The tri-fold design means that it packs down to a manageable size for transport, and angle-cut hinges eliminate the gutters often found in the folds of other pads.
The plush padded shoulder straps and adjustable waist belt are comfortable enough for bigger approaches and provide ample support to aid in bushwhacking, stream crossing, boulder hopping, or any other unforeseen challenges you may encounter in the field.
Last but not least, the Metolius Magnum’s small external stash pocket provides quick access to essentials like water and snacks, while a larger inner pocket holds shoes and a chalk bucket with a bit of room to spare.
- Fiercely durable crash pad, made to last
- Simple yet well-executed features for improved ergonomics (e.g., angle cut hinges, rug for wiping feet)
- Great protection for all kinds of landings thanks to the sandwich foam, including sharp corners and uneven surfaces
- Large size makes it easy to spot climbers and snuggle in for a good night’s sleep
- Tri-fold design makes it hard to fit more than just the essentials inside during transport
Fall Impact Protection
The most important job of any crash pad is to protect you from the impact of falls. The Magnum crash pad performs this task wonderfully, with well thought out features that help protect a variety of landings.
The sandwich foam design means that closed-cell foam shields the open-cell center on both sides. This helps improve the rigidity of the pad, as well as aiding the lifespan of the open cell foam by keeping it protected.
While many other “highball” pads feature 5 inches (12.7 cm) of foam, the Metolius Magnum only has 4 (10.2 cm) when unfolded.
In practice, we found that the extra inch isn’t very important. When climbing bigger boulders, the more necessary safety measure is bringing spotters and more pads.
The Magnum crash pad achieves a large maximum impact absorption by combining many layers of tough materials, as well as smart design with the angle cut hinges.
Metolius is a brand that is well-known for its durability. In the realm of soft goods (haul bags, gloves, daisys & aiders, etc), they generally receive good feedback in terms of stitching. They have been making gear since the 80’s, and their design strategy tends to lean towards stronger and thicker materials rather than ultra-light construction styles.
The Magnum crash pad has been their flagship primary pad for many years and has gone through several iterations, constantly improving in terms of durability.
While no pad will last indefinitely, the Metolius Magnum is a good choice for someone who’s in the market for a pad that will keep them protected for a long time. Any foam pad will deteriorate faster the more falls it takes, but this crash pad will gracefully absorb many thousands of impacts before the difference in cushioning is noticeable.
We liked that the attachment points for the shoulder straps, hip belt, and drag handles were all sewn in with multiple bar tacks. Overall, the design and materials of this pad–like the Burly 900 denier nylon and trustworthy aluminum buckles–come together in a way that makes it bomber and built to last.
Metolius offers a limited lifetime warranty against any defects in their gear. If your pad shows up with any imperfections that may result in a shortened lifespan, they will replace it for free. Although they don’t offer crash pad repairs, it’s possible to patch and repair crash pads with a heavy-duty sewing machine.
Ease of Use
When protecting and spotting a boulder, the Metolius Magnum crash pad covers a lot of bases well. The tri-fold pad design means rocks, roots, and other natural obstacles can be easily covered. Because it has closed cell foam on both sides, the magnum will provide good protection even when flipped upside down.
The closure flap reverses when not in backpack mode to cover the hip and shoulder straps, keeping them clean. The pad can be picked up and moved between boulders while opened by using two of the dual sets of drag handles on the ends.
One of our favorite ergonomic features of this pad is the logo rug in the middle. It makes a difference in drying your shoes well before you crank onto tiny footholds. We also really liked the velcro flaps that help keep the three sections rigid while in use.
Our only ease-of-use gripe with the Magnum Crash pad is the closure flap. While you can reverse it to cover the backpack attachments, it’s somewhat tedious to keep doing this. Even when reversed, the long strap tends to get in the way.
Someone with a bit of discipline can definitely figure out a way to tie and tuck back the loose strap. but it makes for a bit of extra faff. Still, the bulk of the features on this pad work beautifully and make it easy and fun to use.
Packing and Transport
One of the big downsides of a tri-fold pad is that it isn’t easy to stuff much gear inside. Unlike taco-style pads, which can often be filled with gear and then banded shut easily, the Metolius Magnum crash pad requires a bit of ingenuity to pack well. However, it’s possible to use the upper closure flap to secure a small backpack on top of the pad while it’s on your back.
The outer stash and larger inner pockets provide enough space to store shoes, a chalk bag, and other small essentials. The main downside of this configuration is that it’s top-heavy. Also, the top flap has limited ability to hold the backpack in place.
The shoulder straps feature some light padding. However, the hip belt only uses webbing. This may lead to some chafing, especially when carrying heavier loads in a t-shirt. Still, it carries decently well for a crash pad, and if everything is dialed in, you won’t be too bothered by this pad on the average approach.
With a folded size of 13″/33 cm thick, car storage can be a bit more difficult in models with limited trunk space. Compared to some other designs the Magnum crash pad is not as easy to pack. Still, it offers solutions that work well enough that you won’t notice it after initially getting used to it.
This is the pad for you if you’re looking for a crash pad to use as your main bouldering mattress. Something that protects well and comes with lots of user-friendly features. While packing does take some getting used to, this pad is great for big approaches as much as it would be suited to a home wall. There are cheaper options on the market, but the amount of pad you get for the price here is good value.
For climbers of all experience levels, the Metolius Magnum crash pad is a hard wearing investment that pays dividends on big boulders, providing a durable cushion wrapped in burly outer fabric. If you don’t like the idea of a tri-fold design but want a “do it all” pad, consider the Mad Rock Duo instead.
|4″ (10.2 cm)
|70″ x 47″ (178 x 120 cm)
|33 lbs (15 kg)
|Closed and open-cell foam
Where to Buy It?
We buy most of our stuff from REI.com. Their service is great, and it’s a co-op, so they treat their employees well and answer to their members, not shareholders.
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