Good Price, Works as a Pad (maybe people expected more?), Seems Durable
Review by: bmwman91, 2007-11-27
I got mine at REI about 8 months ago. It has been out bouldering with me 20+ times, and I have no complaints. The other option I considered was the Fat Bastard, but the fuzzy Velcro-ish outside surfaces really turned me off. They looked like grass & twig magnets. The Cheap bastard seemed superior due to its cheaper construction: ripstop nylon outsides do not attract anything more than dust.
So far, my biggest fall has been 9ft directly onto this pad. I have NO complaints about this pad. It took the impact (feet-first fortunately for me) just fine, and I was right back on the wall. Body-impact falls are a little rough perhaps, but I prefer that to the softer pads that leave elbows "piercing" the foam right into the ground below. The shoulder straps work fine, but the waist belt IS a little clunky since it is not well attached. Still, it works fine on the various approaches I have taken it on. The thing is a bit wide, so narrow passages require you to take it off and turn it sideways. Also, there is no gear pouch. Jamming your goods between the halves works fine though with its side & bottom straps. It securely holds my Camel-Bak, shoes & chalk without any problems.
Some people have mentioned seams tearing & shoddy construction. Mine has not exhibited these characteristics (yet), and it seems well made for the $70 I paid (clearance). Overall, I am quite pleased with the design and have no real gripes. It is unfortunate that others are bummed out on theirs.