Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Asana Hero Highball Pad

- published February 2017

89

2017

RATINGS

Foam Quality
8
Shell Durability
8
Functionality
7
Carrying System
8
Maneuverability
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
89

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$215.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Hybrid hinge design
  • Intuitive flap closure system
  • Modular system for carrying another pad

THE BAD

  • Softer foam combination
  • Awkward metal cam buckles on flap closure
  • Closure gaps can drop gear

THE VERDICT

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. 

FULL REVIEW

Foam Quality
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. 

Shell Durability
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.

Functionality
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.  

Carrying System
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. 

Maneuverability
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.

For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our crag pack tests, climbing shoe tests, climbing cam tests, and other related climbing gear tests

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.

About the Author

David Garcia

David Garcia

David Garcia has been a trail running fanatic with a climbing problem for over 25-years. In his home base of Boulder, CO where he works as a firefighter, David has easy access to some of the best trail running and climbing that the state has to offer.


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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$215.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Foam Quality
8
Shell Durability
8
Functionality
7
Carrying System
8
Maneuverability
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
89

Weight

12 lbs

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