Mad Rock Duo Review (2022): Top Value Pick?
Published on: 12/04/2022The Mad Rock Duo pad is a great bouldering companion with a number of features. It boasts soft-molded EVA foam padding that ensures a safe fall and good force absorbtion. It's foldable for an easy and comfortable transport from A to B - thanks to a robust suspension system.
What makes it even safer for outdoor bouldering is the 5 inches (13 cm) of stiff EVA foam inside that’s almost unparalleled when it comes to high falls or bad landings.
There is a robust suspension system of shoulder straps, a waist belt, and a chest strap for easy carrying.
For climbers who don’t like clunky straps, there’s good news. You can detach those from the crash pad and put them in the protector flap that serves as an excess strap pouch.
The Duo pad has many other premium features, including a water bottle holder, an integrated foot mat, and side straps that turn the crash pad into a couch.
The real novelty is the addition of a carrier flap on the side that allows you to easily attach the Duo to other Mad Rock pads for carrying.
- Boasts soft molded EVA foam – best for highballs, free soloing, and bad landings
- The cover is water-repellent, and the bottom is non-slip
- Straps with aluminum buckles for stacking and carrying multiple pads
- Other premium features such as a water bottle holder, welcome mat, protector flap
- Quite heavy-weight and with somewhat clunky straps
Mad Rock Duo Pad: Detailed Analysis
Fall Impact Protection
The Duo is constructed of three layers of foam: a soft open-cell layer sandwiched between two layers of stiffer closed-cell foam.
The soft molded EVA foam doesn’t soften much over time, which makes it best suited for relatively high bouldering where bouldering softer crash pads would likely punch through. This can be especially reassuring on landings with sharp rock that you would painfully feel through softer pads.
Most foldable dual crash pads have the added risk of folding down in the middle when you fall on them. The Duo bouldering pad has a design that takes care of that problem.
On the back of the pad is a Velcro strap that prevents the middle hinge from collapsing in. This ensures the best possible functionality and padding when falling unexpectedly or jumping down.
Because it has such stiff foam and reinforced seams, the Duo pad is one of the most durable pads on the market. The foam may soften a bit after extended use, but not to the point where it doesn’t effectively cushion hard falls.
Relative to similar pads, the 5-inch (13 cm) foam coating is one of the hardest, and the closed-cell foam layers definitely help maintain rigidity over time.
The integrated welcome mat is a great place to clean your shoes before climbing and protect the crash pad from dirt and excessive wear.
Ease of Use
At 17 lbs (7.5 kg), the Duo pad is already one of the heaviest pads available. Naturally, it gets significantly heavier with the added weight of a second pad attached.
However, it’s also one of the most comfortable ones. The smart carrying system constructed of shoulder straps and belts distributes the weight evenly.
The carrier flap easily carries light items like your ropes, climbing shoes, a welcome mat for cleaning your soles, a chalk bag, or some snacks.
The water bottle holder makes it easy to stay hydrated without removing the pad from your back.
Packing and Transport
Due to its dimensions open (56 x 42 in = 148 x 106 cm), as well as closed (42 x 28 in = 74 x 106 cm), it’s a proper medium-sized all-round crashpad.
The carrying system consists of shoulder straps, a hip belt, a chest strap, and carrying handles.
For climbers who want to wear multiple crash pads at once, the Mad Rock Duo pad is a unique pad with a carrier flap and comfy load lifters that makes carrying relatively convenient.
Main Pad vs. Supplemental
Due to its thick profile, the Duo is suited as a main pad in the pile, especially because of the safety system preventing it from folding in.
As we mentioned above, the highlight of the Mad Rock Duo pad is the possibility of attaching it to other pads. On the one hand, this is indeed very useful for carrying.
But on the other hand, you can get a bigger landing area by connecting several pads to a huge mat through special Velcro strips.
Therefore, when combined with its big brother, the Mad Pad, the Duo serves as an amazing supplemental pad securing the periphery of the landing.
And with the help of the side straps, the Duo turns into a comfy seating to relax when taking a break from climbing!
Type of Projects
The Mad Rock Duo is large enough to be a stand-alone crashpad for lower boulders and solo climbers.
Because of its thick EVA foam multilayer construction, the Duo is suitable for solo bouldering sessions, as well as for highball bouldering, tricky mantles, or dynamic moves outdoors (like on Rainbow Rocket in Fontainebleau, for example).
Is it good value?
The Duo lists for 299.00 USD, which puts it in the mid-price range for pads in its bracket. That’s great value for money, considering its surface area is nearly as large as the Black Diamond Mondo and even larger than the versatile Black Diamond Drop Zone.
The Mad Rock Duo pad has a whole lot more premium features than the average outdoor bouldering mat, and that makes it very popular.
However, this seems to be priced into the price, as Mad Rock’s basic models are less expensive.
|Thickness||5″ (12.7 cm)|
|Size||56 x 42″ (142 x 107 cm)|
|Weight||17 lbs (7.7 kg)|
|Materials used||Closed and open-cell foam|
Want to compare?
Check out how the Mad Rock Duo fares compared to other popular crash pads by reading our 2022 Buying Guide here.
Where to Buy It?
We buy most of our stuff from REI.com. Their service is great, and it’s a co-op, so they treat their employees well and answer to their members, not shareholders.
Note: we receive a commission when you buy through us. This keeps our team of writers/climbers going!