Hands-on Gear Review

Organic Full Pad Review

Organic Full Bouldering Pad
Price:  $185 List
Pros:  Quality foam, quality workmanship, color/design customization, multi-pad carry option
Cons:  Can only order direct from manufacturer
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Organic

Our Verdict

This is our favorite custom order pad. The new Mad Rock R3 pad, which is available at major retailers, gets a shared award for its quality, versatility and eco-conscious foam.

The Organic Full Pad has some of the best and most durable foam of any crash pad out there. Between two layers of soft open-celled foam is a layer of squishy yet responsive harder foam. It is not closed cell hard foam, but more like "memory foam" that is unique to the bouldering pad industry. The pad uses a hybrid hinge design with a single layer of continuous foam on top to help protect if you land on the hinge. If you like the hinge style and its flat, predictable landing zone then this is one of the best hinged pads on the market. It is very similar to the highly rated Organic Simple Pad. The main difference is that it comes with a closing flap that has an additional pocket. Note: We don't have a video for the Full Pad yet. However, it is so similar to the Simple Pad that we posted the simple pad video above.

The Organic Full Pad is not only one of our favorite pads, for $185 it is also a great deal considering that it is so durable. If all you want is a pad with just the essentials and great foam, the Organic Simple Pad is tough to beat. But if you want the extra closing flap and option to carry the Organic Half Pad, this is the pad to get.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Bouldering Crash Pad Review

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris Summit, Chris McNamara

Last Updated:
Thursday
March 15, 2012

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Likes


Organic boldly says on its web site that you could wrap this foam in a burlap sack and it would still be the best pad on the market." Maybe a little cocky, but this is our favorite foam and we imagine how much better a pad like the Black Diamond Drop Zone would be if you could sneak into it a layer of the "memory foam." Not only does it hit a nice balance of being sturdy yet forgiving, it is very durable. All pads eventually have their foam break down, but this is the most resilient to getting packed out and going soft. This foam is some of the stiffer stuff, but we like that. We would rather have the confidence of taking a big fall on rocky terrain and not feeling a sharp rock come through. Because it uses a hybrid hinge, the pad lays perfectly flat and you don't have to worry about the foam deforming in the middle and the separate sheet bunching up. This design is part of why the foam lasts so long.

The Full Pad is the same as the Organic Simple Pad with the addition of a closing flap. This flap allows you to stash small gear and designed to allow easy transport of their Half Pad that measures (24x36x3). The Half Pad is only $65 if you order a Full Pad. When purchased together, you get a lot of foam for $250. We like systems like this that are a more versatile alternative to owning a big pad. Big pads are great, but sometimes you want that small pad for a big hike, quick session, or space contraints you might have in your car.

The shoulder straps have two settings for climbers of varying height. We generally don't like Velcro and prefer sewn-in shoulder straps but we have yet to see a pair of these wear out. Shorter climbers will appreciate they can move the suspension down a few inches.

Because this pad is usually made to order from the manufacturer, you can get custom color choices for free. Also, you can pay extra to have your own personal design.

The more crash pads the better. Bishop  CA.
The more crash pads the better. Bishop, CA.

Dislikes


As with any hinged pad, you have to be extra careful when the pad is on uneven terrain. Yes, there is a hybrid hinge of one inch of soft foam. But that is not enough to save your ankle if a sharp rock sneaks directly under it. Also, when you walk on the pad on uneven terrain it acts a bit like a bear trap (see photo above). It's debatable whether the Metolius Recon does a better job of addressing this issue with its angled hybrid hinge. This is not a deal breaker, it is just something that you have to be aware of with all hinged pads. When on uneven terrain, it is best to have another pad underneath it. If you buy this pad with the Organic Half Pad, that is a nice way to deal with the issue.

With the exception of a few places like Touchstone Climbing Gym Retail Stores, you must order this pad directly from the manufacturer. This has some benefits (mentioned above) but it also means you can't feel the pad yourself before buying and you must wait to get it. Also, the return policy is such that you can't return the pad if you don't like it. This makes the purchase more committing than with retailers that have more generous return policies. Organic's owner told us that part of the reason it has to be made to order is that foam is just so expensive. They would have to charge a lot more for the pad if they sold it through retailers. Also, like many pads made in the USA, its just a lot more expensive than getting them made in Asia.

Best Application


This is a great all-around pad for problems high and low. The quality foam and workmanship will usually last for years of ritual abuse and the custom color combinations will help you express yourself.

Value


This is a good value at $185 considering the quality foam and workmanship. Only the Mad Rock Mad Pad is less expensive, but they do not score as well.

Anna Joseph bouldering crash pad testing on Fly Boy Arete  Bishop  CA.
Anna Joseph bouldering crash pad testing on Fly Boy Arete, Bishop, CA.
Chris Summit, Chris McNamara

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Most recent review: March 15, 2012
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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