You may have noticed our latest product, the Comms Rail. (We’re a little excited about it.) But before we felt comfortable releasing it to the world, we needed to see how it would stand up under our own use. So we got our devices locked and loaded and hopped in the GX for a trans-continental road trip. This venture was mainly on-road, but had a couple of bouts of forest roads interspersed as well for good measure.
As noted in our other articles, our Comms Rail is loaded out with 2 mobile devices, a Spotify Car Thing, a Garmin InReach Mini, and a Baofeng GMRS radio. We’ve also added a Scangauge II to our arsenal (more on that soon 👀 ) since these photos were taken.
Here’s what we found after 2,757 miles of adventuring…
This thing is solid.
Yep, our first reaction is that we’re thrilled with the turnout. Mobile devices are within easy reach of both people and power. Having navigation at the driver’s fingertips is a game changer. (Hey, we’re used to either balancing our iPhone on the center console and hoping it didn’t go sliding off during turns or dumping it top down into the coin cup that replaced our height controls where it’s not visible.) Our Spotify Car Thing is also within easy reach making the touch screen simple to navigate and voice command within ready listening distance. Admittedly, we didn’t have much need of our InReach or Baofeng on this trip, but they’re both there for when we do need them.
We were slightly concerned that the mounting solution might loosen up over time, however with both double-sided tape and six screws holding our install in place, that turned out to be utterly unfounded. While we haven’t mounted anything larger like a tablet to the Comms Rail yet, we don’t foresee any issue with it.
Of course, no product is utterly perfect. Here are the minor issues we encountered.
Depending on the road surface, you may encounter some vibration of the devices mounted furthest outbound from the center. In our case, it was our iPhones, one of which had maps up for the duration of our trip. While the vibration was noticeable, in no way did it impact the usability or visibility of the map on screen.
Depending on how much gear you have mounted to your Comms Rail, the view of the info screen behind it may be blocked (as is the case with ours). The only information this prevented us from seeing that we wanted to check regularly was the estimated remaining range. This was our fist extended road trip on our GX and we’re still getting used to the quirks of the gas gauge (ours estimates low by 3-5 gal.). That said, the Scangauge, which we’re also still getting set up to our liking, should mitigate this issue.
That’s it. The first issue can be minimized by mounting devices with screens toward the center of the rail. The latter isn’t so much an issue as it’s dependent on how you choose to set up your Comms Rail for your needs. Obviously, any mount in this location runs the risk of blocking access to the info screen.
We’ll continue to explore various solutions to the grips above and working to develop new products that provide alternative solutions for those who prefer them. Keep your eyes on the website for other new products launching soon!