Review: Ram Mounts Level Cup XL with Tough Claw
Russ Chastain 06.28.18
I was introduced to Ram Mounts at the SHOT Show a while back, and I’ve had the pleasure of using their products for quite some time. This cup holder is one of their best products, and if you like tough American stuff and are willing to pay for it, I think it will serve you well.
This drink holder is my most-used piece of Ram Mounts gear. It’s called the Level Cup XL, and can be found at this link — although the linked one has a long arm and I use mine with a short arm. A height adjustment allows you to set it for tall or short beverages, and rubber snubbers at the base help center the cup or container and hold it in place.
Level Cup XL Specs
- Material: High Strength Composite
- Ball Size: 1″ Rubber Ball “B” Size
- Note: The “U” in the part number reflects product packaged in poly bag. Koozie included with purchase of this product.
- Weight: 1.1 lbs.
- Width Range: 2.6″ – 3.5″
- Height Range: 3.75″ – 11″
- Common sizes: 12-ounce Cans, Water Bottles, Insulated Cups, 32-ounce Containers (Nalgene, Pelican, Contingo, Hydro Flask), Etc
- Lifetime Warranty
- Made in U.S.A.
- MSRP: $50.49
The rubber feet or snubbers are not securely attached to the plastic in case you don’t want them on there. This means they are easy to lose, and more than once my shirt tail pulled one loose as I got in or out of my Ranger. A dab of super glue to each will hold them on just fine.
The height adjustment is secure. I leave mine at the same setting most of the time, and it has never come loose. Note that the black “koozie” that comes with it has no bottom; it’s simply a foam rubber tube.
The round balls are dense and rubbery, not smooth rubber as you might expect. The rubberiness allows the ball-and-socket joints to hold their positions well without slipping, and helps dampen vibration.
I first tried the Level Cup XL with a magnetic base, and that was disappointing. It didn’t have the type of high-strength magnet that you’d need for this application, and I was much better pleased with the Tough Claw.
The Tough Claw is a burly clamp (mine is the Large size) which can be clamped to differently-shaped objects, but which works best on round items. Steering columns have worked great for this, and I’ve happily clamped it to the column on Mahindra and Power King tractors as well as the Polaris Ranger.
Large Tough Claw Specs
- High strength glass-filled nylon construction with corrosion resistant stainless steel hardware
- Rubber pads provide stable, even gripping and protection of mounting surface
- Clamp jaw is configured for round, flat and odd shapes
- Available with the 1″ and 1.5″ rubber ball for any RAM Ball and Socket mount (mine has 1″)
- Quick tool-less installation
- Lifetime Warranty
- Made in U.S.A.
- MSRP: $53.99
While driving on uneven ground, your drink is held more or less plumb, but of course there will be jolts that may splash a little out. Using a lid on a cup or tumbler is advisable. And when you’re off-roading, it’s just as important to keep crud out of your drink as it is to keep your drink in your cup.
I’m gonna level with you. (See what I did there?) This is a really expensive drink holder. But it’s also the toughest I’ve ever seen, and with the Tough Claw clamp I can move it from machine to machine quickly and easily, so you only need to buy it once. I’ve used it on a Polaris Ranger and at least three different tractors, and it takes no more than a minute to move it from one to another. The build quality is such that it will likely last decades, unless maybe it gets shot, or smushed with a bulldozer.
Bottom line: Ram Mounts makes good stuff and this is the best drink holder I have ever used. I fully expect it to outlast me, barring crashes or other unfortunate events. You will need to mix and match to get the setup that you need; Ram Mounts sells their products modularly so you can tailor items to your needs. Here are some links to help you get what I’ve got: