Friday, May 24, 2013

Gap Pal Review (Tech)



Gap Pal - Feature
Ever been on a road trip with more people and things than cup holders? In today’s mobile world it’s hard not to take an electronic or two- or five- everywhere. A cellphone in a cup holder, extra chargers in the glove compartment, and sunglasses the change holder doesn't leave much room. This unbridled need to bring all the information and connectivity with you at all times leaves space at a premium, and that’s where the Gap Pal comes in.
With the Gap Pal the aim is to create more sleeves to store the things you can’t live without. The installation is easy, one end is held in by an elastic band, while the on the other end is held in place by the seat buckle. There are three slots and two pairs of elastic bands, though after installation only two slots remain.
Gap Pal - Ideal Setup
The “ideal” setup. Wish my car was as clean.
Of the original three pouches after installation the Gap Pal is left with only two, one large and one smaller. The larger of the two should fit a standard cellphone or MP3 player. The elasticity of the neoprene fabric allows for some size variation, but unfortunately the design does limit the functionality. The slit design forces larger items to decrease the width and decreases the overall size. Items like larger cellphones or older styles of iPods might be too large thick to fit. Due to the tight fit of the slots, it’s not advisable to utilize the Gap Pal while driving. The best use is for items that are not required while moving or simply extra accessories. The extra space is perfect for an iPod nano, credit cards, headphones, and other smaller items.
The Gap Pal is made of a neoprene fabric that allows for the elasticity and easy washing. Thanks to the design, it should fit most models of cars; the three cars we tested worked. The design of the center console can present it’s own issues though. In the “ideal” setup, the center console is even with the seats, allowing the Gap Pal to be properly confined on both sides and limiting movement.
Gap Pal - Not Ideal Setup
Not the idea layout for installation.
In a car with a sunken center there can be some movement on the open side, though it does allow for easy access to the elastic straps in this setup. Another concern would be in some cars position of the emergency brake or shift control might limit which side to use. Counter-productively, the same installation could cover the center cup holders in some models of cars.
There are a number of considerations to take into account before purchasing a Gap Pal from if it will work best with the model of car intended to if the items will fit and just how much stuff is really needed on the go. However, if space is limited and it’ll work with the setup, then the Gap Pal is an affordable means to expand the functionality of a car. The design could have benefited from more form factors, but the installation of the Gap Pal makes it easily conform to most vehicles. Since it comes with two in a package, use one for yourself and give the other to a friend if you want to be nice. It might not be perfect for everyone, but it’ll be perfect for someone.