TackForm Steady Clip Universal Mount review: Grippy dashboard clip holds phones and phablets

The tacky material has a tendency to pick up lint and dirt when the mount is stored or transported without a cover, so the Steady Clip is probably best left, semipermanently, in place in your vehicle between trips, rather than being repeatedly placed and removed like a conventional suction cup mount. If the grip does get dirty and lose its stickiness, it can be cleaned with soapy water and a wet cloth. When the cup dries, it will be sticky again.

The tackiness of the suction cup means that it can be attached to leather, leatherette, wood, and that oddly rubberized "soft-touch" dashboard material. I particularly enjoyed the dashboard-mounting option because it allowed me to mount the phone low and near the radio controls, where I could easily reach it to input destinations or change songs while the windshield remained unobstructed.

Like the C-Fit, the Steady Clip has only one point of articulation, at the ball-joint where the gripping claw meets the mounting arm -- unless you count the spring-loaded jaws. This, combined with the sticky, tacky suction cup, can make getting the mount's gripping claw into the perfect position a bit tricky, but not impossible. The claw does have a few degrees of tilt articulation and can be freely rotated, thanks to its ball-joint connection to the mounting arm. The assembly can also be locked in place by tightening a ring on its back panel.

The clip's arms also take up more space than the C-Fit's, so additional care must be taken to avoid obstructions when mounting it on, for example, steeply raked windshields.

On the other hand, with only one joint to worry about and a relatively short arm, the Steady Clip is quite stable, exhibiting none of the shakiness and vibration that longer, more flexible mounts do when its ball-joint is locked into place.

Fortunately, the Steady Clip's mounting arm lacks the wide, glossy plastic cover that covers the suction cup mechanism on the C-Fit. This makes the Steady Clip's tenacious grip much easier to break when it comes time to remove the mount, thanks to the fact that it's easier to get your fingers around the base. Visually, the Steady Clip's base has more in common with Bracketron's Mi-T Grip, which is a good thing.

Steady Clip by TackForm
The Steady Clip may not hold as securely as its siblings, but it holds a wider range of devices. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

In sum
The TackForm Steady Clip's tacky suction cup and its 0-to-4-inch gripping range make it ideal for owners of very large (or oddly narrow) smartphones who want to dashboard-mount them, but unless you're carrying one of those phones of extreme dimension, you're probably better off taking a look at the TackForm C-Fit or Bracketron Mi-T Grip with their stronger gripping arms and lower-profile designs.

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TackForm Steady Clip multi-surface mount

Part Number: DPTF-0101
MSRP: $34.99 Low Price: $9.99 See all prices