The 10 Best Rock Climbing Crash Pads
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in March of 2017. If you’re a rock climber — outdoor or indoor — a quality crash pad is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can invest in. While all are designed to minimize the impact of a fall, they come in a variety of styles and sizes, so some will be better suited to certain climbers than others. Peruse these options to choose the model that best suits your needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 25, 2019:
If there is one area you shouldn't skimp on when buying your rock climbing and bouldering gear, its safety equipment. You can get by with a cheap chalk bag or pair of rock climbing shoes if need be, but when it comes to ropes, a harness, and a crash pad, it's worth spending the extra money to buy quality equipment. After all, these are the things that will keep you alive and injury free when pursuing your passion.
If you often boulder alone and won't have anyone to adjust the pad as you climb, the Mad Rock Triple will probably be your best choice. At 72 x 44 x 5 inches, it is one of the largest portable models you can find. Due to its size though, it is also one of the heavier models, so it can be a bit tiring if you have to hike far to reach your favorite boulders. If that is a concern, you may be better off with the Black Diamond Drop Zone or Metolius Session II, which both weigh right around nine pounds. However, to achieve this goal they are not only smaller, but also thinner, so they are best for people who can accurately predict where they will fall and who aren't climbing too high.
In our opinion, Metolius and Mad Rock are the two best manufacturers of crash pads, which is why they dominate this list. Despite that, we do appreciate the hingless design of the Petzyl Alto, since landing with an ankle in the hinge is a common cause of sprains. We also like the versatility of the Ocun Dominator.