Learn how to find a new tailgate pad
If you are in the market for the best tailgate pad, rest assured because we have you covered. After several weeks of going through sales figures, owner reviews, and various other reports and reliability surveys, we’ve reached the conclusion that the model you should give some thought to is the Thule Gate Mate. Probably the most important feature of this product is its durability as it is manufactured from a highly durable heavy-duty vinyl that enables the unit to withstand the test of time. Besides, the choice is fitted with a foam padding that will protect both your truck tailgate and your bicycle. Last, but not least, the Thule alternative has been outfitted with a convenient handle that enables users to grasp everything they need in as little time as possible. If the Thule Gate Mate is out of stock, we suggest considering the Yakima Crashpad, another good tailgate pad worthy of your consideration.
Our Top Choice
What we liked the most about the product is its sturdiness. It is made of heavy-duty vinyl that won’t wear or break in time. It comes with a great foam padding layer that will keep your bike and your tailgate safe. Thanks to the durable knock blocks, your bike will be secured in place and won’t slide off the edge of the tailgate. The product is easy to install.
The pad doesn’t come with the necessary straps to keep your bike from falling. We suggest purchasing additional rope and straps.
Most of the customers were pleased with the quality of the item, saying it is durable and reliable.
If you dream about easily loading your bike onto the tailgate, this Yakima item is your solution. The product is extremely sturdy and reliable, helping you enjoy it for many years from now on. It is made of nylon and high-density foam that will keep your bike safe from rain, dust, harmful sun rays or impact. The unit will mold on the shape of tailgates on vehicles in the US.
Some of the customers said the product is hard to clean. The paint used to dye it seems to attract debris and dirt.
If you’re looking for a reliable item that will last you a long time from now on, count on the Yakima Crashpad.
Also To Consider
We liked that the product is available in two sizes to accommodate most trucks and vehicles. It features an inner lining that will perfectly protect the tailgate. The product also comes with raised square pads that will ensure a more secure design and will prevent your bike from getting damaged. The Velcro-backed webbing loop is useful, too.
Although most customers appreciated the quality of this item, some mentioned it’s not a great option for thick tailgates.
Secure your bike and take it to its destination without a scratch with the help of this product from Race Face.
Tailgate Pad Buying Guide
If you have little to no time go through hundreds of reviews of tailgate pads, we’re here to assist you in finding the right product for your needs. Given the wide array of products available for sale nowadays, it’s safe to say that you might end up feeling a tad confused as to which one you should pick.
To find out more about tailgate pads in general, and to make sure you will be able to make the right decision, just read our buyer’s guide below.
The size and shape matter
One of the first factors that you have to bear in mind is getting the right size. For one, the product has to fit your vehicle in a perfect manner so as to ensure that you are able to set it up properly and correctly.
Secondly, the shape also has to be given some thought to as buying the wrong one will make it impossible for you to store either your bike or your surfboard in the pad, depending on what you wish to use it for. It is a good idea to set out with a purpose before deciding to opt for one product or the next, so as to ensure that you are making a rash decision.
Fortunately, the size of the unit will most likely be specified by the manufacturing brand, thus giving you the opportunity to measure out the item you intend to use the pad for and then match the figures to the size of the choice you want to make.
Focus on usability and comfort
It goes without saying that you don’t want your pad to be cumbersome, hard to work with, or even harder to install. Many tailgate pad reviews note that this factor should also be among those you ought to keep in mind. Because it is somewhat difficult to tell whether the unit you might want to choose is easy to use or not, we suggest going through as many reports from customers like yourself as your time allows you to.
There’s a broad variety of materials and fabrics that can be used in the manufacture of tailgate pads, and there’s no way of telling which one’s better than the other. Nylon and polyester are among the most resilient choices, however, so it might pay off to choose a product made from one of these two.
Look at the seams, if you have the means to go out and visualize the pad, or even touch it. Sometimes, these are the first pieces that wear out, and if a big seam breaks down, it might ruin the entire thing.
5 Best Tailgate Pads (Updated Reviews) in 2020
Everything about this choice lives and breathes sturdiness. For one, the Thule model is made from heavy-duty vinyl, and best of all, it features a well-designed foam padding layer that will not only protect your bike but also your truck tailgate.
The unit has been outfitted with knock blocks so as to ensure that your bicycle remains in place and that it does not slide off the edge of the tailgate, especially as the impact might damage either the bike per se or your automobile.
What’s more, the Thule has been named one of the easiest to install choices out there, with many reviewers claiming that it’s a winner in terms of usability.
It has nylon straps with the help of which you can secure it to the tailgate, and its strap anchors will ensure that your belongings remain safe and in place.
One of the main advantages of this model is its durability, and that is offered by the high-quality vinyl that this tailgate pad is made of. It’s a material that’s great for both impact and bending.
Furthermore, it has a padded design which ensures that both the back of your truck and the bike you’re transporting are protected as well.
The quality material also ensures that you can use it in all kinds of weather, even during rain or snow.
This tailgate pad comes with an innovative technology called Knock-BlocksTM, and this means the pad stops the bikes moving away from the edge of the tailgate.
The strong straps that this pad comes with help you secure it to the tailgate, and they are made of nylon meaning that they are durable and flexible.
Attaching this pad to your truck can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you have no experience with that.Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.96)
As with the Thule model we have mentioned in this selection, this Yakima one is made from sturdy materials that enable you to use the pad for as long as possible. Besides, the high-density foam and nylon construction is a reassuring detail to consider.
While this product is not available in a universal size, its foam makes it possible for the pad to conform to the shape of most tailgate of vehicles used in the US. The padding is resilient and convenient and is entirely capable of ensuring protection for your truck and your bike, too.
Some of those who have purchased this unit say that it is somewhat hard to clean. It seems to have been died with a paint that might absorb a bit of debris. If that doesn’t bother you, though, feel free to check it out.
The two main materials used for creating this pad are highly durable, and that’s why the name of the product is Crashpad. Ballistic nylon and high-density foam ensure that the product is strong.
The pad is made in such a way that it won’t break along the sewing points and the bike’s sharp points won’t punctuate it.
You can choose between a large and a medium model, and fortunately, both of them are good enough to fit almost every vehicle.
Considering their size, both models are lightweight and can be packaged really tight so they’re easy to transport.
Attaching this to your truck is an easy job, and detaching it the same, and that’s really great especially when you’re doing that multiple times a day.
Because it’s a bit more complicated, the pad is not easy to clean and you will find it hard to get the mud out of it.Buy from Amazon.com for ($169)
3. Race Face Tailgate
The Race Face unit is available in two sizes, one of which is designed for small to medium trucks and the other is intended for larger choices as it measures sixty-one inches.
While it might not be the cheapest alternative ever to have seen the light of day, this unit comes with an inner lining that does a particularly good job when it comes to protecting your tailgate.
Something else that might interest you about this product is that it comes with raised square pads that have been placed along the outer tailgate, and what this means for you is that this choice is able to provide extra security when it comes to holding the forks of your bikes.
It appears that there aren’t any complaints regarding the build or the functionality of this choice.
However, some buyers do note that it might not be a particularly excellent choice for thick tailgates.
Crafted from high-quality materials, this product will have a long lifespan, and it will be your ally even in the most intense situations.
It also protects your tailgate and keeps it safe from wear marks because of the micro-brushed inner lining that it has.
To secure your bike in place, the pad comes with velcro loop straps that are strong, and they also have a special tab which helps you bind them to the pad.
The pad has some molded foam bumpers at the top and those are meant to cradle your bike’s frame, ensuring that the bike doesn’t move too much.
Because of all its features, this pad is great for those that go on dirt roads a lot, because it’s resistant and easy to clean.
Although great for off-road, this pad is not water-resistant, so that’s an inconvenience. Fortunately, you can treat it to make it waterproof.Buy from Amazon.com for ($109.99)
4. Dakine Pickup Pad
This option is designed with both the safety of your bike and truck in mind so that you no longer need to feel worried at the thought of what cramming your bike into the back of the truck will do to it. This model is available in two sizes: the small variant is perfect for mid-sized pick-up trucks while the large one will fit full-size pick-ups.
While at first glance this looks like just a piece of padded vinyl, it does come with a set of key features that we believe you will appreciate. First, it uses ¾” foam with a heavy-duty vinyl cover on the outside and that will protect your truck and bike when shuttling to the top of your trail. The large size uses additional straps to secure the pad to the vehicle.
On the outside of the pad, there is an access flap which allows customers to use the tailgate handle with the pad installed.
One of the biggest advantages this option offers is the build quality which is more than excellent since even after months of use and abuse, customers have said the pad still looks solid and works perfectly.
The installation process is simple, you only need to unhinge the tailgate then slide the straps underneath, shut the tailgate, center the pad and finally tighten the straps.
The product is available in three different colors, namely black, olive, and a combination of the two so that you can choose the one that will look best when fitted to your truck.
Another impressive aspect of this choice is the customer feedback which is very positive since owners are very pleased with the functionality, durability, and ease of use of this product.
Apart from a few compatibility issues, most of which were easy to fix, there is not much to complain about this model.Click to see the price on Amazon!
5. Evoc Tailgate Pad
The Evoc comes in two sizes, a small size that is perfect for trucks such as the Colorado, Frontier or Tacoma and a large size designed to fit full-size trucks such as the Silverado, F-150, or 2500/3500’s. Customers can also choose between two colors, black with olive accents or olive with black accents.
As trips get longer and bikes more expensive, you need to get a tailgate pad that can keep your bike and your tailgate safe. This option proves a worry-free solution that is capable of handling all types of road and weather conditions successfully. The pad attaches onto your truck with the help of three retaining straps which are very easy to tighten.
The molded foam straps and the separation blocks will ensure that your bikes won’t touch each other at any given time so that they arrive at the destination scratch-free. Durability is a given since the product is constructed from premium P600 coated tarpaulin.
Compared to other more complex rack apparatuses, this option is very easy to use and it does not take a lot of time to load or unload your bike.
The molded foam guides on the top of the pad are one of the best features of this model since they can keep the bikes in place and prevent them from flopping around when you’re on a bumpy road.
It is available in two sizes that you can choose from so that you can be certain you’ll find the one that is compatible with your truck.
The release handle provides easy access to the tailgate while your pad is in place.
While the straps are large enough to handle the length of standard bikes, customers have found that they did not fit some e-bikes properly.
The company logo on the pad is quite big and some customers were not happy with it since it detracts from the overall design of the unit.Buy from Amazon.com
Frequently asked questions about tailgate pads
Q: How to install Race Face tailgate pad?
One of the main advantages the Race Face tailgate pad has over the competition is its ease of installation. The pad is a breeze to attach to the tailgate, using three nylon straps, and it serves to know that each of these is enforced with a plastic ring for prolonged durability.
Furthermore, it will only take you about five minutes to have the Race Face tailgate pad installed on your vehicle. Another thing that must be noted is that the place where the pad goes over the trunk handle is designed to allow you easy access, something that you don’t see in just any tailgate pad.
Q: Are tailgate pads patented?
Tailgate pads are used quite frequently by anyone who wants to carry cargo or extra gear in excellent conditions. They are also designed to protect the tailgate of your vehicle, so you might not have to think about giving it another coat of paint for all the usual wear and tear.
Some tailgate pads on the market are patented, and the manufacturers offer complete information on the patent they use. Some come equipped with proprietary features, and they should be taken into consideration, too. As long as you can afford the extra cost, a tailgate pad is worth the price.
Q: How to prevent theft of tailgate pad
Tailgate pad theft may not be uncommon, which means not that your tailgate pad is a bad choice, but that you must do something to make it a more secure option than it is. The primary role of a tailgate pad is to protect your gear, but no one can say that someone could not walk over and steal it by flipping the pad open.
What you can do is to ensure that your pad is secured in place with a cable lock. It is easy to pass the cable through the pad and then lock it, choosing a combination or a key. This way, no one will ever be able to steal your gear.
Q: How to use a tailgate pad for bikes
One of the main purposes of a tailgate pad is to help you transport your bike from one place to another using your truck. It is quite easy to use it for such a thing, as many pads come equipped, from the get-go, with different straps for securing a bike in place.
Some even allow you to transport multiple bikes at the same time because they have individual compartments. There is no other less expensive way of carrying your bikes in style while ensuring that the bumps in the road won’t send them flying or cause damage.
Q: Is the Dakine tailgate pad any good?
People who have tried Dakine models say that they are satisfied with how they work even for long trips and that they mainly use them for just one bike. Dakine was one of the first companies to introduce tailgate pads to the market, so it is expected from it to have a certain degree of expertise in this field.
Different models feature various extras that are designed to ensure better security for your bike. That’s why the newest models from Dakine can be found in many different tops for the most popular tailgate pads around. There are very few complaints about such models, so you could say they are dependable.