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Metolius Launch Pad Review

Metolius Launch Pad
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Price:  $80 List
Pros:  Comfy material on top, durable material on bottom, can lash other pads together with long straps
Cons:  Thin, no suspension system
Manufacturer:   Metolius
By Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Jan 30, 2010
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OVERALL
SCORE
  • High Falls - 30% 1
  • Low Falls - 20% 7
  • Packing Big Stuff - 10% 2
  • Packing Small Stuff - 10% 2
  • Comfort hanging out - 10% 7
  • Foam Durability - 20% 5

The Skinny

The Metolius Launch Pad is a thin pad ideal for lashing two small pads together. It has a great velvety top that is comfy to hang out on and is great for cleaning shoes before you pull off the ground.

The Launch Pad can be part of a versatile pad system if you have two thin pads like the Metolius Stomp. It is a good value unless you want the absolute cheapest setup, which is to buy two Mad Rock Mad Pads and lash them together with cheap webbing. The Mad Pad has a convenient Velcro tab for connecting two pads and eliminating the chance your foot lands between the two pads. So it really comes down to how much you like your other thin pads and like the option of having an extra soft one-inch layer of foam like the Launch Pad. I used it for a season in Tahoe and loved it. Today I would carry a medium pad and a huge pad. But if you are on budget or space constraints, the Launch Pad is a great way to build a versatile pad carrying system.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Likes


For a bouldering season at Lake Tahoe I had two Metolius Stomp pads and a Launch Pad. Sometimes I would take one Stomp if there was a big approach or I was doing short problems. And sometimes I would lash two Stomps together with the Launch Pad for highball projects — the Launch Pad added protection where the two pads joined each other. The Launch Pad helps protect the seam where two pads meet. Even better, it offers another inch of soft foam, which is especially nice if your other pads are pretty stiff. Because it uses a soft, fuzzy material on top, it cleans shoes well and is nice to hang out on. Because it has a plastic back it is very durable. This is also a good pad for tight, overhanging sit starts where you want most of your pad out where you are more likely to take a bigger fall. It can also be used as a comfy CrazyCreek-like chair.

Dislikes


This pad is too thin to be used on its own except maybe before sit starts where you would only fall a few feet or less. There is no easy way to carry this pad on your back. If you try to use the two long straps as shoulder straps, the pad hangs too low. This is not a huge deal because most people who use the pad will be lashing it to other pads.

Value


Considering this pad can't be used on its own and is mainly for just lashing two pads together, this pad is kinda expensive. For another $60 you can have a fully functional pad. That said, if you add up the price of two Metolius Stomp and this and compare it to other jumbo-size pads, its not a bad deal for its versatility. For $10 more check out the Metolius Bouldering Shield that is the same size but has 2 extra handles on the back for spotting and a softer "Ultra Suede" top fabric in place of the upholstery material that is on top of the Launch Pad.

Best Application


This is ideal for boulderers who have two small pads that they want to to lash together (see likes above).


Chris McNamara