Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Top Bouldering Crash Pad Review

We obtained and tried 10 of the best bouldering crash cushions at numerous world-class goals and in addition some first climb an area in unfamiliar woodlands. We utilized the cushions to cover everything from level soil to rough stone strewn landing zones. We bouldered on different shake composes, from abrasive rock and sharp volcanic tuff in the desert around Bishop to delicate sandstone and smooth greenstone along the lavish Northern California drift. There was a decent mix of novice to master level boulderers to help us on generally events. The analyzers found the correct parity of falling, sending, relaxing and scrutinizing. They utilized their fight tried knowledge from the beginning of the accident cushion alongside very developed current experience to give a careful breakdown of what each cushion does best and most exceedingly terrible.
John "The Verm" Sherman finishes off the "Pelican Arete" (V0r/x) on the Sunset Boulders at Goat Rock CA.

Since our last refresh, we've included the new Mad Rock Duo to our survey. This is a one of a kind new cushion from Mad Rock that exceeds expectations as a medium-substantial cushion and for conveying a second cushion on the methodology. We'll look out for recently discharged accident cushions and test any that emerge.

Best Overall Crash Pad

Distraught Rock Duo

Editors' Choice Award


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One of a kind lash framework for conveying a second cushion

Extravagant suspension for substantial burdens

Numerous highlights including love seat ties and welcome tangle

Froth is hardened and not perfect for shortages

The Mad Rock Duo earned our Editors' Choice honor for its inventive lash framework that empowers you to convey a second cushion effortlessly. For the individuals who need to bring an additional accident cushion along there is no other alternative that makes this such a simple undertaking. The Duo was likewise stacked with highlights and has stunningly thick froth, which is the equivalent as that of the Mad Pad and Triple Mad Pad. It was sufficiently expansive to be an independent cushion, and with an additional cushion, this is an incredible choice for the individuals who rock alone or need to expand ground inclusion.

Read audit: Mad Rock Duo

Top Pick for Versatility

Dark Diamond Drop Zone

Dark Diamond - Drop Zone Top Pick Award


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Substantial landing surface for its class

Conveys outfit well

Strong rucksack ties

Waterproof material on back cover

Thin froth destroys quicker than others

The Black Diamond Drop Zone is our best decision for an overall bouldering cushion. It has a hingeless taco style configuration to totally cover rugged rough arrivals, a fold conclusion that holds equip well, and numerous helpful handles. The rubber treated covering on its back is waterproof, tough and utilitarian, helping the cushion stick to calculated arrivals zones. Dark Diamond's durable metal snare clasps are a portion of the smoothest working of the considerable number of clasps we tried. The shoulder lashes and hip belt are removable to shield from stumbling and for tying the cushion to trees.

Read audit: Black Diamond Drop Zone

Best Buy on a Tight Budget

Metolius Session

Metolius Session Best Buy Award


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Simple to utilize fold for conveying gear



Special shoe-cleaning floor covering highlight

Not for pulling vast burdens

The Metolius Session is a Best Buy grant champ since it is one of the slightest costly cushions yet and has a basic, demonstrated outline and remarkable stockpiling fold conclusion. It simply edged in front of the other shared Best Buy champ the Mad Rock Mad Pad since it had a couple of more highlights and was somewhat better to pack adapt.

Read survey: Metolius Session

Best Bang for the Buck

Frantic Rock Mad Pad

Frantic Pad Best Buy Award


(22% off)

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Loads of froth


Sturdy Construction

Included cover square and lounge chair lashes are pleasant highlights

Not perfect for conveying heaps of rigging

With the Mad Pad, not exclusively do you get 5" thick froth for $160, you get some cool highlights like the little cover square, relax ties, and capacity to associate it to other Mad Pads. That was insufficient to beat the inside and out practical straightforwardness of the Session. The Mad Pad is an extraordinary alternative for any individual who is on a financial plan, enjoys the thick 5" froth for long falls and does wouldn't fret the 5" stature that makes a sharp lower leg moving edge and the solid froth that is jostling for deficiencies (give it a couple of hundred tumbles to break in).

Read audit: Mad Rock Mad Pad

Top Pick for Carrying Gear

Distraught Rock R3

Distraught Rock R3 Pad Top Pick Award


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Bewildered plan offers mind blowing flexibility

Marvelous pulling capacity

Helpful highlights

Not our most loved for long falls

The Mad Rock R3 emerges on account of a few reasons: The one of a kind confuse configuration makes it the main cushion made that fits in with uneven arrivals, the fold conclusion enables it to convey equip and the Black Diamond Drop Zone, it's not very costly, and it is made out of reused/extra pieces of froth. The suspension framework is choice and has fortified shoulder ties with a handle between the lashes to help in lifting when vigorously stacked.

Read audit: Mad Rock R3

Investigation and Test Results

After one next to the other tests, we have discovered some huge contrasts in every one of the cushions when assessed by froth, outline, toughness, and highlights. There were various outlines and sorts of materials with the pivot versus taco style plans being the most essential outline characteristics to consider and the kind of froth layers being the absolute most vital part of the materials. We put every one of the cushions through an assortment of thorough tests. Our test measurements included: how they performed at Padding Falls - high falls and low falls; how they performed Packing Gear - pressing enormous stuff and pressing little stuff. Alternate measurements included: how helpful were the Features in the long haul, for example, required handles for conveying, delicate material for relaxing, and to wrap things up, obviously, sturdiness. We at that point picked our Editors' Choice, Top Pick and Best Buy grant victors.

Dark Diamond Impact Bouldering Crash Pad. OutdoorGearLab cushion testing Castle Rock CA.

Dark Diamond Impact Bouldering Crash Pad. OutdoorGearLab cushion testing Castle Rock CA.

While generally speaking a few cushions edged in front of others, every one of the cushions exceeded expectations in a few zones. Hence, it is particularly imperative to assess the cushions on both individual scores and in addition generally scores. In choosing a cushion, you have to choose what highlights are most essential to you. Is it froth? Cushion outline? Conveying capacity? Cool materials? Esteem? Or then again a blend of the majority of the above? Read more beneath to perceive how every one of the cushions contrasted while being tried head-with head.

We characterized a "medium bouldering cushion" as being around 36" x 48". We additionally put cushions that were up to around 41" x 49" into the medium cushion classification. A medium cushion is the most well-known size since it fits in many autos, is moderately simple to convey, and is a decent size for most low to medium stature issues.

Substantial cushions are 48" x 60" as far as possible up to 50" to 72."

Another style of littler, helper compose "smaller than expected cushion" is rising that is extraordinary for sit-begins or the sides of landing zones and for the spotter to divert a fall. These new smaller than usual cushions are likewise appropriate for covering the crease territory on a pivoted style cushion. They are largely lightweight, versatile, and extremely helpful. In the event that they keep on developing in notoriety, we will test and audit them soon also.

Anna Joseph bouldering crash cushion testing on Fly Boy Arete Bishop CA.

Anna Joseph bouldering crash cushion testing on Fly Boy Arete, Bishop, CA.


To get a thought how these cushions stack up on both execution and value, investigate the diagram underneath. Obviously, your particular necessities for a bouldering cushion, (for example, thickness, measure, how well it packs equip… ) will factor in, yet here is a general correlation. Cost is on the vertical hub (let down on this hub is better), and generally evaluating is on the even pivot (additionally right is better). Our Editor's Choice pick Mad Rock Duo comes in with the most elevated generally speaking rating by a solid edge for its variety of highlights, agreeable suspension, and capacity to convey a second cushion, yet estimating is right in the center. Simply nearby are the Black Diamond Drop Zone and Mad Rock R3, our Top Picks, which tied for next-best score (78) after the Mad Rock Duo, and are both still at or under the $250 dollar stamp. For the financial backing disapproved of boulderer, the Mad Rock Mad Pad and Metolius Session are our Best Buys, both offering great execution for under $170.

Cushioning Falls

High Fall Test

Our most loved froth to fall on for huge drops was the 5" thick froth on the Black Diamond Mondo and all the Mad Rock cushions. The Mad Rock Mad Pad is our Best Buy victor and was additionally extremely hardened, which made it the cushion to the least extent liable to hit rock bottom on for high effect falls and in addition being the most moderate. The more established model Black Diamond Drop Zone with 3.5" froth began awesome, however following a couple of months, it got delicate because of its thin froth. It remained an incredible cushion for shorter issues, yet we were worried to take enormous drops onto it. Any cushion with froth more slender than 4" we would not prescribe for high bouldering issues without anyone else's input. The froth on the new model Drop Zone is as yet 3.5" yet is a more thick higher quality shut and open cell blend, so our long haul tests will advise in the event that it confronts the trial of time.

Low Fall Test

Our most loved cushions for rehashed low falls were the Black Diamond Drop Zone and the Petzl Alto. Both had somewhat bigger square-molded surface regions, strong froth taco plans, and milder edges. The gentler edges were critical to making the cushions less inclined to cause a moved lower leg or sore ribs. For a similar reason, the Drop Zone was not perfect for tall issues, but rather it was decent on short issues since it was so delicate. The strong froth, non-pivoted taco configuration additionally implied that your back would not feel any projections get through the rely on soak hard give in sort falls.
The Mad Pad was the main cushion that was too hardened when pristine for low, bumping, on your back sort falls. We clowned that you needed to cushion the Mad Pad. In the event that you landed hard on your once again from a low sit begin on another one, until the point when it broke in after about a year, you felt it. One alternative was to flip the cushion topsy turvy and arrive on the gentler side. Be that as it may, at that point you had a major drain in the center and needed to manage the suspension framework. At last, the best arrangement was to simply give the Mad Pad a chance to break itself in by falling on it a ton from up high.

Valentine Cullen does "The Corner" V0R over an extremely rough landing bouldering crash cushion testing at Granite Creek Carmel CA.

Valentine Cullen does "The Corner" V0R over an exceptionally rough landing bouldering crash cushion testing at Granite Creek, Carmel CA.

Uneven Terrain Test

On the off chance that you never stone over rough arrivals, at that point this test is most likely not a noteworthy worry for you. In the event that you do stone over sharp shakes frequently, or on the off chance that you simply need to ensure your cushion is readied, at that point it would be ideal if you read on. We put the cushions over misleading uneven landscape to perceive how they all took care of and here are the outcomes: Basically, the Mad Rock R3 with its imaginative confound configuration, destroyed froth and medium-huge size make it the best at adjusting to extensive knotty spots, for example, shakes or tree stumps in an arrival zone. However, the bewilders have creases that are less cushioned making them more prone to scrape the bottom on sharp rough or uneven arrivals where barbed items could distend through the different creases between the confuses. For the primary effect spot in the focal point of an "awful" uneven, barbed landing zone, the stack of decision are, of course, the taco cushions with medium-hardened froth - the Black Diamond Drop Zone and Petzl Alto were the main cushions to finish the uneven landscape test without a hitch.

The Mad Pad did well since it had so much froth; it was difficult to inspire rocks to come up through the pivot and the Triple Mad Pad has velcro so you can seal up the pivot. All pivoted cushions acted like bear traps over hole compose arrivals aside from the Mondo and Triple Mad cushion which accompanies ties to "deactivate the bear trap." If you fell amidst most pivoted cushions, the cushion collapsed in most of the way around you. This is more irritating than risky, yet there is dependably the possibility that your foot can hit the pivot and locate a concealed shake jutting through from underneath. The genuine requirement for the strong froth of a taco style configuration is just obvious on sharp, uneven, rough landing zones. In the event that you stone a great deal at rough spots, at that point we profoundly prescribe a taco style cushion, generally, a simple to transport and store pivoted style cushion is incredible and may be best for your necessities.

Sean Brady helping test Mad Rock's R3 bouldering crash cushion and a couple of others in a rough creekbed at Mt Tam CA. We're on the semi-exemplary low-ball "Bonum Vitae" (V7). Notice how the R3 functions admirably fitting in with the uneven landing territory.

Sean Brady helping test Mad Rock's R3 bouldering crash cushion and a couple of others in a rough creekbed at Mt Tam, CA. We're on the semi-great low-ball "Bonum Vitae" (V7). Notice how the R3 functions admirably adjusting to the uneven landing zone.

Pressing Gear

Pressing Large Items

On the off chance that you end up conveying a substantial load all the more regularly then not, at that point read on, generally this may not be a noteworthy issue for you. The cushions that pulled the bulkiest, heaviest burdens were the Metolius Drop Zone and Mad Rock R3. The Metolius cushions with the fold conclusion, the Session, alongside the Petzl Alto all arrived in a nearby second place. The Metolius fold conclusion has just a single snare clasp tie to anchor it while the Drop Zone and R3 both have two snare clasp conclusion lashes that enable those cushions to hold greater burdens. Additionally, their bigger than normal size, and drum-like formed taco style help to pack in more rigging. The two cushions were likewise exceptional in that they had beefy suspension frameworks. The shoulder ties on the two cushions are sewn-in (no Velcro) and have handles over the suspension to help lift the cushion onto your back when vigorously stacked.

The Petzl Alto has the most secure zoom up fold conclusion, however it isn't movable. It fits a better than expected size load truly well, yet substantial cumbersome burdens don't fit also. Our analyzers found the Velcro suspension framework is additionally not as firmly movable as the old school clasp style and it has no middle lifting handle to help with overwhelming burdens. The Mad Rock Triple Mad Pad, Metolius Recon and Metolius Magnum were the main cushions that neglected to deal with conveying much else besides a couple of basics. We didn't locate a critical contrast in the solace in conveying huge burdens.

Pressing Small Items

Pass on the best cushion we've tried for conveying little to medium heaps of apparatus is the Petzl Alto with its safe zipper fold conclusion framework. The zoom up fold shuts the sack so tight it is fixed like a rucksack and not in any case save change, or all the more critically, auto keys can even escape the stout YKK zipper seal. The Metolius Session has fold terminations that assistance keep little to medium size heaps of rigging in extremely well. Substantial, cumbersome burdens can drop out of the base since there is just a solitary best conclusion lash not at all like on the Black Diamond Drop Zone and Mad Rock R3 that additionally have the fold conclusion that holds medium to extensive size heaps of rigging in well with twofold ties to anchor the heap. Be that as it may, none of the cushions can beat the Alto for safely holding littler burdens with its zipper fold.

A portion of the cushions we tried had little stockpiling stashes that a portion of our analyzers extremely found helpful for holding keys, wallet, telephone, and so forth.; however about a large portion of the analyzers never utilized it since you wind up taking it out at the bank since you would prefer truly not to have your basic things amidst the arrival zone. Those analyzers simply kept their principle things in garments pockets or a different gather or sack or something to that affect from the get-go. The greater part of alternate cushions we tried have neither one of the closures folds or reserve pockets so you should need to convey your stuff in a knapsack.

Sean Brady bouldering crash cushion testing the Black Diamond Drop Zone on another V7 at Biddles!

Sean Brady bouldering crash cushion testing the Black Diamond Drop Zone on another V7 at Biddles!



The Black Diamond snare clasps are the best we tried. They are for the most part pretty much indestructible and about as simple to use as the plastic midriff belt style clasps. The Metolius and Mad Rock were somewhat difficult to pull tight or free. All are vastly improved than the old plastic style clasps that would break or the old Velcro terminations that would in the long run destroy. Every one of the cushions still utilize comparative plastic clasps for the abdomen belts aside from the Petzl Alto that has a one of a kind all Velcro midriff and shoulder tie suspension framework.


The lashes were about the equivalent on every one of the cushions, nonexclusive nylon webbing. Every one of the cushions had cushioned shoulder ties. The Mad Pad has additional long lashes that make the cushion into a parlor seat, which is a cool element yet in addition implies you have additional long ties that dangle around (a touch of irritating). The main cushion without an abdomen belt was the Mad Pad. The Petzl Alto had the main Velcro affixing shoulder and abdomen ties. Without the clasps, you would need to fix and re-try the conclusion to modify it on the fly which was periodically irritating yet not a noteworthy issue. The Alto likewise had a movable bandolier lash that moved the cushion between stones.

Solace Hanging Out

Be inventive with the rigging you have. Bouldering crash cushions bend over as camp lounge chairs and dozing cushions!

Be innovative with the rigging you have. Bouldering crash cushions bend over as camp love seats and resting cushions!

The cushions that are decent to chill on are the Mad Rock cushions and the Petzl Alto that all have lashes that transform the cushions into huge parlor seats.


Materials and Craftsmanship

The rubber treated "Bat Man Suit" covering on the Drop Zone isn't just waterproof, yet it sticks to calculated/inclined/tilted landing zones superior to anything some other cushion we tried. The covering is additionally exceptionally flexible and dependable. The R3 cushion from Mad Rock California utilizes reused destroyed froth left over from its assembling office. One extraordinary approach to help the open air condition we love is to diminish, reuse and reuse so this is our most loved mix of materials and plan. Every one of the three cushions likewise have the demonstrated nature of their chance tried name brands.

Froth Durability

Most cushions available today have the milder, open-cell PU (polyurethane) froth and the more thick and firm shut cell PE (polyethylene) froth joined in layers. The layering makes the cushions firm on one side for tall high effect falls on your feet and gentler on the opposite side for short hard, bumping falls on your posterior. This strategy enables the cushions to just be flipped over for either application. On most cushions, the firm side is up for the most well-known falling situation, a medium to high fall onto your feet.

The Petzl Alto cushioning is a thick layer of PU froth that is a bit too delicate. Luckily, the more slender layer is a 50/50 blend of various thickness high caliber shut cell PE froth that makes for an enduring cushion reasonable for low to high bouldering until the point when the PU destroys and after that it will have a long life expectancy for low to medium bouldering with the dependable quality froth.

Frantic Rocks particularly planned R3 cushioning has destroyed reused froth that is substantial however keeps going any longer than some other of the cushions in this audit. The Black Diamond Drop Zone and Impact cushions we tried both have as good as ever layers of froth cushioning that held up exceptionally well in our general fall tests is as yet holding up well in our long haul tests.

By and large Durability

The two that offer in front of the rest of the competition are the Mad Rock R3 and its destroyed froth puzzles that have dependable immovability, and the Black Diamond Drop Zone with its intense elastic covering.

Custom Features

Most cushions had somewhere around a couple of custom highlights. A ton of the highlights can be an individual inclination in view of various styles of bouldering or requirements for various territories and capacity and so on.. Anyway essential a portion of these highlights are is begging to be proven wrong contrasted with enormous deciders like quality froth, strong plan, and generally speaking craftsmanship.

Petzl Alto: This cushion configuration has larger than average molded Velcro suspension ties, a considerable measure of helpful handles and the most secure zipper fold conclusion out of the considerable number of cushions we tried. The zipper fold switches into a conclusion/cover for the suspension when in cushion mode which is likely a standout amongst the most helpful new highlights of any cushion available today. Our essential concern is that in the event that you utilize the cushion more than normal or are especially unpleasant on it, that the zipper and additionally Velcro could destroy rashly leaving the cushion without an approach to remain close or be conveyed well in pack-mode.

Summit - highfall from highball! Simply one more day testing cushions for OutdoorGearLab :)

Summit - highfall from highball! Simply one more day testing cushions for OutdoorGearLab :)

Dark Diamond Drop Zone: "Batman-suit-style" base covering that is in fact called "Hostile to Slide waterproof EVO (PVC Free)" shields water from splashing into the cushion and encourages it stick to inclining landing zones.

Frantic Rock Mad Pad: Comes with a convenient square of cover for keeping the feet spotless and dry. It likewise accompanies Velcro connections to associate various Mad Pads. This is an awesome thought. In the event that you are torn whether to get a mammoth cushion or a medium cushion, you can purchase two of these Best Buy grant victors, lash them together and have the best of the two universes.

John "The Verm" Sherman completes off the "Pelican Arete" (V0r/x) on the Sunset Boulders at Goat Rock CA.

John "The Verm" Sherman completes off the "Pelican Arete" (V0r/x) on the Sunset Boulders at Goat Rock CA.


Crash cushions are a vital piece of bouldering. They aren't shabby, so it's greatly improved to settle on the correct buy choice in view of your individual needs, climbing style, and regular landing surfaces (uneven, level, and so on). We trust this article limits your alternatives to the best a couple of items for you to settle on an educated decision for your future shake challenges.

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