SNAP Guts Bouldering Mat
Rob Greenwood justifies his recent trip to Font with a thorough look at SNAP's latest pad, the curiously named 'Guts'.
We've been making Bouldering pads here in the UK AlpFactory for over 10 years now.
In that time we've learnt a lot; in terms of manufacturing techniques, materials and design we have a much better idea of what works and what makes a good pad. Whether that is finding the best foam for the job, using durable outdoor fabrics or just making sure the corners are properly squared off so the pads fit together better.
For this range, some of the names might be the same but the products have all been redesigned from scratch based on feedback from athletes, reviewers and our customers.
Dom, Hebe, Nick and the UK Factory team are justifably proud of this range and we feel its the most comprehensive and best we've ever offered.
Phud is our lightest full pad with a square metre of landing space...
You asked us for a bouldering mat that was compact, light and portable, a pad for Font circuits or that you could throw in the boot of your Kia Picanto before work in the hope of fitting in a quick session at the local.
Phud's simple carry system, with a single removable shoulder strap, makes it super versatile and portable. Throw it over your shoulder as you move from boulder to boulder or hang it on your main pad for the walk-in.
Phud has a full 8cm of foam and can be used alone or alongside a bigger pad for when things get serious.
Available in 3 colours or you can go full custom.
The harder we're trying, the more we tend to shy away from the far-flung boulders, esoteric crags, and energy-sapping 'scenic' walk-ins. But with the right pad you discover that those destinations are where all the magic seems to happen.
A taco-style fold - with the firmer, landing side on the outside - gives an uninterrupted landing zone with no creases. It uses two layers of foam: 7 cm open cell to absorb impact and 4cm closed cell to spread your weight across the pad so you don't bottom out.
Origin has 3 carrying configurations for comfort, the adjustable rucksack straps and waist belt is on the landing side to preserve the life of your foam and can be removed so that they don't catch when you're climbing. The rucksack straps double as a shoulder strap for hanging on another pad or boulder hopping. You've also got side grab handles for shifting it round.
Sliding off Marie Rose, missing the dyno again after doing that delicate bit of Deliverance, when Seb dropped the top out on the Alliance on the flash attempt. Oddly enough, you tend to fall off a boulder more times than you top it out.
Compact enough to fit in a car boot yet thick enough to create a reassuringly protected landing zone, Mujo is the perfect full pad for boulderers who want good quality foam, bombproof construction and functional design without the frills.
Mujo has 3 carrying configurations. The comfy adjustable rucksack straps and waist belt can be removed so that they don't catch or get muddy when you're climbing, and the rucksack strap doubles up as a shoulder strap for hanging on another pad or boulder hopping. You've also got side grab handles.
Mujo measures 100 x 132 cm, with a hinge closure that can be folded round objects and large rocks. It contains two layers of foam: 8 cm open cell to absorb impact, and 4 cm closed cell to spread your weight across the pad so you don't bottom out (compress your pad all the way to the ground). This foam lives in a tough 1100D Cordura shell with a DWR coating, sewn and bar-tacked by Dom and the gang in our UK factory to endure the abrasive nature of being a bouldering pad.
The Knock at Burbage, Big Air at Stanage, Careless Torque… When you start to dream big, you need a bouldering pad that can keep up.
Project is HUGE. We can't emphasise enough how huge it is - its almost taller than designer Hebe.
At 15 cm thick with over 2 square metres of landing area!
Project is one of the fattest, most substantial foam bouldering pads on the market - ideal for highballing.
Project is made from 3 layers of foam. The 11cm open cell core absorbs the impact of your fall, with 2 cm closed cell on the top and bottom to distribute weight across the landing space and protect against rocks underneath. Project closes using a hinge fold, which prolongs the life of your foam and makes it much easier to store.
Big pads are heavy, so Project features a comfortable thermoformed backpack system with hip fins, to spread the load across your torso. When you arrive at the boulder, a protective cover pulls out of the pocket to keep the back system clean.
In addition to stuffing kit inside your crash pad, you've got a large flat pocket on the Project for stashing your guidebook, snacks, lucky beanie, or anything else you may need for a day working on your project.
When we say ground up, we mean ground up… Frustratingly enough, getting your butt off the floor can be the hardest part of a boulder problem.
Waffa is a small crash pad for protection from up-close impact. It's ideal for protecting sit starts, ground traverses and covering over outlying rocks or strange landings.
Waffa uses 2 layers of foam: 4 cm open cell to absorb impact and 1 cm closed cell to spread your weight across the pad so you don't bottom out (compress your pad all the way to the ground). A 48 x 80 cm landing space gives good coverage for your sit start and fits inside your full pad for the walk in.
None of us have mastered the art of stacking pads like Nick P from the AK factory. When he's not making bouldering pads, he's crafting reassuringly flat landing zones beneath the gritstone boulders of the peak.
If you're going to have a pad party, you should always invite a Sputnik along.
Sputnik covers up the gaps or seams between pads in your multi-pad setup so you don't fall through them. At 100 x 60 cm in size, it slides into your full pad for the walk-in, weighs less than a guinea pig, and will probably save your ankles at some point… so there's really no reason not to take it along.
1 cm of closed-cell foam in the Sputnik spreads your weight across the landing surface. This foam lives in a tough shell of 600 denier Torino fabric with a DWR coating, so you can throw it over boggy and snowy starts no bother to keep your shoes clean.
Read a handy guide to the range from Hati here
Or find all the products here