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Big bouldering mats.... worth the trouble

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 wbo2 21 Jun 2020

Big mat owners... as the title suggests.. I'm looking to get another mat... is it worth super sizing to a Saturn or whatever, or would you just get a couple of mediums instead?  I don't plan on any long walks for what it's worth but only have a small car.... but am a big cissy and want some comfort.

Also, recommendations on the various big mats available, with the Saturn as a reference point

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 gav 21 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I replaced my old alpkit mat with a Saturn last year. I do not regret the decision one bit

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 webbo 21 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I have one of those big Snap pads. It’s great to land but it’s heavy, when I have carried it a fair way. I’m often more beat up from the carrying than the climbing.

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 wbo2 21 Jun 2020
In reply to webbo:  Do you have a smaller pad as well? And which one do you normally go for....?  I have a Metolius 4 x 3 which is ok, but I'd like a bit more 'comfort' coming off

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 webbo 21 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I have a very old Franklin drop zone and one of the Pod ones Planet X sold off when they bought Pod. So if I’m out on my own and it’s about 15 minutes walk. I will take the Snap and the Pod but  it’s hard work, further that that it’s either the Snap on its own or the Pod and the drop zone. The likes of Simon Seat length approaches it’s the Pod.

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 scott culyer 21 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

yes and simond decathlon mat

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 afx22 21 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

Definitely, as long as it’ll fit in your car.  The main point of a mat is to protect a fall, so the more protection, then I’m more likely to focus on the climbing than if my mat has me covered.

I used to have a Snap Wrap and that was great but went soft a little quickly and was a challenge to store.  A good mate has a Saturn and that’s great to land on but doesn’t fold easily and is a little awkward to fit in cars.  I have an Organic Big Pad and that’s been great for the last two years or so.  I plan to buy another when it wears out.

For the record, I have lots of other mats too and will use as many as I need to keep myself safe.

Post edited at 22:54
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 The Grist 21 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

Bigger the better. Carrying two is just a pain. Get one massive pad. Makes things way safer. Usually there are other pads around as well if you are in a group. I got the biggest moon pad last year and it has been great. 

Post edited at 23:00
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 snoop6060 22 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I have the massive alpkit one and it's pain in the arse. So much so I've taken to using my old moon saturn again. It just doesn't sit well on your back and moves about. Not saying all big pads are bad but not keen on this one. 

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 apwebber 22 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I have two smaller pads (100x125 cm) and I do sometimes regret not having a very big landing zone. But I do love the versatility of being able to place one mat here and another there. You can also double them up for highballs. My ocun pad has a clever zip allowing it to unfold lengthways, which is great for traverses. They fit perfectly in my boot. So versatility is key with two smaller pads.

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 Ciro 22 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I got the the snap grand wham for last winter season - love it and would buy another tomorrow. It is heavy, but I'm happy to walk in with that and my old alpkit medium pad for covering traverses.

As others have said, if you have room to store and transport a large pad it'll give you bags of confidence in your landings.

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 maryleese 22 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I have a Petzl Cirro and value having a big pad because I like to go out on my own and, as others have said, it's nice to have a big landing zone. I previously had two smaller pads and found I often couldn't be bothered to carry them both in - this is definitely easier with one big pad.

Would I recommend the Cirro? Not really. My main reason for buying it was limited shipping options to where I was living at the time. It has this all-round zip thing that means you can stuff whatever you want inside and not worry about it falling out the bottom, but it's a bit faffy to use and the zip has got stuck a few times when I've used it somewhere with dirt or sand on the ground.

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 webbo 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I found a bit of an issue with my Snap pad yesterday. Despite its size and weight it doesn’t have a waist belt. So yesterday when my foot went in hidden hole and I fell over, the pad went over my head. As I had my gear in a messenger bag, the resulting tangle took me some time to extract myself. It was just as well there was no one around to witness this.

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In reply to wbo2:

Funnily enough we are in the process of putting together a Large Bouldering Mat Group test, which may or may not answer some of your questions. However, given that it's still a week or two away from being published I thought I'd post up a few of my own thoughts.

I personally have never, ever regretted upgrading to a larger pad. I don't think you're unreasonable for wanting more comfort either, as that is a perfectly reasonable (and sensible) request. Yes, they're heavier and bulkier, and yes there are some circumstances where two smaller pads wight work better, but if you're want that extra comfort - or are climbing at greater height - then buying a larger pad is something you'll never look back from.

Within the Group Test we'll be looking at some pads which have already been mentioned within this thread, and others than have not, including the Petzl Cirro, Moon Saturn, SNAP Grand Wham, Alpkit Project, Organic Big Pad, Ocun Incubator, Metolius Magnum and Edelrid Crux all being put through their paces.

Feel free to fire over any questions in the meanwhile, otherwise I'll do my best to get the review out ASAP.

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In reply to wbo2:

I bought a massive Mondo pad years ago. I went into Outside about 10 times before I plucked up he courage to pay what seemed a load of money. Never regretted buying it. Its a bit of a pain to carry to the crag but once there you soon forget the hassle. Its brilliant on those grit routes that don't have a runner in the first 8 or 9 metres. Its amazing how many mates you find you have who turn up wanting to borrow it.

Post edited at 09:16
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 afx22 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

Here’s another way of looking at it.  Pre-COVID, when a bunch of us were climbing together, it was always the bigger pads that were put in the main fall zone.  The smaller pads were always set up as satellite pads.  It’s pretty obvious why.

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 wbo2 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:  Thanks to all whove answered.. looks like I'll be cracking open the piggy Bank

I'll grit my teeth and wait a week Rob... ill be interested in alternatives to the Saturn though actually getting some of them may be tricky in Noraay  i suspect

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In reply to wbo2:

me and Mrs Paul in Sheffield have a couple of Satellites and a Saturn. The two smaller pads only get taken out together if it’s a big walk in or a trip to Font. Otherwise for me it’s big pads every time. My favourite big pad of all time is the Snap Wrap or Grand Wrap, but only when they’re new. I’ve had a couple now which ended up like soggy mattresses. My son has the big Organic mat, which is brilliant in every way.

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 Nik 24 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I've got an Organic big pad and can't say I have regretted the decision to get such a monster - its not that bad on 20mins/ish walks in. The only problem I've found at times is being able to physically jam it between problems, although this seems to be confined to certain bits of Dartmoor.

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 Durbs 24 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I got a Saturn a while back and love it, but with the massive caveat that it doesn't fit in the boot of an Octavia! If you do squoosh it in, there's little room for anything else - so ours had to go in the back seats, which was fine until we had kids... For trips to font it had to go on the roof rack, but not an option if you want to use a roof box.

So it may seem obvious/silly - but take your car when you go to buy one just to make sure it fits.

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 wbo2 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Durbs: Hmm I only have a Nissan Leaf... but luckily (!) no friends, so I think Im ok.  

I'm very interested in the Organic.  Hassle to get hold of?

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 Nik 24 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

I imagine they are at the moment, was talking to a local shop the other day and until very recently they have been struggling to get much stock - have quite a bit back in now but don't stock Organic.

That said, if you aren't worried about colour you can pick them up online pretty easily.

Meant to add to my post before, the only time I've had a problem with the organic pad can be on sit starts as the mat is so deep - can get in the way of low foot holds. Can always get someone to shove it under you once you get up a way.

Post edited at 13:56
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In reply to wbo2:

All being well we should be able to get this published next week, the week after at the very latest, so watch this space...

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 AMorris 14:10 Mon
In reply to wbo2:

probably an unpopular opinion, but I hate snap pads. They are too bulky, meaning I just end up cursing them for walk ins which are longer than 100m, and I have yet to land on one and thought "wow I am glad that was a snap pad and not a normal decent one". There is a reason why you see them carpeting the floor at Parisellas and Jerrys roof but not under the Mallory boulder or up in the meadows...

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