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Yada Digital Tiny Traveler Baby Monitor review: Tiny Traveler watches your baby on the road

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The Good The Digital Tiny Traveler system shows clear video imagery in low-light conditions and handles the transition from dark to light very well. The kit provides a number of mounting options for the camera.

The Bad The system requires two 12-volt power points in a car, and the long power cables can be challenging to set up.

The Bottom Line Digital Tiny Traveler offers a clear view of your young one in the back of the car under all lighting conditions, but this system is best-suited for parents of infants under one year of age.

6.7 Overall

Yada, maker of wireless back-up camera systems for cars, takes its video expertise and repackages it for another safety need: keeping track of young ones strapped into car seats while you drive. The Digital Tiny Traveler video system consists of a camera transmitting its imagery to a monitor over a wireless connection. But that doesn't mean there are no wires -- long power cables for both components will be challenging to keep out of the way.

The Digital Tiny Traveler kit consists of two main components, a camera and monitor. The CMOS camera sits in a black plastic case mounted in a bracket that gives it about 45 degrees of vertical pivot. LED lights around the lens and a light sensor enable its night-vision capability. A mounting point at the back of the bracket lets you attach the camera to one of the three mounting options included in the kit: a suction cup, a headrest strap and a bar grip. Sticking up from the top of the camera, a 16-foot power cable ends in a plug compatible with 12-volt power points in cars.

Digital Tiny Traveler
The main components of Digital Tiny Traveler are its camera and video monitor. Josh Miller/CNET

The 4.3-inch video monitor comes in a nicely-shaped bezel with a row of buttons along the top for controlling brightness, contrast and pairing with the camera. The kit includes a suction cup mount so you can attach the monitor to the windshield or another smooth surface on your car. A port in the side of the monitor accepts the included 6.5-foot power cable, which also ends in a plug for a 12-volt power point.

The monitor installs as easily as any smartphone mount, the included suction cup mount offering lateral and vertical pivot points. Unlike a smartphone, however, you are going to need to plug the video monitor in. I prefer to put mounts like these at the lower-left corner of my windshield, which means either running the cable across the top of the dashboard and down the center stack to a power point, or tucking it up under the dashboard. If you mount it in the center of the windshield, you can run the cable directly down the center stack. In either case, the included cable is plenty long.

Conveniently, Yada includes three types of camera mounts for your car, adding flexibility to where you position it. Generally, you are going to want to use the suction cup mount attached to the inside of your rear window, for a reason I'll get into later. A strap mount fits around headrests, although I found the vertical strap barely long enough to encircle the headrest in a Lexus LS. An included clamp mount lets you attach the camera to a headrest's bar support, its ball joint letting you twist the camera to keep the lens upright.

Digital Tiny Traveler
Digital Tiny Traveler include a headrest strap mount for the camera. Josh Miller/CNET

The camera's power cable inconveniently sticks out of its top, and the lens doesn't turn, so you are stuck mounting the camera in only one orientation. The length of the cable means it will work in any car short of a recreational vehicle, but its 12-volt plug can lead to your first problem. Many cars only have one 12-volt power point, but the Digital Tiny Traveler kit needs two plugs. Yada should have made it so both power cables could connect to a single plug. As it is, you may have to buy a Y-adapter with one 12-volt plug and two 12-volt outlets.

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