There’s nothing remotely stylish or cool-looking about SeaSucker’s $90 iPad Mounting System (also called the Naked Flex Mount on the company’s website), but there’s also nothing I’ve seen that grips an iPad quite as tightly. The Flex Mount consists of a pair of massive, white-rubber-with-orange-accents vacuum cups, paired with a flexible stem (called a Flex Arm) that goes between them.
Once you get over the geeky appearance, it’s easy to appreciate that there’s plenty of power in those 4.5-inch, pump-action vacuum cups. And, yes, I meant to write vacuum cups instead of suction cups—there’s a diference. The Flex Mount’s vacuum cups are much stronger than traditional suction cups thanks to a pump-action design that creates a tight grip on the surface of your iPad or any other tablet or case with a smooth back.
Visible bands on the plungers (in a shade of orange reminiscent of life jackets) are not for decoration. As you use the cup’s pumping mechanism, the band recesses farther and farther into the cup’s housing, until the band is completely hidden—no orange stripe means the seal is tight. If you start to see the orange stripe, that means you should give the pump a couple presses to refresh the grip.
With just three pieces—the two vacuum cups and the flex arm—it’s easy to figure out how to put the Flex Mount together, even without watching the company’s instructional video. You can see what goes where and screw everything together quickly, and there are no brackets or clips to worry about or misplace. Then you just attach one vacuum cup to the back of your tablet via the pumping action and the other to the surface you want to attach it to—a countertop, desk, coffee table, sunroof, windshield, or any other smooth surface—and you’re set.
Each vacuum cup has two mounting points for the flex arm: one on the back of the cup, and another on the side—you can use any combination of these side and back mounting points to best position your iPad, based on the orientation of the surface on which you’re mounting it. For example, if you’re viewing a presentation or movie on your iPad, you can attach the arm to the back of the cup attached to a table, and to the side of the cup gripping your iPad, for straight up viewing.
As with any suction accessory, you should be sure the SeaSucker cup doesn’t overlap the inset Apple logo on the back of the tablet, as the indentation can interfere with a tight seal. You want to position the cup on a plain, uninterrupted smooth surface, such as the area above or below the Apple logo or, even better, a smooth case back.
The Mount’s Flex Arm is stiff and somewhat difficult to bend. On the other hand, at seven inches long and approximately 3/4 of an inch in diameter, it keeps your tablet steady as you tap and swipe your way through webpages and documents. And once you do bend it, the Flex Arm stays in position, ranging from a 45-degree to 90-degree angle. If you need more flexibility or length, you can purchase an additional Flex Arm ($20) and connect two Flex Arms together.
Proof of how muscular the SeaSucker is, is that the company uses the same technology in analogous products to secure bicycle racks, fishing rod holders, board and kayak racks, and for boating and electronic mounting. (I’m assuming these uses are where SeaSucker derives its industrial appearance.)
It’s not easy to disengage your iPad from the mount—you can’t just tug at the cup—but that’s the point. There is a way, however: Move two little tabs on the vacuum cup properly, and you can instantly break the seal.
When you’re done using the Flex Mount, you can disassemble its components and pack them neatly into the company’s $18 Carry Case, a zippered black case with a carabiner for easy hanging or attaching.
If you need a rock solid connection between your iPad and a flat surface, and you’re not particularly concerned about elegant decor, you can’t go wrong with the SeaSucker Naked Flex Mount.