Bouldering traditionally means traveling a short distance off the beaten path, laying down crash pads, and attempting to navigate routes to the top of large rocks. Its overwhelming appeal is often bolstered by a short approach you could manage in your flip-flops — as opposed to rock climbing or mountaineering, which often requires long-distance travel to far away places. Because of this, most bouldering pads are big and bulky with harness systems designed for carrying short distances. But for those who want to seek out the remote boulders of the backcountry, Organic Climbing has teamed up with Mystery Ranch to design the perfect pad for you — the Backcountry Pad.
The pad is based on Organic Climbing’s popular Big Pad and measures 46 inches by 58 inches when laid flat. It provides about as much landing support a single pad is capable of providing, comprising one inch of top-layer memory foam, one inch of urethane rubber closed-cell foam to prevent users from bottoming out, and three inches of open-cell foam to provide for a cushy landing. A total of five inches of protection makes for a coveted bouldering pad that can be used with or without supplementary padding.
Integration of the Mystery Ranch suspension system makes this bouldering pad so unique. Mystery Ranch is a Bozeman, Montana-based company renowned for its development of products designed to efficiently carry large loads. The pad folds in half for ease of transport, utilizing a compound hinge featuring four solid metal buckles. The shoulder straps are constructed of plastic and foam to help distribute the weight and boast 10 adjustment points for load lifting. The curved plastic frame sheet adds rigidity while contouring to your back, allowing for easy adjustment of the load.
Organic Climbing implemented its trademark “Muffin Protector” deluxe hip belt, comprised of EVA foam and a breathable mesh liner for added comfort. The entire suspension kit can be easily removed while using the pad for bouldering — making for an even, trusty landing zone. You can shove an entire backpack inside the folded pad or stack on additional pads using the extra attachment point, located on the hinge side handle — the Mystery Ranch suspension system effortlessly handles the extra weight. Three external handles are included for easy pad manipulation.
The Backcountry Pad can be purchased on Organic Climbing’s website.