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Should I Use an Adhesive or Suction Cup Mount?

Choose the one to use based on your driving situation

Suction cup or adhesive mount?

Your car’s windshield is your dash cam’s best buddy – it’s where it’s gonna stick forever to give you the best visibility for driving protection. In order to mount your dash cam, you have to use either a suction cup, or an adhesive mount.

Although it may appear to be a minor choice, choosing the right mount has a significant impact on your camera's performance, from video stability to overall longevity. In this article, we will explain the pros and cons of getting one, and what we recommend.

What are Suction Cups for Dash Cams?

Suction cup mounts are common to older dash cam models. They typically consist of several components, including a swivel ball and the suction cup itself, which require manual tightening. Drivers who prefer suction cups value the convenience of mounting, repositioning, and removing their dash cams when needed with less effort — stick the suction cup on your windshield, and you're good to go.

Most dash cams found on Amazon, like Vantrue and Rove, come with a suction cup. However, while suction cup mounts may seem quick and convenient to use, it’s not something we recommend since they can fall off the windshield easily and can be more distracting to drivers.

In terms of safety, after prolonged exposure to high temperatures and sunlight, suction cups can become stiff or deflated, increasing the risk of them detaching from the windshield. Once the suction cups fall off, they tend to absorb dust and grease, which makes it difficult to reattach. More importantly, suction cups are much more prone to vehicle vibration, which makes video footage shaky and blurry.

What are Adhesive Mounts for Dash Cams?

Adhesive mounts are thin and flat pieces of mounts that offer a discreet and low-profile design. They provide a straightforward installation process, coming with a strong adhesive tape that mounts the dash cam directly to the windshield or dashboard without any additional tools or drilling.

Compared to suction cup mounts, adhesive mounts lack the long arm piece that decreases the overall footprint of the dash cam, so it’s highly recommended for less distraction and ensuring they stay within legal parameters. Therefore, adhesives provide a compliant solution, as they do not impede the driver's view or violate any regulations regarding windshield obstruction.

Because adhesives directly attach to the surface, they provide greater stability and vibration reduction. Suction cup mounts can accidentally detach in the event of an accident, while adhesive mounts offer a more reliable solution, keeping your dashcam in place even in case of moderate to strong shocks and over a long period of time.

How do they handle the heat?

As your dash cam sits idle on your windshield while you are away, it's important that you get something that can withstand the heat, as the mount is the first point of contact for the blistering sun.

In our experience, adhesives are better than suction cups in high heat due to their superior bonding strength and resistance to temperature fluctuations. High-quality adhesives, are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and maintain a secure hold, even when exposed to prolonged heat. Suction cups, on the other hand, tend to lose their grip as the heat causes the rubber to become more pliable, leading to potentially falling off, and becoming less effective in the future.

This makes adhesives a more reliable choice for maintaining the stability and security of dash cams and other devices in high-temperature environments.

Static Windshield Stickers

One of the reasons why drivers choose suction cup mounts is for car vehicle rentals, or if they need to be swapped to other cars on a frequent basis. The good news is that dash cam manufacturers, like VIOFO, have also begun providing Static Windshield stickers for this concern, allowing adhesive mounts to be versatile too.

The Static Windshield Sticker is a transparent, thin, film-like sticker. It is not adhesive, but it can attach to the front windshield of your vehicle by static electricity, recommended to be mounted before you directly attach your dash cam. Therefore, when used, there will be no residual marks or cleaning troubles when repositioning your camera. Dash cam models like the VIOFO A139 Pro and the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 come with the Static Windshield Stickers.

Heat Blocking Film

Premium dash cams like the Thinkware U3000 and the Thinkware Q1000 also come with a Heat Blocking Film. It’s a specialized film designed to block heat, which is mounted on the windshield before the dash cam.

Now how does it differ from the Windshield Sticker? For Thinkware, the heat blocking film reflects the direct sunlight from the windshield to help lower the dashcam's internal temperature. This will help prevent overheating and provide extra protection if you happen to live in warmer regions like Texas, Florida, and Arizona.

The Adhesive Advantage

If you value stability and discretion, adhesive mounts are the way to go. They provide a more secure connection, eliminating vibrations that could degrade video quality.

Moreover, the adhesive mounts’ low-profile design also makes the dash cam less visible, which could be a huge benefit if you're concerned about theft or simply want a cleaner look for the interior of your vehicle.

Whatever type of mount you wish to use, it is important to wipe down your windshield to remove grease and stains before applying it. This ensures a secure attachment, minimizing concerns of accidental falling off.

If you are looking to easily swap the camera between different setups, then we recommend purchasing multiple adhesive mounts, and moving the unit between them.