The RAM cradle for the Garmin Montana series was finally released recently, so I ordered one right away and put it on my mountain bike’s handlebars.
I’m planning to pick up a new phone soon, and I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of buying clunky, expensive phone docks. And then there’s the fact that my wife and I have different phones, so if I take her vehicle, I’m stuck without a mount.
UPDATE: Now available for the GPSMAP 78 series (scroll down for pics).
I received an email a couple of weeks ago from a fellow in Idaho who hand manufactures a new style of mount for the Garmin 60 series. It looked interesting enough that I agreed to test it out, and I came away pretty impressed.
Made from Concealex (a modified form of Kydex), the mount seems very rugged, and doesn’t appear to block GPS signals, allowing the unit to be almost completely enclosed. Dave Jankowsky, creator of the mount, has dubbed it the Buzz Bomb Cradle. You need to use a RAM diamond mount with it; I used the RAP-274U.
Got a GPS lover in your house? Here are some great, smaller items they are bound to love.
Auto GPS stocking stuffers
- Friction mount – My number one choice in this category. No more suction cups falling off or windshield residue to attract thieves. Friction mounts rock. (More info)
- GPS carrying case – My office mate just cracked the screen on her nuvi 855; ouch! Now that’s a rare occurrence, but scratches aren’t.
- GPS map update – Not ready to spring for a new unit? Update the old one.
Handheld GPS stocking stuffers
- Eneloop rechargeable batteries – My top pick in the handheld category is great for anyone that runs through batteries, whether in a GPS, camera, or what have you. These low-discharge batteries hold their charge very well in storage, so you don’t need to "top them off" before hitting the trail. Better get eight; they’ll love them that much. (More info)
- Geomate.jr – With 250,000 preloaded caches, this is the perfect gift for the geocacher. Keep it in the glove compartment for those serendipitous moments when they weren’t expecting to be able to cache. (More info)
- invisibleSHIELD – Protect that new GPS! Handhelds get used in tough environments and scratches are commonplace. (More info)
- Garmin TOPO 24K maps – Now available for almost the entire US, these maps combine 1:24,000 scale topo maps with City Navigator routing, turning compatible units into turn-by-turn navigators for your car.
UPDATE: Check out my hands-on review of the DeLorme PN-40.
While working on my DeLorme PN-40 review, I've also been testing a RAM mount for it on my bike. Bottom line — like most RAM mounts, it's rock solid. I tried a couple of different setups, including a new type of rail mount. Read on for the details…
This is too good of a deal not to post it, but I also wanted to throw it out there for those of you not familiar with this great product. And it’s not just for GPS — it’s great for iPhones, iPods or anything with a screen that can be scratched. I just put one on my Garmin Oregon 400t touchscreen GPS and I’m very happy with the results. I’ve seen no noticeable degradation in visibility.
So here’s the deal… Halloween Special. 40% OFF All invisibleSHIELDs
Friction mounts are great, but it’s easy to get one that won’t work with your GPS. Today I’m going to look at three different friction mounts and address how to select the right one. First I want to cover some common questions about friction mounts.
Why use a friction mount?
I prefer friction mounts over suction cup mounts for two reasons — theft prevention and convenience. Let’s say you’re navigating to a shopping center or restaurant. You see it coming up. You can lift the friction mount off the dash before you even pull into the parking lot. No one sees you remove the GPS and there is no tell-tale suction mark left on the windshield. If I’m leaving the car only briefly, I will often just place the mount with GPS attached on the floorboard.
Earlier this spring I wrote about Garmin’s bike mount for the Colorado handheld. I wasn’t too pleased with the zip tie mounting system, though once I moved it to the handlebar stem it was much more stable. But a stem mount means the angle isn’t adjustable, and visibility was quite poor.
Fortunately, a RAM mount has finally been released for the Colorado, and I couldn’t wait to try it out. What I ended up with is pictured above. But don’t go ordering one till you read the rest of the story.
UPDATE: I found a better
mouse trap bike mount. Read my post on how I configured a RAM mount for my Colorado.
Now that my move is over and the baby is a little older, I’m getting back out on the bike and putting my Garmin Colorado 300 to the test. I really like the Colorado, but at this point I can’t recommend it for mountain bikers, due to the backcountry navigation issues I posted earlier this week, along with problems finding a decent mount.
UPDATE: Here’s my video review of the newest Garmin friction mount.
After years of illegally using a windshield mount, I finally plopped down $28 for a Garmin friction mount. My nuvi and I now
walk ride the straight and narrow.
While suction mounts are only illegal in California and Minnesota, there are other reasons to choose a friction, AKA beanbag or dashboard mount — one being theft deterrence. No suction cup, no tell-tale marks on the windshield.