Our Review of Crash Pads
Sidnie over at Crash Pads sent us some of their gear to review and field test. Crash Pads are essentially what the name says—base-layer pads to help absorb the blow when you crash skiing/snowboarding or skating, biking, blading, hockey, motorbiking, or any other sport where you might take a tumble. Or even standing in lift lines, unloading from the chairlift, falling down the stairs in the mid-mountain house. Not that we have ever done any/all of those things. Ahem.
Crash Pads have an interesting history. Sidnie’s sister, and co-owner, was an in-line skater in the early 90s, and she noticed that she kept falling on the same areas of her hips and elbows. So she just stitched some stuff together so that she could skate half-pipes in Central Park NYC and still be able to move around the law office the next day. This was the genesis. And 22 years later, they are still selling to weekend warriors and adventure sports athletes all over the world. Plus, they are based in Astoria, OR, which is where The Goonies was filmed, so you know they have to be the coolest women on the planet. At least in the top 10.
Crash Pads come in both womens and mens sizes. They have shorts, pants, and shirts. They range in cost from $70-$195.
We did our field test over 4 different days in different parts of the season.
First Test: Beaver Creek March 15, 2013 – Matt – Pants & Shirt
Second Test: Breckenridge Dec 7, 2013 – Jeremy – Shorts
Third Test: Steamboat Feb 24, 2013 – Matt – Pants & Shirt
Fourth Test: Steamboat Feb 26, 2013 – Jeremy – Pants
I’ll be honest, we didn’t fall too much. We fake-fell a few times just to test them a little harder, but I’m not sure that is the same as crashing for real. Jeremy and I like to ski fast, and we don’t do a lot of tricks. Further, we were filming a lot with our action cameras, so you have to keep under control in order to get good footage. So while the rigor of the pads might not have gotten the most complete field test, here are some things we are certainly about:
Look & Feel
You don’t notice that you are wearing them. When you first put them on, you might feel bulky, but you don’t look it. More than that, we both forgot that we were wearing them, from a standpoint of having something extra on that we normally didn’t. Completely non-restrictive on lifts, riding groomers, or digging deep for hard turns.
The biggest difference we felt was the warmth. On the day in Beaver Creek, it was warm. In the low 40s/high 30s. I ended up shedding some layers into my backpack midday. By the third and fourth test, we had dressed right for the weather and it’s remarkable how warm Crash Pads keep you skiing. We can wear almost nothing and ski cozy. My guess is that your body heat gets trapped in those pads and they stay warm, like heated stones. The pads are on all side of the pants and shirt, so it is excellent, all-over warmth.
Here’s where we can picture savings with these. Crash Pads are essentially thermal underwear (long johns) with padding stitched in around various points of pain or vulnerability. So you don’t need to buy long johns or an extra base layer for skiing/boarding, since they are already built it. Point of fact, you’ll need even fewer layers with how warm these will keep you. So if $70-$195 seems too much for this, keep in mind that you will be saving on other layers, perhaps even a new shell.
5 Stars. While we didn’t crash in these, we can’t imagine how these wouldn’t help when we do. They keep you warm, and you hardly notice you have them on (others don’t notice either). Plus, if I’m a mom/dad with a son/daughter who is getting a little more adventurous on their board/skis or even just not that coordinated, I would want my child wearing these. And I think kids would be okay with it, since nobody will be able to tell and they won’t hurt as bad later. Plus, you will feel like Batman.
Here is a link to Crash Pads, where you can see their full offering of options.
Product description: Baselayer padding for skiing and snowboarding. Available in womens and mens sizes. Customer reviews: