/ Which Bouldering Mat

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drsdave - on 19 Apr 2013
Hi guys, anyone got good advice of a bomb proof mat. Has to be large enough to cover, good enough to absorb impact, managable to carry. What are people using out there. Few ideas here, feedback welcome

DMM: high ball
Metolius: recon
Alpkit: project
Moon: saturn

thanks
d
Steve nevers on 19 Apr 2013
In reply to drsdave: Thought about a SNAP Bun? Its huge, thickest on market (i think, 12cm foam compared to 9-10cm on most others) and decently priced if you shop around. Cons are its f**king heavy, but any large single mat is going to be.

With Alpkit, I own a PHUD, no backpack straps but the shoulder strap isn't too annoying and slings nicely over my shoulder alongside a decent sized backpack (mostly just by chance) but its not that heavy and i've walked 4-5 mile with it over my shoulder without it hurting. Looking at the Proect pad, i can't really see what more you're getting for another 85 then some straps and a (admittedly useful) cover. Its a bit bigger granted but not that much bigger for such a leap in price.

Metolius Boss Hoggs are very popular, nice to fall on, haven't tried the Recon.

MOON pads are awesome nicely designed etc, haven't heard anyone complain about theirs.

DMM Highball, no idea sorry.

Might be worth checking out the new Edelrid pads as well, look pricey a @180 but they do package in a smaller pad with it for that price so its a kind of 2 for 1, plus the version they make that splits into have separate halves looks cool/useful.
drsdave - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:

Thanks Steve, useful.
catt on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to drsdave:

Just went through the shopping process. Eventually got a Metolius Boss Hogg, used it and got it dirty and then saw a DMM Highball in Nevisport Kendal.

Boss Hogg appears good, but upon having a good look at the foam, it appears to be lower quality than what is in the DMM Highball. Also when it is open, the flaps and a fair amount of velcro on the Boss Hogg are in the dirt, so within one use the velcro is choked up with grass and dirt and I'm now of the opinion that what looks like a cool closure system is a pain in the arse.

Wish I'd got the Highball, still got flaps for closure and keeping things inside for walk ins, but not velcro based and looks simpler. Pretty sure the foam is far, far better too.

I also have an older, smaller Alpkit mat (a Phud maybe?) that I got for 40 a few years back when they were being sold off. That has some of the best foam and it is still as good as new now, I'm expecting the Metolius to be soft-as within a year...

I also considered a Snap Bun and one of the Moon pads. No regrets passing up on them, although my mates Snap is nice, appears to be pretty good foam.

Saw some Metolius Recons down at Dumby at the weekend, they do look pretty sweet. Maybe it's pot luck what foam the imported brands get filled with by distributors when they arrive here (I believe they just import the outers which would make a lot of sense). Vs DMM and Alpkit knowing what they are putting in them.

Hopefully of some use to you!
Steve nevers on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to catt:
> (In reply to drsdave)

>
> I also have an older, smaller Alpkit mat (a Phud maybe?) that I got for 40 a few years back when they were being sold off. That has some of the best foam and it is still as good as new now, I'm expecting the Metolius to be soft-as within a year...
>


TBF the Alpkit Phuds are bloody good pads for the price! only 1m x 1m but the foams solid but good, I've been considering a second Phud and then using the cash i've saved to make a kind of 'harness' with shoulder straps i can lash around a pair of Phuds, could maybe even find a use for some old slings and crabs that way!
drsdave - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to catt:

yes very useful. In view of DMM and ALKIT, I'd rather buy British than not, Im just working out the verbal spin on other makes really. Trying to see the real time usefulness of the MET RECON what with its size which appears manageable and the price which is hefty.
mrchewy - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to drsdave: Snap Bun here - really nice foam it would seem but not used it enough to comment on longevity.
drsdave - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to mrchewy:
thanks for the offer but still researching, maybe someone else will step in
d
drsdave - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to drsdave:

OK job done - ALPIT, its UK looks substantial, good price, thanks to those who chipped in with responses, happy bouldering

d
Ramblin dave - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:
Ooh, since this thread's here...

As people who don't go bouldering very often, we're looking at getting a phud on the grounds that it's cheap and won't take up too much space when we're not using it.

Two questions:
i) is a 1m x 1m mat actually big enough to be happy falling onto? How much difference does the extra 20cm or so on a "full sized" mat make? I'm sort of guessing that the answer will be that it's big enough for smallish problems but not for mega highballs or anything (which is fine by me...)
ii) Is it alright to store a taco-style mat folded up or does the pressure eventually bugger it up?
Steve nevers on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Steve nevers)
> Ooh, since this thread's here...
>

i) its a lot bigger than it sounds if you get what i mean? it'll break your fall but you might stumble off it, easily solved by stuffing a tarp inside it and using the tarp as a base under the pad. For low grade/low height stuff it should be fine. That said at the price you can get two, I'm picking up another pad to go with the Phud, but thats only because i've got a crag i'm developing thats pretty highball in places.

ii) I'd open it up when its not being transported to be totally honest, being stored folded with constantly stress the foam and age it a lot quicker than if you open it up. Its not offensively huge though so you'll be able to stash it behind a sofa etc.

Ramblin dave - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:
To be honest, storage space is more of an issue than anything else - we have a fairly small house and it's already overly full of stuff...

Also looking at the DMM Spot 2 on a similar basis - it's even thinner and hence presumably more marginal, but when we do go bouldering it tends to be with other people anyway (no car) so we'd probably be able to play around on low / easy stuff over a smaller mat and borrow something a bit beefier if we wanted to try something higher and harder...
Ramblin dave - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to Steve nevers:
Thanks for the advice, btw!
adstapleton - on 23 Apr 2013
Steve nevers on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to Steve nevers)
> Thanks for the advice, btw!

No worries, hope some of its useful.

Personally I wouldn't comprise on the thickness of the pad, DMM are a great company although i haven't tried their pads, but I'd personally go for one of the thicker pads they make if i was going to buy one.

The extra 2-3cm (4-6cm when folded if you get a non-taco pad) might not sound a lot but if your landings a little uneven or rocky it can make the difference when theres something jarring up into the underside of the pad, also the 9-10cm pads make better all-rounders in my opinion, I don't know how i'd feel about potentially taking a high-ish awkward fall onto a single thin-ish pad.

It sounds like for a good all round pad you'd do pretty well shoving your sofa forward a bit so you can store on of those Metoulis Recons or one of those 'Tri-fold' things, or maybe even that Edelrid pad that splits into two halves maybe? With that you get a thin second pad, and the fact you can dismantle the main pad into totally separate halves may give you more options for easier storage! But haven't seen or tried the Recons etc so i'm just speculating on those.
rickeden - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to drsdave:

All I can say is SNAP!!!!!
schloosh - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to drsdave:

I have a Phud and a Recon.

Recon is huge when unfolded and is a great pad, good foam, has a few pockets for holding stuff, enough space for shoes and chalk bag and another one for keys etc, the carpet square on the top is useful for a quick shoe wipe. When folded it's long, only just fits sideways in a Passat Estate, fits easily in a Ford Galaxy but might be a tight fit in other cars (worth checking whatever pad you get fits in your car.) But it's narrow so stiles and gates are a lot easier to navigate. The tri fold system means it lies well on bumpy ground and you can velcro it into a rigid platform if needed.

Phud is a good pad and the foam has lasted well, less features obviously due to the price but good value for money.
fraserbarrett - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to drsdave:
I also recommended momentum. Small UK based startup. They've put loads of effort into research and design to get the best foam and materials. They also have great customer service.
ads.ukclimbing.com
mav - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to drsdave:

Quite happy with my Wild country pad.
http://www.tiso.com/shop/wild-country/wild-country-big-air-pad/

Could do with a mat, or something, for wiping boots, But other than that, no issues 3 months in.

It's also bright, which after years with a miniscule black pad, makes it very visible which makes that quick nervous glance down when 12 feet off the ground psychologically very reassuring !

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