How to choose crash pads
If you want to boulder outside, you need a crash pad.
Crash pads are arguably the most important piece of outside boulder gear because they serve the most important function — protecting your life. There are many different crash pads available today that differs greatly in size, style, and price. With all the options, it can be hard to know which crash pad is right for you. For that reason, We’ve put together a list of some crash pads for bouldering.
Whether you’re looking to take your first trip outside or replace an old pad, you will find an option that suits your situation.
But firstly how to choose a crash pad?
Crash pads can have one of a few different closure styles: taco, hinge and baffle/burrito.
The hinge style is the most common system out there, with a midway seam allowing the pad to fold neatly in half. Hinge pads often have stiff, sturdy foam making it a breeze to pad out your boulder problem. They are also easy to store and carry. However, the hinge can bottom out if you land directly on the seam with a rock or other feature underneath it. Some companies do their best to reduce the chance of a pad bottoming out by incorporating a hybrid hinge design to eliminate the gutter.
A taco style pad has no hinge. Rather, it is a single piece of foam that you fold in half to transport. These pads better protect uneven landing zones, but are somewhat more difficult to carry around.
Like the taco style pads, burrito folds up have no hinge. It can conform to obscure landing zone features. We recommend a solid foam burrito or taco fold up pad when bouldering over uneven, jagged landings. A burrito style pad is rolled up for transport.
Thickness & Stiffness of Foam
Different crash pads are suited for different styles of boulder problems. Some are designed for highball boulder problems while others are meant for shorter problems. Accordingly, foam stiffness and thickness vary by pad.
If you’re going to be climbing tall boulder problems than look for a pad with thicker and stiffer foam that can protect you from high falls. If you don’t climb lots of tall boulder problems than you might want to look at a pad with thinner, softer foam that will be more comfortable to fall on and not as heavy to carry around.
Quality & Durability
You don’t want to buy a crappy crash pad. Your pad can literally save your life, so, above all else, your crash pad needs to be well-made and long-lasting. You don’t want something that will leave you at risk of injury, and you don’t want something that will break down quickly. Where you could go wrong is in buying a pad you know nothing about just because it’s cheap or convenient. Make the investment to get a quality crash pad. When it comes to your life, better safe than sorry.
Finally, here is some brand’s pads what are all incredibly solid options and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
The Big Ones:
BLACK DIAMOND MONDO - The biggest, but at the same time, the heaviest (9 kg) crash pad. If you climb alone a lot, this is the perfect choice for you. But if you want to try hardly approachable boulders, maybe you should choose a lighter one.
METOLIUS MAGNUM - Nearly the same size and weight as the Mondo - same parameters.
TOP 3 Medium Size:
- BLACK DIAMOND IMPACT - The golden mean in our point of view. Medium size, light-weight (4.3 kg) and it’s good to land on it, even from higher boulders. Perfect choice for climbing girls.
- CASSIN MINIDO - Similar to BD Impact, light-weight (3.8 kg) but widely usable crash pad, also ideal for girls, cause it’s easy to carry.
- EDELRID MANTLE - Medium size, moderate weight (5.2 kg) and has a unique solution: you can zip both sides together either lengthwise (120*115 cm) or side-by-side (230*60), if you need a long pad for a traverse boulder.
More crash pads:
- ORGANIC CLIMBING FULL PAD
- METOLIUS SESSION
- BLACK DIAMOND DROP ZONE
- PETZL ALTO
- MAD ROCK R3