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Organic Pads and Accessories | Bouldering Pad Review

Organic pads have long been at the pinnacle of the bouldering mat market, becoming the premium go-to for keen boulderers everywhere with unique patchwork patterns and the unbeatable quality that can only come from a handmade product. But, are Organic pads still the best in the business? I've been test driving a full Organic pad set up with a Full Pad, Simple Pad, Slider Pad and the Muffin Protector and Load Flap accessories to find out just how good they really are.

Style and Substance

Iconic for their wacky patterns and individual colourways, Organic pads have become the quintessential representation of a bouldering pad. But, this mythical status isn't born from style alone and during my time with the Organic pads, it's become clear that the hypnotic finish is merely the sparkling jewel in an incredibly substantial crown. As a collection, the Organic pads have been the best single brand pad setup I've ever used. Lighter, brighter and comfier than the rest, the combination of both the Simple Pad and its load flap toting sibling, the Full Pad, alongside the neat Slider were ideal for a one man bouldering band with convenient carrying features and ample ground coverage. The load flap on the Full Pad deserves a special mention as the most efficient multi-pad carrying system I've ever used, fitting the Simple and Slider pads in with ease whilst keeping the whole pad package secure, centralised and comfy to carry over longer technical walk ins - not to mention its added ability to cover the shoulder straps to keep them free from mud whilst on the ground. Together, the Organic pads function in perfect harmony but it's under the hood where the real business happens - a bouldering pad isn't just an expensive rucksack after all.

Durable Details

When it comes to the nuts and bolts, Organic pads are truly superb. The Full and Simple pads come sporting the same hinge folding specification with the only defining difference between the two being the Full Pad's handy load flap which allows the Simple to piggyback the Full during transportation. With the same, regular pad sized landing zone, both pads are perfect for just about anything a solo outing could throw at you; whilst individually, either would be more than capable for smaller, lower risk boulders or circuits with the hinge folding design enabling you to pack your gear inside the pad securely for the walk in. Both come packed with a 3-layer, 10cm sandwich of premium foam (comprising 2.5cm of harder closed-cell foam and 7.5cm of soft open-cell foam) and it's a time tested fact that this stuff is the best around. Providing a forgiving catch right from the off, the Organic pads were lovely to land on from the very first fall but this did leave me wondering, how long would this cushy stuff actually last?

Well, a very long time indeed and, it's surely no surprise - you don't become the premium bouldering pad brand on looks alone. The foam, 1050d ballistics shell and 1000d recycled Cordura landing zone fabrics are tough as old boots having stood up to a tremendous amount of abuse being dragged, set down and fallen onto over a variety of harsh Lake District landings - most of which comprise of sharp rock. The incredible durability of the Organic pads has been the real highlight during testing, especially climbing at venues that should be considered amongst a pad's worst nightmare. Let's face it, bouldering pads aren't cheap but, thanks to the bespoke quality and durability of the hand made Organic offerings, they'll likely last a lot longer and give way more value for money than some of the cheaper competition. 

Optional Extras

Alongside the full-sized pads, Organic's range of handy accessories have been a much welcomed addition to the setup. The Deluxe Muffin Protector is a real quality of life improvement. Organic's carrying strap system is already on par with the best I've tested but bulking this out with the thicker, EVA foamed Muffin Protector has made a marked difference to the carrying comfort on walks ins; especially when carrying heavier loads over longer, steeper distances but, even approaching road side feels notably nicer.

The Load Flap, although more niche in its application also functions typically well, allowing you to piggyback another pad onto the back of any full-sized Organic pad. In practice, this meant I could strap up the Simple pad to add a third pad onto the full set up for those bigger days out at destinations with scary landings or highball problems - awesome!

Round Up

Without a doubt the finest bouldering pads I've ever used. Organic reign supreme with their iconic aesthetic, well-oiled ergonomics and the undying durability of a working dog. The additional accessories provide a welcome quality of life improvement and allow you to take your bouldering game to the next level with the capacity and comfort for bigger, better days out at the crag. Sounds good, right?


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