Silly little article that I wrote for R&I’s Better Beta series but never submitted.
If you have a home-climbing gym surely you’ve run into the problem of padding. Sure, if you’ve got some coin you can afford a $300 designer-crashpad, but how much area does it cover and will one do the trick or do you need three or four? If your budget is nil you’ve probably spent a couple of hours scavenging behind apartment complexes and university housing to locate the “cleanest” mattresses you can find. Biological hazards aside, mattresses work pretty well for cheap mats but they bottom-out a lot of times. So the best thing to do is wrap your mattress in duct-tape. For even more rigidity and comfort, add a (clean) carpet square to the top before wrapping the entire mattress. I recommend using a twin-sized mattresses because they are easier to manage (duct tape tends to add some weight) but if you want a monster pad and you’ve got some help – try wrapping a king-sized mattress. I’ve used a DOM as a primary crashpad for years and have taken numerous back-slaps on it. It works great because it provides enough cushion for a hard fall and was super cheap to boot. For a twin mattress expect to buy 6-8 rolls of tape depending on how stiff you want your pad. An added bonus to taping an old mattress, it reduces that pee smell.
Leave no mattress unturned,