Metolius Session II Review
Cons: The single buckle flap closure can come open when hauling heavy or bulky loads
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Metolius Session II
|Price||$159.95 at REI||$340 List||$249.00 at Backcountry||$199.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Securely holds a fair amount of gear with easy flap closure, handy carpet square for cleaning shoes, durable, affordable||Huge surface area, narrow carrying profile, excellent features||Straps to attach a second pad, plush suspension, sturdy foam for high falls||Versatility, soft, great for uneven surfaces, carries a ton of gear||Super durable, amazing foam, lightweight|
|Cons||The single buckle flap closure can come open when hauling heavy or bulky loads||Can't pack as much as a taco-style pad||Foam is hard for low falls, stiff for uneven landings||Not ideal for long, high falls, heavy||Lack of features, doesn't pack much gear well|
|Bottom Line||Great value with good foam and handy features||This tri-fold pad gives us plenty of protection, is very durable, and is easy to carry||A unique strap system, useful features, and thick foam make this model a fantastic all-around pad||One of the softest pads we tested, it shines for low falls and carrying equipment||The best mid-sized crash pad|
|Rating Categories||Metolius Session II||Metolius Magnum||Mad Rock Duo||Mad Rock R3||Organic Simple|
|High Falls (30%)|
|Low Falls (30%)|
|Packing Gear (10%)|
|Specs||Metolius Session II||Metolius Magnum||Mad Rock Duo||Mad Rock R3||Organic Simple|
|Surface Size (inches)||50" x 37"||70" x 47"||56" x 42"||55" x 35"||48" x 36"|
|Weight (lbs)||9 lbs||18.7 lbs||17 lbs||18 lbs||11 lbs|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||Lifetime limited||None, but they do repairs.|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Session II's 4-inch sandwich foam design has a 0.5-inch closed-cell ground layer, 3-inch open-cell foam core layer, and a 1-inch closed-cell top layer.This foam is uniquely layered in a way that cushions well in most scenarios from short back-jarring falls to medium-high falls. No hinged pad is completely failsafe and the hinge of the Session II felt especially thin. We preferred the Mad Rock Mad Pad's thick velcro hinge flap to the Session II's offset hinge, which tended to come undone up on uneven landings. Only taco style hinged pads with a solid piece of foam are fully foolproof over sharp rocky landings. The exception to this is our top pi k the Organic Simple with its partially hinged design. For landings that are lumpy and uneven the single best pad is our Top Pick Award-winning Mad Rock R3 that has multiple baffles that conform to uneven terrain.
The Mad Rock Mad Pad is in the same price zone and earned the Best Buy award for its super thick 5-inch foam. If you are bouldering mostly on highballs or in steep caves over mostly flat-ish landings then the Mad Pad's additional inch of pad thickness will help to cushion hard falls. The Mad Pad does have the basic hinge that is at risk of failing on sharp rocky landings so if you boulder over jagged rocks frequently then the Session II would be better or consider a non-hinged taco style pad that are the best for rugged landings. Also if you ever want to carry a large or heavy load the Mad Pad does not pack loads as well as the Session II or most taco pads. Simply put, the Session II is more than adequate to pad most falls on most landing zones.
This pad stores a small to medium size daypack or bag of gear, food, water bottle, etc., all very well with the easy to open/close one buckle flap. In backpack mode, the contoured shoulder straps and adjustable waist belt make it comfortable to haul medium to semi-heavy loads very well. The waist buckle is the standard medium size plastic clip style. The suspension lacks a chest strap, which made the pad feel a bit less stable while hiking on rough terrain but didn't make much of a difference for flat approaches.
The Session II securely holds an average amount of gear with the quick and easy to use one strap flap closure system. The thick 4-inch sandwich foam is good all around and the handy carpet square in the center of the pad is good for cleaning or drying off your rock shoes before burns.
After months of use, the Session II didn't soften up much. The material held up to abrasive rock very well and we'd expect this pad to survive many seasons of consistent use.
For anybody on a budget, the Session II provides a great value. It is relatively compact and covers a large enough area to work well as a standalone pad under problems that doesn't traverse much. For the price, the Session II offers a good all-around pad for most bouldering sessions. The Mad Rock Mad Pad hovers in the same price range and comes with much thicker padding, but doesn't have as many features as the Session II.
The medium size of the Session II is just right for a solo lowball circuit or to pad a tall problem in conjunction with a few other pads. Although the Mad Pad is better for its thickness and durability, the Session II still has a place in the hands of boulderers on a budget and for those who are looking to add some extra cushion to their arsenal of pads.
— Steven Tata