For those who boulder outdoors often, having a selection of crash pads depending on difficulty and terrain can make life a lot easier. Particularly when it comes to more challenging areas, a one-size-fits-all approach usually doesn’t work. Enter the niche category of sit start pads which have been gradually added to most major manufacturers’ portfolios. Designed to be small and light, yet provide good enough protection for those tricky starts, do these pads make an ideal supplement to their bigger brothers? Here, I share my impressions of the edelrid Sit Start Night Oasis pad.
Measuring 100 x 55 x 5 cm the pad weighs in at 1’600g, light enough to transport even on tricky terrain. Although slightly heavier than some of its competitors (like the Petzl Nimbo) it comes with a thick dual foam membrane that provides decent protection and stiffness.
The green and black nylon outer fabric gives it a sleek look, while an integrated foot mat comes in very useful for wiping down those dirty shoes before the start of a problem. Additionally, a small handle on the wide side helps to easily move or carry.
The pad feels very solid and the cushion resistance provides that extra element of safety but also comfort. Make no mistake though, this is definitely designed for one thing, and that is close to the ground sit starts. It will not replace a traditional crash pad once lifting higher off the ground.
When bouldering solo, I will use this as my starting pad and place my crash mat underneath the crux of the boulder. This comes in very handy especially during a long traverse.
Handily, when transporting, the mat can be wedged in between a folded crash pad to avoid carrying two pieces of equipment (e.g. combined with the Black Diamond Impact).
Overall, I’m happy with the Night Oasis. It supplements well my normal crash pads, is light and easy to transport. The mat will set you back roughly GBP 50.00 and can be purchased from almost any major outdoor retailer.