A thoughtfully designed, lightweight mat for low to mid-height bouldering
New in 2019, the Edelrid Mantle III Crash Pad offers everything you’d hope for in a high quality bouldering mat: durability, excellent shock absorbency and portability. But now in its third iteration, this superbly well built pad also offers a few little extras that make it a mega versatile option for those wanting to get off the beaten track.
Edelrid Mantle III: The stats
|Dimensions:||10 x 110 x 120 cm (4 x 43 x 46 inches)|
|Carry system:||Backpack straps and handles|
|Best for:||Low to mid height problems that are off the beaten track|
Features of the Edelrid Mantle III
Padding layersThis new version of the Mantle offers even better shock absorbency than ever with improved four-layer foam padding that is 4 inches deep. If you need to replace one of the layers, the foam can be accessed via a side zip — an excellent design feature that will add years onto the life of the mat.
(There are actually 4 layers, although the image looks like 3!)
The base and sides of the pad are made of super tough, wear and water-resistant ballistic nylon. There is also a tough carpeted section on one corner of the pad with a large Elderid logo embedded in it. This is ideal for pre-climb foot wiping.
The sturdy backpack system has padded shoulder straps that can be tightened and loosened easily. There is also an adjustable waist belt that does up via a heavy duty buckle. The positions of both the shoulder straps and the waist belt can be altered to fit different torso sizes.
There are three carry handles on the mat, all of which are made from recycled climbing rope. Two handles are on each short edge so that when the mat is closed it can be carried like a suitcase. The other one is positioned above the backpack straps so that it can be hauled easily.
Two aluminium buckles link with loops of webbing to secure the mat closed once it’s folded. The same type of buckles attach the ends of the shoulder straps to the bottom of the pad. According to Edelrid, the buckles are indestructible!
The mat zips together on two sides so that, when folded, it is securely closed. However, the zip also continues onto the third side. This means that the two halves of the mat unzip almost completely and open up to a long and narrow mat for protection on traverses.
Edelrid Mantle III review
Reviewing an item that is designed to prevent injury is something I’m somewhat reluctant to get into. So I’ll be straight with you: I’ve not attempted any highball problems in the hope that I’ll take an unexpected fall and not break an ankle. Nor have tested to see how high I can jump onto the mat from before my knees buckle from the lack of shock absorbency. So if you’re expecting that kind of review then you may need to search elsewhere!
What I have done with this mat, however, is plenty of unexpected collapses onto my backside from failed sit-start attempts. I’ve taken a fair few mid-height plunges from slipped foot placements, unreasonably bold dynos and general inability to complete subsequent moves. And I’ve also become fairly well acquainted with controlled jumps from around 2+ meters high — about the point when the heebeegeebees start to get the better of me.
With this in mind, I can confidently say that the Edelrid Mantle III has stood up to the demands placed upon it, from a safety point of view. The padding is reassuringly firm but with just the right amount of give on more committed landings. It’s also not the sort of pad that bounces you off as soon as you make contact with it — essential when the landings are on the sketchy side with other rocks in the vicinity. As a result, I’ve not sustained any bouldering injuries from the underperformance of the Mantle.
More than just a padded mat
The success of the Mantle as my favourite bouldering companion isn’t just down to the cleverly combined layers of foam. There are other, more subtle features that also contribute to my lack of injury and overall satisfaction with this mat.
Firstly, the fact that there are handles on three sides of the mat means that my spotter can quickly and easily move the pad to that perfect landing spot. Granted, the mat manages to move much more quickly depending on the levels of panic in my voice… perhaps I should give my spotter some credit too? The point is, is that I like having lots of handles to grasp at when needed. They also make dragging it out from being wedged into my small car much more easy!
Secondly, the conveniently placed circular carpet section allows me to climb with squeaky clean shoes, thus significantly decreasing the risk of slipping off the rock. BIG tick, especially when hitting up my local beach boulders.
Finally, the ability for the mat to almost fully unzip into a long mat (230 x 60 cm) is genius. The two sections of the pad sit end to end instead of side by side (120 x 110 cm) to allow for more protection on traverse problems. I’ve even angled the pads so that they just about have me covered around a corner problem.
What I love the most about the Edelrid Mantle III
Yes, I really love the fact that it prevents me from injuring myself, but that’s kind of a given. So my next favourite thing about the Mantle III is the thoughtful design features (long configuration, carpet, carry handles, buckles etc) that make it versatile and very easy to use.
What I don’t love so much about the Edelrid Mantle III
There’s not a ton of padding on the shoulder straps, nor is there a sternum strap for extra stability and support when carrying. That said, the low weight of the mat means that I’ve not really felt the need for either. If I were trekking a little further with the pad on my back I may feel differently.
It’s robust, lightweight, has loads of highly useful design features, and has a decently comfortable backpack system. But most importantly, the Edelrid Mantle III Crash Pad will help to prevent you from injury when bouldering, thanks to its improved 4 inches of foam layers.
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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.