Coming up with a better design than the standard square piece of foam that all crash pads adhere to is like reinventing the wheel, but this is exactly what Mad Rock did with their new R3 pad. The three R's stand for "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" and the idea was born from the wasteful practice of having to throw away large chunks of scrap foam after making a traditional pad. Mad Rock's R3 utilizes that previously wasted foam by chopping it up into small chunks and cramming it into the pad's baffles. The baffles hold the foam in place and keep it from drifting all to one side, much like the baffles in a down jacket or sleeping bag.
In practice, this design possesses the positive attributes of both hinged pads and "taco-style" designs. Like a taco pad, it allows the user to easily cram shoes and gear inside for carrying but immediately lays flat like a hinged pad without the danger of bottoming out if you land on the seam. The malleability of the material allows for the pad to be draped over uneven landing zones as it holds and conforms to the terrain beneath it. At 18 lbs the weight is comparable to many other pads out there and its versatility, size (55"x35"x4"), and strength of the casing are well worth the $189 price tag.