Afraid we're being plunged into a full lockdown again. I had a super trip planned that might or might go ahead. The walls have shut and I've put up a pull up bar and some small finger grips. I'm building a gym in my very small apartment.
Been out boulderimg outdoors the other day despite the freezing temperatures with snow and ice on the ground. It worked OK because the temperature stayed that little bit above 0 and the sun shone on my playground. I'm inspired enough to be finally over walls. Well there's no choice lol 😊
I haven't been out with my boulderimg mat as its too big to carry on the rack on my bike and cannot be made to fit inside my panniers. It's a big black diamond and it's all in one piece it doesn't fold in the middle at all.
I don't have my own transport and I don't know how feasible taking it on a bus would be in the early stages of lockdown.
I am wondering if any of you could advise me on something smaller that I could make work on short to medium cycle rides as many of the areas are local to me.
I have looked online and it's difficult to see with any clarity what I am after. I don't want to be paying £100 plus to get something like what I already have. There are small things but they seem to be for putting in between pads and I'm not sure how they would work for what I need exactly. Not without seeing them.
I'm not planning on serious highballs or anything. Just low level problems circuits and that. Something soft for the rock hard stone landings at one of my local crags and something to stand on. I kept getting my feet very wet the other day. I didn't bring sufficient towels lol 😊
Just something to stand on that would provide some protection on low level problems and that is compact light weight etc enough to transport onto by bike. Perhaps fit into or around my panniers somehow and ideally low budget. We'll I do spend a fortune on the wall so the money I I would of spent could go on this.
Any suggestions would be really awesome. Let's hope this lockdown is shortlived and we are all able to do some magic trips I'm the summer
And happy training and climbing
I don't think there is anything that really meets your requirements. If you want something you can fall on to, the smallest feasible is something like a Moon Pluto (which costs about£120 now I think.) You can get slightly cheaper pads from Psychi or Alpkit but they still cost £100, and are slightly bigger.
There are smaller and cheaper things available that you will see marketed as sit pads. These are only intended to keep your bum dry for sit starts and be slightly more comfortable than a rock if you fall off on to your back a few inches up. They will not reliably protect you in a fall even from a couple of feet up.
Bouldering outside without a decent pad is really crap so I would definitely rethink what you can spend and fit on your back.
Could you get a trailer for your bike and then take your big pad on that?
As Si dH said, nothing smaller than a bouldering mat is going to offer any meaningful protection.
You could get a small Moon/Alpkit/Grivel/Psychi/Ocun pad for about £100. But it's still going to be around 100cm x 60cm when folded up.
You could get a sitstart pad but they cost most of the price of a smaller pad while offering next to no protection. They're great for sitstarts or when used in conjunction with another pad but as a sole pad, you might as well just take a small tarp to keep your feet dry and get in to a soloing mindset. The most versatile sitstart pad is something like the Ocun Paddy Sitcase.
For a more expensive (~£220) option than the small Moon/Alpkit/Grivel/Psychi, you could get the Snap Bounce. Gives you the landing area of a large pad (or two smaller pads) at 150cm x 100cm x 12cm but folds up to 75cm high x 44cm wide x 50cm deep for carrying. It might be more manageable than other pads on a bike.
Ocun Dominator. Not cheap but very light with decent-ish shoulder straps (in my experience no carrying system is perfect until you spend serious £££). Should be okay on a pushbike unless it's windy. Great, hard wearing pad also zips horizontally so it can be used for short traverses. Definitely worth the money and what would that be in wall visits plus coffee? About 20/25 visits? The pad would certainly outlast a few lockdowns!
Thank you for all your replies. I have considered everything including the bike trailer idea but hills are not my forte and I have carried heavy backpacks while cycling so I would have to consider the pros and cons of the general awkrawdness. It may well be something to consider if I'm unable to cycle with a pad.
Basically I think what I need is a new pad. Mine is a spacious pad but fairly old. The foam is still fairly OK but the straps have always given me problems. I had to take them to a tailor to stich them but it wasn't long before they come undone and the strap mechanism collapsed. I've since had a go on them myself with some thick wire but overall it's beyond repair. So a new one would be good anyway. My black diamond is 1.6m long and 1m wide and its a not dissimilar size when collapsed. The problem is its spread out without a fold in the centre. I wanted this at the time because I was into doing easy highballs and the huge even area gave me confidence. I'm not into this so much at the moment as I'm more interested in training.
The snap bounce seems to be a similar size to mine when it is opened up but reduces quite a lot.
Please can you tell me more about the dimensions of the Ocun dominator?
SDM seems to be suggesting small pads that fold up into a similar size to my black diamond. If it's the same size as the black diamond it might be awkward to carry on my bike.
I was surprised when I measured my black diamond finding it only just over a metre tall. I've always thought of it as much higher. Maybe because it's been unstable for some time the waist strap I have discovered doesn't work so it's not a wonder that I haven't used it for some time due to reluctance to carry it.
Maybe the Ocun would be much more stable and feel very compact. Please tell me more about it if you can. I think smaller dimensions than mine would be more ideal. The smaller the better. But yes I need it to do the job. I'm actually happy to spend a little more given that a boulderimg mat is an important thing especially during lockdown and yes it will pay for itself as I cannot perceive a trip to the wall in the near future
Thanks and regards
Have you considered TR soloing at all as an alternative? I got a 30m rope, slings, harness, bit of gear and shoes in a 30ltr bag and found it fine to cycle with. I can't imagine even the smallest pads will be very pleasant to cycle with on your back. The air-resistance would be grim.
If you’re prepared to go old-school but with a contemporary twist I’d consider getting one of the sit-start/foot-wiping mats. Minimal fall protection but you’ll be being careful anyway under current circumstances won’t you? It would be an improvement on our former practice of using carpet samples/ bits of camping mat etc., and keep your feet clean.
Yes thanks for brilliant suggestion. I'm. Considering getting into this. Nearest crags are a bit further away on bike though. Probably easier than lugging a boulder mat the short distance 😊😊
If you already have most of the kit for climbing then all you need is a Shunt or something (if you're happy with tying backup knots). It'll cost about £20 on ebay - a significant saving on a new bouldering pad!
If it helps, I have a v old DMM mat which folds to about 60x90cm, maybe 16cm thick. Goes nice horizontally on normal cycle rear rack. Bonus is cars leave big gap when overtaking, or stay back, worrying about scraped paintwork perhaps? Discovered this accidentally in lockdown 1.
Sorry about the late reply. Are you selling this? I could leave you my email 😊😊😊
I am still looking round for a mat and looking online. I notice the dimensions are 16cm thick. Is this a sit mat? I am thinking I would be looking at something that I could land on. Been looking at some videos. I quite like the ocun dominator but it doesn't seem to have a waist band. Might make it a bit awkward on a bike. Not sure how I will be carrying it. Ideal something light that would fit on the rack.. But yes it needs to serve its purpose. Weather is pretty horrible for boulderimg at the moment. I'm in Scotland rain is forecast for the entire week. Hard to get motivated as my trip to Spain has been cancelled. I shall keep with my indoor set up maybe adding a fingerboard lol 😊😊 and get into running walking and biking more. But yes a new boulder mat would be good mines had it 😊😊😊
16cm is a decent thickness for a pad. Most bouldering pads are around that thickness (I think my Moon pad is 12cm thick).
It sounds really awesome. I would be interested in a bouldering mat yes. Mine isn't fit for purpose because the straps have come away.
If you're interested in selling it let me know, I can send my email. I live in Edinburgh. Need to get something as mine is not fit for purpose and it's in decent condition and fits on my bike it should be good. I'll keep an eye on this thread
Regards Denise 😊
An Ocun Dominator is a good pad but it's full size, I wouldn't have recommended it to you given your OP. It's light given how thick it is, but it's still heavier than a Moonwalk, which is Ocun's standard upper mid range size pad. Ocun do a cheaper and lighter pad called a Sundance which might be suitable, but again it's about 1*1.2m or something. I have one as a second/third pad, it's ok.
Apart from a Pluto type thing, you could also consider Metolius or Organic's smaller pads. Although Organic are pretty expensive. They are all 3 ft wide (meaning the shorter dimension when flat but the longer dimension when folded) rather than the standard 1 m from non-US makes, so would be slightly less high on your back (they are also good for fitting in the boots of cars with narrow wheel arches.) The folded size of the session linked below is not much different from the old one mentioned above. A Metolius Session is a decent enough pad and this page says it's only 4kg, which is pretty light for a pad now.
Thanks for this
That's more choices to go at now. I'll have a look at the website
Would you recommend the moon pluto at all? It states that it's good for cycling. It's difficult to get the dimensions from the picture but it looks quite high. I'm thinking one of these metolius sessions might be good.
My thinking is I like the sound of these metolius mats. I'm undecided on the session or the 0rganic. One is lighter but slightly longer
Thanks to all of you for all your help 😊😊😊🌞🌞
I have a Moon pad (Warrior) and they're really well put together. The only thing I'd consider about cycling with one is that they're taco-style, which means they don't fold as neatly in half. I prefer this style for no dead-spots in the padding but they do end up bulkier to carry. My partner has a folding Snap pad and it packs up a lot neater, though you have to be careful about where you land and make sure there aren't any pointy rocks in the join.
Metolius basic is fine on your back for cycling - put the rest of your gear on your bike rack. Not the thickest of matts but easy to carry
I’m a bit late to the party but I suggest the Metolius Basic or Snap Hop for a good small pad. They’re about 2 feet wide when folded and easy to carry on your back.
Sorry if I gave wrong impression - I’m not wanting to sell my mat.
For me, I wouldn't cycle in traffic with a full-size mat strapped to my back. Different on a cycle track or rural area or off road. In traffic you need to see, so I love thst my mat fits on rear rack, and indeed adds safety in traffic as cars stay back.
I’m ALSO in Edinburgh - have you tried the artificial boulder at Treverlen Park EH15 1NB? It’s got rubber crumb matting, so survivable with no pad. Artificial boulders at Bingham (by cycle path) and drylaw park also quite usable in lockdown.
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