Garmin Portable Friction Dashboard Mount (010-10908-00) Mounting Unit for Nuvi Series and StreetPilot I Series, C530, C550 and C5...

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Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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Pretty Gruvi - It Won't Muvi

Aug 4, 2008 (Updated Aug 4, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Works well, easy to stow under your seat, adjusts easily.

Cons:A bit pricey, after spending hundreds on a Garmin.

The Bottom Line: The Bottom Line is a big fan of friction in cars, but it usually costs more than $30.


Having finally decided to purchase a Garmin Nuvi 650 GPS unit, I figured I might as well go all-out and get everything I needed to maximize my GPS enjoyment. This included the beanbag dash mount that I’d first encountered when using my friend’s Garmin in his car. At first, it may seem like a frivolous and overpriced item, but it’s actually quite well-designed and works very well at what it does.

What you’ll get is a sort of ungainly-looking blob – a central plastic unit, consisting of a swivel-mounted ball-joint holder, with four evenly spaced nylon fabric beanbags surrounding it. The plastic holder has a curving bottom piece that you slide your Garmin into, and a tab with exposed connection points that you then click into your Garmin. To release your Garmin, push the tab button on the bottom piece, then gently rock your Garmin out of the slot. The bottom of the mount is a high-friction, glossy rubber, the kind you’d see on the underside of a mouse pad or a gel wrist support for your computer keyboard. The unit is pretty heavy, weighing at least a couple of pounds, but of course this is a good thing in a friction-mounted base.

Once your Garmin is placed, you can click a lock button that prevents the ball-joint holder from moving, to keep the unit stationary and safe. There’s also a push button that lets you remove the plastic arm from the beanbag base, though why you’d want to do that, I don’t know – flat glovebox storage, maybe? Otherwise, the mount just goes on your dashboard and sits there placidly while you drive hither and yon. My dashboard is large, wide, and has a gentle downward slope, so I wasn’t sure how well the mount would stick on that type of surface, but it clung tenaciously and never shifted a bit during turns, uphill drives, and stop-and-go traffic.

There are several advantages of this friction mount vs. the suction mount included with the Garmin unit. First, if you live or drive in CA, suction mounts that attach to the windshield are illegal, so this is your best option for mounting the GPS unit in a way you can easily and clearly glance at while in motion. Second, the suction mount remains on your windshield all the time, and might as well be a big flashing sign that says, “ATTENTION CAR THIEVES, EXPENSIVE GADGETS QUITE POSSIBLY WITHIN.” Even if you’re vigilant about removing your Garmin from the car and taking it with you every time you get out, you still don’t want to give the impression that there might be valuable electronics inside and encourage thieves to pick your car to break into. The friction mount is small enough (not much bigger than a mouse pad) to easily whisk under your seat, safely out of view, so it won’t advertise that you own a Garmin.

The list price is $40, but I purchased mine from a certain Large Online Bookseller for $30, and while it did kill my soul to pay that much for a mere mount, I figured I might as well do this right and not try to save a few lousy bucks by using the suction mount that I didn’t really like – or endanger myself and others on the road with some rigged-up homemade contraption. If you’re making the jump to Garmin-land, spend a little extra and get this well-made, good-quality friction mount that sticks securely even in rough driving conditions, but can be hidden away easily in just a few seconds. It’s worth it!


Recommend this product? Yes


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