Mad Rock R3

Protects what others can't

$189; madrockclimbing.com

“When I needed this pad, I needed this pad,” said one tester who used it for a month in Hueco Tanks, Texas. “The separated tubes of foam wrapped around those hard-to-protect obstacles that tend to be right in the middle of your landing zone, so my ankles (and ass) were protected when I fell.” Although this pad is hefty at 18 lbs., it covers 55” x 35” x 4” (about half a foot longer than other mid-sized pads), and the weight came in handy when protecting angled landings: “It stayed in place without sliding off like smaller pads.” Plus, the weight carries well with the fully padded shoulder straps and waistbelt. The kicker of the R3 is the baffled construction: It’s filled with chunks of inexpensive, recycled EVA foam, instead of the normal costly sheets of openand closed-cell foam. (R3 stands for reduce, reuse, recycle.) This saves on manufacturing costs, so the designers were able to cover the pad with burly 1680-denier polyester while still passing along savings to us dirtbags. It’s durable enough to last for well over a year of climbing, but when it’s time for new foam, Mad Rock will refill your existing pad. Bonus: “I slept on this pad every night in Hueco, and it was as comfortable as my bed at home!”



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