60 x 44 x 5 inches
152 x 111 x 12 cm
Foam Structure: Dual density structure – 1” stiff, 3” firm, 1” Stiff
Construction: 1000 denier nylon / 1680 ballistics shell, triple stitching in stress zones
- Padded shoulder straps
- Padded waist belt
- E-justable torso system
- Chest strap
- Carpeted foot wipe
Time tested: The autumn bouldering season
Test Locations: Joe’s Valley and Moe’s Valley, Utah; Jackson, Wyoming
As a boulderer, a quality crash pad is one of the most important pieces of gear to own. If you are looking to push yourself, you are going to fall, and fall a lot. You need a crash pad that will break your falls and keep you safe.
After years of using regular sized pads, like the Black Diamond Drop Zone (48 x 41 x 3.5 inches), I was in the market for a larger, highball-specific pad that would both cover more surface area and have enough foam to break larger falls. The main reason for this is that I tend to boulder a lot on my own and, as a result, wanted a crash pad that would provide a large landing area.
Furthermore, since larger pads are rather pricey (roughly $300-400), I wanted to find a crash pad that was designed with useful features (comfortable carrying system, good handles, effective closures, etc.) and was also designed to last for multiple seasons.
I thought the Asana KJ Signature Pad 2 would be the perfect choice. As the newest version of a pad designed by Kevin Jorgenson, the KJ was built to be his primary pad for the very bold, very high boulder problems that are his specialty.
With the new KJ, Asana attempted to streamline the pad’s design by including only the absolutely necessary features to create a user-friendly pad with all the essentials and no superfluous design elements.
For a carrying system, Asana included nicely padded shoulder straps, a thick waist belt, and a chest strap that all work together to create an effective and comfortable carrying system. Although the KJ feels relatively light, having a comfortable set of straps is extremely important with a pad this size to make long approaches bearable, especially when the pad is loaded down with a day’s worth of gear and supplies.
Asana’s straps do an excellent job. I’ve experienced no hot spots or discomfort, even when carrying the pad shirtless, and the waist belt is effective in transferring the weight off the shoulders to the hips.
To further make moving the KJ as easy as possible, Asana added tubular handles: one located on the top of the pad and two on the sides. These handles are comfortable to use and make moving the KJ quickly from one problem to another—or while some one is climbing—easy and efficient.
Asana has also added a carpet wipe on one corner for cleaning off climbing shoes before pulling onto a problem. While this wipe is not unique to the KJ, it is a nice feature that I found myself using regularly on my trip to Utah to clean the dust off my shoes before each attempt.
For a closure system, the KJ has unbreakable metal cam buckles. Initially I was hesitant about these because I thought that the strap would quickly fray from being repeatedly fed through the metal buckles, and thus become difficult to use. But after a month of solid use, this has not occurred at all, and the cam straps have become one of my favorite features.
In Moe’s Valley on a solo climbing day, I was able to pack my climbing bag, food and water, and a Black Diamond Satellite pad all into the KJ and easily synch down the cam straps to secure everything in place. This greatly eased my approach to the boulders, as I was able to carry everything I needed for the day on my back instead of awkwardly having to hike in with things in my hands.