iPad Car Mount Holder Reviews

The smartphone crowd may scoff at the idea of a car mount for a tablet as impractical, the same way they laugh at us when we take photos with an iPad, but it’s hard to deny how much better the larger screen is for in-car entertainment and navigation. So scoff away iPhone people, at least we don’t have to squint.

If you do want to use your iPad in your car safely and conveniently you’ll want an elegant and secure way to mount it. That means getting your hands on a iPad car mount. There are lots of different designs available, some more suitable for your current car than others. Still, if you car maker does not provide a specific mounting solution for your vehicle, one of these after market options really is your best bet.

I’ve collected some of the most popular choices here to see if any of them are actually worth it. As usual, the notable picks are right at the top. So let’s see which mounts can hold on and which let things slip.

Top Pick: iKross 2-in-1 Tablet and Cellphone
Adjustable Swing Extended Cup Mount Holder

Car mount makers have really scoured the entire interior of the average car to find places to mount tablets and phones. CD slots, window suckers, seat bolts, and air vents have all become places to stick these things. This is the first time I have seen a cupholder-mounted product, though.

How useful this will be really depends on where in your car the cupholders are in the first place. I guess the best place to use these would be for cupholders in the center console of the vehicle, but a tablet mounted there may obstruct the gear lever in the case of a manual transmission car. Even in the promotional pictures of the iKross you can see the car that it is mounted in is an automatic, which is what I would recommend. In the United States this may be especially well-suited, given how few people like manual cars in the first place.

In any case, let’s assume that your cupholders are in the right spot to make this mount useful and look at what it has to offer.

This product is a “2-in-1” offering, which basically means that it has a holder for tablets up to 10.2” as well as for a phone. So you can swap out your tablet or iPhone, depending on what it is you need.

The arm is 10 inches long and the tablet can be rotated 360 degrees. The bit that goes in the cupholder is tapered and ribbed so that it really will sit in there. The interior of the cupholder provides the most area for grip of any car mount design, so I expect this to provide a rock solid mounting solution. People who have bought it seem to agree, and they report that the holder is basically immovable.

Given that your car is an automatic and the cup holders are in the right place, this seems like the perfect solution.

Second Best Pick: Gear Beast Headrest Mount

Well, the Gear Beast certainly doesn’t lack in the attitude department, with aggressive marketing style choices.

This is a robust-looking, no-nonsense tablet holder that will handle both the 9.7” iPads and the Mini versions. It’s made from tough ABS plastic and has a rubberized interior that should grip well and minimize vibration transferred to the tablet.

Installation is completely tool-less and it will attach to headrests with posts between 4.75 and 8.75 inches apart. That should cover just about anything designed to seat a human being, I think.

The best thing is probably the lifetime warranty that Gear Beast offers with this product. It means that they are really confident that nothing will go wrong at all. Based on the design, materials, and testimonials from people, I think they are probably right. This is what I would buy if I had children … or a back seat.

Third Pick: Kebelo M-CD2 Universal Magnetic CD Slot Car Mount Holder

This CD-Slot holder from Kebelo is different from other examples on the market in that it uses magnetic attachment to hold onto your tablet or phone. This means there are no clamps and no finicky attachment procedures. It also means that the mount weighs less and doesn’t put as much strain on the CD-slot.

Of all the car mounts I have seen this is definitely the most elegant. When the tablet is mounted you can’t even see evidence of the mount itself. The downside is that you have to attach an adhesive magnetic plate to your device in order for it all to work. While you can stick it directly to the body of the iPad itself, I wouldn’t recommend it. Rather, stick it to the inside of the iPad’s case and have the magnet hold the case, while the case holds the iPad. This has the additional advantage of making it unnecessary to take the tablet out of its case when mounting it in the car. There is also a second plate without adhesive that you can use to slide in between the case and tablet.

While I doubt that the magnets will let go of the device with normal use, I think a hard knock will send it flying, but perhaps a cradle system will fare no better. I also worry about the magnetism weakening over time, but I have seen no complaints in terms of the holding ability of this mount. For such a creative and elegant solution I can’t help but recommend this product.

Okra Universal Tablet Air Vent Car Mount Holder

I don’t know who came up with the idea of using the air vent to mount tablets and phones, but it is actually pretty smart. It is better however to use these only if you car has the ability to shut the airflow for a particular vent off completely. In summer it is a good way to keep your iPad cool when handling GPS duties, but in winter I don’t feel all that good about blowing hot air directly onto the device. Still, I’ve used vent-mounted holders for years without any issue.

This example from Okra has a pretty clever design. While it does use the vent as an attachment point, it has another part that spreads and braces the weight against the dashboard. Although, given how light tablets like the iPad Air are these days the vent itself would probably have done the job without any undue stress.

Still, this design provides a lovely, stable base and I really like it. The bit that grips onto the vent itself is an actual clamp and not just a tapered grip; I’m confident this will keep your expensive tablet securely in place.

The mount allows for full rotation and there is a quick release in case you have to get it off the dash quickly and easily. Apart from rotation there is also tilt and swivel, so you can get the device into the exact position you want.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a major problem with the Okra – it doesn’t stay in one place. There are multiple complaints that the holder swivels and shifts under light cornering, and if the road is even a bit bumpy the cradle will flop all over the place. Since there is no real way to tighten up the joints, I really can’t recommend this holder unless you only mean to use it while the vehicle is standing still.

Dealgadgets 360 degrees Adjustable Tablet Car Mount Holder

This is a good old suction-mounted holder much like the ones from the early days of car phone mounts. It sticks onto the windshield and provides 360 degrees of rotation. Personally, I don’t really like mounts that suck into the windshield because they can obscure your view. Dash-mounted systems get around that problem completely. If you have a vehicle with a large windshield however, this may be a moot point. These types of mounts are certainly the easiest to attach and detach, that’s for sure.

It’s also priced very well and, based on what people have said, the whole thing is solid and really too simple to go wrong. The suction cup is reliable and solid – just make sure to keep the bit of windshield it sticks to clean.

Another thing that people overlook is that the suction cup will work on any smooth surface it can get a good seal on, so you can use this in the kitchen or on a desk. That’s a pretty versatile solution.

All in all this is a good buy that will get the job done. It’s nothing fancy, but it works and in the end that’s all that matters. If you think that having a big old tablet stuck where the whole world can see it is a bit goofy, though, then maybe this is not for you.

Digitl Adjustable Seat Bolt Car Mount

If something is worth doing, well then it’s worth overdoing, right? That’s what the people from Digitl must have been thinking when they designed this car-mounted holder.

Instead of being a temporary mount that sticks onto a windshield or slides into a vent, this holder bolts onto one of the same bolts that holds your car seats in place – which means that it is going nowhere any time soon.

It uses a long gooseneck and bolts onto the passenger seat’s inward-facing bolt. This means that it should not interfere with the comfort of the person in the passenger seat. You can use the flexible gooseneck to position it out of the way but into where it can be easily seen.

It’s a pity then that this will only accommodate the iPad Mini, but one could argue that an eight-inch tablet is the ideal size for in-car use. Larger than a dinky phone, but not as cumbersome as a beastly ten-inch device.

The feedback from buyers looks pretty good, with complaints being few and far between. One issue that does crop up seems to be that some cars have a floor too low to lift the tablet high enough to clear the center console. They have included additional mounting hardware that requires a bit of drilling into the car’s body, if you are brave enough.

All in all this is one of the best mounting systems I’ve seen and if you have a car that will work with its length and size then I really recommend it as a more permanent solution.

iKross Car Headrest Mount Holder

Traveling with children or otherwise irritating backseat passengers can be made infinitely more bearable by simply giving them something to do. This headrest mount from iKross means that you can load up your iTunes movie collection or connect to Netflix (if you can spare the data) and keep the kids occupied until you reach your destination.

This mount will work with tablets between seven and ten inches large, which covers all iPads apart from the 12.9” Pro. It also allows for 360-degree swivel and has a ball joint for easy viewing adjustment. This holder will work with most car seats that have two posts, which is just about all of them.

The whole thing is highly adjustable and looks to be a simple item to install; no tools are required at all. The best part is that you can adjust it so that the tablet itself sits between the two front seats, meaning that everyone in the back can watch the same screen. The tablet itself is held in place by a simple quick-release clamp, so it should be a painless process to insert and remove your iPad.

Overall, people are very satisfied with this product. There are a few reports of wear and tear causing the product to fail after a few months, but this seems to be the minority of cases. Some of these breakages also look like they are a result of instructions not being followed or read, so I am not too worried. In any case, the asking price is very reasonable and I think the majority of people would be very happy with this solution.

Satechi Universal Tablet Cd Slot Mount

Have you noticed this weird slot-thing in the front of your car stereo? I have and it turns out this weird hole is used to take something called a “CD” which apparently has music on it. This is a throwback from before people had Bluetooth and iTunes. In any case, there is now once again a use for these old-timey CD slots: mounting an iPad. This universal mount from Satechi will take iPads of all sizes (well, except for the big Pro) and uses the CD slot to support the whole thing.

You get tilt, rotate, and up and down adjustments that have been designed for one-handed operation. The main advantage of using a CD-mounted system is that the tablet screen goes front and center in the main console. The downside is that if you still listen to CDs or have to operate the volume controls on the radio, the tablet gets in the way.

For this particular model there are also a few complaints about the long-term durability of the holder. Although everyone seems pleased with the form and function of it, after a few months it starts having a looser grip on the CD slot and may begin to squeak. That’s worrying, but this isn’t very expensive so I think it is worth getting for the convenience alone.

Koomus CD-Air Tab

Another CD-slot loader is what we have here. The Koomus CD-Air Tab is, as the name suggests, meant for the iPad Air. Although it seems the Mini is also quite welcome.

I’m not a fan of CD-slot mounts myself, but I must say that this is one of the simpler and better designed ones that I have seen. You insert it into the CD slot and then a single lever is used to secure it. Other designs have all sorts of fiddly bits to contend with; not so here.

Based on the pictures, it also seems to have a height-adjustable setting, which would be great because that means you can set the tablet so that it doesn’t cover the controls you still want to access. Of course, you can also rotate between portrait and landscape modes with no issue.

Unlike some other CD holder systems I have seen, this one seems to be really solid and no one has complained about it being flimsy.

If you are OK with CD-slot holders in general (and they do have their advantages) this is definitely one of the better ones on the market.

Steady Hands

The great thing about car mount holders for tablets is that there are so many different kinds of attachment methods. This means you can have a look at your car’s specific layout and decide which method is going to best suit your needs. I’m also happy to see that these accessories no longer cost an arm and a leg. There doesn’t seem to be any outright bad choices here, but some products are invariably better than others. Hopefully. among my top picks you’ll find your next car mount.