Mad Rock Triple Mad Pad Review
Cons: Not most comofortable to carry, can't carry much gear
Manufacturer: Mad Rock
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Triple Mad Pad provides a darn good amount of foam for the money you'll lay down for this pad. This is the least expensive big pad we reviewed and has the most foam of any pad that we tested. The Mad Pad's 5" thick foam is the stiffest that we used and is identical to what is found in the Mad Pad and Duo. When you put it over a sharp rock it is almost impossible to bottom out, regardless of how far you fall from. The stiff and thick foam takes a long time to break in. During that time it is almost too stiff to fall on for short jarring falls on your butt or back. Part of why it is stiff is because there is so much foam.
The foam in the Triple Mad Pad is impressively durable, with 5" total thickness that is composed of 3" of soft open cell foam between two firm 1" layers of closed cell foam. While the pad softened up a little over time, it did not do so nearly as much as most pads and we would expect it to last at least a few years of consistent use. It has the same layering and thickness as the Mad Pad and Duo, also made by Mad Rock.
The main disadvantage of the Triple Mad Pad is that with the triple hinge design it's hard to carry much gear. You have to put everything in a small backpack and really tighten it down inside the pad since there are no closure flaps. Even then, the weight carries a little awkwardly. For many serious boulderers, this is a significant drawback because it makes it hard to bring extra pairs of shoes, a big chalk bucket, etc. Also, the shoulder straps are not the most comfortable. They are similar to the Mad Pad's, which work fine for light loads. However, with heavy loads, the shoulder straps are a bit too thin to be comfortable. Since this pad comes with a waist belt, that is not a giant deal. Our testers liked the Black Diamond Mondo much better for carrying gear due to its superior backpack suspension system.
One of the greatest features of this pad is the ability to combine it with other Mad Rock pads that have the Velcro strips along their perimeters. This is a great alternative to buying a really big pad if you are on a budget. Buy a Mad Pad and then later, when you can afford it, buy another one and start connecting them.It comes with a convenient little carpet patch that is ideal for cleaning your feet before problems. It is long enough to sleep on and the perfect size to line a pick-up truck bed. However, it is too wide to fit in the back of a station wagon as a bed.
The one downside to many hinged pads is if you land on the hinge it can cause the pad to "bear trap" around you. The Triple Mad Pad addresses that issue with its Velcro which links the pad together on the bottom.
Another cool feature is the little detachable carpet square for cleaning your shoes before a problem. This makes up for the fact that it is hard to clean your shoes on the Mad Pad's slick fabric. Finally, there are some extra long straps so that you can turn the pad into a lounge chair.
This pad is best for all-around bouldering from beginner to expert. It is ideal for climbers who are looking to maximize their area per dollar in a stiff and durable crash pad.
This is one of the least expensive of all the big pads we reviewed and provides the lowest cost per square foot of ground coverage. The only comparably-sized pad is the Black Diamond Mondo and it lists for around $100 more than the Triple. We think that the Triple Mad Pad is a better value given the amount of foam and its size, but the Mondo has more features and only one hinge. The low price and durable foam make the Triple Mad Pad a good deal for a basic all-around pad.
For climbers on a budget seeking a large pad, the Triple Mad Pad can't be beaten. Its stiff 5" foam construction, durable shell material, and massive area make it a great all-around pad. Though it doesn't pack a lot of gear well, there is plenty of space for the essentials.
— Chris McNamara & Steven Tata