Mad Rock Mad Pad Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Least expensive, compact (small but burly), thick and stiff foam (also a dislike)
Cons: Thick, stiff square cut foam, hard to pack, hinged
Manufacturer: Mad Rock
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Mad Rock Mad Pad
|Price||$189.00 at Backcountry|
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|$259.00 at Backcountry|
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|$199.00 at Backcountry|
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|$220.00 at REI||$159.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Least expensive, compact (small but burly), thick and stiff foam (also a dislike)||Straps to attach a second pad, plush suspension, sturdy foam for high falls||Versatility, soft, great for uneven surfaces, carries a ton of gear||Super durable, amazing foam, lightweight||Securely holds a fair amount of gear with easy flap closure, handy carpet square for cleaning shoes, durable, affordable|
|Cons||Thick, stiff square cut foam, hard to pack, hinged||Foam is hard for low falls, stiff for uneven landings||Not ideal for long, high falls, heavy||Lack of features, doesn't pack much gear well||The single buckle flap closure can come open when hauling heavy or bulky loads|
|Bottom Line||Excellent value pad with thick foam and no frills||A great crash pad distinguished by its innovative strap system for carrying a second pad and many other features that other pads lack||A unique pad with plush foam and plenty of space for packing gear||For a fantastic mid-sized pad with our favorite foam composition, this is it||An impressive medium-sized pad at a low cost|
|Rating Categories||Mad Rock Mad Pad||Mad Rock Duo||Mad Rock R3||Organic Simple||Metolius Session II|
|High Falls (30%)|
|Low Falls (30%)|
|Packing Gear (10%)|
|Specs||Mad Rock Mad Pad||Mad Rock Duo||Mad Rock R3||Organic Simple||Metolius Session II|
|Surface Size (inches)||48" x 36"||56" x 42"||55" x 35"||48" x 36"||50" x 37"|
|Weight (lbs)||10 lbs||17 lbs||18 lbs||11 lbs||9 lbs|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||Lifetime limited||None, but they do repairs.||1 Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mad Pad features 5 inch-thick foam with 3 inches of soft open cell foam sandwiched between two harder 1 inch closed cell foam layers. Mad Rock's foam was very stiff and only softened up a bit through our testing. It was great for cushioning the impact of high falls but low falls didn't feel great and landing on your back or tailbone could be pretty jarring on a new pad.
Aside from its impressively thick padding, the Mad Pad's best feature for protecting falls is a full-length velcro strip that runs along the backside of its hinge. This virtually eliminates the hinge and we struggled to think of scenarios where it would fail. Although it makes the pad too rigid for extremely rocky landings we felt better about not having to worry about injuring an ankle in the pad's hinge.
With five inches of firm foam, the Mad Pad is among the stiffest pads we tested. When you put it over a sharp rock it is almost impossible to feel it whether it is a big or small fall. It will soften over time, but not much compared to other pads we tested.
The Mad Pad's 5-inch thick foam softened up a bit over time but not as much as we initially expected. Because of how hard the foam is in a new pad, this aging makes the pad more versatile under shorter falls. We found the Mad Rock foam to last longer than that of most other pads.
With no closure flaps the Mad Pad is not great for carrying gear but still can accommodate the basic items that most boulderers carry. Smaller items tended to fall through the pad in our testing but we never had issues with loading shoes, chalk bags, and jackets in the Mad Pad.
The Mad Pad was one of the simplest pads we tested and has some useful features. Our favorite is that it can be converted into a couch with two straps that connect opposing corners. This is great for hanging out around camp and between bouldering sessions.
One of the cool features not found on many other pads is the Velcro attachments on the sides that let you link multiple Mad Rock pads (except for the R3) into one giant pad. If money is tight or you just want a more flexible pad configuration, this is a great way to go.
The Mad Pad stands out because of how much foam you get for the price, and that it was one of the least expensive pads that we reviewed. With few frills and impressively durable foam, this is a great option for climbers who are looking to save money without compromising functionality. Although you won't be able to carry tons of gear in it, the Mad Pad does a good job of performing its primary function of padding falls.
For those on a budget, the Mad Pad provides excellent functionality. It's a great pad for a variety of users because of its medium size, thick foam, and low cost. For climbers getting their first pad, it's an affordable entry-level model, and for those supplementing a collection of pads, it will help to cover more ground under your project.
— Chris Summit, Chris McNamara, & Steven Tata