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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

AK Pad

Review by planetFear
Thursday 25th January 2007
What makes one pad better than another? You might ask, well…
A crash pad’s most important job is to protect you from the debilitating business of smacking into the ground repeatedly.
You also want to be able to get it to the crag, so it should fit in your car, and be reasonably comfortable to carry.
For use in the UK and Fontainebleau particularly, it should be as water resistant as possible!
It’s also nice to be able to shove all your stuff in the pad without it falling out.

The Revolution AK gets the landing business right. It is a shade bigger and thicker than the industry classic Black Diamond Dropzone, giving a comfortable landing zone.
The foam is firm enough to level out rocky landings, but not so hard that a back slap from a couple of feet knocks the wind out of you.

The taco design resists being squashed down between boulders on impact. This is a good thing on poor, talus type landings like Porth Ysgo in North Wales. In common with all taco designs though, the AK is a bit less convenient to pick up and carry between problems than a hinged pad.

The cover seems to take being scraped across rough grit very well, and sheds water effectively. The carpeted top is not ideal for wet conditions, but dries quickly.

The Velcro closures are quicker and easier to use than any of the buckle systems on other pads, especially if your fingers are numb with cold, or from crimping a little too hard. The long term durability of the Velcro is a possible minus point, but if you managed to wear it out, chances are you would have worn out the mat itself by that point anyway.

The shoulder straps are adequate. They are not removable, but I have yet to see anyone bother to do take the straps off their pad before throwing it down anyway. The webbing hip belt makes for a more comfortable carry on longer walk-ins when you have a fair bit of kit stuffed into the pad.
There is a Velcro pocket in the closure flap for storing spare brushes, tape etc. The pad holds together well when carried, even with quite a large backpack stuffed inside it.

The AK 47 rifle was one of the most successful design concepts of the 20th century. Its simplicity, cheapness and toughness are have made it the weapon of choice in any 21st century war torn developing country you can think of. To name a bouldering pad after it seems tasteless.
However, the fact is that this was the only major reservation I could think of about the AK. It’s a really good pad, at least the equal of any on the market.

Dimensions (mm): 1270 x 1016 x 88.9

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