Gear Review: Stonelick BLU Crashpad

Don't break the bank or yourself with this affordable crashpad from Stonelick.

[affordable crashpad]

No one wants to pay $300 for what looks like a glorified couch cushion. But a crashpad is the most essential piece of gear for making landings safe and preventing ankle sprains while bouldering. Enter the BLU, which is as durable, well-designed, and easy-to-haul as more expensive pads. Designers removed a half inch of closed-cell foam from the bottom of the 36 x 48 x 4-inch pad to save cost, but they kept a safety feature that makes

Stonelick models top of the line: the step hinge. This innovative fold overlaps layers of foam in the middle of the pad, along the fold, which can be an ankle-breaking weak spot during foot-first falls. While dragging this pad across roots, rocks, and trail, testers found it extremely durable, and the foam never compressed or degraded. Plus, a padded waist belt and shoulder straps make it a cinch to carry. $200; 12 lbs.; stonelickclimbing.com