≪ Go to our review of Bouldering Crash Pads
Hands-on Gear Review
Metolius Recon Review
Cons: Does not carry very much gear (barely even the essentials), tri-fold hinge is often flip floppy or overly rigid on uneven landings
The Metolius Recon is a medium-to-large sized crash pad that is compactable and easy to carry, hence the name Recon. It was not one of our favorite pads, as we prefer either a light and affordable pad you can pack stuff in like the Metolius Bailout or something more substantial like the Organic Big Pad. The Recon gets lost in the middle.
The tri-fold design is similar to that of the Mad Rock Triple Mad Pad but the Recon uses thinner foam. If you have a small car and are often in a hurry this could be the best medium-to-large pad for you. This is one of the best extra/secondary pads with its quick single-strap closure, compact design and easy-to-transport suitcase feel.
If you want to pack/haul more stuff with you and don't mind or prefer the smaller, compact size, then we recommend the Bailout. If you don't mind paying a bit more for quality foam and just a single hybrid hinge, then try the slightly larger Organic Full Pad.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Bouldering Crash Pad Review
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
I nicknamed this "the suitcase pad" because we mostly carry it like a suitcase as an extra/secondary pad. I use our main pad to carry all our shoes and extra gear in. It folds up quick and easy with only one closure strap and it fits into fairly small places with its compact rectangular design, making it very nice as an extra/secondary pad.
When the Velcro flaps are secured and the hinges sealed, the pad is very rigid, which makes it lie perfectly flat on flat ground. When the flaps are secured the rigidness also makes the pad work great as a back pad against a vertical surface or to flatten the landing over a crevice. However, in some instances the rigidity can make the pad difficult to use on uneven terrain.
As with most Metolius products, it is well made with quality materials and therefore it is durable and long lasting.
The carpet square sewn onto the center of the pad works well for drying/cleaning shoes and makes a sort of bulls eye to aim for when jumping/falling.
All hinged style crash pads have the possibility of a rock or something poking through a hinge. The Recon and a few other pads on the market have Velcro flaps to close the hinge, which nearly eliminates the chance of bottoming out.
The main drawback with the tri-fold is that it carries very little stuff inside of it. This pad barely carries the essentials (shoes, chalkbag, etc.) so if you like to pack a lot of goodies (I do) then this is not the pad for you.
The pad does become very rigid when the flaps are secured, but this is often as good as it is annoying. It is hard to lay flat on uneven terrain and with the flaps secured it can sometimes be too rigid — it slides out of place or sits unevenly. If you climb over uneven/rocky landings a lot, this pad is not our top choice.
Most average bouldering, beginner to expert but especially good on flat landings or as an extra carry-along pad.
— Chris Summit
You Might Also Like
The Best Bouldering Crash Pad ReviewLooking for a new pad? This review examines the best 15 models on the market to help you find the right model for your...
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 27, 2015
Where's the Best Price?
*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.
Other Gear by Metolius