Are you looking for the best tailgate pad? Then, this article will help you find the right one. You use tailgate pads to carry surfboards, paddle boards, and bikes in the back of a pick-up truck. The tailgate pads are put over the tailgate and are secured with straps. When you place a bike at the pads, their front forks or tires are positioned over the tailgate then fastened to the pad.
Tailgate pads are an excellent way to protect the two things you love: your hobby (biking, surfing) and your vehicle. Whether this is for shuttling them to and from or regular transport, you have affordable options available to carry your bikes safely while they are hanging over your tailgate.
In this article, we are going to discuss five quality tailgate pads available in the market that offers high performance, its best features, and its design. You will also get to know their pros and cons that can help you pick the best pads that will suit your needs.
Top 5 Tailgate Pad Reviews
1. Yakima – Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad
The Gatekeeper tailgate pad by Yakima is the perfect fitting for your pick-up when you want to transport your bike. Its exterior is made from durable nylon that protects your bike from the tailgate of the ruck while its soft felt backing is made to protect the paint of the truck. It has a specially designed and patented Integrated SitTight cradle for your bike for the extra stability and at the same time protects the bike.
Another exciting trademarked feature is the Hindsight tuck-away cover. This makes access to the rear-view camera easy, so you don’t have to worry when you transport your load uphill.
Specs and Features
- Velcro cradle system as closure does not harm the painted surfaces and carbon bike frames
- The nylon outer material is abrasion-resistant and prevents damages from the weather
- The soft felt backing protects the truck’s paint
- The integrated strap keeps the pad secure and tight even during uphill climb
- Capacity: 5 bikes for medium size
- Fits mid-size and full-size trucks, two sizes variation (M & L)
- Dimensions: 53” x 5” x 17” (medium), 62” x 7” x 20” (large)
- Weight: 6 pounds (medium), 8 pounds (large).
2. Demon Tailgate Pad
If you want a simple and straightforward way to move around with you, then Demon tailgate pad is the best option for you. There are two sizes to choose from this tailgate pad: for full-sized pick-up, which measures 62 inches and the smaller option which has a width of 54 inches.
The pad is made from three-quarters inch foam covered with vinyl to provide ample durability and protection as you shuttle your bike. It comes with a handle flap to access the tailgate when you have the pad on quickly. It uses web cinch straps to secure the pad in place. An additional feature is the reflective log of the brand for aesthetics. To anchor the bike into the pad, it has frame straps of Velcro material, carefully well-spaced and rubber free to protect the paint.
Specs and Features
- Web cinch anchor straps
- Two sizes available: 62 inches that can hold seven bikes for full-sized trucks and the 54 inches that can hold five bikes and fits mid-sized trucks
- Ultra soft underside to protect the truck’s paint job
- Heavy duty vinyl cover, weather resistant
- Tailgate handle flap to access the tailgate with the pads on
3. Dakine Pickup Tailgate Pad
You don’t have to worry about your bike beating the back of your truck when you have this Dakine Pad for your tailgate. They are the pioneer in the pad market. It has continuously updated their tailgate pad, and this latest one has an oversize flap positioned on top of the tailgate handle. This enables you to access the handle even without removing the pad. You can put this flap in open position to facilitate the use of your backup camera.
The bikes and the pad are secured with Velcro straps. These four-webbing straps are secured with plastic lock buckles so you can attach the pads securely to your tailgate. It also has metal grommets to lock your pad securely onto the truck.
It fits modern tailgates and is compatible with a newer model of trucks that has wider tailgates. The pad has a micro-fleece lining to prevent wearing of your truck’s tailgate.
Specs and Features
- 2 centimeters of plush padding to protect the truck from scratches
- Micro-fleece lining for added protection on the tailgate
- Access flap for the tailgate handle and rear-view camera
- Velcro strap management system to secure the bikes
- Metal grommets and plastic lock buckles to secure the pad into the trucks
- With Dakine logo for style
- Available in two sizes: large with seven loops and 62-inch width & medium with five loops and 54-inch width
4. EVOC Tailgate Pad
What a great design from EVOC. It has a one-of-a-kind attachment system that uses metal hooks instead of plastic buckles which makes removing and attaching it to the tailgate easier.
The pad has individual straps for the bikes to secure them correctly during travel. Another unique feature is the molded separation blocks made from foam to keep the bike from moving. It has a polyurethane coating for its covers that reinforces the pad against the weather and fleece-lining to protect the tailgate from wear and tear.
It also has a large flap to access the tailgate handle, and you can keep them open to use the backup camera. The flap can be secured using the bike straps.
Specs and Features
- Big EVOC logo
- Molded foam straps and separation blocks to keep the bikes in place
- Fold-away flap for the rear camera and to access the tailgate handle
- Made from durable Denier coated with polyurethane
- Weighs 2300 grams for large size; 1850 grams for the smaller version
- Available in 2 sizes and three color combinations. M/L size fits Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Canyon, Ford Ranger and other smaller pickups. XL size fits Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan and other large pickups.
5. Softride 26457 Tailgate Pad
This tailgate pad is the answer to those who are looking for an elegant yet inexpensive solution for their needs. It has special padding and a polyethylene cover to protect the pad. The cover is weather-resistant, and it has a lining material made from soft materials.
To secure the bikes into the tailgate pad, there are six soft wraps which keep them from moving at the back of your truck. There is also an access flap for the tailgate handle. You can access the handle without having to remove the pad, and you can keep it open to use your rear camera.
Specs and Features
- Sturdy nylon cover to protect the pad from the weather
- Soft inner lining to prevent scratches on your tailgate
- Access flap for the tailgate handle, you don’t have to remove them to access your tailgate
- Six soft wraps for your bikes to keep them secure
- Plastic buckles to secure the straps to the tailgate
Factors to Consider When Buying a Tailgate Pad
1. Size and Shape
It is essential to get the right size when you are looking for a tailgate pad for your pick-up truck. This factor is necessary because you need to have the right fit for your vehicle to set it perfectly and correctly.
The shape is also of equal importance because you don’t want to end up with something that will not fit your bike or surfboard. Measure the tailgate and compare it with the manufacturer’s specifications to make sure that you have the right size and shape.
Tailgate pads are made from different materials and fabrics. There is no exact material that is best among them, but nylon and polyester are perfect candidates because they are weather-resistant. You also need to check in the seams and choose the one that does not break down easily.
3. Comfort and Usability
The tailgate pad should be easy to install in your tailgate and comfortable to use. It should not take a lot of time to install too. To check this out read the feedback and product reviews.
Most of the tailgate pads have the same features, but what makes them stand out is how these features are made to make the bikes and surfboards secure and safe at the back of your truck.
Although it seems that there is no significant difference in the tailgate pads that we have reviewed above, there is a lot of difference that set them apart. You now have lots of option based on what you think will work well with your trucks and which has fulfilled your needs.
Among the factors that you need to consider when selecting a tailgate pad, compatibility and durability are essential. It can lead you to a tailgate pad has a good value for money and can have a longer lifespan. Recheck the list of the best tailgate pads above to find out which one suits your needs.