Asana Hero Highball Pad
- Hybrid hinge design
- Intuitive flap closure system
- Modular system for carrying another pad
- Softer foam combination
- Awkward metal cam buckles on flap closure
- Closure gaps can drop gear
Testers liked the hybrid hinge design of the Asana Hero Highball to eliminate the common dead space in the center of the pad. The flap closure system is simple and intuitive, despite having a couple downsides. Most testers liked the dense closed cell foam on the top and bottom, but they also thought the open cell in the center was too soft for longer falls.
The Asana Hero Highball uses a mix of 2” open cell foam sandwiched by high density 1” closed cell foam. Testers liked this combination because the closed cell foam did well with both impact force dispersion as well as base support from uneven surfaces. Some testers thought the open cell foam was too soft for falls above six feet.
The Asana Hero Highball Pad uses 1000 denier nylon for both the shell and landing surface, which is the most common material for this application. Testers did not notice any significant wear and tear to the material even after heavy use on sharp rocks.
The Asana Hero Highball is a user-friendly pad with a simple and intuitive closure system. The flap closure system is great to make the Hero Highball modular with the ability to carry one other pad. This flap closure system is mediocre when used to keep your gear inside the pad because it has gaps where things can fall out. The flap closure attempts to cover the shoulder straps when not in use but it doesn’t quite do the job.
The Asana Hero Highball has a height adjustable suspension system with a sternum strap and 2” webbing waistbelt. Compared to other pads in this review, testers thought The Hero Highball was the easiest to adjust the height with the simple velcro closures.
The Hero Highball is a midweight crash pad at 12 pounds. This made it easy to pack and unpack in the car as well as tossing it around the boulders to cover any gaps in the pads. Three grab handles also adds to the maneuverability of this pad. One tester said the metal cam buckle on the flap has the potential to flop around and possibly strike somebody when being whipped around if not heeded.
How We Tested It
The crash pads in this test were used in Boulder, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Joe’s Valley, Utah, and Red Rocks, Nevada. Each test lasted from one hour to all day bouldering sessions with at least three to four participants carrying, throwing, landing, and eating lunch on every crash pad. They were also tested in a variety of weather conditions and different climates. Finally, the crash pads were loaded with five to fifteen pounds of gear and food and carried a few miles to attain the most thorough possible test of each product.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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