The Climbing Cams Review

Over 10 years in the wake of bouldering cushions wound up prominent, the bouldering cushion industry is as yet experiencing enormous changes. Indeed, even huge producers are changing their outlines each year while little upstarts are presenting new imaginative plans and highlights. There is a considerable measure to cover when taking a gander at a cushion.

Taco, Hinge or new Baffled Design?

There are a considerable measure of little contrasts in bouldering cushions and two major ones: the froth they utilize and how they manage collapsing into a knapsack. To the collapsing question there are three answers: taco, pivot or new confounded. The taco style is a constant bit of froth that folds in two and makes a taco shape - upside: no pivot that could flop on uneven territory/drawback: does not crease level to lay on ground or store. The pivot style has a wrinkle amidst the cushion made by cutting the froth into two segments - upside: folds level to lay on ground or store/drawback: pivot could flop on uneven territory. The new confused style (just on the imaginative new Mad Rock R3) has numerous halfway pivots that shape a few tube like bewilders - upside: folds level and furthermore fits in with uneven landscape/drawback: heavier than most cushions and the numerous fractional pivots could in part fall flat.

On impeccably level and even surfaces, the pivot styles are a little better since they lay level and can't get got by the breeze. Nonetheless, on uneven shake surfaces there is a defect with pivoted cushions: if the pivot lines up with a sharp/pointy shake it frequently does not cover it with cushioning and more terrible yet it likewise conceals it. On the off chance that you fall onto that point, there will be almost no cushioning: a hazardous amazement!

There have been endeavors to illuminate this issue with pivoted outlines. The first was to present a "calculated pivot" like on the old Metolius Stomp and right now on the Metolius Session. This calculated plan helps a ton since it's more improbable a stone or root or other protest can stick completely through the pivot.

Next came the "half breed pivot" plan where the best layer is a nonstop bit of froth yet the base layer is pivoted. A case of this is the Organic Full Pad. A cross breed pivot implies that regardless of whether a stone gets past the base layer, despite everything you have that best layer. It's a superior plan than the first pivot, however despite everything it doesn't give you the certainty the taco style gives you on uneven territory.

The primary imperfections with the Taco collapsing outlined cushions are that they are more lumbering when collapsed up that a pivoted cushion that folds level and square and that it doesn't open up and lay superbly level, it more often than not has a slight twist or bend to it. The other minor defect with the taco configuration is that after some time they generally get an irritating knot in the inside where it is collapsed. Putting away your cushion in the vacant position can for the most part postpone a ton of that from occurring. Additionally, the irregularity generally appears about the time the froth begins to truly split down and mollify up (as all froth on all cushions does). So it could be contended that is an ideal opportunity to supplant the cushion at any rate. Obviously, the vast majority never hurl their old beat up cushions. They spare them and toss them over their more up to date cushions for highballs.

The taco compose plans appear to hold the cushion (in pack mode) with a slight tilt or contort. It isn't generally a major issue however it feels somewhat ungainly here and there, particularly if the cushion is intensely stacked. The pivoted cushions make a decent level posterior in knapsack mode and convey the heaps well, though a generally littler measure of stuff then the effectively loadable tacos.

A best of the two universes pivot configuration has been made by Stonelick cushions with a "ventured pivot" that seals the pivot region consummately. This creative plan offers all the simple collapsing and putting away advantages of a pivoted style cushion joined with the strong and secure fixed appear to ensure against bottoming out on spiked rough landing zones.

The fourth and last style of cushion we tried is the new confounded plan on the Mad Rock R3. There are 7 isolate confuses or fundamentally long tubes loaded up with froth. On account of the R3 (Reduce Reuse Recycle) it is destroyed reused froth. The puzzles are isolated by 6 halfway pivots that are about a large portion of the thickness of the cushion and don't have the issue of pivot disappointment like completely pivoted cushions have when a stone can distend through the pivot. The puzzles joined with the delicate, destroyed froth enable the cushion to adjust to knotty, uneven territory like no other cushion we tried. The cushion is formed like a taco style generally yet it is squishy to the point that it can undoubtedly smooth into an auto or capacity zone like a pivoted style cushion, so it has the best of the two universes - read the full audit to discover more:

Frantic Rock R3

So would it be advisable for you to get a taco, pivot or astounded style? Everything boils down to individual inclination. Numerous rocks swear by one outline and revile the other. We can see the upsides and downsides in each so we will give you a chance to choose.

Contrasting diverse pivot plans contrasted and the taco style. Through and through: Organic Simple Pad (cross breed pivot) Metolius Boss Hogg (half and half calculated pivot) Mad Rock Mad Pad (pivot) and Black Diamond Drop Zone (taco).

Contrasting distinctive pivot plans contrasted and the taco style. Start to finish: Organic Simple Pad (half breed pivot), Metolius Boss Hogg (crossover calculated pivot), Mad Rock Mad Pad (pivot), and Black Diamond Drop Zone (taco).

Froth Stiffness and Composition

At first glance, it might seem all cushions utilize comparable froth. They don't. Every maker utilizes diverse froth in view of three elements:

Froth compose: open cell, shut cell or flexible foam.

Froth piece: what number of layers they utilization of every one of the three froth composes.

Joined froth thickness: somewhere in the range of 3.5-5 creeps for medium cushions and 4-5" for huge cushions.

A cushion is stiffer, gentler, sturdy or not solid in light of how the three factors above are consolidated. As a rule, stiffer and thicker froth will last more and be better for huge falls since you are more averse to movement completely through the froth and "scrape the bottom." That stated, firm froth can be unforgiving on deficits. In the event that you need to grasp each muscle in your body and let out a Judo style shout from just a 2 or 3 foot fall onto your back, at that point the cushion is perhaps too solid. We for the most part favored stiffer froth since it works for both high and low falls and will last longer after some time. Additionally, as a rule somebody has an old beat up delicate cushion that can be utilized on sit begins where you may take a 1-2 foot fall onto your back and need delicate froth.

Looking at the froth sythesis in five cushions. Start to finish: Mad Rock Mad Pad Organic Simple Pad Metolius Boss Hogg Black Diamond Drop Zone Voodoo Highball 5000.

Looking at the froth sythesis in five cushions. Start to finish: Mad Rock Mad Pad Organic Simple Pad, Metolius Boss Hogg, Black Diamond Drop Zone, Voodoo Highball 5000.

Cushion Size

There are two primary cushion sizes: medium cushions are around 3 x 4 feet and substantial cushions are around 4 x 5 feet or 4 x 6 feet. There are likewise considerably littler cushions however we don't suggest these except if you can bear the cost of a mammoth bunch of cushions or travel on planes a great deal.

Picking cushion estimate is simple on the off chance that you have a major truck or van and heaps of cash: get all sizes of cushions, pull up to the stones and survey your necessities. For whatever is left of us there are huge exchange offs: greater cushions are significantly harder to transport in a little auto, are more costly, heavier, and harder to climb with through tight trails and rocks. Littler cushions are less demanding to movement with however offer a significantly littler landing region. Beyond any doubt you can stack littler cushions yet it implies overseeing numerous more creases where the cushions meet. As a rule, when you begin it regards get a littler cushion since it will be so flexible. When you are bouldering all the more frequently, you will need a major cushion (and consider how you ever bouldered with only one little cushion). A few cushions like the Organic Full Pad have approaches to connect together various cushions when strolling to the ridge. This is an interesting point as not far off it is pleasant to have the adaptability of having the capacity to convey different cushions.

Packability — How the cushion stores adapt

For putting away apparatus with the cushion in rucksack mode, four components become possibly the most important factor: folds, lashes, taco versus pivot, and cushion firmness. Shutting folds help hold little apparatus from dropping out the base and infrequently act as a burden. Lashes hold everything from the folds to the shoulders and the abdomen. On the off chance that the ties are too short you can't fit a major knapsack in the focal point of your cushion. Taco cushions by and large store more apparatus without hardly lifting a finger than the pivot style cushions. Last is the solidness factor. This just influences the pivot style cushions — the stiffer the cushion the harder it is to pack (and the more it squishes your sack of chips). A few cushions are simply not ready to fit enormous packs in the center. On the off chance that you get a kick out of the chance to rock with a knapsack loaded with shoes, nourishment and arbitrary treats, ensure your cushion can convey it.

Sean Brady climbs into another zone close Castle Rock CA wearing the new Petzl Alto bouldering cushion and the Metolius Session adjusted to finish everything.

Sean Brady climbs into another zone close Castle Rock CA wearing the new Petzl Alto bouldering cushion and the Metolius Session adjusted to finish everything.

All around movability

While moving the cushion a short separation, from stone to rock, usually less demanding to convey it as opposed to put it on your back. This is finished by snatching any accessible handles on the best or sides. This is likewise imperative when stacking it into or out of a vehicle and simply moving it around anyplace. The situation and nature of the handles is fundamental. We adore when a cushion has a stout handle directly over the shoulder ties. This gets it on when the cushion is extremely stacked with stuff. It additionally implies you are more averse to rip the shoulder lashes off. The best approach to tell for the most part if a cushion has a tough suspension framework is to search for huge bar tacks (or not) associating the highest points of the shoulder lashes to the cushion.


Everybody lean towards changed levels of solidness in the bed they rest. Same with cushions. On the off chance that you like a hardened sleeping pad and plan on utilizing your accident cushion for smashing on then you may need a stiffer cushion, or the other way around. Since cushions are not implied for considering and edge/therma-rests are moderate, at that point you ought to clearly not stress over this excessively. The most essential factor is estimate. Most truck beds will suit any size cushion. In any case, most station wagons won't work with cushions that are in excess of 38 inches wide.

Pockets/additional items

A few cushions accompany pockets however they are generally only an inconvenience; something besides cushioning in the arrival zone isn't alright. I've been bouldering with individuals who convey things in the side pockets of cushions and I have nearly ventured on shades and mobile phones. It's exceptionally irritating to need to advance over the pocket of treats.


Not exclusively are the best outline and craftsmanship are expected to make an incredible item, yet the third and last fixing is the best materials. Most cushions are made out of Nylon, Cordura Nylon and some have an auto upholstery top or a velvet best side. Auto upholstery or velvet make the best side textures since they are better to wipe earth off your feet and relaxing around on. What's more, let's be realistic, how agreeable a cushion is to relax around on is vital.

One cool thing about the bouldering cushion industry is there are still some little organizations offering made-to-arrange items. For instance, with Voodoo and Organic you can choose an assortment of shading plans and textures.

Most cushions are made of some sort of ballistic nylon. All makers get a kick out of the chance to specify how much burlier their nylon is than their rivals. Be that as it may, we don't locate a goliath diverse in the toughness of the distinctive nylons. Indeed, the more slender nylon destroys quicker, yet even the burliest froth destroys quicker than the more slender nylon. Spotlight on the froth, not the nylon that encompasses it.

Check Nicholas over the Black Diamond Mondo Pad at the Deli Slicer South Lake Tahoe.

Check Nicholas over the Black Diamond Mondo Pad at the Deli Slicer, South Lake Tahoe.

Lower leg Protection

There are two vital factors in cushion outline that can prompt a higher likelihood of a lower leg getting moved: thickness of froth and froth solidness. When you have thick froth there is a more noteworthy possibility that just a large portion of your foot will arrive on the cushion and it will roll. This issue is exacerbated regardless of whether the cushion is additional solid. Be that as it may, it is firm and thick froth that makes a cushion best ready to ingest affect from a major fall. So there is a tradeoff here. One arrangement that amazing boulderer John Sherman has concocted is to cut openings around the edges of the froth. On the off chance that you are thinking about doing this counsel somebody who has done it previously. We don't need you to murder your cushion!

Our testing separated into three stages:

To begin with, we conversed with every one of our companions and drew on our aggregate involvement to perceive what were the best cushions presently accessible. We completed a casual survey to choose what highlights were most vital to individuals and what to search for and investigate in our tests.

Next, we procured the accident cushions. Some we as of now had. We needed to purchase the rest, yet in the wake of purchasing a couple, we understood this would be much excessively costly. So we requested that a few organizations give cushions and got a not many that way.

For around two months we utilized every one of the cushions however much as could reasonably be expected in certifiable bouldering.

At last, we arranged every one of the cushions for a couple of long stretches of thorough testing. This is the place we perceived how the cushions contrasted with one another. We took a similar tumble from a similar stature and put the equivalent "shrouded" shake under a similar spot on each cushion. We discussed what highlights were most vital and why. We made our own judgments yet in addition requested input from companions/analyzers. We utilized criticism from different analyzers to direct us to highlights we probably won't have seen or probably won't have put enough significance on. In any case, we made our very own judgments.

What is the best saddle for huge divider climbing and help climbing? We took four of the best enormous divider saddles and put them straight on. We assessed these saddles in five principle zones: comfort, customizability, comfort while resting, equip circles, and simplicity of free climbing. We climbed multi-day Yosemite and Zion courses and additionally various one-day speed risings. We additionally assessed them at the banks to survey their adaptability when no on the huge rocks.


Best Overall

Metolius Safe Tech Waldo

Metolius Waldo Harness Editors' Choice Award


at MooseJaw

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See all costs (3 found)

Weight: 30.1oz | Widest Width of Waist Belt: 6"

Most comfortable bridle we are aware of

Awesome, plane rigging circles

Substantial and you can't evacuate drove circles

Poor breathability

The Editors' Choice honor goes to the Waldo. Not exclusively is it the most agreeable, however it likewise has our most loved rigging circles. They are the most grounded rigging circles we are aware of which gives you certainty when cutting huge amounts of apparatus to them. Likewise, they are "enthusiastic" and stand out which makes them the simplest apparatus circles to cut and unclip carabiners to.

The main noteworthy drawbacks are that the abdomen belt isn't exceptionally breathable and you can't evacuate the leg circles. You either need to rest in the whole saddle or evacuate it totally and ad lib a bridle out of webbing. In the event that you go this choice, we suggest conveying an additional bit of webbing to make a swami belt out of during the evening. Those two cons aside, this is the best huge divider tackle we are aware of.

Read Review: Metolius Safe Tech Waldo


Most Versatile Wall Harness

Petzl Calidris

Petzl Calidris Harness


at REI

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See all costs (4 found)

Weight: 21.5 oz | Widest Width of Waist Belt: 6"

Breathable and generally light

Additionally fills in as an exchange or exercise center saddle

Estimating can be dubious

Low scoring for solace

The Calidris used to be our Best Buy champ however they jacked the value $20 to be the equivalent as the Metolius Waldo. So it's not any more an extraordinary esteem. Be that as it may, it is the most flexible enormous divider saddle. Since it weighs half not as much as the Waldo, it is vastly improved as a rec center climbing or trad climbing tackle (we would not suggest the Waldo on anything other than rather enormous dividers). So on the off chance that you need "one outfit to do everything", the Calidris is a decent wagered. It's agreeable, just not so agreeable as the Waldo when sticking around for a considerable length of time and hours. Since the bridle just comes in two sizes, measuring can be precarious. We discovered we were in the middle of the two sizes.

Read Review: Petzl Calidris


Better than expected Across All Metrics

Dark Diamond Big Gun

Dark Diamond Big Gun Harness


(25% off)

at Backcountry

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See all costs (3 found)

Weight: | Widest Width of Waist Belt:

Heaps of apparatus circles and two belay circles

Generally agreeable for its weight

Rigging circles require association abilities

Rigging circles are not the most sturdy

While the Big Gun doesn't exceed expectations at any one metric, it is reliably great crosswise over them all. It's a decent all-arounder. For instance, while it's not as agreeable as the Waldo, it's substantially lighter and better with the expectation of complimentary climbing. Not at all like the Waldo, it's anything but difficult to evacuate the leg circles during the evening for dozing. It has more rigging circles than any outfit we tried. This gives you a great deal of alternatives, however it additionally requires you deal with every one of the circles. It requires some investment to build up a framework between the upper and lower circles. We favor the circles of the Waldo that are all at one level. We don't see the requirement for an upper and lower level of rigging circles. Be that as it may, a few people love the additional choices. Likewise, it's a bummer the apparatus circles are not more aircraft as they don't give as much genuine feelings of serenity as the Waldo. Something else, this bridle has all that you require: an aircraft pull circle, two belay circles. The leg circles are anything but difficult to drop when the inclination emerges. Generally speaking, it's a strong enormous divider outfit.

Read Review: Black Diamond Big Gun


Comfortable and Durable But Heavy

Yates Shield Harness

Yates Shield Harness

$159 List

Rundown Price

See It

Weight: 37 oz | Widest Width of Waist Belt: 5"

Husky and plane development




Try not to be shocked if The Shield bridle lives longer than you do. Everything about this saddle is muscular and aircraft. The clasps are enormous similar to the webbing that experiences them. The leg materials are extravagant and comfortable. The apparatus circles are all over the place and there is even a circle for your mallet. This accompanies a major weight punishment as the Shielf is right around a pound heavier than most different outfits in the survey and a half pound heavier than the Waldo. At $160, it's likewise by a long shot the most costly saddle we have tried. In any case, in the event that you need a stout and agreeable bridle, this may be a decent choice for you.

Read Review: Yates Shield Harness

Purchasing Advice

The critical choice when purchasing a major divider bridle is how much solace you need versus how light and streamlined you need it to be. A few people say, "I need the greatest beefiest thing out there." I lean toward the comfiest bridle that still doesn't feel excessively pointless excess. Here are some key components to consider when purchasing a major divider outfit.


There are a considerable measure of saddles that begin agreeable however begin to abrade my hips on Day 3 of a major divider. The most agreeable outfits have wide abdomen and hip belts that are fixed with fluffy material. They are delicate around the edges so they won't cut your hips. When all is said in done, the more extensive the cushioning, the more agreeable the outfit. In any case, if a saddle does not fit right, it will ride up at cumbersome edges and cut into your side. Attempt and hang in tackle in the store. You will know immediately in the event that it fits right or not. Remember there are tradeoffs for solace: the most agreeable tackles don't inhale well and are cumbersome to free move in.

Contrasting the abdomen belt width of the Black Diamond Big Gun with the Metolius Waldo. The Waldo was the most extensive we tried.


This boils down to individual inclination. I incline toward only one clasp on the abdomen yet numerous individuals like having two clasps with the goal that the belay circle can simply be splendidly focused. Likewise, two clasps give you a more extensive scope of measuring choices. While I favor a major divider bridle with settled leg circles, all enormous divider outfits right now accompany movable leg circles. On the off chance that conceivable, get a bridle where the additional leg circle and midriff belt material hides neatly.

The Petzl Calidris was the most promptly flexible. It was the main enormous divider saddle in our survey with speed alter clasps. It has two clasps at the midsection for keeping the belay circle at the inside. We adore speed alter clasps yet a few people, particularly in the huge divider condition where you don't modify your tackle, very much want the standard clasps. The Yates and Misty tackles additionally were extremely movable. The Metolius Waldo had the most flexible leg circles in some courses because of its 3-d framework. Yet, it likewise was one of only a handful couple of outfits where the additional leg circle material just wouldn't remain concealed.

Solace Sleeping

The most agreeable outfits to rest in enable you to evacuate the leg circles and afterward have very little hanging out on the sides. All things considered, I like to take my bridle off totally when dozing and utilize a two-inch swami belt (or more slender). So it descends to your resting style.

Rigging circles

The best rigging circles are anything but difficult to cut and sturdy. On a major divider not exclusively do you have a great deal cut to the side of your bridle, regularly it is vital not to drop that stuff. For instance, you may need to cut the portaledge to your outfit while exchanging it from under the pull pack to the stay. Or on the other hand you may have your ascenders cut to your outfit and you don't need them falling off in a press fireplace. Some enormous saddles have huge amounts of rigging circles at two separate statures. I favor only one arrangement of rigging circles. On the off chance that you have two levels of them, the base level is quite difficult to get to in the event that you have bunches of stuff cut to the best level. We additionally incline toward rigging circles with some structure so they stand out from the bridle. In the event that the rigging circles lay level against the outfit, it is harder to cut and unclip stuff.

The Metolius Waldo was the main bridle with super solid apparatus circles (evaluated to 2250lb). We additionally like how the circles are super energetic and stick straight out. They are anything but difficult to cut and don't get pulled down level when weighted. We have never broken an apparatus circle on another bridle, however that is on account of we're hesitant to hang something overwhelming and imperative. Most other apparatus circles were sufficient. The Big Gun and the Shield have huge amounts of spots to cut stuff. A few people will love this. I find that having too many rigging circles is excess and prompts mess. In the event that you cut stuff to each apparatus circle it is difficult to get to the ones that cover one another.

Free Climbing

One a few dividers, you may free trip only a bunch of pitches. For this situation, how an outfit gives you a chance to free ascension doesn't make a difference. In any case, on numerous dividers like South Face of Washington Column or The Nose, there are heaps of free climbing pitches. Keep in mind, free climbing pitches on a major divider dependably feel harder: 5.9 feels like 5.10. This is somewhat because of weakness and presentation. In any case, it is likewise in light of the fact that you are more overloaded. You will as of now have a pull line and ascenders cut to your saddle and in addition a major rack. Including a massive and substantial bridle to the condition makes free climbing considerably harder. So here you need to make a tradeoff. For a course like The Nose, I quite often move with a typical free climbing bridle. Beyond any doubt my hips will hurt a bit, however I would preferably make that exchange off than stress over whipping out of the Stovelegs pitches. On a multi-day hard guide course, I need a super comfortable tackle, damn the free climbing results. And after that there is that center ground where a light however comfortable tackle like the Calidris is the best approach.

The Calidris was the best to free move in. It is light, inhales well, and there isn't a ton of stuff standing out to get captured in smokestacks and offwidths. For a divider like The Nose or Half Dome, a major outfit like the Yates Shield or Waldo can be overwhelming and lumbering. Additionally, Calidris is one of only a handful couple of saddles to consider utilizing as a regular outfit for rec center climbing, trad climbing, and multi-pitch. This makes it an extremely adaptable saddle that can be utilized all year. The Misty Titan and Black Diamond Big Gun were likewise moderately light. In any case, they are comfortable fringe of being a tackle I would think about going up against The Nose-in-a-day (generally I take a typical free climbing saddle). The Yates Shield and Waldo are incredible genuine guide course bridles however I would not utilize them on a trip that included heaps of free climbing.


The Waldo and Big Gun are the main bridles that accompany two belay circles. I used to think this was pointless excess however now I am quite sold on it. Two belay circles give you more alternatives with daisy chain setups and are extraordinary for whenever your saddle is stacked in two ways. For instance, on the off chance that you are climbing a rope you can have your best ascender joined to one belay circle and your back up bunches connected to the next belay circle. Or then again when you are rappeling the East Ledges drop on El Capitan, you can have the pull pack into one belay circle and your rappel gadget into the other.

Another component is a sledge holster. Since nailing is winding up increasingly outdated, I couldn't care less about this component. Be that as it may, on the off chance that you climb huge amounts of hard guide, Yates is the main tackle with an inherent stout sledge holster. The sledge holster for the BD Big Gun does not work that well. The Metolius Waldo has adapt circles that can be utilized as mallet holsters.


Ammon McNeely making the primary proceed onward a 23+ hour single push climb of Rodeo Queen. A strong methodology shoe is vital on the off chance that you'll be spending the day in your aiders.

Ammon McNeely making the main proceed onward a 23+ hour single push climb of Rodeo Queen. A steady methodology shoe is vital on the off chance that you'll be spending the day in your aiders.

With regards to wearing a saddle on a major divider, the most huge factor is quite often its solace around your midriff and legs. Be that as it may, contingent upon your own inclinations and climbing needs, different elements can shift in significance. Ideally this survey will help you in the commercial center of bridles.

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