I like a good multi buy deal, the sweet feel of a bargain.
Alpkit do a nice deal on their Woomf and Phud crash pads both pads for £120. That’s a really good deal. I’ve got a Phud nice size, about a metre by a metre and a bit, big but not too big. The Woomf a metre by a little under a metre, together you’ve got yourself a nice couple of metres coverage for under £150. You can vary the shape making this little combo perfecto. Alpkit pads a reassuringly hard. Not hard in a sore when you hit it, but hard in the way that you know that jaggy rock isn’t going to get through way. Some people don’t like a hard pad. I’m a practical man. If it’s softer than the rock I’m going to hit, it’s already 1up. Alpkit are not unique in this type of deal Organic do some nice combos also. I’ve reviewed Organic mats before and they ooze quality.
Revolution, again provide a couple of bouldering kits these days. I scoped these out while looking for a new chalk bag and mat. First up is the Bouldering Combo kit. Priced around £150 the combo is packed full of goodies to get you started. Commando crash pad, a small messenger style bag, .45 chalk bag (cone, fleecy inner, good), hold cleaning brush, small boot rug (clean feet), chalk, finger tape, nail clippers (ok), Sticker (meh), and 4 differing brushes. What more do you need. The Ammo Pack is just the boot rug, clippers, four brushes, tape, zipper bag (to carry it all) and that sticker (?) from the Combo kit. The Ammo Pack retails around £20-£30. A decent little kit, undoubtedly handy.
Last on the list but certainly not least are Asana. Asana specialise in bouldering gear and indoor climbing wall equipment such as holds, fingerboards and other climbing gym gear such as floor anchors and route setting buckets. What I’m really interested in is the bouldering starter package they do. This kit includes DynoMite Bouldering Pad, Double UP Bag, Community Bucket Chalk Bag, 2 lbs. of Mega White Dirt Chalk and a Chalk Brush. The Asana DynoMite pad is a respectable size and the whole package comes in around $260, a little over £200 so you get some tasty gear for thrifty cash.
So there you have it a pile of goodies for minimum cash. The thing about the starter kits are that they are purely to get you started. They are ideal for those who are constantly bombarded with brands and the must haves. This route usually leaves you a fat mat but a thin wallet and not much else. Really with these kits you just need some shoes and to be honest you could go all European and do without. Once you have the need to get a bigger or more mats you will generally have learned a bit more of what you want out of your next mat you can start building up a collection. Soon you will start looking like the folks at Fontainebleau, scaling the classics with a vast array of soft landing below, keeping the fear at bay.