It’s stopped snowing outside and I got a weekend of sun so off the crags I went with my faithful bouldering compadre in tow. All is good we’re seasoned climbers, but the mat I use is still in storage in France, bum. Ok no problem I’ll just do small crags. That’s all well and good but the smallest climb is about 12-20 foot high, we’re manly men we can take it. The day went well and it didn’t seem high until you looked down. There was grass at the foot of the rock face which was in shade and the area was generally a bit moist. Wet shoes don’t grip the rock to well. Add to this that we took photos and
put them up on the facebook. Nabbed! We got an earful for the lack of safety.
So the short story is I’m in the market for a new bouldering mat, what some folk call a crash pad. They take little of the fear out of the higher climbs, keep your shoes dry and off the gravel (not best for climbing shoes) and protect the foot of the rock face from being chewed up and getting muddy and rubbish. I’m looking at mats under £100 that give the best value, that are small enough to fit in packed cars and are easy to carry. No king size mattresses please.
1st up are Organic with their Half Pad which measures 24”x36”x3”. Organic are a boutique / alternative scene brand producing handmade and one of a kind mats. This doesn’t detract from the quality of their pads though. Offering a hybrid hinge and a solid 1” layer of foam spanning the entire crash surface of the mat. This design stops you landing on the gap with no padding but still allows the mat to fold without splitting or misshaping the foam. Organic’s small run handmade mats show a quality that is evident through the build quality and thought that has went into them, they look a joy
to fall on.
The Moon Pluto is the next pad on my list. This is a smaller take on Moon’s Warrior mat so you’re getting all the good stuff, 8cm of foam padding measuring 40”x32”3”. This mat folds standard like a book or in a burrito style (basically rolls up). This method claims to prevent the mat from getting a bend in it while giving a continuous sheet of foam the entire span of the mat. Again moon is a smaller company but also deals in holds, bags and designer clothing for the climbing community.
Finally Alpkit are the big boys on this list. A large name brand company that supplies climbing mats through too tents. Alpkit do a nice little number called Woomf. At 39”x30”3” the Woomf is a compact version of the popular Phud mat. Boasting a ballistic nylon outer and triple density foam sandwich construction. The Woomf is solid so you won’t get a hole put in you by errant rocks. The Woomf folds to become portable and has straps so you can carry it like a backpack or in one hand. It’s also good to know that Alpkit are offering a discount when you buy a Phud and Woomf together.
Both the Moon and Organic mats are around the £80-£90 mark with the Woomf rocking in at around £60. In this case where I’m looking for an “it’ll do” mat so I’m probably steering more for the Woomf due to its cheapness. However when I will be investing in a large mat in the future I will be looking into the Organics mat I like the uniqueness of their mats being easily identifiable in a crowd of mats additionally they do larger sizes, however not huge like the Warrior and Saturn that Moon produce.