Best Bouldering Crash Pads

16 Best Bouldering Crash Pads in 2021

As a climber, you definitely will get to the point where you will have to step out from the gym and venture out bouldering on natural rocks.

At this stage, your equipment must be intact to protect and keep you safe from minor bouldering injuries, including a fall.

One essential piece of equipment needed to protect climbers from falls is crash pads, a durable and supportive crash pad. They are vital to climbing safely.

In this article, we list the best bouldering crash pads fitting for climbing among the hundreds of options available, considering popular designs to stylish custom pieces, supplemental to oversized, and every size between.

 Overall Best Bouldering Crash Pad

1. Organic Climbing Big Four ($329)

The Organic Climbing Big Four is widely regarded as one of the very best bouldering crash pads in the game.

What distinguishes it from other crash pads is its three-layer design of closed-cell foam, open-cell foam, and memory foam to give the perfect balance between cushioning and longevity.

The addition of the memory foam is one of the best selling points of the Organic Climbing Big Four, for not only does it compress well while holding its loft, but it also does not wear out quickly.

It is available in a 4-inch thickness and five (the 5-inch thickness is called the Big Five Pad). Organic makes each of their pads to order for customer color personalization.

However, as outstanding and indispensable as the Organic Climbing Big Four may prove to be, it still has its shortcoming.

Firstly, it is heavier and more straightforward than most crash pads; hence climbers who prefer extra pockets or organization features won’t find them on the Organic Climbing Big Four.

Secondly, the Organic Climbing Big Four traction is poor on roughened landing surfaces.

Nonetheless, it still scores beyond average among crash pads, and an extra advantage is that climbers can replace foam and reuse pad cover as the organic company sells replacement foam. It cost $329.

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Best Budget Crash Pad

2. Backcountry x Metolius Party Pit 2.0 ($170)

The famous climber’s favorite crash pad, the Metolius Session, ranks second on this list; however, it is now being sold as the “Party Pit” due to a collaborative effort with Backcountry, an outdoor gear retailer.

It is one of the few quality crash pads available at an affordable price.

One of its likable qualities is its angled fold with Velcro reinforcement that gives the benefits of a hinge design but reduces the likelihood of crashing violently in the unfortunate event of a fall, even on roughened terrain.

Also, its button and side flaps can be easily secured with just one buckle and reverse to protect the shoulder straps during bouldering.

The Party Pit doesn’t miss out on the Metolius pads signature of its handy carpet patch for cleaning off your shoes before climbing. 

It is worth noting that the Party Pit foam is softer than other crash pads, which makes it ideal for minor falls but not precisely suitable for high fall as you rusk bottoming out.

Its shell fabric isn’t mainly the most durable, but selling for $170 gives a balance value of what it has to offer for its money. It is a thick 4 inches.

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Best Oversized Crash Pad

3. Black Diamond Mondo ($400)

The Black Diamond Mondo is another undisputable favorite crash pad among climbers. Made up of 20 square feet of 5-inch foam, it is one unique pad among the lots.

The Black Diamond Mondo’s recent iteration features squared-off corners that allow for combining pads to create a landing surface with no gaps.

It should also be noted that the Mondo stays put on a bumpy, uneven surface than most crash pads. However, it is large and thus is not a fit for everyone and may prove to be a hassle to fit in some cars.

Its 20-pound weight can make it burdensome for long hours or distance of climbing.

Also, its durability is questionable as it is made up of cushy, open-cell foam than closed-cell foam. Despite this drawback, it is still one of the best bouldering crash pads in the market.

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 Great Carrying Comfort and Capability

4. Mad Rock Duo ($259)

The best selling point of the Mad Rock Duo is its flap design that allows for carrying more than one pad securely. It has a weather-resistant fabric, an adjustable suspension, and is well-cushioned.

As with most Mad Rock crash pads designs, the Rock Duo is a thick 5 inches and comes with Velcro strips for connecting to other pads for steady flooring.

Much with the efficiency and fantastic design of the Mad Rock Duo, it still has its downsides.

Firstly, it is always an excessive mess of flaps and straps hanging off the pad when unpacked. Its cushion padding usually grows softer over time, and lastly, its thin edge nylon face fabric is less durable than other crash pads on this list.

Nonetheless, its generous 5-inch dose of foam offers a soothing comfort that overrides any of its drawbacks. Its cost $259.

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A Supplemental Pad to Complete Your Kit

5. Asana Pro Spotter Pad ($125) 

The Asana Pro Spotter is one of a kind being that it is a supplemental pad that offers several functions in a compact size.

When folded, it is 3 inches thick- the size of some unpacked crash pad-and can serve as an excellent sit start pad.

When unfolded, it is over 22 square feet of 3/4-inch closed-cell foam and can be piled on your other pads and cover gaps, irregularities, and fold.

Also, it can serve as a camping sleeping pad as it is long and wide enough. If your bouldering activity requires multiple pads or bouldering in areas with uneven, rough landing surfaces, the Asana Pro Spotter is the ideal crash pad.

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6. KinetiK Newton 4.0 ($200)

The KinetiK Newton crash pad emphasizes utility and durability above all else. Its exterior, made of 1680-denier nylon, makes it one of the most durable shell fabrics among crash pads.

It has a waterproof base to protect against moisture. As with most hybrid-hinge designs such as the Black Diamond Mondo, a 1-inch continuous layer of closed-cell foam covers the KinetiK Newton’s hinge to diffuse the force of a fall.

Also, its suspension system is adjustable and thus allows an incredibly carrying comfort for different body sizes and weights, but its small size means you may need a second pad.

Note, its flap closure allows for having a second pad without the need for additional straps. It is thick, 4 inches, and budget-friendly.

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 7. Organic Simple Pad ($220)

Climbers who want maximum ground protection will consider the Organic Big Four. However, almost everything the Organic Big Four offers, you can find in the Simple Pad.

It has the same Organic, high-quality foam and designs in the Big Four and is almost $100 cheaper. The only downside is that it isn’t as durable as some other crash pad on the market that costs much less.

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8. So iLL Eco Camo ($270)

St. Louis-based climbing company, So iLL is a fast-rising brand in the climbing gear manufacturing scene. Its Eco Camo ranks 8th in this list primarily for its uniqueness in design.

It includes a 2.5 inch thick Gap pad and a regular pad fitted into a portable bundle with a durable Cirdura flap.

At a market price of $270, the Eco Camo is a good crash pad investment judging the inclusion of the gap pad.

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9. Black Diamond Drop Zone ($250)

The Black Diamond Drop Zone is a remarkably lightweight crash pad with hinge-less addition for standard ground protection.

Its lightness makes it easier to carry a second pad and an excellent option if you got kids helping with the carrying process. It is 3.5 inches thick.

The base of the Drop Zone is rubber-coated, which allows for a firm grip on rough terrain, and its top is polyurethane-coated for durability.

The slight disadvantage of the Drop Zone is that it isn’t a tremendous standalone pad, and its likelihood to wear out quickly due to less foam to absorb the impact of falls. Nonetheless, it is still an excellent addition to any boulderer quiver.

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10. Send Climbing 3×4 Pro ($299)

The Send Climbing gear production company is known chiefly for their kneebar pads; nonetheless, they are also in the business of crash pad manufacturing, and their lineup is worth a look.

The brand 3×4 Pro crash pad is an excellent option for climbers to consider. It is 3.8 inches thick.

Its stand-out feature is its innovative plastic sheet between its closed-cell foam on the top and open-cell foam below to disperse the impact of a fall and keep climbers from bottoming out, thereby prolonging the life of the foam.

However, its price of $299 with an additional $49 for shipping is a concern.

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Best of the Rest

11. Petzl Alto ($300)

The Petzl Alto crash pad is true to its form. Its designs reflect the utmost attention to detail. Its superb design allows for carrying your gear securely and conveniently.

Also, it has an additional gutterless pad that can be flipped over and used on either side. Overly, the Petzl Alto is brutally rich in features.

However, its rich design features make things a little complicated, and its zipper closure durability is questionable. This may be the ideal crash pad for techy boulderers. With a thickness of 3.9 inches, it sells at $300.

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12. Metolius Recon ($280)

If space is your priority in a crash pad, then the Metolius Recon would be the ideal choice for you. It is designed in such a way that it is easy to pack and unpack.

Its angled hinges cut off the gutter problem. It features closure flaps invert to keep the suspension system clean during bouldering. However, it does not carry gear well due to its tri-fold design.

That’s being noted; it is still a worthy crash pad to use.

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 13. Mad Rock Mad Pad ($189)

For new boulderers, the Mad Rock Mad Pad is a great option and budget-friendly. Made up of the Mad Rock standard 5-inch foam,  it is 5 inches thick and slightly larger than many crash pads out there.

As with all Mad Rock pads, it features Velcro for steady flooring and serves as a couch. To the disadvantages, the Mad Rock Mad pad foam fabric durability is questionable, and the shoulder straps are not adjustable.

If you are looking for something simple to use just for a few years before getting something lasting, the Mad Rock Mad Pad is your best call.

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14. Asana SuperHero ($325)

Asana SuperHero crash pads still go old school style in their designs, using a simple hinge fold, standard sandwiched foam, and old school cam straps for the closure system.

Its flap closure permits carrying gear securely and conveniently; you could even go the length of attaching another pad without much hassle. It is 4 inches thick.

The Asana SuperHero crash pad is functional and straightforward. There’s little to complain about this crash pad in terms of disadvantages. However, its price is quite costly.

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 15. Mad Rock Triple Mad Pad ($289)

The Mad Rock Triple Mad Pad is richly built with a balance in features. It has a spacious 44 × 72 inch landing area, 5 inches of foam thickness, and an open dimension of 44 × 72 inches and costs just $289.

That’s a steal, couple with the fact that the Mad Rock Triple Mad Pad can serve double duty as a mattress.

Nonetheless, it still has Its downsides; for one, it weighs 24 pounds, making it the heaviest crash pad on this list, which isn’t good and lacks quality.

Its fabric durability is questionable, its tri-fold design doesn’t allow for carrying much gear, and lastly, its foam will quickly grow soft over time, primarily when too often use.

But for its price, and if you are just looking to get something to soothe your bouldering purpose in the short term, it’s a good option.

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16. Black Diamond Circuit ($150)

The standout feature of the Black Diamond Circuit is its affordable price. Aside from that, there isn’t anything much glorifying.

Nonetheless, it’s still a good crash pad worth buying. Entry-level boulderers looking to make the transition to natural rock will find the Black Diamond Circuit an excellent option.

However, it is 3.5 inches in thickness and thus isn’t ideal for a standalone pad.

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Conclusion

Given the comparisons, research and information gathered on all the crash pads listed in this article, the Organic Climbing Big Four is, without doubt, the best overall bouldering crash pad.

Notwithstanding, others on the list are great options too. Hopefully, this article helps boulderers make the right choice in the best bouldering crash pads decisions.

Please let us know your thoughts on our best bouldering crash pads in the comments section below.

See Bouldering vs Rock Climbing: Difference and SimilaritiesBouldering For Beginners: The Ultimate Guide, and 10 Best Bouldering Shoes For Beginners: Review & Buying Guide.

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