/ REVIEW: Alpkit Bouldering Mats - Origin, Mujo, and Project

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The Project is large enough to fill even the largest of gapsOver the past few years Alpkit have been investing in their UK factory. They've also been working on their range of bouldering mats, which saw a complete overhaul late last year. With six new pads to choose from, we test the three largest.

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Durbs on 09:24 Wed
In reply to UKC Gear:

You may find you'd get more birds on your feeders if there was more cover nearby for them to fly to-and-from between feeds. If they're too exposed, birds may not approach for risk of attach (often from Sparrowhawks).

Could even fake this and attach some small twigs and branches nearby.

Good review too :D

In reply to Durbs:

I think the main issue on that particular occasion the weirdo taking photographs just a few metres away

There's a hedge just out of view to the left which houses a pair of Robins, Blackbirds, and somewhere between 6-8 House Sparrows. Other visitors include Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long Tailed Tits, Dunnocks, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, a team of ravenous Jackdaws, and a Wren. I'm quite proud of this given that when we moved in a year and a half ago there was nothing!

Anyhow, back to the bouldering mats + review at hand - thanks for the feedback!

snoop6060 - on 09:43 Wed
In reply to UKC Gear:

I always find with pads that it takes time to work out a pad is crap. You need to have been wedged between many trees, blown over with it on your back, got lost for 2 hours whilst carrying it and also repeatedly fallen onto it to know the foam will hold up. And also not lost any shoes you carelessly stuffed inside it whist moving between problems. A good pad is also still usable once almost everything has fallen off it. And you gotta pick wisely as you are gonna be using that pad for years. Buying a new pad is risky business

Post edited at 09:43
In reply to snoop6060:

I couldn't agree more. In fact, it's quite strange writing a review in light of that. 

With that in mind I'll definitely be posting an update some time within the next 6-12 months, as I'm sure I'll have developed a few more opinions by that point. Still, for those interested I hope this goes through some of the pros and cons of the various pads available.

John1458 on 12:53 Wed
In reply to UKC Gear:

It's not a huge difference really but worth mentioning, I had a look on the alpkit website after reading the review at the Origin and it's listed on there website at £159 not £145 as in the review?

Looking forward to seeing how they hold up after another 6-12 months, might get one as a second pad if the review is favorable!

Post edited at 12:53
tomwalton - on 17:10 Wed
In reply to UKC Gear:

Enjoyed the review overall.

I have a suggestion in line with the rebranding and ongoing website work for future reviews across the site:

Where pictures of crags, boulders, routes etc are being used within product reviews it might be a good idea to include a little more detail of the route, crag, location in question. 

Having seen a few of the well shot pictures I’m inclined to visit some of these boulders and if the info was included in the picture caption they would be easy to identify and search out. This could utilise the logbook database with a hyperlink to the crag being shown?

This could cross over the reviews of jackets etc, I.e when an author is out on a hill in Scotland showing a jacket’s features “in the wild” a link to the ukhillwalking summit or routecard might be helpful. 

Just a thought, not sure if others would use this additional info too.

Durbs on 17:21 Wed
In reply to tomwalton:

True - though as a sporadic, though regular visitor to the peak district, I enjoyed the challenge...

Is that Trackside taken from a drone? 

I need to replace my very knackered Red Chili matt, always liked Alpkit stuff, so a strong contender. I have a Moon Saturn, but it's too big for the boot, so not really usable if we need to take the kids (which as they're 1 & 3 we have to).

That's the other pro for hinged pads, the fold flatter than a taco pad, so easier to get in a car, though I prefer tacos for the lack of hinge when opened.

OwlBear on 04:58 Thu
In reply to UKC Gear:

Where is the very bottom photo taken of the big solitary block surrounded by what looks like moorland?

ChrisBrooke - on 09:40 Thu
In reply to OwlBear:

Trackside at Curbar - about 20m from the road Nice to see it from space....although I'm glad I wasn't there while the drone was buzzing about. 

Post edited at 09:43
In reply to John1458:

Well well well, looks like it was too much of a bargain - they must have changed it in between me writing and publishing the review.

I'll get the review updated accordingly.

In reply to tomwalton:

To be fair, this is a very good suggestion. Whilst it may not be entirely justified the main reason we don't is because when we're uploading images for reviews we tend to do so on mass, hence use a bulk uploader (as opposed to the usual system available to users, where you can specify all that information). The main reason for this is time, however I'm aware that it is a shortcut and obviously leaves those wishing to know the location lacking somewhat. Let me have a word with Dan Bailey (UKC/UKH Gear Editor) and see what he's got to say.

For the record, the problems are:

Fab Arete (f5), Curbar
Coil Wall Traverse (V6), Farlton
Sidetrack (f7A), Curbar
Top Break (f5+), Rubicon
Early Doors (f7A+), Curbar
Hannibal (f7C), Tom's Cave
Trackside (f7A), Curbar

In terms of the comments re: drones, it's worth highlighting that I too hate drones and the noise they produce; as such, if I ever felt we were to be intruding within the outdoor environment I'd be the first to say (and have said so on a great many occasions). As events transpire we were out midweek, had the crag to ourselves, and didn't hang around (i.e. we were up, taking pictures, and down within a very short space of time). 

In reply to tomwalton:

Hi Tom

Adding location info to reviews is a good suggestion, and one that gets made periodically by readers. We do occasionally stick in the location, and once in a blue moon I've even added links to the crag or summit in question. So we have considered making something of a rule of it, and I'm afraid the decision not to mainly boils down to boring practicality:

  • It'd add time and faff to an already time consuming process.
  • Space in picture captions is limited and often needed for comments on product.
  • In layout terms, where else instead to include info on locations isn't obvious. It'd need not to interrupt the flow of the writing or clutter the page. In a box at the foot of the review maybe?
  • In the case of work submitted by our team of 'freelance' reviewers, it would be one more job for them to remember and yet another thing for us to chase up when they inevitably forget.

I wonder if there's sufficient interest/demand to justify the effort?    

Aside from me protesting that it's too much like hard work, there's the fun of guessing where we've been. I'm sure there are people who actually enjoy this. And for those who just want to know, and can't guess, I suppose they can always ask in the forum...

All of which is not to say that we will never do it, just an explanation of why we haven't yet made much of an effort.


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