- 66 x 42 x 4 inches / 167 x 106 x 10 cm
- Weight: 8.1 kg / 18 lbs.
- Color: Royal Blue / Dark Green
- 1000D nylon
- Covered with durable 1000-denier nylon with a plush top cover
- 4 inches of high quality foam, stacked closed-cell over open-cell for great force dispersal and no bottoming out
- Innovative self-locking Flashed Bling Buckles
- Removable anatomic die-cut shoulder straps and waist-belt
- Cargo pocket located in the mat for all your valuables
- 4 positioning handles at each end of the Shogun for easy moving
- Reinforced bar tacks at high stress points
Time Tested: 15 days
Test Locations: Sailing Hawks, Durango, Colorado; Hueco Tanks, Texas; The Sandias, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Socorro, New Mexico
MSRP: $400 (CAN and US)
Now that the weather has gotten colder (not a whole lot colder here in New Mexico, but still), I am spending less time sport climbing and more time bouldering. I love bouldering. It’s hard and scary, and I often leave bleeding, but for some reason it is my climbing niche of choice.
One thing I love is how little gear you need to do it: some chalk, shoes, and a crash pad, and you’re good to go.
In case you’ve never read the warning label on every piece of climbing gear you’ve ever had, climbing is dangerous. So when I go bouldering, a good crash pad is essential. Plus, the knowledge that my landing will be a little safer if I fall (which is about 99% of bouldering for me) means that I try a little harder. I prefer a slightly larger crash pad, so I decided to try the Flashed Shogun.
My two previous pads, a Cordless and a Bitter Sweet, were both 36x42x4 inches, which seems to be a pretty standard size, so the Shogun’s 66x42x4 sounded just right: it’s big enough to offer a little more ground coverage without being one of those gigantic, awkward pads that is difficult to move around.
Carrying System / Closure
My first trip out with the the Shogun was to Sailing Hawks, in Durango, Colorado. The approach to Sailing Hawks is a 10–15 minute walk up a steep dirt road. This is actually longer than most of my usual approaches, so I was glad for the harness system on the Shogun.
The system has an anatomical shoulder strap and waist belt system that is probably the most comfortable harness I have tried for crash pads. Other pads, like those from Organic, Mad Rock, and Metolious, use a very simple back pack strap design: the shoulder straps are one continuous piece that are attached to the pad in the middle, or they are two separate straps sewn directly to the outer fabric of the pad; they may or may not have a hip belt. This is a very basic design that gets the job done, but doesn’t offer much comfort or freedom of movement.
The Flashed harness is attached much more like a backpack. The shoulder straps have adjustments for how tight you want the pad to be to your upper back, which allows you either to have a little more freedom of movement, or keep the pad tight to your back when rock scrambling. There is also a sternum strap and a nice, wide hip belt.
The shoulder straps and waist belt are very thin, so they lie flat when under the pad, but are still padded enough themselves to be comfortable. (The shoulder straps and waist belt are removable, but I never seem to use that feature. I think it takes too long and doesn’t make enough of a difference in how the pad lies when in use.)
I am 6’2”, and the straps adjusted easily to accommodate my height. The harness also moved with me very well, which made rock scrambling just a little easier. The pad comes in at 18 pounds, so a comfortable harness is important, and I think Flashed got this one right. This is a large pad that carries like a small one.
The closure system is simple with just four straps. It has big buckles that are easy to latch, and a suitcase handle on the top and on one side that come in handy for quick, short moves between boulders.
Every company has a different way to address the potential dilemma of a dead spot in the pad when it’s folded. For example, Organic pads are hinged in the middle and then have a one-inch-thick top layer to cover the hinge. Mad Rock’s hinge is cut at 45 degrees so when you unfold the pad, there is no dead spot.
Flashed has no hinge at all. Instead, the two ends wrap toward the middle like a burrito. This folding style means that there is no crease or dead spot in the foam to roll an ankle or to bottom out in. (It also provides a space for me to shove in a bag or other gear I need to carry.)
The pad also rolls out flat every time I opened it, which creates a nice even landing area.