I upgraded to an iPhone 6 Plus several months ago and haven’t looked back. The increased performance and larger screen have been a real boon when it comes to answering business emails and reading news articles on the go. However, this increased productivity from having a larger screen does have a few caveats when it comes to carrying your phone for sports and outdoors activities.
In my opinion, phones of this size are just too large and heavy for regular pocket carry. We all know about Apple’s “bend gate” PR fiasco, so carrying my phone in my back pocket was not an ideal solution. Constantly having to remove my phone before sitting down was becoming a real nuisance. Plus, it looked horrible when wearing dress slacks or proper work attire.
My phones giant size was also a problem for some of my favorite outdoor activities, such a bike riding, running and hiking. Because I like to record my workouts using the Mapmyrun app, pocket carry was even more inconvenient and uncomfortable and I couldn’t find an arm sleeve large enough to accommodate the phone with a protective case. Removing my phone’s protective case multiple times per day so it could fit into an arm sleeve was becoming a major pain.
I recently stumbled on the Quad Lock Mounting System while searching for a better way to carry my iPhone and decided to give them a try. The way each Quad Lock mount integrated with their iPhone case was very appealing and seemed like it would solve my phone carrying problems. I purchased the protective phone case, bike mount, arm band, belt clip and car mount.
The Phone Case
Having used an Otterbox Defender case for my past three generations of iPhones, I was concerned about the overall quality and protection level the Quad Lock case would provide. It didn’t seem like the thinner Quad Lock case could compete. I was very wrong in my assumption. The Quad Lock Phone Case looks, feels and works better than I imagined. The case’s construction is refreshingly thin and has a quality, almost velvety touch, that feels good to hold. It even does a good job of repelling fingerprints, which was an unexpected surprise. The Quad Lock case doesn’t have a built-in screen protector like the Otterbox Defender, but to be honest, I’m not missing it. In fact, I’m enjoying the improved texting and emailing accuracy from not having a squishy screen protector to battle.
The Bike Mount
I really enjoy biking to work when the weather permits. The fresh air and exercise helps clear my mind and increase my energy. Since I use my iPhone to track my rides and also listen to music, the Quad Lock Bike Mount is one of my favorite accessories. The bike mount attaches to your bikes handle bar stem, via elastic bands or zip ties (included). This keeps your phone accessible and easy to see, which is the best part. I can easily see maps, ride stats and adjust my music. Speaking of music. I don’t like wearing earbuds or headphones while biking. I like the ability to hear the traffic around me and that’s saved me from a few close calls. The bike mount allows me to use my iPhone’s speakers, which I absolutely love. I can listen to my favorite songs, hear GPS directions and still be aware of traffic approaching from behind me.
So far I’ve used the Bike Mount for several office/gym commutes and a few moderately difficult mountain bike trail rides. The Bike Mount has performed flawless. My phone is securely attached to the mount and can’t be knocked loose. The mount has a spring-loaded collar that prevents your phone from accidentally twisting and falling off. I’ve been involved in two minor trail crashes so far and my phone hasn’t even budged.
The Sports Band
Besides bike riding I also run 5K’s and the occasional 10K. The iPhone 6 plus wouldn’t fit into any of my existing arm sleeves, so I was actually carrying the phone in my hand while running. Obviously this is not an ideal solution and caused me to stop carrying my phone for longer runs. The quest to find a better phone carrying solution while running is how I actually stumbled upon the Quad Lock System.
The Sports Band from Quad Lock works much better than any arm sleeve I’ve owned over the years. Most of the sleeves I’ve owned won’t work with protective phone cases, so you have to remove your phone’s case before it will fit into the arm sleeve. This is extremely inconvenient and defeats the purpose of having a case in the first place. Another problem with most arm sleeves is they’re actually clumsy to use. Trying to use my phones touch screen though a think plastic window with sweaty fingers is frustrating at best. Oh, and don’t even try to take a picture with your phone or try to answer a phone call. You’ll never get it out of the arm sleeve without shouting every four letter word in the book.
The Quad Lock Sports Band eliminates these problems since the phone’s case snaps right onto the the sleeve’s mount. My phone locks into place with a quick twist and the screen is easy to see and access if needed. Plus you can easily remove the phone from the arm band to take a quick picture or answer an important call. The Sports Band’s material is a soft, elastic material that’s extremely comfortable and simple to adjust.
I also use my phone’s speakers when running for the same reasons when I’m biking, I like to hear what’s going on around me. So, I actually wear my iPhone upside down when using the Sports Band. This points the speakers in an optimal direction so I can groove to my music and still be aware of my surroundings. You’d be surprised how fast people drive on back country roads!
The Belt Clip
Quad Lock’s solution for EDC phone carry is simple, but effective. The Belt Clip slides over my belt as expected and securely holds my phone, essentially eliminating the need for pocket carry. I can carry the phone in a vertical or horizontal position, which helps when sitting in your car. Sometimes I find it necessary to rotate my phone to avoid interference with my seat belt.
Admittedly, I only use the belt clip when wearing a tucked in shirt. My phones giant size causes a large bulge at the waist when wearing an untucked shirt and just doesn’t look right. In those cases I still resort to pocket or “tactical briefcase” carry.
The Car Mount
I was a little hesitant on purchasing the Quad Lock Car Mount, because I wasn’t sure how much I would actually use it. My truck already has GPS, so I don’t use my phone for navigation very often. However, I do use Pandora and Spotify on a regular basis, so my phone actually doubles as my truck’s stereo interface. I decided to pull the trigger on the Car Mount and I’m happy with the decision.
After some careful consideration I decided to place the Car Mount on my truck’s center console instead of the windshield or dash top. This made it easier to access my phone and plug in a charging cable. The swivel-head feature of the Car Mount allowed me to orientate my phone to the perfect viewing angle. I can quickly change music apps and playlists in a manner similar to changing radio stations on my trucks radio. Since my truck is Bluetooth equipped I can easily use voice commands to place hands free calls by simply holding down the home button and using Siri.
The mount’s base is firmly attached to a my console via a circular disk with an adhesive backing. The mount then attaches to this disk with a powerful suction cup. This was a smart design decision, because you can easily remove the mount for storage or attach it to your windshield if needed.
The Quad Lock system has been one of the best gadget accessories I’ve purchased in a long time. It works as advertised, the components are well made and it solved my phone carrying problems. The Quad Lock System with all the different mounts is a bit expensive, but I feel it’s money well spent. I use the phone case and most of the mounts on a daily basis, so they’re now an integral part of my EDC.
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