Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $275
Pros: Cool materials, solid shoulder straps, customizable, few taco pads available.
Cons: Expensive, foam bunches up, not the tall problems.
Best Uses: All-around bouldering, highball bouldering, chillin' in style.
This is one of the most expensive pad in the review and also one of our favorites. The Highball 4000 is the smallest and least expensive of all the Voodoo pads, but along with the Black Diamond Drop Zone, it is the biggest of all the medium size pads we reviewed (48" x 41" instead of the standard 48" x 36"). So you get a good size landing zone. Also like the Drop Zone, it is one of the few taco style medium pads out there.
The Drop Zone pad is more value for your dollar and comes with a closure system that keeps small stuff from falling out the bottom. But we prefer the surface material and foam of the Voodoo pad. If custom colors and a cool top are important to you, the Voodoo is the way to go. If you just want some good foam under your feet, for half the price there are the Mad Rock Mad Pad and the Metolius Stomp. If you want a custom pad and don't mind a hinge, go with the Organic Simple Pad. If you want a taco style pad and love the soft velvety surface material, this is a great pad.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
This is the most comfy pad to hang out on that we tested. Voodoo uses a cozy velvet material on top. Since all their pads are are made to order, you can choose from four stock colors or pay another $30 and choose from eight others. The velvet is also good for cleaning your shoes before problems. For folks who love taco designs, this is one of the best. It comes with a large amount of foam and is one of the few taco style medium pads out there. This means it excels in uneven coastal terrain because it has no hinge that rocks can sneak into. Compared to the Black Diamond Drop Zone, it has thicker foam and lasted longer. We felt more comfortable falling on it on the high problems. This has a great sewn-in suspension system that inspires much more confidence than Velcro suspension systems.
Our dislikes were all minor. The main limitation of this pad is the price: at $275 it's expensive. You also have the good and bad aspects of it being five inches wider than most pads. With its taco style design it is more space consuming than most other pads in the back of your car. The other problem with this and all taco pads is the breakdown of the foam at the middle/hinge. The best way to avoid this is to store your pad open. However, that is a little annoying, especially if space in your home is tight.
Because the pads are made to order, you have to wait. This is not a big deal if you love the unique top fabric as we do. Note that the lighter fabrics definitely show dirt quickly. We tested a light green pad that got pretty funky looking pretty fast. We recommend a darker fabric.
This pad is a versatile all-around pad that is best for problems in the small to medium size range. For taller problems you want a pad with thicker foam or more pads. The extra size makes it nice for bouldering alone since you will have more coverage area.
At $275 this is the most expensive medium pad we tested. However, its surface material is so nice that even when it softens up we found we still liked to keep it around. So if you don't mind a soft pad in the long term, you will get years of use from this. And one day when you have punished it to mush, your dog will love it. We can't say that of many other pads.
The Voodoo Highball 5000 Pad is the big version of this pad.
— Chris Summit
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: April 27, 2010
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