Built by well-known accessory provider Belkin, Practical Motorhome reviews the Window Mount to see if this is the best accessory holder to use on tour
While part of the joy of motorcaravanning is having the freedom to be able to choose where to go whenever you want to, it's still good to know you're going where you want to, which is why sat-navs are essential motorhome accessories for many of today's motorcaravanners.
However, these days, many people prefer to use their smartphones and tablets instead of investing in separate sat-nav units. It makes perfect sense as many people will have their phone/tablet with them when on tour anyway, so why have yet another device to carry with you. And as it's easy to connect your tablet or smartphone to the internet, keeping your app-based sat-nav up to date is easy.
Here, we are performing an accessory mount group test because while so many people are using their phones/tablets as sat-navs, few are sold with an in-vehicle mount, so when you're shopping for one, how do you determine which are the best on the market, in terms of value for money but also for keeping your mobile device secure?
We reviewed a number of accessory mounts and device holders, putting them through the same test to ensure comparable results. We measured each holder to see what size of device it can handle. We were also keen to find out how easy it was to secure a device in each mount, and how simple releasing your device from the grips of the mount was.
In addition, we checked how easy the holders were to position securely, whether they were screen-mounted or dash-mounted (or both), and how easy it was to position each mount at an angle that made reading the sat-nav screen easy.
Finally, we assessed how each accessory holder performed when in use out on the road – and in the case of our test, it was a rather bumpy road. Only mounts that kept all the devices as still as possible could collect a full house of points.
As part of this group product test, we also reviewed the Ram Mount X-Grip RAM-HOL-UN7B-KT, the Olixar Omniholder, the Sakura SS4609 Universal Rotating Mobile Phone Holder, the Kenu Airframe and the Polco Universal Smart Phone Holder POLC23. So how does the Belkin Window Mount, which carries a price tag of £15, fare?
If you’ve spotted the clamp-release button on the picture of this Belkin Window Mount, directly between the two sliding clamp arms, you’d be forgiven for thinking this product has an obvious design flaw. How can you possibly press the button to release your phone or digital player when the device completely obscures the button? Well, this is where the Belkin gets clever.
The traditional sliding mechanism is just for initial adjustment. The clamps themselves are ingeniously shaped to allow the device to be unhooked or prized in, making device removal/fitment as easy as the X-Grip or Polco products we also tested. Sadly, all positioning is catered for by a shake-inducing gooseneck, which spoils the concept completely.
The Practical Motorhome test team gave the Belkin Window Mount a three-star rating.
- Getting your device into and out of this mount is easy
- The gooseneck means it isn't that stable