Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team
How to store your bouldering mat
By Ashleigh Naysmith
21, Jul, 2014
Boulder mats are durable items and take a beating but they still need to be stored correctly to extend their lifespan
Finding somewhere to subtly store a bouldering mat is a mission to say the least, especially as your collection expands. Hinged mats can be stored folded up but taco style mats should be stored open as keeping the mat folded for long periods will degrade the foam along the fold line. Before storing your mat make sure it is clean and dry. As well being good for the mat it makes it more acceptable to store it in your house!
The shell can be wiped clean with a damp rag or scrubbed with a soft brush. Using a soap based detergent will not damage the fabric and can help shift all the grit engrained along the stitching line.
Never store your mat wet. Leaving a mat wet will result in it becoming rather smelly and potentially developing mould which could degrade the foam. It is always best to air dry a mat. If you use a method to heat the mat, i.e. against a radiator or using a hair dryer, the quick changes in temperature could, again, cause the foam to degenerate. If the foam is damp then simply undoing the zip will help air circulate. Removing the foam from the shell should be undertaken with extreme care, it is just like a tortoise, it feels super durable inside it's shell but once removed it becomes very delicate.
Store your bouldering mat out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry environment such as under your bed, behind a wardrobe or in your garage. Common places to avoid storing your mat are in the back of your car, in a greenhouse or just being really lazy and pushing it down the stairs into your damp cellar.
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