This half term I did some thing I never thought possible. I drove 1,000 miles with a toddler and a pre-schooler and two thirds of those miles I did the driving on my own, with no other adults in the car. Now I am extremely fortunate that Aiden has always travelled well. Car seats don’t bother him and he has never known anything other than rear-facing and has shown no desire to be turned round. As long as he has piles of books he is good as gold in the car. Faye gets fed up easier when we travel as she gets bored quickly. She is only 15 months so drops toys and can’t reach to get them back. Normally this is all managed by Keith driving and me playing octopus Mum, passing everything required to the kids and having a good twisting workout to boot.
For this mammoth trip though Keith wasn’t going to be with us and to say I was filled with dread would be an understatement. I had visions of me needing to pull over every twenty minutes and it taking me actual days on days to ever get anywhere. I spoke to my sister who drives a lot and she said really there was only one solution; in car entertainment in the form of dvds. They last longer than reading books so you don’t need to pass new ones back (impossible when driving alone and kid’s rear-facing) and as I think all parents know, kid’s are pretty obsessed with TV so it can put a wonderfully successful spell of silence over them. A very handy superpower when you need to concentrate on the road. So the decision was made to buy a pair of dvd players. I went to the biggest group of parents I trust, a five thousand strong secret Facebook group and asked their advice and experience with in car dvd players for long journeys. Here are the main nuggets of advice that came out of that discussion:
- Do NOT buy a dvd player / give the kids a tablet they simply hold. This is extremely unsafe in the awful event of a crash and could infact be the cause of an injury.
- Nextbase are the ONLY company to make dvd/tablet mounts that have passed European safety standards tests
- If you are buying two dvd players make sure you opt for ones that are able to play both two separate films AND the same film over the two screens. Unless your kids are angels and always agree, this bit of advice is going to come in very useful over the years even if it costs you a few quid more now
Armed with these essential must haves I discovered that Nextbase as well as being the makers of the amazing Nestbase UniMount for tablets also produce both a 7 and a 10 inch dvd player option that met all the requirements. Nextbase kindly sent us the mounts for our tablets and I purchased the dvd players through Halfords. I was extremely pleased to discover that they are both very easy to set up. You don’t need any tools at all as everything you need is in the box nor do you need to change any settings on the players. There are about four seperate pieces that screw together using your hands for the dvd players and even less for the UniMounts and then two cables and that is it. It took me about 15 minutes the first time I set them up but that was because I was wanting to make sure I had it right. Any other time it will be about two minutes.
You can easily remove either just the tablet/dvd player with one click when you park up or the mount is also easy enough to take off so your car doesn’t look tempting to thieves. The picture quality and sound was excellent with features to stop the discs from skipping on bumpy roads. The mount keeps the whole thing very securely in place and the ability to adjust the angle of the screen was ideal for my two who are different heights. I would certainly recommend this product for peace of mind (and a nice quiet mind as you drive) on long journeys. It does everything you need it to do and it is the safest product out there which is the only option I would use when it comes to my children.
* The Nextbase UniMount is the world’s only in-car mounting system for tablets, designed to European ECE R17 safety standards.
* Features a powered USB 2.0 connection ensuring your tablet will never run out of battery when mounted.
* Compatible with virtually all 7”-10” tablets.
* Available exclusively at Halfords, both in store and online.
The new Nextbase UniMount is the only tablet mount worldwide that has passed strict European ECE R17 safety tests. It ensures that in the event of an accident the mount, and any tablet attached, remains securely fastened to and moves with the front seat, preventing it from coming loose and injuring the viewer behind. It also fully protects your tablet from being damaged in an accident situation as it is locked firmly in place.
The UniMount is the world’s only mount that delivers power directly to your tablet, meaning a device will not run out of battery as long as it is secured. The included 12V cable plugs directly into the mount itself and provides you with a powered USB 2.0 connection. This enables you to use a standard USB cable to charge your tablet any time you are in your vehicle.
Richard Browning, director at Nextbase, commented: “The UniMount marks an important step forward in the rear-seat entertainment industry. As with any product that is going to be used largely by children, safety is of the utmost importance. Parents can now feel confident that in an accident situation, their child will not be harmed by the movement of an unstable mount.
“It’s hardly surprising there has been a demand for this type of product. There are enormous hazards involved when a child holds a metal and glass device inches from their face whilst travelling in a vehicle going 70mph – it was something that needed to be addressed.”
The Nextbase UniMount is compatible with virtually all tablets on the market that range between 7”-10”, including the new iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab range. The mount is also flexible and can rotate to up to a 30-degree angle, ensuring users of all heights can comfortably view their tablet.
Browning continues: “Much like other Nextbase products, the UniMount has been designed to be as easy to use as possible. Simply secure the mount to the seat, plug in the 12v cable to your vehicle’s cigarette port, lock your tablet in and you’re ready to hit the road.”
The Nextbase UniMount is available exclusively to buy at Halfords, both in store and online.
Disclaimer: We received the Nextbase UniMounts in exchange for a honest and fair review. As always, all opinions are mine and truthful.