Testing the new Seely Bachelor Pad Bouldering has recently experienced a popularity boom unlike anything the outdoor industry has witnessed. Not only are gear companies cashing in on the popularity of the sport; there are a multitude of other companies now carving their place in this niche market. This month we will look at several new bouldering pads made by companies new to the outdoor market. " />
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New Bouldering Pads Tested


 

by Unknown

April 30, 2002

Testing the new Seely Bachelor Pad Bouldering has recently experienced a popularity boom unlike anything the outdoor industry has witnessed. Not only are gear companies cashing in on the popularity of the sport; there are a multitude of other companies now carving their place in this niche market. This month we will look at several new bouldering pads made by companies new to the outdoor market.

Sealy, you know them as the premiere manufacturer of mattresses for the house and home. Now Sealy will soon be a brand synonymous with quality bouldering gear. Their new line of pads include: the ultra-small Mouse Pad (12” x 14”), the larger Bachelor Pad (48” x 80”), the medium-sized Launch Pad (60” x 110”), and the monster California King (150” x 189”). All Sealy pads have plush quilted tops in a variety of floral prints. Convenient handles are placed on the sides to tote the larger pads (Launch Pad and California King). The feedback from Camp4 testers was completely positive. They all felt that the eight-inch think padding of the California King inspired confidence on all but the tallest highball problems. However the $899 price tag and the twenty-five pound heft was a bit much for the average boulderer. Hands down the Bachelor Pad was the test team’s favorite. Not only is it the most comfy pad on the market, but also it is the only pad that perfectly fits in the bed of a Toyota pick-up. All of our testers agreed that they would seriously consider the Bachelor Pad ($310) for their next road trip. Camp4 talked with Sealy product engineer and boulderer, Tom Wainright. Tom said, “we weren’t born with conveniently located heel-based shock absorbers, but we were born with the quest to send bouldering problems. That’s why all Sealy Bouldering Pads are made with a combination of hand-tied springs and 4” of open cell foam, which is proven to be the best possible landing zone. Each pad is designed to be fashionable yet crafted to last.”

Testing the Rope Nun Latex Lounge Sealy is not the only newcomer to the bouldering gear market. Think inflatable. Think Rope Nun. Yes, inflatable. We think these guys are on to something. If the twenty-five pound weight of the Sealy California King is too much for you, try the Rope Nun Latex Lounge. Weighing in at less than one pound, the featherweight Latex Lounge ($19) is the lightest and least expensive bouldering pad on the market. Our testers were unanimous with the opinion that the Latex Lounge is the answer to large, heavy pads. With the optional foot pump, the Lounge can be ready to go in mere minutes. The one problem our testers found concerned durability. The Latex Lounge seemed to get a leak almost every hour. But thankfully the engineers at Rope Nun conveniently thought of that…they have included a 25-piece patch kit with every pad. What will these guys think of next?

OK, so you don’t have the money to purchase a new bouldering pad. The friendly staff at Mattress Trash Authority (www.streetmattress.com) can give you some advice on locating and rescuing a used or neglected Sealy bouldering pad. Below is a photo of a neglected bouldering pad that you could rescue. Start by visiting the Mattress Trash Authority today!

Rescue a bouldering pad today! When it comes to buying a new bouldering pad consider the following:

  • It should look cool. You don’t want to show up at your local crag and have people laughing at you.
  • Make sure you buy a pad that you can pick up by yourself. Or at least have a few groupies on hand to help you move it around.
  • Think about its size. Some are thin, but cover a large area, increasing your chances of landing on the mat, and some are thick and cover a smaller area, relying on accurate falling, but providing good cushioning on landing. And most importantly, can you take a nap on it?
  • Make sure the fabric is made of sturdy colorful fabric. Consider a waterproof cover because you will get it dirty and eventually spill your beer on it.
  • If you are on that endless road trip, is it going to double as a bed in the back of your pickup? If so, is it big enough for two people? You never know when you might get lucky.

Next month we take a look at the new companies making bouldering gear. We will test the new Ziploc chalk bucket in both quart and gallon sizes, Colgate’s new hold brush, and Band-Aid climbing tape.



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