Review Roundup

The Garmin babyCam

We know you’re busy (obviously, parenting), and the last thing you have time to do is read online reviews about baby gear. We, on the other hand, need a way to spend our days. We try to read every damn review (and gushing/crazed commenter) on the internet so you don’t have to, and then we compile the most salient points — both good and bad — for you to consider before purchasing. You can read review roundups of all the best baby gear, from jogging strollers to baby carriers, right here.

No need to turn around while you’re doing 80 mph on the highway. Garmin’s new BabyCam displays a view of your backseat on nearly any Garmin GPS unit, as well as a host of other compatible GPS systems. Just tap the navigation screen (assuming you have one in the first place) and you can see your child napping, screaming, vomiting, or cursing at other drivers with minimal eye-shifting. Here’s what reviewers liked and didn’t like about it.

Garmin babyCam

Pros:

  • It’s easy to pull the video feed up on your GPS screen and it “seamlessly shifts from GPS to video monitor via the touch of the babyCam icon right on the navigator,” notes Tech Times. “You can also bark a voice-activated command to switch from GPS navigation display to babyCam view.”
  • If you’re one of those parents who enjoy gazing awestruck at your child for long periods of time, the babyCam happily lets you set some boundaries. You can program it so your child will only appear on-screen for 10, 20 or 30 seconds. It also automatically returns the screen to navigation mode without having to hit a button. Somewhat hilariously, one Amazon reviewer found the 30-second cap to be a huge flaw.
  • The built-in night vision ensures you don’t risk waking your little one up when you flip on the car’s internal lights — you know, to see if they were sleeping.
  • Finally, Garmin gives you the option of adding up to 4 more cams. And if the NFL has taught us nothing, it’s the more angles you can see, the better.

Cons:

  • While installation involves simply clipping the Bluetooth cam to headrest (if you even call that installation), wirelessly syncing it with you Garmin GPS, ironically, can be somewhat “complicated” says TrustedReviews.com: “You have to put the satnav into pairing mode, then take the batteries out and put them back into the babyCam to cycle the power. Following this, the process is automatic.” [NOTE: THIS JUST SEEMS WEIRD AND I DEBATED INCLUDING. ALSO, ONE AMAZON REVIEWER CLAIMED IT SYNCED SEAMLESSLY BUT I COULDN’T CONFIRM EITHER WAY.]
  • You threw out your Garmin GPS in the mid-2000s because you got an iPhone. There aren’t a ton of reviews yet for a niche product that only recently launched, but you and Garmin know the biggest impediment is the fact that your phone has a pretty stellar navigation system baked in.
  • Similarly, you can use a rear-seat mirror for a fraction of the cost. As TR concludes: “At around $150, it’s a little pricey for a device with only a single, very narrow usage.”

Garmin babyCam ($150)

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