Crash Pad Reviews

No gear is more essential to modern bouldering than the crash pad. Climbing magazine has tested dozens of bouldering crash pads for durability, functionality, and value, and these field-tested reviews will help you choose the best pad.
  • Climbing Gear Guide 2015: Editors' Choice Awards

    Climbing Gear Guide 2015: Editors' Choice Awards

    As editors of a climbing magazine, part of our job description includes traveling to cool climbing areas with the latest and greatest gear and putting it through its paces—all in the name of “testing.” Yeah, we’re pretty lucky. Of course, it’s not all peaches and cream. We eventually have to decide which products are worthy of a mention, and which are better left on the shelf. Every year there are several items that shine brightest, proving themselves to be absolutely must-have pieces of gear. We bestow those top picks with the gear world’s premier prize: Editors’ Choice. This year, we winnowed a field of hundreds of products to select these 15 coolest, best-performing, and most drool-worthy gear picks.

  • Gear Guide 2014: Bouldering

    Gear Guide 2014: Bouldering

  • Metolius Session Crash Pad

    Winter means one thing to some climbers: prime bouldering season. Whether you’re a dedicated boulderer or a beginner, the Metolius Session Pad is an ideal mat to fit every dirtbag’s car, needs, and budget.

  • Asana-Pro-Spotter-Pad

    Asana Pro Spotter Pad

    This four-in-one pad may have more uses than your Leatherman. At first glance, the Pro Spotter Pad looks like a typical sit-start pad at 36” x 22”, with three inches of sturdy and supportive closed cell foam. Then you notice the handles on the back, designed so the pad can be used for its namesake: a spotter pad that will safely and comfortably push the climber onto stacked pads.

  • Stonelick-Blu-Crashpad

    Stonelick Blu Crashpad

    This relatively new Northeastern pad company came right out of the gate with a 2012 Editors’ Choice award for their Yose pad, which sported a unique “step-hinge” design that eliminated ankle-twisting weak spots in the middle of the pad while maintaining ultimate foam durability.

  • Mad-Rock-R3

    Mad Rock R3

    “When I needed this pad, I needed this pad,” said one tester who used it for a month in Hueco Tanks, Texas. “The separated tubes of foam wrapped around those hard-to-protect obstacles that tend to be right in the middle of your landing zone, so my ankles (and ass) were protected when I fell.”

  • Metolius Bouldering Shield

    2012 Gear Guide: Bouldering Gear

    Stonelick Yose - The only thing worse than hitting the ground while bouldering? Landing on your pad and still hitting the ground while bouldering. Thanks to an innovative hinge design from a new company, this just won’t happen anymore. Stonelick’s “step hinge” eliminates dead spots around the fold, saving your ankles and body from deep impact. The Yose is Stonelick’s medium-sized pad (36” x 48” X 4.5”), and the foam is top-quality.

  • Organic Simple

    Pebble-Wrestling Pro

    Eight picks for pad people - The beauty of bouldering is its simplicity. Grab a pad, shoes, some chalk, and head up to the nearest boulderfield for a quick after-work burn or an all-day outing. A good crashpad softens the blow of ankle-wrecking, heel-bruising falls, so you can boulder longer and harder, and it doubles as a bed in the back of your van. Our testers hauled 15 pads around the West’s primo bouldering areas to select these eight top models, ranging from massive highball behemoths to light and compact halfpints.

  • AsanaGreenPad_26221.jpg

    New and Notable: Asana Climbing Green Highball Pad - 2010

    Already in good standing with climbers everywhere, Idaho-based Asana Climbing decided to improve their standing with Mother Earth, too, by creating a greener crashpad. They started by hunting down compostable materials and testing them until they found one with all the right crashpad characteristics (shock absorption, manageable weight, durability...).



    In 2009, bigger is the bouldering rage: bigger hucks, bigger boulders, and bigger crashpads. Oregon-based Metolius Climbing ( is in synch with this trend, this year replacing their Behemoth with the Colossus, four by six feet of 3.5-inch, heeland spine-saving landing zone. But it’s not enough just to have a big pad — you need one you can actually get to the proj or into your car. Click here to buy now from

  • From Monsters to Bastards - No. 246

    From Monsters to Bastards - No. 246

    A year and a half ago, I noted in our leashless tool review that the designs then available were only a precursor of shapes to come.

  • Crash Pad Review - No 214 - August 2002

    Like most great inventions, the crash pad is slap-your-forehead simple. Take some sturdy slabs of foam, cover with durable fabric, attach shoulder straps and handles for maneuverability.