I’m a firm believer that a serious boulderer needs three types of crash pads. First, there’s the all-around workhorse crash pad. At a standard size of about 40″ by 50″ feet, this pad will take care of the vast majority of your bouldering needs. Most crash pad models fall into this category and you likely already own at least one.
The next category comprises the extra large pads. Meant for highballs, maximum coverage, or frequent solo bouldering adventures, these monsters usually measure 50″ by 60″ but often times can get much larger. The Revolution 12-Gauge is an excellent example of this type of crash pad.
Finally, you have the small, extra mobile crash pad. Usually less than three feet by four feet, these smaller crash pads have a lot more functionality than you would expect.
Recently I purchased one of these mobile pads. I already owned two crash pads – the venerable Metolius Large crash pad and a recently purchased Revolution 12-Gauge. Despite the flexibility of these two, I still felt like I needed a smaller pad.
Why was I interested in one of these? Two main reasons. First, there are some bouldering areas I frequent where the hike is longer than I’d prefer. With a regular pad, I have to hike normally to reach the boulder. With a mobile pad, I can do some trail running to the bouldering without worrying about having a giant sail on my back. The same rationale for my second reason – riding to areas on my mountain bike. This is not as much of a factor now, but some of the areas I’m considering moving to in Colorado I could easily ride my bike to the trailhead from home.
While on my trip to Colorado in March, I picked up the Revolution Uzi Pad from Neptune Mountaineering. I immediately used it on the relatively steep hike up to the bouldering on Mt. Sanitas. This pad is so small and light, I really did not feel encumbered at all.
Additionally, the full shoulder strap and belt buckle combo usually only found on much larger and more expensive pads was phenomenal. Most of the smaller pads only have the shoulder straps and lack the waist belt. But if you’re going to be using a smaller pad while trail running or biking, you need to have a solid fit so the pad will not shift around too much. The Uzi really excels on this count.
Just like its older siblings, the Uzi has large flaps with velcro on the bottom and sides making it easy to stuff all your gear inside and not worry about it falling out on the hike.
Inexpensive. The retail price of the Revolution Uzi is only $99.
The Uzi is lightweight at only 7 lbs.
Great for traveling, especially on a plane. I had no issues bringing this baby back from Colorado on multiple connecting flights.
Honestly, I haven’t found any yet. This pad does what it is supposed to at a reasonable price. The Uzi is not meant to be a primary, all-around crash pad though. If you purchase it for that purpose, you will likely be disappointed.
- Manufacturer: Revolution Climbing
- Model: Uzi Pad
- Size: 40″ x 30″ x 2.5″
- Taco fold
- Bar-tacked stitching on stress points
- 4″ wide Velcro strips on side and bottom flaps
- Shoulder straps and 2″ adjustable hip belt
- Ballistic nylon shell
- Velcro-closing pocket on side flap
- Weight: 7 lbs
Metolius Sketch Pad $109, 42″ x 32″ x 3″, 6 lbs
Black Diamond Satellite Pad $180, 41″ x 33″ x 3″, 6 lbs 10 oz
Organic Half Pad $80, 24â? x 36â? x 3â?
Organic Briefcase Pad $95, 24″ x 36″ x 3″
Revolution Commando Pad $99, 41″ x 30″ x 3″, 6.5 lbs
Buy this pad if you’re looking for a smaller version of your existing setup. For its purpose, the Uzi provides a great fit with a reasonable price and all the bells and whistles you would expect from a quality crash pad.
NOTE: One of the best overall crash pad reviews available online is by Dave Pegg on Climbing.com from August 2002.