Over the last few months I’ve been using the Metolius Boss Hog pad pretty much exclusively. During that time I've been visiting Lakeland mountain crags, as well as roadside Limestone venues. Here is a rundown on some of the Boss Hog's best features, and some thinking points for anyone looking into the vast array of pads currently on offer. Metolius currently offer a good range of pads in the UK, catering for all sorts of users. The range now runs from the Bailout to the Recon; superseding the old Behemoth roll style pad. Although the Boss Hog has been around for several years by name, this current revision offers the most comprehensive set of features to date.
||BD Drop Zone
||122 x 90cm
||120 x 105cm
||100 x 125cm
On first appearances the Boss Hog sits in the middle of the market amongst many medium/large pads. As a previous owner of a Black Diamond Drop Zone, the Boss Hog feels a more substantial and sturdy pad, and the quality of its construction and materials was clear from day one.
Construction & Materials
The Boss Hog has definitely been the go-to pad over the last few months, especially when landing from height. The pad offers a chunky 4.5’’ of foam cushioning; consisting of a 1” continuous top layer, a 3” open cell middle layer, and finally a ½” closed cell bottom layer; very useful to stop any protrusions coming through the underside of the pad. The angled hinge does a good job of avoiding hinge area soft spots and in my opinion gives the pad a great advantage for those wanting a good thick pad, that packs away well compared to often cumbersome taco style pads. To date, the foam has shown little signs of softening up, although I’d envisage the thinner areas around the hinge to be the first to fade. The outer shell is a heavy duty fabric, with extra reinforced ‘hyperlon’ rounded corners, and through several months of hard use it’s shown no signs of wearing thin, and the outer is very well fitted. The carpet top is a nice touch to the pad. Handy for wiping your shoes clean before a climb, and its waterproof backing goes a long way to keeping the foam dry and preserving its longevity. For those looking for an additional starter pad, the Snap Pizza or Evolve Wingman are both a perfect size to stash inside the Boss Hog.
Over the last few months one of the main points of ambivalence in the pads use has been the shoulder straps. Upon first use of the pad it’s noticeable how high the pad sits on your back. This is great on an arduous walk in, and for scrambling up and down, giving plenty of clearance without clipping your feet on rock steps. However, when loaded up with a bag and miscellaneous bouldering paraphernalia it felt a little top- heavy, although with a little careful packing you can get over this problem. The shoulder straps do have a reasonable amount of padding though which is good. The removable waist strap is a basic nylon band which is handy if you want to avoid getting the straps covered in mud when in use, but doesn’t offer that much in the way of stability when it’s on your back. It would have been better if this had been more substantial. The main closure for the pad is a combination of a fabric envelope style cover, Velcro, and a single extendable strap. This is a closure system that is unique to the Boss Hogg, and is really quick and neat. Admittedly, the Velcro can pick up a bit of dirt but it’s no major issue. The addition of an alloy buckle to the shoulder straps would be a good improvement. Video Below:
Ben using his Metolius Boss Hog to make the third ascent of Beast of Burden SDS
(8A), Long Crag, Wrynose Pass, Lake District.
As mentioned above I’d previously been the owner of a Black Diamond Drop Zone (whilst they still had decent foam), and through consistent use squeezed a good 4 years out of it, but the time had come to move on. I’ve got no doubt the Boss Hog will at least match this longevity. Although it comes in at a fairly hefty price of £185.00 (RRP), I feel you’ll definitely get your money’s worth, and it represents a competitive price amongst other crash pads available. Whilst the pad may not offer the largest landing area, the construction quality of the pad is top notch, and the 2 layer dual density foam is as good as any on the market.
The Boss Hog is no longer available. View our current range of Metolius Bouldering Pads