6 Best Bouldering Crash Pads

Without a question, everyone wants the best bouldering crash pad for solo bouldering, regardless of whether they’re in a group.

A bouldering crash cushion is critical while climbing tall boulders, shorter boulders or of any size, little or huge. It is the only method to ensure your fall is safe. While you can buy a new crash pad from anywhere, it’s best to get one that’s been tested by someone else as this will reduce the risk of getting injured yourself.

There are many different types of pads available and each has its pros and cons. Some are more expensive than others but all have their benefits.

Bouldering pads are an important part of climbing equipment. They provide a cushion between the climber and the ground or other objects that could cause injury.

It is important to choose the right bouldering pad for your needs. The following are some things to look for when choosing bouldering pads:

* Budget

* Weight

* Durability

* Comfort -Stability

* Material  (flexibility)

Because bouldering can be a bit strenuous on legs and feet, it should protect them the best it could from unintended falls. These mats will not only provide cushioning but also help prevent painful abrasions if you fall often or catch your heel against a rock as you climb up small routes with large holds.

There are different shapes and sizes of pads to get the right fit for your unusual choice of bouldering terrain, including single or double mats in which one mat is large enough to grip on while another provides stability when you’re coming down.

The six greatest bouldering crash pads of 2022, varying in size from tiny to big mats, are mentioned below.

If you’re unsure which mat is right for you, we’ve broken down the function of each pad and highlighted our favorite and least favorite characteristics.

Additionally, we look at the many kinds of mats and their associated price ranges, since there are a plethora of options.

You’re sure to find something here to fit your budget and needs. Let us go on a climbing expedition!

Things To Look For When Choosing Bouldering Pad

Bouldering pads come in a variety of sizes, ranging from little crash cushions to massive climbing mats.

The appropriate size is determined by the circumstances, your budget, and how portable you want the crash mat to be.

To be clear, a standard bouldering crash cushion is more than enough for smaller boulders, and hence additional padding and extra features are unnecessary.

Without a question, everybody wishes the maximum crash pad for solo boulders.

Shortfalls are often not dangerous since the impact is absorbed by a standard crash cushion. Higher climbing routes, on the other hand, will need a bigger and thicker crash cushion.

Complete crash pads come in a range of sizes, from small to large bouldering mats.

If you’re searching for a multipurpose crash pad, these mats cover more surface area than standard crash pads while being more portable than a huge one.

Essentially, and as one would expect, the primary benefit of huge bouldering pads is that they cover the terrain.

You’ll have more space to land and roll in the event of a fall. Larger bouldering crash pads, on the other hand, are more costly and difficult to move.

The majority of climbers choose full-sized mats, the finest bouldering crash pads available, because of their greater adaptability to a variety of boulder heights, obstructions, and conditions.

Not just in terms of size, but also in terms of thickness. Indeed, any bouldering crash pad’s thickness is critical. A thicker pad provides more cushioning and hence increased protection.

However, as the pad’s thickness rises, the pad becomes heavier and more costly. Regardless, hey! Safety cannot be quantified. As a general rule, we suggest utilizing at least 4-inch thick bouldering pads.

Four inches is sometimes insufficient but may be deadly in the case of falls from greater heights.

For instance, highball bouldering entails climbing a 15-foot rock. In essence, a single bouldering mat is ineffective. Alternatively, two mats may be stacked.

Bouldering Crash Pads You Could Try

With our buying guide for the finest bouldering crash pads in hand, you can now make an educated purchase.

For example, if you’re looking for the most comfortable pad out of all possible choices on the market and care about your budget slightly more than how well it protects against soft landing like falling downstairs or getting scraped up when hanging onto cracks on sharp edges then put forth two buys into consideration:

* The Traveling Bouldering Bags: The ultimate option to get around is this one. As the name suggests, you can bum around with it as you travel and not have any trouble taking your groundwork mats along for a day trip out at boulders. It helps that it folds up small with a velcro strap, adjustable shoulder straps, backpack straps or into its own backpack sports bag.

* The $200-$300 Crash Pads We Use For Inside Our Home That’s reasonably cheap because boosting the quality of what you purchase isn’t really going to help you save any cash. You’ll have to spend a little more each time if something changes with your climber’s needs, but for quality-oriented people who don’t want their mats getting tangled up or misplaced forever in the closet then this is definitely one of the safer ways to make commitments.

Whichever option you go through and making sure they live up on that guarantee offer might be slightly dicier but you can always rely on Super Sherpas to give some good advice that’ll let you avoid any mistakes.

Keeping this in mind, let’s examine the many kinds of bouldering crash pads available.

Given the market’s growth and variety of possibilities, selecting the appropriate one may take some time. Do not despair, though; we have a few options.

OUR TOP PICK

Black Diamond Circuit

EDITORS CHOICE

Mad Rock R3 Crash Pad

Mad Rock R3

BEST VALUE

Mad Rock Mad Pad Crash Pad - Red

Mad Rock Mad Pad Crash Pad

OUR TOP PICK

Black Diamond Circuit

Black Diamond Equipment - Circuit Crash Pad - Black/Ultra Pink

To begin, this route is not recommended for experienced boulderers. In a nutshell, it lacks considerable cushioning due to its thickness being only enough for brief bouldering efforts.

Circuit makes up for this by supplying cushioning at a reasonable price.

The Black Diamond Circuit Crash Pad is great if you’re looking for a backup crash pad or are just starting started.

It spans a space of around 12 feet, allowing for quick climbs. Additionally, since the square edges sit level against one another, it may be used in combination with other such pads.The outer shell is made of 900-denier nylon with a polyurethane coating. It will shed some water due to the PU covering but will not be entirely waterproof.

Within the pad, layers of closed-cell foam and EVA foam work together to maintain the pad’s hard yet flexible structure.This angled hinge style pad has adjustable shoulder and waist straps. Only the shoulder straps, on the other hand, are sufficiently cushioned.

Fortunately, it is just 8.3 pounds in weight. Nonetheless, the crash pad is secured during travel by three easy-hook metal buckles.

Pros

  • Cost-effective for beginners
  • Lightweight
  • Metallic easy-hook buckles

Cons

  • Weak waist buckle

EDITORS CHOICE

Mad Rock R3

Mad Rock R3 Crash Pad

Despite its unusual form, the R3 bouldering pad is the ideal crash mat for rocky terrain.

To begin, everything from tree stumps to boulders may be covered. This is entirely attributable to the peculiarities of the structure.

It has seven distinct baffles, each of which is lined with recycled EVA foam. Each baffle on the crash pad works as a cushion.

Additionally, the Mad Rock R3 Crash Pad has a gap between each component, which enables it to be molded to the crash surface.

Additionally, this foldable and lightweight bouldering crash cushion is ideal for travel. Simply wrap it around you and fasten it in the same way you would a burrito.

The pad’s outside is made of 1680-denier material, ensuring that it performs as intended.

Certainly, it does. One of these ugly guys belongs to a fellow climber, and it is completely tear-free after multiple falls.

Mad Rock’s customer service deserves kudos for sending him a package of recycled EVA foam to replace the worn-out stuffing in his R3.

Despite this, there are a few drawbacks. To be more exact, the padding on the crash pad is uneven. When falling from greater heights, some parts of the pad may be more sensitive to the impact.

Pros

  • Uses recycled materials
  • Perfect for uneven terrain
  • Easy to pack away

Cons

  • Uneven foam distribution

BEST VALUE

Mad Rock Mad Pad Crash Pad

Mad Rock Mad Pad Crash Pad - Red

For the budget-conscious boulderer, Mad Rock provides a more economical crash pad.

Their entry-level pad, Mad Pad, costs less than $200 and has all of the necessary capabilities for a beginner.As with the Mad Rock R3, the Mad Pad has a traditional hinge design.

However, unlike the R3, this variation has a PU-coated exterior, which results in a shell that is more brittle and less waterproof.On the interior, a three-inch open-cell foam is sandwiched between two one-inch layers of closed-cell foam.

Indeed, nothing is more soothing than knowing that your back is being monitored by a thick cushion.Crash Pad Mad Rock Mad Pad – BlackNot only do you receive a thicker pad, but you also get an additional 12 square feet of landing area compared to the previous crash mat.

Combine two or more Mad Pads to increase the landing area covered by the velcro straps.You have a thicker pad, but you’ll also be able to use it on a wider variety of bouldering problems.

Finally, despite its 14-pound weight, this Mad Rock crash cushion has padded shoulder straps, an adjustable hip belt, and a chest strap.

Pros

  • Thick landing area
  • Can combine several pads together
  • Designed for ease of use

Cons

  • No exterior coating

RUNNER UP

Black Diamond Mondo Crash Pad

Black Diamond Equipment - Mondo Crash Pad

The Mondo is the biggest bouldering pad we’ve examined so far, with a landing area of almost 20 square feet.

Additionally, it has one of the industry’s thickest crash cushions.

By and large, we strongly recommend this pad to anybody who appreciates pushing their limits when highball bouldering.

Regrettably for your wallet, security does not come cheap.

The construction as a whole is flawless. To be more specific, the pad is constructed in three layers: a closed-cell PE foam layer on top, a high-compression PU layer of foam on the bottom,

and a soft open-cell foam layer in the center. This is the most pleasurable method of falling.

Black Diamond Equipment – Mondo Crash Pad

The Mondo crash pad has a sturdy and waterproof PU-coated nylon top and sides.

Additionally, the bottom is rubberized, which improves traction on slick terrain. In summary, this weather-resistant shell performs well in all climates.

Keep in note that since this is a classic-hinge bouldering pad, it may be challenging to use on bumpy, uneven terrain.

Carrying is made possible by padded shoulder straps and a waist belt. Although the shoulder and waist straps are adjustable,

we think Black Diamond padded them more to accommodate the backpack’s predicted weight of 20 pounds.

Pros

  • Soft interior
  • Waterproof and abrasion-resistant
  • Anti-slip material

Cons

  • Expensive

RUNNER UP

PETZL Cirro Crash Pad

PETZL Cirro Crashpad - Folding Foam Crashpad for Bouldering - Orange

It’s time to shine a spotlight on a product designed just for taco enthusiasts: the PETZL Cirro.

Not only does this 5-inch thick pad cushion an area up to 18 square feet (3.84.8 square feet), but it also easily handles falls!

This hingeless pad is constructed of three layers of foam. As a result, each is one-of-a-kind in terms of density and function.

On the outside, a watertight reinforced shell is placed. Similarly, all edges and seams on the bottom are reinforced to resist impacts and difficult terrain.

We enjoy the cushion’s zippered closure rather than straps. As a consequence, you may store specific items within without fear of their escaping.

Additionally, use several knobs to adjust the open pad.

Fortunately, there is an adequately cushioned carrying mechanism provided.

Additionally, all straps, including the chest strap, may be adjusted to distribute weight equally. Additionally, the straps stabilize the cushion as you walk.

Additionally, the PETZL Cirro Crashpad has a flap that zips over the carrying straps, which is useful for mud climbing.

Are you sure you’re not going to have to deal with a muddy back?

Pros

  • Comfortable to carry
  • Waterproof shell
  • Can be used as a sleeping pad

Cons

  • Velcro straps can be hard to fit properly

RUNNER UP

Metolius Session II Crash Pad

Metolius Session II - Gray/Black

The Metolius Session II bouldering pad has a typical hinge construction and a total covered area of 12 square feet.

This patch has a carpeted logo and may be used to clean shoes or remove excess chalk.

The Metolius Session II Crash Pad is made of durable nylon. If the terrain is difficult and you are an experienced boulderer, you will need a more sturdy crash pad.

Furthermore, Session II is not waterproof. If you are an experienced climber who will be using this pad in place of your mat on wet terrain, you may choose to omit this pad.

The Session II is characterized by flap closure. Simply encircle the pad with the flaps and fasten with the straps.

When climbing, flip the mat over to hide the padded shoulder and waist straps.

Not only does The Session II include a 4-inch thick closed and open-cell foam body,

but it also has just enough cushioning to absorb most falls. We do not recommend it for highball bouldering, however, owing to the material’s inability to sustain hits from greater heights.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Can be used to store gear
  • Soft and comfortable foam

Cons

  • Not waterproof

Final Thoughts

Using a bouldering crash pad, you may practice your bouldering skills. Although sleeping on a crash pad might save time and energy, sleeping on a crash pad while climbing can quickly deflate the pad. If you plan to use a crash pad for climbing, avoid sleeping on it.

The reason for which it was created is the best way to describe it: crash pad. Why? For starters, the primary purpose of a crash pad is to offer a safe landing zone in the event that you fall from a height and crash to the earth. Tumbling is more time-consuming for boulderers than climbing, and this is a well-known fact.

Consequently, the best bouldering pad is the one that will be utilized in a way that will minimize the risk of harm to users. Let’s take a minute to unpack it a little bit. While the majority of pads are constructed using a combination of open and closed-cell foam, the layering choices are almost unlimited.

Some are constructed in a straightforward two-layer fashion, with a soft, open-cell foam top for cushioning and a firm, closed-cell foam bottom for support. Others use three layers, sandwiching closed-cell foam between two layers of open-cell foam, to enhance the pad’s flexibility and provide a more comfortable landing zone.

Simply because the foam offers crash protection for a crash pad does not mean that the shell’s integrity should be compromised. The shell preserves the foam and so contributes significantly to the pad’s lifespan. Consider this: apart from your falling body, you’ll be exposing your crash pad to some harsh environments, and you’ll want to protect it from the ground and the elements.

With all of these benefits, there are a few things to consider when choosing the best bouldering pad for you. Regrettably, there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” bouldering mat. It’s about being conscious of your own needs and those of your climbing abilities. Consider the following questions to aid you in reducing your selections.

FAQ’s

Are there any drawbacks to using a bouldering crash pad?

Yes. In the order of importance, crash pads are heavier than a chair and take up more space to store when not in use. Obviously, the weight alone will make carrying your bouldering boulders an annoying task during cardio equipment training sessions such as circuits or high-intensity interval workouts (HIIT), but is further worse for upper body exercises that need heavy weights relative to their time requirements. With this being said, if you are planning on spending a majority of your time (say more than two-fifths) in the bottom position, choose a crash pad that does not have any ‘weight’ to it. My advice is always go for one that has a higher thickness and stronger structure so you do not feel its weight pressing upon your back; avoiding this will significantly increase comfort throughout your training sessions by allowing full range of motion barely being felt.

What are the benefits of bouldering crash pads?

Without a doubt, the biggest benefit is safety. Bouldering crash pads catch your fall and prevent you from sustaining any serious injuries from hitting the floor. These crash pads offer soft and thick foam that effectively absorbs any shock from the fall. Not only will they protect you from injuries while climbing, but they also make it easier to practice your climbing skills and improve your technique. They save you money, as they make the sport accessible even without expensive equipment or training.

Do bouldering crash pads really work?

Yes, bouldering crash pads do really work. They are mostly used for bouldering and for very specific climbing routes where a full-blown crash pad just wouldn’t fit. These advanced crash pads are designed to provide even greater comfort during high-risk climbing maneuvers. In other words, you should buy a bouldering crash pad if you don’t like your knees banging against the ground while falling off the wall.Lots of people have their doubts about bouldering crash pads, but they do work. In general, the boulder pads should be placed close to the climber and they should also be wider than long. The color of the pad is also an important feature to consider. Black or dark-colored pads blend in well and don’t distract the movement of the climber. If you are ever in doubt, just look at what professional climbers do.

How Long Do Crash Pads Last?

That really depends on your climbing style, where you are going, what you are carrying and the quality of your pad. 

How Long Do Crash Pads Last?

The first portion of a pad to wear out is usually the foam. Foam can become lumpy, flat, and lifeless after years of cushioning many falls. When this happens, it’s best to put the pad away for climbing and repurpose it as a pet bed.

Kevin Macey
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