Best bike tailgate pads

Best Tailgate Pads Reviews – [Buyer’s Guide] The Top Rated Tailgate Protectors

Have you ever needed to transport your bike on your truck's back but end up scratching both the paint and the bike? Does the bicycle shift around while driving, and you have to keep it in place by tying it with an endless amount of ropes? Maybe you need to transport more than one cycle in a single trip?

The best mountain bike tailgate pad is the solution to your problems!

With a pickup pad, you'll be able to haul more than one bike without worrying that they are secure or might scratch your truck. The best tailgate pads offer ample padding and, most times, far less than what you'd need to buy rope or pay for respraying. However, it can be a little tricky to find the best tailgate bike pads.

In this article, we've tested and selected the top tailgate bicycle pad to consider getting for your bikes. These pickup pads are universal and will work with any bike from mountain bikes, road, hybrid, and fixies. Moreover, they'll fit on the tailgates of most trucks and give you no hassle to install.

7 Best Bike Tailgate Pads:

  1. Dakine Tailgate Pickup Pad - Best Overall
  2. Fox Racing Bike Tailgate Pad - Best for Mountain Bikes
  3. Thule TailGate Mate - Best for Thick Tailgates
  4. Surf to Summit Bicycle Tailgate Pads - Best For Reverse Camera Visibility
  5. RaceFace Tailgate Pads - Best For Mountain Bikes
  6. EVOC Unisex Bike Tailgate pad - Best in Durability
  7. Swagman Tailwhip Cover - Best Budget Option 

How Did We Choose The Top Tailgate Bike Pads:

When looking for the best bike tailgate pads there are a few criteria that we found very important after testing out the options over the last 3 months. These specific features that make a good pad are the size, material, bike capacity, and price. Throughout the reviews below, we'll focus on those features in detail which should be help you in selecting the right pad for your truck.  For a quick preview check out the comparison table below:

Preview
Editors Choice
Dakine Pick-Up Pad Black, L
Most Functional
Thule 824 Gate Mate Tailgate Pad 62 in. Vinyl Gate Mate Tailgate Pad
Fox Racing Tailgate Cover, Premium Padded Protection Pad, 6 Webbing Straps for Attachment Fits Most Trucks, Use for Mountain Bikes MX Bikes Gear
Surf To Summit Tailgate Pad, Truck Tailgate Pad, Pickup Tailgate Cushion, Tailgate Pad for Bikes, Tailgate Pad for Surf Boards (Small)
evoc Bike Tailgate Pad Holds Up to 6 Bikes - Bike Pad for Truck Tailgate Protects The Bikes and Truck, for Full-Size Truck Beds - Black, M/L (136x85x2cm)
Name
Dakine Tailgate Cover
Thule Gate Mate Pro
Fox Racing Tailgate Cover
Surf To Summit Tailgate Protectors
EVOC Unisex Bike Tailgate pad
Bike Capacity
Up to 5 Bikes
Up to 7 Bikes
Up to 6 Bikes
Up to 5 Bikes
Up to 6 bikes
Camera Visible
Material
1000D Polyester
Vinyl
Nylon
600 Denier Fabric
100% Silk
Color
Black/Camo
Black
Black/Camo
Black
Olive - World Map
Multiple Size Availability
Dimensions
62" x 17.5" x 2.75"
59 x 2.75 x 16 inches
62 x 34 x 19 in
60" Wide
63" x 39" x 0.98''
Editors Choice
Preview
Dakine Pick-Up Pad Black, L
Name
Dakine Tailgate Cover
Bike Capacity
Up to 5 Bikes
Camera Visible
Material
1000D Polyester
Color
Black/Camo
Multiple Size Availability
Dimensions
62" x 17.5" x 2.75"
Most Functional
Preview
Thule 824 Gate Mate Tailgate Pad 62 in. Vinyl Gate Mate Tailgate Pad
Name
Thule Gate Mate Pro
Bike Capacity
Up to 7 Bikes
Camera Visible
Material
Vinyl
Color
Black
Multiple Size Availability
Dimensions
59 x 2.75 x 16 inches
Preview
Fox Racing Tailgate Cover, Premium Padded Protection Pad, 6 Webbing Straps for Attachment Fits Most Trucks, Use for Mountain Bikes MX Bikes Gear
Name
Fox Racing Tailgate Cover
Bike Capacity
Up to 6 Bikes
Camera Visible
Material
Nylon
Color
Black/Camo
Multiple Size Availability
Dimensions
62 x 34 x 19 in
Preview
Surf To Summit Tailgate Pad, Truck Tailgate Pad, Pickup Tailgate Cushion, Tailgate Pad for Bikes, Tailgate Pad for Surf Boards (Small)
Name
Surf To Summit Tailgate Protectors
Bike Capacity
Up to 5 Bikes
Camera Visible
Material
600 Denier Fabric
Color
Black
Multiple Size Availability
Dimensions
60" Wide
Preview
evoc Bike Tailgate Pad Holds Up to 6 Bikes - Bike Pad for Truck Tailgate Protects The Bikes and Truck, for Full-Size Truck Beds - Black, M/L (136x85x2cm)
Name
EVOC Unisex Bike Tailgate pad
Bike Capacity
Up to 6 bikes
Camera Visible
Material
100% Silk
Color
Olive - World Map
Multiple Size Availability
Dimensions
63" x 39" x 0.98''

Last update on 2021-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dakine Tailgate Cover - Best for Traditional Truck Tailgates

best bicycle tailgate pad

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We know and love Dakine as it is one of the first companies that came up with the tailgate pad idea. As a result of being one of the first movers in the industry, they know the needs and requirements of what makes a pickup pad the best amongst competitors. When we found the Dakine Tailgate pad, we immediately tested it on our 2008 Toyota Tundra and Hilux Pickup and to be honest we couldn't ask for a better fit. 

The Dakine Pad is offered in two size options being a large pad that fit most full-size pick-up trucks and a smaller option that'll fit more compact pickups. In terms of measurements, this pad has a dimension of 62" x 17.5" x 2.75" for the large option that we tested. For our test vehicle, the pickup bed measured the same 62 inches so we knew that this pad will fit perfectly. 

The material of this pad is made with super high-quality 1000D polyester. This fabric is extremely robust in its ability to withstand anything thrown at it for years. It will not tear easily and can repel water on top of being abrasion-resistant. So even if you treat it as bad by putting muddy bikes on it without cleaning it'll last you a while. We consider 1000D polyester as a rugged material that is ideal for making pads and mats.

This tailgate pad's design also features ample padding thanks to the high-density foam it has internally. This thick padding will protect your tailgate from scratches and dents that could be caused by the bikes bouncing on the pad during transportation. Moreover, there is a tailgate flap in the center where your reverse camera would be so that you'll have an undisturbed view to the backup camera at all times.

You’ll also be surprised at how easy it is to install your Dakine Tailgate pad. You will just need to unhinge the tailgate and slide its straps below the gate, then close it back up again before adjusting the frame on top of your truck bed. A good bike tailgate pad like this shouldn't take more than 5 minutes and we were surprised that we could put this one together in less time. 

Features:

  • Material: 1000D Polyester
  • Size: Large & Mid Size which Fits most Pickups
  • Bike Capacity: up to Five(5) Bikes
  • Color: Black or Camo

Pros

  • They have sewn in the bike holding straps to enable a more firm hold on the bikes
  • The installation process is simple
  • This pad offers excellent protection for your tailgate. 
  • The large size of this tailgate pad can effortlessly hold up to 7 bikes
  • There is a fleece lining in this tailgate pad to offer more padding and protection
  • It is one of the most affordable options. 
  • It is a lightweight pad.

Cons

  • We found that the straps are a little short.
  • The camera flap catches air while driving at highway speeds. Thankfully the stitching quality is great. 
  • Some vehicles might have issues depending on their camera position. 

Fox Racing Tailgate Cover Review - Best for Mountain Biking Trips

tailgate cover for bikes

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Although most tailgate covers come in two sizes, they might not fit some trucks. Seeing this particular issue that many other brands could not address, Fox Racing took the opportunity. They designed a tailgate cover that can fit almost every pickup truck in existence. The larger size measures 62 inches while the smaller variant is 54 inches.

We love the premium padding on this cover. The cushions serve as a protective layer between your bike and tailgate. If you do not want your bikes to rub and knock against your tailgate, the Fox Racing tailgate cover will make sure the paint does not chip off due to constant contact.

This tailgate cover is best for mountain biking trips. The six webbing straps will hold up to six bikes and help make your way to a new adventure.

Features:

  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: Large & Mid Size which Fits most Pickups
  • Bike Capacity: Up to 6 Bikes
  • Color: Black or Camo

Pros

  • The sizes available for this tailgate pad are ideal for any pickup truck
  • The design is simple yet effective
  • Easy to install and easy to use
  • This tailgate pad is lightweight at just 11.8 pounds.

Cons

  • The color of the material fades rather quickly
  • The tailgate handle flap does not fit well on some trucks.

thule gate mate Pro tailgate - Best Truck Bike Pad for Thick Tailgates

bike tailgate pad

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There are two features on this tailgate pad that makes it stand out from the competitors. One is the Knock-Blocks TM that make sure that your bike stays in one place once you strap it down. There will be no sliding or shifting in your truck.

Another thing we love about this Thule Gate Mate tailgate pad is the Handle Hood TM. Are you worried you might need to remove the whole item to gain access to the tailgate handle? Well, with the Thule Gate Mate, you can open the door with ease.

We all want a pickup pad to power through and last come wind, rain, or sun. The extra durable vinyl outer material will take care of this need. We know vinyl to be an extremely durable material resistant to almost all kinds of wear and tear.

This extra-large tailgate pad can hold up to seven bikes for transport. There are two pockets on the pad's inner side where you can store anything you want, from shoes to bottles and gear.

Features:

  • Material: Vinyl
  • Size: Large & Mid Size which Fits most Pickups
  • Bike Capacity: Up to 7 Bikes
  • Color: Black

Pros

  • The Knock Blocks on the pad will prevent bikes from moving side to side
  • The Thule Gate Mate tailgate pad vinyl material is very durable
  • This tailgate pad can hold your bikes steady even without strapping them on
  • It has extra padding

Cons

  • It is not as affordable than the products as mentioned earlier
  • The square top of this tailgate pad might not fit on some tailgates

Surf to Summit tailgate Protectors - Best for Reverse Camera Visibility

tailgate mat for bikes

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The Surf to Summit tailgate pad comes in two sizes: size large, around 60 inches, and small, 55 inches in length. The high-density foam padding will offer the cushion and protection that you might need. We love that this tailgate pad comes with felt lining in the underside in addition to the stuffing.

The outer material of the Surf to Summit truck bike pad is 600 denier fabric. This material is one of the most-used substances to make day-to-day things that we use, like bags. It is durable and not as expensive as other synthetic fabrics. It has a good thickness for tailgate pads.

There are two large pockets at the back of the pickup pad where you can place several tools or other items. The zippers will keep the contents secure even if the ride is a rough one. Talking about keeping things secure, the strap anchors will make sure that your bikes stay secure and fixed.

Features:

  • Material: 600 Denier Fabric
  • Size: Large & Mid Size which Fits most Pickups
  • Bike Capacity: up to 5 Bikes
  • Color: Black or Camo

Pros

  • The pad stretches further till the bottom of the tailgate for better protection
  • Offers sturdy anchors that will keep your bikes stable during transport
  • The padding is thick and of excellent quality
  • The zipped pockets keep your gear safe and prevent them from getting stolen

Cons

  • The placement of the flap for the tailgate handle is too high

RaceFace tailgate pad - Best Tailgate Cushion for MTBs

mountain bike tailgate pad

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RaceFace tailgate pad is one of the most popular choices in the market for tailgate pads, and rightly so. The material that they use is PVC Tarpaulin which is high-quality and will not wear out quickly even after exposure to sun and rain. It also features a micro-brushed inner lining that offers ample cushioning for your tailgate so your the bikes won't damage it. 

We had no issues or doubts in the quality and protection offered by this tailgate pad as it is of a higher quality than ones like the EVOC with its thinner lining. Another thing we found more impressive with this tailgate pad over some of the other options is the bumpers on either side of the mat that offers additional cushioning for the forks. This feature will prevent the forks from dinging your paint and helps keep the bikes from moving around which reduces noise. 

This pad can allow you to strap down up to 5 bikes with the Velcro looks and strap system. We found that it is very easy to install your bikes with this setup and it felt secure even after weeks of transporting our mountain bikes. However, after a while we started seeing some deterioration in the stitching and buckle used to strap on the tailgate pad after we accidentally squeezed it between the tailgate. 

Another slight disadvantage with this tailgate pad is that it doesn't allow you to see through your reverse camera like the previous option. As such, you'll often find yourself removing the pad which might become a hassle in the long run. 

Features:

  • Material: PVC Tarpaulin, Micro-brushed Inner Lining
  • Size: Large & Mid Size which Fits most Pickups
  • Bike Capacity: 2 Sizes Available for 5 Bikes with the S/Medium Size and 6 on the Large. 
  • Color: In-ferno, Black,

Pros

  • There are multiple sizes from which you can choose
  • The strap and loop system makes sure the bikes you are transporting stay sturdy
  • The padding and outer material are both high-quality materials
  • There are some foam separation blocks for each bike

Cons

  • It might take more time than usual to put this pad on your tailgate
  • This pad blocks the reverse camera. 
  • The straps will deteriorate after a while since they aren't UV protected. 

EVOC Unisex Tailgate pad - Easiest to Install/Remove

best tailgate bike pad

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The Evoc Unisex Tailgate pad is slightly larger than the other tailgate bike pads on the list with a measurement of 63" x 39" x 0.98". Most of the other pads offer a width of 62" and covers half the height of the tailgate. However, this one covers the entire tailgate and leaves no room for your bike to accidentally scratch your vehicle. The best thing is that it'll fit almost all pickups. 

While it's larger and offers more protection, this pad doesn't have the same thickness of the other pads. But if you don't mind it not being as thick and would rather a tailgate pad that is easy to install or take off then this pad might just be the best choice for you. Thanks to the secure hook and lock system, it is far easier to strap down your bikes with this tailgate pad.

One of the best features about this pad is that it can carry size bikes at a time which is one more than the Dakine Pad. The padding is slightly heavier than the other pads, but that is because Evoc wanted to deliver when it comes to durability and sturdiness. 

In terms of material quality, the EVOC tailgate pad utilizes a heavy duty tarpaulin exterior which you know is very durable and can withstand all the wear and tear it will experience over the years. Internally, this bike pad is lined with foam that offers just enough protection from scratches. It also came with a tailgate access flap that allows you to quickly lift it up to open your tailgate. 

Another feature that stood out with the EVOC is that you'll have two choices when it comes to size, which is large and medium. As for the color options, this pad is offered in a single grey color with a world map design with two Evoc logos on either side of the pad. This design style might not be for everybody especially if you rather having a plain tailgate pad. However, if you don't mind the uniqueness of it, then it might be a great option for you!

Features:

  • Material: Tarpaulin Exterior, Interior Foam Padding, Fleece Lining on Truck side
  • Size: It Measures 63" x 39" x 0.98'' and Fits Full Size Trucks with 61.4" width tailgate
  • Bike Capacity: up to Six(6) Bikes
  • Color: Grey(World Map Design)

Pros

  • Super easy to put on and also to remove
  • Heavy-duty material of the outer
  • There are sturdy separating segments in between each strap
  • It comes with an aesthetically pleasing print design
  • The top straps easily secures the bikes faster than most other options. 

Cons

  • It is heavier than the average tailgate bike pad.

Swagman Tailwhip Tailgate pad

Schwinn gtx womens hybrid bike

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One feature that makes us appreciate the Swagman Tailwhip tailgate bike pad in all its glory is the storage compartments. These large pockets can hold the equipment, gear, parts, and tools that you might need to carry. Keeping all related items together is sure to make your job easier and keep things more organized.

You can strap in up to 5 bikes to transport it to the destination. The assembly or installation is quite simple. Place your bikes on the pickup pad and keep them secured by strapping them down. You will not have any trouble accessing the tailgate latch because a flap exists right in front of it.

Since there are several daisy chains stitched into the top of the pad, you can be flexible about how you place your bikes. There is no fixed arrangement that everyone must follow. Also, you get four Velcro straps to keep the bikes in place.

The primary material of this pad is thick tarpaulin. This fabric is flexible, waterproof, and very strong. Usually, we coat the canvas with polyurethane to make tarp or tarpaulin.

Features:

  • Material: Tarpaulin
  • Size: Large & Mid Size which Fits most Pickups
  • Bike Capacity: up to 5 Bikes
  • Color: Black or Camo

Pros

  • You can use it as a bike tailgate pad or a storage pad
  • There are no fixed bike placement straps
  • Cleaning it after use is easy
  • It has very soft interiors to protect your tailgate paint

Cons

  • You only get four Velcro straps to hold the bikes
  • The Velcro straps are unnecessarily long

FAQs

Do tailgate pads help?

Yes. If you plan to transport your bikes from one place to another on a pickup truck, buying a tailgate bike pad will surely keep both your vehicle and your bike free from damages.

How will I know if a tailgate pad will fit into my truck?

For this question, you will have to do some measuring on your own. Get a measuring tape and check the length of your tailgate. After that, you can search for a pad that is the same length as your truck. Some of the products given above offer sizes for full-sized pickups as well as medium-sized trucks.

What type of bikes can a tailgate pad hold?

Tailgate pads can hold almost all types of bikes. Most of them have a design specifically made for mountain bikes or road bikes. However, they can also transport MTB and Cyclocross bikes securely. These bikes are full-sized and tall enough for the back wheel to touch the truck bed floor even when you suspend the down tube on the tailgate.

Can I carry any other thing on my tailgate pad?

A tailgate bike pad is flexible enough to hold a surfboard and kayaks as well. If it has pockets or pouches stitched into them, you can store your gear and other items while traveling. Tailgate pads are very versatile.

Conclusion

Instead of transporting a single bike on your truck using a hitch rack, get yourself a tailgate pad for your pickup and carry up to seven or even eight bikes simultaneously. The padding and material will keep your truck and bicycle safe from damage.

The best tailgate pads we mentioned above are quite similar to each other, but they have some distinguishing features. Picking any of them according to your needs and wants will be the right choice.