Compatible with: Gear Aid ARC LED Light & Power Station,
A sturdy and easy to operate mount for use with Gear Aid lights. The Claw Mount is best suited for around the house or task specific needs due to its one-dimensional nature.
- Strong and sturdy
- Foolproof operation
- Smooth ball joints
- Increases range of motion for light
- No tools required
- Small opening size
- Limited camping/hiking/backcountry uses
I tested the RAM Claw Light Mount as an accessory item to the the Gear Aid ARC Rechargeable LED Light and Power Station. To my knowledge it fits any of the currently offered Gear Aid lights (Spark, Arc, or Flux). I used the RAM Claw Light Mount for three months in a wide array of situations.
Here is a list of things I attached the claw mount to:
- Tree branch to light up a campsite
- Hood of my car while working on the vehicle
- Pipe in the basement in order to shine light while working on a leaking pipe (see below)
- Bike handlebars to experiment with the light capabilities as a bike light
- Pop-up gazebo pole to illuminate the card table while car camping in the rain
Construction & Durability
The claw is a well-built mount that shows no signs of wear or stripped hardware. The manufacturer literature says these are made of “high strength glass filled nylon construction with corrosion resistant stainless steel hardware.”
As mentioned, this has been exposed to the rain and shows no signs of rust in the metal hardware. The claw itself has hard rubber pads on the inside, minimizing slippage or damage to the mounting surface.
Ease of Use
There are two components of the mount, both of which are easy to operate. If you’ve mastered the whole "lefty loosy, righty tighty” thing, you shouldn’t have a problem with this mount.
Ball and socket: this area allows for various angles and directions to face the light. Simply loosen the adjustment knob, find your desired angle, and tighten the knob back up.
One word of caution is that the adjustment knob can be loosened too far, causing the balls to slide out of the socket. At first glance, this may seem like a drawback or con, but I think it is actually useful when trying to clean out the socket.
Claw: This area is what connects the mount to whatever surface you’re mounting to. Again, it is operated completely by the use of an adjustable knob. Loosen the knob to widen the claw jaws or tighten the knob to secure the claw in place, simple as that.
The claw works great and holds tight. However, it just doesn't open as wide as I'd like it to. On numerous occasions I found the opening to be too small for my needs, especially around the campsite where many branches were simply too wide for the claw opening.
Two quick notes on miscellaneous items.
1) Although made and reviewed specifically for use with the Gear Aid ARC Rechargeable LED Light and Power Station, I noticed the threading was compatible with a couple digital cameras we have around the house as well. This common threading is nice for possible multi-uses.
2) Although the claw mount is made by RAM, it is packaged in Gear Aid packaging. The product itself has no Gear Aid labels or logos, and shows the RAM name and the product’s trademarked name, “Tough-Claw.” This co-branding confusion makes no difference in the product's usability or durability, but I mention it in case you try finding the product online or in store.
The Case for a "Super" Mount
In some instances, the claw feature is really nice to have. In other cases, a magnetic mount would have been much more useful, and still at other times a simple carabiner to hang the light did the trick. While Gear Aid does sell a variety of mounts ranging in cost, I’d like to see an option for a “super mount” that incorporates various components and gives the user one mount with many options. Think, claw/magnetic/clip hook mount. Don't get me wrong, the claw is useful when needed, but expanding its potential use could really make this mount a must-have.
A nice to have, easy to operate mount that extends the use of the Gear Aid lighting system. If the user has a specific purpose (e.g. light mounted on a pop-up gazebo) this could very well do the trick. However, it is not meant to be a jack-of-all-trades mount.
Here's a snapshot of how this mount can come in handy around the house. I had a frozen water pipe thaw and crack, thus causing water leaking issues in a dark corner of the basement. A headlamp could have done the trick, but not nearly as well. I attached the light to the mount and the mount to a pipe nearby and light the entire area, helping me see the problem and allowing me to fix the issue quickly.
Acknowledgment: Many thanks to both Trailspace and Gear Aid for the opportunity to test this light mount.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample provided by Gear Aid for testing and review)