Boulder pads are climbers' best friends. They stop us breaking our ankles coming off boulder problems, give us somewhere to wipe the mud off our shoes before hopping onto the rock, and last but not least, provide a comfy place to have lunch. In fact, a good pad propped against a handy boulder can be a little too comfortable and encourage napping rather than hardcore bouldering. There are a number of things to consider when buying bouldering pads. The first is size. A generous pad will make safe landings much easier. It'll give you more chance to cover uneven ground in the fall zone and mean that your spotters will be able to concentrate on what you're doing rather than shifting the pad to stay underneath you. On the other hand, the bigger a pad is, the more difficult it is get it to the boulder field in the first place.