Ocún Dominator Bouldering Mat Review

© Ola Stępień

Having seen some of the Ocún offerings in Font earlier this year I was pretty psyched to try this bad boy out

Initial Impressions

It's BIG! Out of all the bouldering mats I've used this has to be the thickest at 14.5cm... It's a beast! The build quality looks great too.

The basic design follows the traditional centre-fold mat design but it brings a few new things to the table other than it's sheer size.

Ocún Dominator Features

Features

  1. 20mm PE Foam
  2. FTS Adsorption Block
  3. Nylon
  4. Ballistic Cordura®
  5. 650d Cordura® with Teflon protection
  6. Plastel PVC bottom

Performance

Foam: Ocún refer to the main foam as the FTS system which stands for Foam Tube Suspension. It's a honeycomb layout made of open cell foam which holds tubes of closed cell foam in place. I could be wrong but the closed cell foam looks very much like water pipe insulation. It might be easy to replace it with this down the line if it starts getting a bit soft. Not all of the tube spaces are filled and this provides space for the remaining foam to squidge into when it's compressed. For it's size, it's not that heavy.

It's marketed with high-ball bouldering in mind and I can testify that it's a very good landing. Definitely a double thumbs up for the FTS system!

Ocún Dominator FTS system  © Paul Phillips
FTS system

Coverings: The top covering is Nylon like most mats but it conceals a 50x30cm pull out carpet which is a nice touch and very much appreciated on a recent trip to Font.

The bottom is PVC and is great for not picking up too much dirt or letting water seep into the main foam. It's a little slippy when used on slope with a grass underneath but on the whole I think it works well.

Ocún Dominator carpet  © Ocún
Integrated carpet

Ocún Dominator bottom cover + velcro stabisers  © Paul Phillips
PVC bottom + Velco tighteners

The Hinge: The two halves are joined together using a zip. You can't separate the two halves completely, it's fixed at the zip ends. I was initially a little concerned about the durability of this system but it's a pretty beefy zip and it still works as new, so don't see any reason why it won't continue to do so. There's some velcro straps on the bottom (see photo above) to help the mat stay tight together but I don't usually feel the need to use them. The zip also enables one of the mats party pieces - It can be opened regular or length ways (shown below). This feature is a lot more handy than I initially thought it'd be, either for traversing or just for fitting in tight gaps in between blocs.

Ocún Dominator pad regular opening  © Ola Stępień
Ocún Dominator pad regular opening
Ola Stępień, Aug 2015
© Ola Stępień

Ocún Dominator pad long opening  © Ola Stępień
Ocún Dominator pad long opening
Ola Stępień, Aug 2015
© Ola Stępień

Fixings: The WeBee back strap is well made, sturdy, and like the PVC bottom, it doesn't tend to pick up the dirt much. When I had another bag hanging off the back of the mat, I did think the strap could be a little wider between the shoulders as it can dig in a little. It's not a big problem though.

The strap is detachable so you can take it off completely if the ground's particularly boggy and your don't want to get it wet. The velcro that helps holding it in place is more than a little grippy so it is a little awkward to remove but if it slipped around when you were carrying it it would more of a problem so I can forgive that. It can be attached either regular backpack style or over one shoulder which is very handy for hanging off the back of another mat if you're carrying two at once.

It can also configured as a chair which is pretty neat!

Ocún Dominator in chair mode   © Ocún
Chair mode

Ocún Dominator back strap + buckles  © Paul Phillips
Back strap & Buckles

The buckles used for closing the mat and attaching the backstrap are Duralumin (strong aluminium): these are top notch.

Ocún Dominator in action length ways  © Paul Phillips
Downsides: Not really a downside but the mat's size is something to bare in mind to make sure you can:

  1. Transport it
  2. Store it

One other minor downside due to its large form factor [and it's only actually an issue if your friends don't also have a thick mat] is it can make the landings a little uneven when you're pairing it next to other mats and the ground's flat underneath (see image right). My other mat and those my friends have are in the 9-10cm thickness range so this sits quite proud of them at 14.5cm thick. I may be a little more sensitive to this issue than most though, as I've lost count of the amount of sprained ankles I've had. I usually take a small launch pad mat to cover the gap/height difference between mats which works very well.

Conclusion

With an RRP of £225, it's definitely at in top price bracket for mats. Given the build quality, the features and the fact the FTS foam system works REALLY well, I can't recommend this mat any higher. If you're looking for a new mat and have the space in your car/home for it, go for it. You won't be disappointed!

Ocún Dominator  © Ocún
Specifications

  • Weight: 6.4 Kg
  • Open Size: 100×132 cm or 200×66 cm
  • Thickness: 14.5 cm
  • Size (Packed): 100×66×29 cm
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30 Dec, 2015
£225 for a mat? Jesus.
30 Dec, 2015
Love mine, and got it much cheaper. £130 from a shop.
6 Jan, 2016
Had a fondle in Outisde the other day. Can't say I was that impressed. My main concern is the zips, the look very weak and I would be worried that within a year you'd probably break them (with regular use) Also the size! yes it has depth but surface area is very average. Similar to a DMM Highball or WC Big Air. Maybe I'm spoilt with a Moon Saturn but when I look down I like seeing a huge pad! As I mentioned it has impressive depth and I can imagine a bad fall onto it would be absorbed well to the point of comfort. It is very bulky though so personally if you where carrying a few pads this would be and irritant.
8 Jan, 2016
I think they really missed a trick not making it possible to completely unzip the two halves (all you need is a second zippull, sleeping bag style!). And I believe there may be a reason they look and feel a lot like the DMM highball mats... :P
8 Jan, 2016
The dominator is nothing like a highball. It's the next one down in Ocun's range (moonwalk) that is like a highball. A friend has one of these that I've used quite a lot. It's very good, but I would sau biggest problem is that because its thicker than usually and very firm, you have to be very careful about making sure you have a flatish landing where it butts against another pad. It's a completely different beast from a Saturn.
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