Most satnav owners will, at one time or another, have looked at alternative options for mounting their device in-car.
The manufacturer supplied windscreen mounts work well but they don't suit every car. People carriers with their steeply raked windscreens often place devices out of reach and there are also security considerations. We are constantly reminded that we should remove all evidence of a satnav when leaving a car unattended and window suction mounts leave a tell tale circle mark on the glass.
There are a myriad of third party mounts to choose from but most are semi-permanent in nature. Solutions that allow you to mount your satnav on the dashboard without having to drill holes for mounting brackets or use self adhesive tape are less common.
Bracketron, manufactures of the solution we are reviewing here, have some expertise in this area. Their first design, the Nav-Mat, used a weighted bean bag solution to provide a stable mounting base and because it was simple and worked well it sold in the thousands.
And so they have developed a second generation version, the 'Universal Nav-Mat 2' which uses an entirely new design, that is less bulky and equally as, if not more, stable than the first.
The mount itself resembles a mouse mat in shape and size. Made of soft, cushioned, rubberised material, it has a fixed plastic disc mounted centrally on the top to which you can attach any mount that is designed to attach using suction to a windscreen. That means almost every mount supplied with a satnav is compatible as well as the myriad of other windscreen cradles for smartphones and other devices.
The underside of the Nav-Mat is the key to how the Nav-Mat 2 grips your dashboard. It has a soft, tacky coating that sticks to the dashboard yet can be easily removed and repositioned. Because of the large surface area, this tacky coating ensures a very firm grip that is impossible to slide. It provides a stable mounting base whilst at the same time allowing for easy removal, just lift up one corner of the mat and peel off.
You can store it in a glove box when not needed and it can be re-fitted on your dashboard in seconds. because the Nav-Mat is flexible t will follow the contours of a curved dashboard without difficulty.
I've been using this mount for some weeks now and it works superbly. It's stable enough to support all the various satnav mounts I have tested with it and provides a mounting solution that is at least as stable as it would be if the satnav was affixed to the windscreen.
It also seems impervious to sun and heat. On one of the few hot days we have had so far this year I was able to confirm that it did not lose any of its grip or other properties when left in the car under direct sunlight, although the installation instructions do advise leaving in-car in locations where temperatures could exceed 150 degrees I think.
Available from Firebox priced £24.49 with free postage, I can highly recommend it.