Sometimes size does matter! For example crash pads that provide solid protection for extended, multi-level boulders.
Fortunately, companies have also realised that boulderers prefer not to have to aim when falling. The result: this season there are more big crash pads available than ever before. Here’s an overview of the most important 2 sqm landing pads.
Edelrid Crux: large, green and popular
When Edelrid presented the Crux in 2009, it was a beanpole among crash pads. After all, it is 210cm long and 115cm wide. A 4-layer sandwich construction with different foam hardnesses easily fits into the 10cm height. Even if the pad is delivered unfolded: folded twice, it can be carried to distant places with the well-designed carry system. It is not surprising that this pad has been a bestseller at Alpinetrek.co.uk for a long time: it is not only the Goliath among the boulder mats, but also offers an unbeatable price per square metre.
- Pad size: 210cm by 115cm = 2.415 sqm
- Thickness: 10cm
- Price (RRP): €249.95
- Price per sqm: €103.50/sqm
By the way: the Crux Tent can at least be considered an amusing idea: with a pole system and a tarpaulin you can put up a tent using the Crux Pad as a base. Nice for spending the night right at the boulder spot.
Ocun Paddy Incubator: new and really big
The technical manufacturer Ocun also produces mega mats. It goes by the name “Paddy Incubator” and continues the well-known quality of Ocun pads. At exactly one metre, it is slightly narrower than its Edelrid counterpart – but that is not the only difference. Three layers are covered by robust Cordura (2x 2cm PE foam on top and bottom, 6cm open-pored PU foam in between). In addition, the pad consists of three parts: the two outer parts can be folded and the pad can then be folded again in the middle.
- Pad size: 210cm on 100cm = 2.10 sqm
- Thickness: 10cm
- Price (RRP): €269.95
- Price per sqm: €128.55/sqm
Mad Rock Triple Mad Pad: the three-parter
At 2.05 square metres, the Triple Mad Pad from Mad Rock just makes it into this list. If we had taken volume as a yardstick, it would have been right at the top, with a whopping 13cm of foam wedged between the nylon outer shell. The crash pad weighs a reasonable 6.5kg and can be folded to 61cm x 112cm and 39cm height for transport. The gaps between the individual elements are covered with hook and loop fasteners during use, so that you can’t get your foot caught and injure yourself.
- Pad size: 183cm by 112cm = 2.05 sqm
- Thickness: 13cm
- Price (RRP): €239.95
- Price per sqm: €117.05/sqm
Metolius Magnum crash pad: the luxury mat
At around €400, the Magnum crash pad from Metolius is not for the budget conscious – but with its details it is something for perfectionists. The two folds are each bevelled by 45° – this effectively prevents the pad from being knocked through or bent over. Folded together, you can carry a good nine kilos on your back in a 122cm x 69cm x 33cm box. Inside the pad is a sandwich construction with two closed-cell and one open-cell foam layers. The pad also comes with a storage pocket for shoes, chalk and other small items.
- Pad size: 183cm by 122cm = 2.23 sqm
- Thickness: 10cm
- Price (RRP): €399.95
- Price per sqm: €179.35/sqm
Conclusion: luggage nightmares
All pads have one thing in common: owners should have at least one combination to transport the pad together with some bouldering friends. In exchange, they all have a huge landing area that is hard to miss. As all the boulder mats shown are at least 10cm thick, you can dare to try your hand at climbing the highballs: almost an art in itself. With such a pad on your back you are well prepared to go all the way. If you fall, you fall well. And that is the job of a crash pad.
One last thank you to my namesake Sebastian, who as the crash pad expert in our customer service department helped put together this list. Thx! And now it’s your turn: have we forgotten a pad? Do you have any experiences or favourites to share? Let me know!