The foam is not so hard that you have to brace yourself on a fall but thick enough to take high falls relatively confidently. For some reason both the Metolius Stomp and Boss Hogg are listed as 4 inches thick on the Metolius web site. By our measurements, the Stomp is 3.5 inches thick and the Hogg is 4.6 inches. It is a big difference and the Boss Hogg inspires a LOT more confidence on big falls. At the same time the edges are relatively soft when compared to the Mad Rock Mad Pad, which makes it less likely you will roll an ankle if you land on the edge.
This pad's outer fabric has durable Hypalon (burly rubber stuff) reinforced corners and smooth shaped, easy-to-use aluminum buckles and an upholstery top. The upholstery is great to hang out on and wipe your shoes on. It does collect sticks and dirt more than any other pad, but we don't see this as a big deal. This is the only pad we tested with an "angled hybrid hinge", which is getting closer to a best of both worlds design combining a traditional taco style and a hinge style. It has a satisfying rubber handle in the middle of the hinge for grabbing and dragging around to problems of all the handles we tested, this was the most comfortable to grab. It is relatively fast to close up because it requires mating only one piece of Velcro and one buckle. The bottom seals up completely, which keeps small stuff from falling out. It also comes with an extra stash pocket.
The shoulder and waist belts are comfortable but not completely secure. The waist belt fell off one time because it is just "looped" at the attachment point. While the closure system works great for small items, it failed to hold big backpacks. If you like to cram a bunch of bulky stuff into your pad, you may be disappointed. The foam starts out at a perfect stiffness but over time it gets a little soft with frequent and heavy use. It softens much faster than the quality Organic foam in the Organic Simple Pad, Organic Full Pad and Organic Big Pad or the thick foam in the Mad Rock pads, Mad Rock Mad Pad and Mad Rock Triple Mad Pad. This makes it less inspiring for highballs on uneven terrain after six months of heavy use. That said, we like stiff pads for high problems and many people may find the way this foam softens up to be perfect.
This pad is ideal for average outings on small to medium sized problems or in conjunction with other pads for highballs. It works well on most terrain except extremely jagged uneven landings where a non hinged pad is often better to conform and cover the sharp rocks or roots.
This is the most expensive hinged pad we tested. It has a ton of features to justify that price - if those features are important to you and you don't expect to be too hard on the pad or use the pad too often and don't mind the less durable foam (many users didn't wear it out at all). Because this is a widely carried product, you can usually find this crash pad on sale.