Best Tailgate Bike Pad 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?

Owning one of the best mountain bike tailgate pad is the solution!

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 neepd to buy rope or pay for respraying. However, it can be a little tricky to find the best tailgate bike pads.

In this article, I'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.

Best Tailgate Bike Pads:

  1. Dakine Tailgate Pickup Pad - Best Tailgate Pad 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 I Choose The Top Tailgate Bike Pads:

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

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Dakine Tailgate Cover - Great for Traditional Truck Tailgates

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I know and love the Dakine Pickup Pad as it is from 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, I feel like they knew the needs and requirements of what makes a pickup pad the best. When I found the Dakine Tailgate pad, I immediately tested it on our 2008 Toyota Tundra and Hilux Pickup and to be honest I couldn't ask for a better fit. 

The Dakine pickup pad is offered in two size options being a large tailgate bike 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 I tested. For our test vehicle, the pickup bed measured the same 62 inches so I knew that this pad will fit perfectly. 

The material of this mountain bike tailgate 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. I consider 1000D polyester as a rugged material that is ideal for making tailgate bike 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 tailgate bike 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.

I was also surprised at how easy it is to install the Dakine pickup tailgate bike pads. All I had to do was just 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. Honestly, I've found that most good bike pickup pads don't take more than 5 minutes to setup. So I was surprised that I could put this one together in less time which made me give it a boost in rating. 


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


  • They have sewn in the bike holding straps to enable a more firm hold on the bikes
  • The installation process is simple
  • These tailgate bike pads offer 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 tailgate bike pads. 
  • It is a lightweight pad.


  • I found that the straps on these tailgate bike pads are a little short.
  • The backup 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 Pickup Pad - Perfect for Mountain Biking Trips

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Although most of these pads 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 to make one of the best tailgate bike pads with that in mind. 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.

I love the premium padding on these tailgate pads for bikes. 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 bike pad will make sure the paint does not chip off due to constant contact.

This pickup pad 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.


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


  • 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.


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

thule gate mate Pro - Good Truck Bike Pad for Thick Tailgates

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There are two features on this tailgate pad that makes it stand out from the competitors as the best tailgate pad. One is the Knock-Blocks TM feature that makes 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 I 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 heavy duty vinyl outer material will take care of this need. Since I 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.


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


  • The Knock Blocks on these tailgate bike pads 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


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

Surf to Summit tailgate Protectors - Excellent for Reverse Camera Visibility

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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. I love that these tailgate bike pads 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 required for mountain bike 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.


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


  • 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


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

RaceFace Pickup pad - best tailgate bike Cushion for MTBs

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The Race Face T2 tailgate pad is one of the most popular choices I've seen in the market for mountain bike 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. 

I had no issues or doubts in the quality and protection offered by the race face t2  tailgate pad as it is of a higher quality than ones like the EVOC with its thinner lining. Another thing I 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. 

Another thing I loved is that the Race Face t2 tailgate pad can allow you to strap down up to 5 bikes with the Velcro looks and strap system. I 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 I started seeing some deterioration in the stitching and buckle used to strap on the tailgate pad after I accidentally squeezed it between the tailgate. 

One slight disadvantage with this mountain bike tailgate pad is that it doesn't allow you to see through your backup camera as well as the previous option allowed. As such, I often find myself removing the pad which might become a hassle in the long run. 


  • 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,


  • There are multiple sizes from which you can choose
  • The strap and loop system on these tailgate bike pads 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


  • It might take more time than usual to put this pad on your tailgate
  • These tailgate bike pads 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

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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 the evoc tailgate pad will fit almost all pickups. 

While the Evoc tailgate pad is larger and offers more protection, this tailgate bike 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 bike 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 mountain bike tailgate 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 tailgate pad 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 could be the best tailgate pad!


  • 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)


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


  • It is heavier than the average tailgate bike pad.

Swagman Tailwhip Tailgate pad

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One feature that makes me 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 tailgate bike pad is thick tarpaulin. I always preferred this fabric is since it is flexible, waterproof, and very strong.


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


  • You can use it as a bike 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


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

Things to Lookout for When Buying a Tailgate Pad

The factors to consider when purchasing a king tailgate bike pad for your truck are explained below.


When carrying bikes, safety and security must be key features. Tailgate pads are one way to keep your bike safe, but some models often fail to hold the bike properly.

In addition, I always recommend that you consider the safety of your truck. You'll want to get a tailgate bike pad that doesn't damage your tailgate. It should also perfectly hold your bikes in place so they aren't knocking on your truck.


Another key feature I always look at is the durability of the mountain bike tailgate pads. Durability is an important factor because you won't always be riding in perfect weather and you would want your pad to last at least a few months to years.

As such, always opt for the most rugged pads that are available to you. Most of the options I shared on this list are heavy-duty tailgate pads so with that you'll have less to worry about when choosing.


Knowing why you are buying one of the best tailgate bike pad is also one of the most important things to consider before buying yourself a pad. I made this mistake in the beginning by buying a tailgate pad that can only carry 3 bikes. But later on, I realized that I had occasions where I would need to carry up to 6 different types of bikes.

So don't make the same mistake I did and get a pad that can carry as many bikes as you know you'll need.


A tailgate mat is a great addition to your truck. There are many creative designs available on the market. So getting a truck tailgate bike pad that is stylish is always an option. However, some colors aren't great in terms of durability and how much they can handle. If you get a white tailgate pad, you'll find yourself having to clean it up often.

So when getting a tailgate pad, try to get one that is deeper in color so the dirt doesn't show as easily. The padding offered by the pad also falls under the design. Some truck tailgate pads are thin and provide little cushioning to your tailgate and pad. So make sure when selecting you go with one that offers all the design features you need.


Tailgate pads are typically less expensive than truck bed racks. Pricing varies according to what type you decide on and the features it comes with.

Yet don't forget that a high price doesn't always mean you'll be getting the best tailgate pad. As such, I suggest looking at all the features offered by the tailgate pads as that will give you a better grasp of whether it is worth the money.


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 tailgate bike 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.


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

The best tailgate pads I 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.

Last Updated on October 14, 2023 by Daniel White