Best Tailgate Pads – Perfect For Even Mountain Bikes

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

The best mountain bike tailgate pad will answer all your problems!

But what is a tailgate pad? As the name suggests, a tailgate pad is a product that you attach over your tailgate to keep several bikes in one place. They come padded and hence prevent the bicycle from shipping off the paint of your car.

7 Best Mountain Bike Tailgate Pads

Dakine Pickup Pad

We know and love Dakine to be 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.

The material of the black variant is super high-quality 1000D polyester. This fabric is very durable. It will not tear easily and can repel water on top of being abrasion-resistant. We consider 1000D polyester as a rugged material that is ideal for making pads and mats.

We love the padding and its high-density foam. This way, your bikes nor your pickup gets damaged while transporting them. There is a tailgate flap so that you undisturbed access to the backup camera at all times.

Pros:

They have sewn in the bike holding straps to enable a more firm hold on the bikes
The installation process is simple
The large size can effortlessly hold up to 7 bikes
There is a fleece lining to offer more padding and protection

Cons:

The straps are a little short

Fox Racing Tailgate Cover

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. It is difficult to ride your bike to the destination or foot of a mountain. Since mountain bikes are not the most comfortable to ride on tarmac and other smooth surfaces, you have to transport it on a truck. The six webbing straps will hold up to six bikes and help make your way to a new adventure.

Pros:

The sizes available are ideal for any pickup truck
The design is simple yet effective
Easy to install and easy to use
It is lightweight at just 11.8 pounds

Cons:

The color of the material fades rather quickly
The tailgate handle flap does not fit well

Thule Gate Mate Tailgate Pad

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 product 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 tailgate 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 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.

Pros:

The Knock Blocks on the pad will prevent bikes from moving side to side
The Vinyl material is very durable
It 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 might not fit on some tailgates

Surf to Summit tailgate pad

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 Surf to Summit tailgate 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 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.

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

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 high-quality and will not wear out quickly even after exposure to sun and rain.

Even if you are traveling through bumpy or steep terrain, your bikes will stay in place thanks to the dependable strap and loop system on this pad. The added stumps on each end of the product will add more security and keep the forks in a fixed position.

The primary purpose of a tailgate pad is to protect your bike and your truck from scratches. However, if your tailgate pad looks worn out itself, the product is not living up to its name and cause. With the RaceFace tailgate pad, the micro-brushed fabric of the inner lining will not tear or wear out quickly.

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

EVOC Unisex Tailgate pad

The Evoc Unisex Tailgate pad is slightly larger than the other tailgate pads on the list. If you do not want to keep a cover on your tailgate all the time, this product might be the best choice for you. Thanks to the secure hook and lock system, it is much more effortless to put it on and take it off.

It can carry size bikes at a time. The padding is slightly heftier than the other pads, but that is because Evoc wanted to deliver when it comes to durability and sturdiness. You have two choices when it comes to size, which is large and medium. As for the color options, you have three, namely, white, black, and olive.

Pros:

Super easy to put on and also to remove
Heavy-duty material of the outer
Ther are sturdy separating segments in between each strap
It comes with an aesthetically pleasing print design

Cons:

It is heavier than the average tailgate pad.

Swagman Tailwhip Tailgate pad

One feature that makes us appreciate the Swagman Tailwhip Tailgate 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 pad and keep them sturdy 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.

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 are planning to transport your bikes from one place to another on a pickup truck, buying a tailgate pad will surely keep both your vehicle and your bike free from damages and also keep it sturdy.

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.

Is a tailgate pad better than a hitch rack?

If your vehicle is a pickup truck, buying a tailgate pad to transport your bikes safely is a much easier option. These products are easy to install and can carry up to seven bikes in one go.

On the other hand, tailgate pads cannot fit into a sedan, hatchback, or SUV. So if you have one of these cars, you might have to settle for a hitch rack.

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 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 SUV or hatchback 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 products 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.