May 05, 2023

New MagSafe Car Vent Mount launches today, and it's a good one

The brand new Peak Design MagSafe Car Vent Mount has arrived. It launched today for the first time, but we have had a chance to test the new magnetic vent mount for a few weeks ahead of the launch. To put it bluntly, this is a good one. It's not exactly the most affordable option out there, but if cheap car mounts have been even mildly as frustrating for you as they have been for me over the years, you’ll want to head below for more details and some of our hands-on impressions of the new Peak Design MagSafe Car Mount.

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The new Peak Design Car Vent Mount is made of a machined/anodized aluminum mounting head and swivel arm, high-temperature neodymium mounting magnets, and a hardened steel blade clip with silicone overmold – it feels particularly solid in your hands.

It's compatible with a wide-range of car air vents (more details on this below, but it's basically any of your standard issue rectangle or square vents with straight horizontal or vertical blades), and it makes use of a dual clamp connector "strong and stable enough for off-road driving" that extends out to a 360-degree swivel arm and a ball head so you can adjust the angle and orientation of your device as needed.

A USB-C port hidden along the bottom of the MagSafe pad allows users to connect it via the included cable with the low-profile 12V auto outlet adapter to keep power flowing to your device. It is also available in a more affordable non-charging version as well.

The way with which the Peak Design MagSafe Car Mount was engineered in terms of the installation process is certainly one of the highlights for me here. One of the countless number of vent mounts that uses a single two-sided clamp to connect onto a single blade on your car vent this is not. The two-point connection system here makes use of one of those alligator clips you likely have seen before alongside a sort of extendable hook – this allows for quite a secure connection to the vent across two of the blades while leaving the adjustable arm and MagSafe charging pad fully adjustable.

There are two fastening points here, one to tighten the extendable hook onto the vent blade and one to both loosen and tighten the adjustable arm. That means you can connect the entire mount to the vent and then swing the arm connected to the MagSafe pad around to your desired position both in terms of viewing angle and ensuring it doesn't block the air flow of the vent. I guess some air conditioning blowing onto a charging pad and iPhone isn't bad, but wow do I hate this in the colder months with heat. The thing is none of this matters with the Peak Design MagSafe Car Mount anyway because you can just swing the pad (almost) completely to the side anyway.

Here are some details from Peak Design on vent compatibility:

Check out the launch video for a closer look, installation tips, and more:

A typical USB-C cable extends from the charging pad down to the included 12V auto outlet adapter and you’ll get some rubber guides to neatly string the cable across your dash – my quite early review unit didn't include these so I didn't get a chance to test them, but they look like a smart way to keep things neat and tidy to me.

The MagSafe charging pad delivers quite a strong connection. I tested it out on regular city drives with a few different MagSafe cases and a completely naked iPhone 14 with no issues. You will have to use two hands to adjust the angle of your device simply due to how robust and well-built the ball head and unit is overall, but you should have both hands on the wheel when driving anyway. I guess it might loosen up over (not a short amount of) time, but I would rather it remain tight and secure personally.

All-in-all, using the Peak Design Car Vent Mount has been an enjoyable experience to say the least. I, for one, have always hated car mounts in general – they’re a necessary evil in many cases that look terrible and ruin my vibe (and heat flow in winter months). The adhesive models that stick on the windshield are distracting, and I hate them (a lot). The sticky dash tops are a bit better. The vent mount is usually nearly as bad, but Peak Design just released the best one I have ever used personally. It's going to have to fit your vent, and you’ll need to use a relatively modern magnetic iPhone either naked or with a MagSafe case, and still deal with a cable running across the dash (I make sure I’m all the way charged first anyway), but it is easily one MagSafe Car Mount everyone should consider – just be ready to shell out $100 for the charging model or $65 for the standard issue.

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$100 $65