When we check the WeighMyRack database for the most wanted and owned bouldering pads by WeighMyRack users we find the top 3 models in each category are…

Most Wanted Bouldering Pads

  1. Organic Big Pad
  2. Organic Full Pad
  3. Organic Simple Pad

Most Owned Bouldering Pads (available today)

  1. Organic Full Pad
  2. Mad Rock Mad Pad
  3. Metolius Session II

Below we dive into why these are the most wanted and owned bouldering pads from WeighMyRack users.

Organic 5″ Big Pad and Full Pad – TIED for #1 AND #2 Most Wanted

Out of all of the bouldering pads currently available, the most wanted stuff out there is all from Organic Climbing. Not only are the top three spots on the list for WeighMyRack users all one brand, but the top two most wanted are actually tied.

To us, this says a lot about the things that boulderers are looking for such as the burliest of outer materials (1000d Codura and 1050d Ballistic Nylon), metal buckles, and a tried and true carrying system (for backpack or shoulder carry). They’re also using some of the best rated foam available. Organic pads are made to last.

The Organic 5
The 5" Big Pad is a full inch thicker, 1' wider, and 1' taller than the Full Pad.

Also, when you order online from Organic you can customize the base and accent colors (see an overview of how custom color works with this video).

All pads are sewn in the US and last time we talked to the owner he was committed to sourcing as locally as possible too.

The Full Pad model is the same in outer fabrics but uses a 2 layer foam setup that is 4″ thick and opens to a 3×4 foot size (that’s about 10cm thick and 92x122cm), while the 5″ Big Pad adds an extra inch of memory foam and is a monstrous 4×5 foot size (that’s 12.4cm thick and 122x152cm).

Organic Simple Pad – #3 Most Wanted

The Simple pad is Organic’s best seller and is basically the exact same pad as the Full Pad, except it is trimmed down of all the bells and whistles. It has the same size and foam setup but foregoes the pocket flap making it a bit lighter, cheaper, and more streamlined– all qualities many folks like to have as a second or supplemental pad.

We think this is probably one reason this pad sits at #3 instead of #1 or #2 on this list, despite it being the cheapest ‘full sized’ pad that Organic currently makes.

Where to buy Organic Pads

The best spot to buy (and where you can customize the colors) is directly from Organic themselves.

Organic Full Pad – #1 Most Owned

Though we’ve already said much of what there is to say about the Full Pad above, we think there are at least a couple of features that help to seat this pad as the #1 owned as well as the #1 wanted among our users.

When compared across the rest of its class, the Full Pad brings some of the most foam for its price, both in thickness and in density types, as well as including the very adjustable and replaceable shoulder and hip strap system.

Their ‘hybrid’ style hinge also splits the lower two foams at the fold of the pad, while the upper layer is unbroken across the whole width. This makes for a comfy and safe pad that won’t risk an ankle roll where you might step in the crevice of the pad like others at this price point.

Organic Full Pad open
The big difference between the Full Pad and the Simple Pad from Organic is the Full pad has the pocket/flap seen here on the right which allows the pad to hold items inside, as well as secure other pads to the back when 'piggybacking' multiple pads to the crag.

One of the other cool things about Organic pads, even though they all have the option of color customization when you order them direct from Organic, is the The Full Pad, the 5″ Big Pad, and Simple Pad all also come in an ‘off the rack’ non-custom version. These non-custom models ship faster, are cheaper, and are a sort of ‘you get what you get in colors’ for those in a hurry or who are looking to save a few more bucks.

Mad Rock Mad Pad – #2 Most Owned

The second most owned bouldering pad that is still currently available is the Mad Pad from Mad Rock which makes absolute sense considering it’s historically low price tag and long term availability. We first added the Mad Pad to WeighMyRack in 2014 and not much has changed since. The Mad Pad has always offered the basic standard features, it just comes with a bit more weight– it’s a full 1-2kg heavier than the other two pads on this list.

The Mad Pad has 5″ (12.5cm) of thickness made from 3 layers of foam (1″ closed, 3″ open, 1″ closed cell) that is sort of considered the industry standard for absorbing big impacts. This fact alone coupled with a competitive price for its thickness makes it a great beefy pad that many consider as their second, or when they are expanding the range and height capacity of their pad collection.

MadPad edge connection
The velcro on the edge of the Mad Pad is designed to enable the building of an endlessly huge pad at the base of your proj. (image courtesy MadRock.com)

One big selling point for those building large landing zones is the edge velcro patches on the Mad Pad allow you to seamlessly connect several pads together. It also has adjustable shoulder and waist straps, though does lack the pull handles found on other competitor’s models for dragging it around the of base boulders.

Buying Options for the Mad Rock Mad Pad

The Mad Pad is widely available in retail stores and in many gym gear shops. We’re currently seeing it for sale on Backcountry and Moosejaw as well as a couple other options listed below.

Metolius Session II – #3 Most Owned (currently available)

When we looked to see which were the most owned boulder pads, we expected the Metolius Session II to be at the top of the list, though it ended up at #3.

In fact if we include the now retired original Metolius Session in the mix, it would actually sit at #2 overall by itself, and when combined with the current version it would vastly outstrip every other model of crash pad among our users. It is pretty safe to say that you can’t talk about bouldering pads (at least in the U.S.) without talking about the Session series.

The update from the Session to the Session II was generally considered a good one, and mostly had to do with adding pull handles and updating the pocket flap to be able to hide/protect the shoulder straps when the pad is deployed.

The Session II in action
The Session II is a common sight at crags where you need a lot of pads, owing to its competitive price and availability in many shops. (Image courtesy metoliusclimbing.com)

Though the current model isn’t at the sub $150 price point of its predecessor, the Session II is still just as widely available at many retailers and gym gear shops and has enough features at a competitive price to be on most boulderer’s list for either a first pad, or an inexpensive supplemental one.

Buying Options for the Metolius Session II
We currently have a couple of buying options for the Session on WeighMyRack, but it is also widely available in REI, Backcountry, and Moosejaw stores where it is currently on sale (at the time of writing this.)

Bottom Line

When it comes to the the bouldering pads most people want, Organic’s incredibly durable, full featured, fully customizable system are the most attractive to WeighMyRack users. However when we look at the most owned pads out there, we see a range of brands that are all filling a particular niche in the field, from impact absorption, feature list, and price point.