button on the side of the mount allows the sidewalls to pop out and release your phone. Simple and fast.


Vent Clip
VentClipNuviMount.jpgGarmin Nuvi Vent Clip - The Garmin Nuvi Vent Clip is a very discreet option for mounting a GPS; allowing you to pop the GPS on and off while leaving the mount right there on the vent. Small and almost invisible, hardly any thief would guess that there is a GPS prize associated with your car. After enlisting friends to try the mount, on the four cars I fitted the mount to, we were pretty happy with the performance. The little clips that snap into the louvers and attach to the mount swivel to accept louvers that are either vertical or horizontal. I would recommend using both hands to remove the Nuvi from the mount instead of just indiscriminately ripping the thing off that may just pull a louver with it depending on the shape of your ride. Using both hands, made the removal quick and easy. Reception was not affected and having the unit closer to me made for easy programming. I also tried this out on the vent to the left of the steering wheel which makes for another very desirable mounting option for lefties.

At Arkon


Read More in: Automotive GPS | GPS Accessories | GPS News | Garmin GPS News | TomTom GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at July 8, 2008 8:34 AM

Recent Comments

A quick follow up.

I got the Arkon mount with TomTom adapter. When I first used my GO920 GPS with the Arkon I tried it without the TomTom adapter. The GPS fitted fine - as you said, so I'm happy with the result.

In my current car I don't think I'll need the adapter but if I change cars who knows maybe I'll need it so it shouldn't go to waste.

Thanks


Posted by: Sean at July 15, 2008 7:15 PM

Sean,

Take a look at the pictures above where you will see the TomTom XL from the side with the TomTom factory mount - so this was just used with the Arkon friction "pad". I would imagine that you will be able to do the same thing with the GO 920.

-Scott


Posted by: Scott Martin at July 9, 2008 11:35 PM

I like this and have a TomTom 920. But, from the review and the manufacturer website, I can't work out if I *need* to purchase the base with the TomTom adapter or just the base alone.

Does anyone else already have one of these mounts and own a 920? What did you purchase? The base mount or the mount with the TomTom adapter? If you bought the TomTom adapter is it actually needed or will the TomTom sit happily on the mount without the adapter?


Posted by: Sean at July 8, 2008 7:35 PM
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