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iPad Dash Mounts and Cradles For Front Seat and Driver Use

Updated on August 28, 2013

Whether you have a first generation iPad or a second series model, there is an in car mount kit available to suit your needs. I have talked about car cupholder mounts and iPad headrest holders elsewhere along with the benefits these provide to the backseat passenger, but there are also some pretty good reasons why you, the driver, would want to mount your tablet computer for front seat viewing too.

The best way to do this, is to opt for a motor vehicle dashboard mount for iPad devices. A dashboard or vent cover mount allows you to attach an iPad to a car dashboard for access to its useful features as a mobile device or for entertaining yourself while stuck waiting for someone while parked...or whatever other reason you have for waiting around in your car.

You can get a custom install job done to put an iPad into your car's dash but why spend the money when you can just as easily mount it there yourself with an easy to install iPad vehicle mounting kit.

The Best iPad Dashboard Mount Holder

Padholdr iPad 1,2 and 3 Holder for Dash in Vehicles Universal Fit
Padholdr iPad 1,2 and 3 Holder for Dash in Vehicles Universal Fit

Sometimes the best costs a little more but if you are serious about putting an iPad in the dash on your car, van or truck then this is one of the best options available. Custom installation of an iPad into a car dashboard is expensive but this mounting kit lets you get the same result for much less monetary or labor expenditure.

The Padholdr iPad dash mount is designed to allow you to customize the fit more any vehicle dash and does so with no visible screws and no marking up the car either, so if you ever decide to remove the mount, it should look like it was never there. The holder fits behind the dash with minimal installation which they say should take anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes maximum to install.

The Padholdr looks great with a high gloss holder which secures the iPad firmly in place without covering up the viewing screen and minimizing its footprint on the dashboard so you are not obscuring the radio or blocking the heater. It is also slotted in the side to allow easy access for the charger so you do not have to remove the iPad from the cradle whilst charging.

Road vibration and shock damage is always an issue with installing a car mount for iPads and other devices but the Padholdr has you covered here too with pre-installed bumpons designed to press against the dashboard and reduce road shaking and vibration levels. It is also compatible with most iPad cases so you'll not have to remove your device from its case to or cover to install it in the mount holder.

There are cheaper alternatives to the Padholdr but you only have to look at the customer reviews to see they're not very ahppy with their purchase even if it was cheap. Considering the cost of the iPad and the cost of the devices it can replace by being mounted on the dashboard (no need to buy a GPS system, free internet radio etc) this mount is a very good purchase anyway.


Using a vent holder to mount an iPad on the car dash is like having a car with an onboard computer. The first time you take to the road like this don't be surprised if you start having flashbacks to old episodes of Knightrider and wonder how far down the road KIT might actually be a reality! (young'uns, Google the show if that made no sense to you)

Now, mounting an iPad in the front seat of your car is not an excuse to suddenly turn into a complete menace on the road. These iPad car vent bracket mounts are not designed so you can play Angry Birds while cruising down the freeway at 70mph but they do have multiple really useful features including giving you the ability to:

Stream music from internet based music radio like Pandora - create your own radio station with the music you like.

Use it as a hands-free phone - yup, there's an app for that, try Whistle by Vail Systems.

Get traffic alerts and see a live video feed of upcoming problems - and there's an apps for that too, try Co Pilot.

Access your iTunes library from your car - play your music and with bluetooth, play it through your car speakers.

Navigation and GPS - there are loads of navigational apps for the iPad and making use of them will never be easier.

Netflix streaming and movie viewing - yes, for those in the back, not for you!

...and many more...

Yes, the options really are endless when you think about it. Early for a meeting, or waiting for a delayed client? Go browse the internet, check email, watch some TV, mess with YouTube or play your favorite game on your iPad directly on the dashboard of your car. Kids are late out of school, waiting for a ferry to work, stuck in non-moving traffic, etc. etc. etc. there are so many reasons why you'll fall in love with a dash mounted iPad it's just impossible to name all the useful scenarios. We spend a lot of time in our cars and not all of it is driving, so why not make those times as comfortable and enjoyable as possible? Once you install an iPad dash caddy you'll wonder what you ever did without it.

iPad vehicle vent cover holders mount the iPad directly onto the central air vent in the dashboard. They are designed to use this part of the car dashboard as a firm and secure mounting point which is essential if you are to get the most out of fitting an iPad to your car in the first place. The last thing you want is it falling off and damaging the mount or worse still, the iPad itself.

Other Alternative Mounts For The Front Seat

What Are The Important Features and Pitfalls To Look Out For In A Car Dash Mount

iPad vehicle vent cover holders mount the iPad directly onto the central air vent in the dashboard. They are designed to use this part of the car dashboard as a firm and secure mounting point which is essential if you are to get the most out of fitting an iPad to your car in the first place. The last thing you want is it falling off and damaging the mount or worse still, the iPad itself so a secure, safe mount is the most essential thing to look for.

Not all indash iPad mounts are made the same however and that's the reason why I felt the need to highlight the Padholdr above as a really good mount. Some are, frankly, garbage and you'll wish you hadn't wasted your money if you fall foul to one of them.

Vibration is a big issue for any in-car devices mounted to the dashboard, windshield or anywhere else in the car. Cheap iPad mounts for car and vehicle use don't do much, if anything, to mitigate the rattling, shaking vibration a car passes on to any digital device on even the smoothest road. The cheapest iPad car mount holders are less than impressive in how they handle this with customers reporting the mounts breaking, bouncing around to the point of ridiculousness or even breaking the vent they are mounted on to in some cases.

The best iPad dash holders use some for of damping system to protect your mount, iPad and the car itself from damage. The Padholdr does this well and no, you can't eliminate all vibration but you can reduce it significantly to a point where it is no kind of problem for you or the gadget you installed.

You want to make sure all air vents, heater outlets and other dashboard controls are still usable after you have fitted the mount. There's no point adding one great feature to your vehicle and imparing others. There's not going to be anything fun about using your iPad when its 100 degrees outside and you can't access your car's air conditioning! Some mounts like the Padholdr try to keep their footprint as small as possible so don't go covering up the important stuff on the dash. Others are not so conscientious.

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  • LouisaDembul profile image

    LouisaDembul 5 years ago

    Great info on iPad Dashboard mounts.

  • Diva2Mom profile image

    Diva2Mom 5 years ago

    So informative! God bless.

  • profile image

    NewUsedCarsSacramento 5 years ago

    informative stuff...thanks!!

  • steph-naylor profile image

    steph-naylor 5 years ago

    I just dropped by to say 'super lens' Thankyou!!

  • profile image

    tanyholmes 5 years ago

    This is informative and useful stuff!

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    So, iPad dash mounts are not all created equal but you have solved that problem and done the shopping and comparing for us!

  • JoyfulReviewer profile image

    JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

    Thanks for all this helpful info. you've provided ... especially the pitfalls and features to look out for. ~~Blessed~~

  • mrsclaus411 profile image

    mrsclaus411 5 years ago

    These are useful stuff.

  • profile image

    Buchamar 6 years ago

    Great info! Thank you - I review kids apps - come visit!

  • rootadesigns lm profile image

    rootadesigns lm 6 years ago

    This may come in handy!