Car Sunroof Mounts for Smartphones and Tablets

The Arkon SM679 makes a good sunroof mountJust when I thought we covered every possible mounting location for a phone or tablet, along comes one that we missed.  Today, we discuss car sunroof mounts for smartphones and tablets.

Why Do I Need a Sunroof Mount?

So why would one want to mount their device on the sunroof?  To entertain the backseat passengers.  In the past, I have always recommended a good car headrest mount for this purpose.  Seemed like a great location for a tablet.  Even chose my favorite car headrest mount which we discussed in this article.  Then today, someone mentioned the sunroof to me.  I really never thought of that before, but then after we discussed it, I realized there are some good applications for this location.  The primary advantages all have to do with location.  Attaching to the sunroof right in the center means all backseat occupants have an equal view of the display.  It’s also a nice location so that backseat passengers cannot reach the device.

The most common method for attaching car sunroof mounts is with a suction cup.  While I suppose one could use adhesive, I’m not recommending that simply because it will likely impede the ability to open the sunroof.  Even if you got past that issue, removing it when selling the car might be somewhat difficult, although the methods we share for removing from a dashboard will likely work on a sunroof, but I’m not terribly sure.  The suction cup mount that is deployed for car sunroof mounts needs to have some length to it so that it clears the roof of your car.  It also needs to be a stable mount.  I don’t think a flexible gooseneck is going to work well as the wobble that’s inherent to this type of design will not lend itself to watching videos in the backseat.  Lastly, the suction cup needs to have a strong locking mechanism to keep it in place.  Remember, this is going to hang upside down.

Choosing the Right Sunroof Mount

When looking at car sunroof mounts, pay careful attention to the sunroof.  It needs to be smooth glass.  Some sunroofs have a texture or a coating to them.  Both of those conditions do not behave well with suction cup mounts.  Smooth glass only.

Scouring the mounting universe for a good candidate, we find ourselves looking at the Arkon Sticky Suction Windshield or Dash Tablet Mount.  This mount includes an excellent tablet holder which is going to fit tablets ranging from an Apple iPad Mini up to a large Apple iPad Pro.  There are eight support legs of various sizes that be configured to hold your tablet with or without a case or skin.  The mount itself has an extremely strong suction that holds up quite well and has that locking vacuum base that we previously discussed.

A similarly designed mount for smartphones is the Arkon SlimGrip Ultra Suction Cup Smartphone Mount.  It’s the same base mount but includes a smaller cradle that is designed for smartphones and small tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0.  The cradle opens up to 7″ so it will fit most smartphones with or without a case or skin including my big giant Apple iPhone 6s Plus that resides in a real thick Otterbox Defender case.  The cradle will swivel 360 degrees so you can use it in portrait or landscape mode.

Another entry worthy of consideration is the RAM Twist Lock Suction Cup Mount with Universal X-Grip Holder for Tablets.  This mount includes a 3″ metal arm that adjusts at the base and cradle.  It’s a bit longer than the two we just discussed.  The cradle expands to fit small and midsize tablets that include models such as the Apple iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 and 8.0.  This mount features the RAM X-Grip cradle which we really like a lot and wrote a detailed overview which you can find here.  The suction cup has a twist lock mechanism which is quite effective.  All components in this bundle have a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.

These four mounts all fit the criteria we established for good car sunroof mounts.  Sufficient length to clear the lip of the sunroof area, a stable build and a good suction cup.