5 Top Crash Pads To Help Break Into Climbing Season

crash padsCooler weather is around the corner, which means climbing season is too! Here are five top crash pads to help your get your 2015 climbing season off to a cushy start.

Asana Gunther SuperhighballAsana makes some of the best crash pads on the market and the Gunther Superhighball is part of the brand’s PRism series, inspired by the art of pro climber Paul Robinson. The pad is built using the E-justableTM Suspension System with adjustable height contoured padded shoulder straps, sternum strap and a waist belt. As the name implies, there’s plenty of padding (four inches) to soften those super highballs, and comes with customizable options, such as color selection and name stitching.

Organic Full Pad
A commitment to excellent craftsmanship and the use of durable materials make the Organic line of crash pads a valuable investment for those committed to the bouldering sport. The Organic Full Pad contains some of the most lasting design technology among popular crash pads, built with a hinge-style construction. It’s two layers of soft foam sandwiching a harder layer of foam, with a continuous layer of foam that lays across the top to prevent injury if an accidental landing on the hinge occurs. And, unlike the Organic Simple Pad, the cost of the Full pad includes an extra closing flap and the option to store gear inside. Bonus: you can customize the colors on this one too.

Metolius Boss Hoggboss-hoggAn added foam layer, foam stiffness and “angled hybrid hinge” makes the Metolius Boss Hogg a top fall-stop choice, no matter the level of climbing. The 2.5 inches of the open-cell foam design breaks the initial force of a fall while the 1.5-inch closed-cell layer of foam helps to evenly distribute the rest of the impact. The pad also comes with a waterproof auto carpet that helps to keep shoes and inner foam dry, as well as a small rip-and-stick stash pocket to carry smaller gear and trip essentials.

Mad Rock R3R3_LThe Mad Rock R3 is built using a baffle design and rolls rather than folds like traditional “taco-style” pads. To transport, the R3 only needs the flap attached to the bottom opening and then rolls into the tube to be carried on the back. Because of its size and foam-thickness, the R3 is a bit hefty, but for short to mid-height falls, it’s a good pick as it conforms to unlevel surfaces. Also, if you have earth-friendly agendas, the Mad Rock will fit the bill: the baffles are filled with recycled materials.

Petzl AltoBuilt with problem-solving engineering in mind, the Petzl Alto design tackles common issues found with other crash pads, such as dirty, trampled straps and poor weight distribution. The Petzl Alto does this by creating a system that zips and covers the straps, protecting them and the wearer from carrying any extra dirt or grime. Additionally, the wider straps are “chair-convertible” and help to combat any additional gear weight.

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