Stacked with innovative features, a quality piece of dense closed-cell foam and a sleek design, this flashy orange pad has a lot to offer. This pad works great for entry to expert level bouldering. It folds up well for transport and storage and opens and lays flat quickly and easily. It also has many useful handles. In pack mode it holds a fair amount of gear but not as much as some of the other pads. It does pack the gear in very securely as long as the zipper does not wear out prematurely like a lot of zippers have been known to do. The zipper does work very well right out of the box. The way the zipper cover flaps over the other side and protects the suspension system from getting dirty or wet we found pretty useful for day-to-day use, but it could be very useful at certain crags in the wet seasons. The other thing that is worrisome to us is whether or not the Velcro on the shoulder and waist straps will wear out before the rest of the pad since Velcro is not replaceable like buckle closures.
The foam pad layers consist of 1" dual density high quality closed-cell foam and a 3" piece of softer open-cell foam. It offers a nice blend for short to medium length falls but not for mega high falls. It folds up better than any other taco-style pad we've ever tested and folds nearly as flat as a hinged style pad. When opened, the pad lays flat faster than most, if not all, taco-style pads. The handles on the corners are well placed and very handy, but there is no handle between the top of the shoulder straps to aid in taking the pad off and on when in pack mode.
Some of the features are obviously handy, but, are some of them just distracting "bells and whistles" and not actually as helpful as they look? How did the pad stand up to our rigorous outdoor testing regimen as well as the test of time? Read on.