​​Best Tailgate Bike Pad in 2022— Top Picks And Buying Guide

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In this article, I tested 8 tailgate bike pads and found the Demon Tailgate Bike Pad to be the best overall tailgate bike pad.

When it comes to transporting bikes using a truck, the last thing you need during your road trip or weekend getaway is for either of them to get damaged. This excludes simply loading the bikes in the back of the truck as well as dealing with possibly unstable bike racks.

Luckily, tailgate bike pads are becoming more and more popular as they offer ample cushioning, great capacity, and secure mounting. This way, you can safely carry your bikes while protecting your truck from scratches.

Unfortunately, figuring out the right tailgate bike pad for your vehicle and cycling needs can be challenging since they have similar appearances.

There’s no need to sweat it though, I’ve done the researching and testing so you don’t have to go through the hassle. Today, I’ll help you find the best tailgate bike pad on the market.

Let’s get started!

The Best Tailgate Bike Pad Overview

8 Best Tailgate Bike Pad Reviews

Here is our list of the best tailgate bike pads you could get your hands on today in 2021!

Demon Tailgate Bike Pad — Best Overall

First up, we have the Demon Tailgate Bike Pad that comes in 2 sizes: a larger 62-inch model that accommodates up to 7 bikes and a smaller 52-inch version that fits a maximum of 5 bikes.

It’s equipped with a 3/4-inch thick layer of padding to prevent scratches and scrapes. It also features a heavy-duty vinyl exterior that provides reliable protection against weather conditions.

The soft lining keeps the truck’s paint intact, while the built-in pockets give you extra room for storing tools. Additionally, the installation process is as straightforward as they come.

To minimize unwanted movement of the bikes while driving, this tailgate pad houses hook and loop frame fasteners. The handle access flap is easy to use, however, it can be too small and block the field view of some cameras.

Features

  • Material — heavy-duty vinyl with UV, tear-resistant, and weather-resistant coating
  • Capacity — 5 bikes for the small size and 7 bikes for the large size
  • Width — 54 inches for the small size and 60 inches for the large size
  • 3/4 inches padding layer
  • Zippered storage pockets

Who it’s for

If you’re looking for an all-around high-quality tailgate bike pad with impressive durability, security, and price, then this one from Demon has got your back.

Pros

  • Can accommodate various frame designs
  • Features hook and loop velcro frame holders
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Comes with zippered compartments
  • Very durable

Cons

  • The smaller access flap may obstruct some cameras



Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Bike Pad — Best Tailgate Handle Access

The Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Bike Pad comes in a couple of size options: a 53-inch medium version that fits up to 5 bikes and a 62-inch large model that allows for an additional bike. As such, this product is compatible with just about any midsize or full-size truck including the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.

In the center of the pad, there’s an oversized window that grants fast and easy access to the rear handle of any truck model. The cover of the window folds into itself to make way for your backup cameras.

The Yamika GateKeeper is a breeze to install; you just lift the bike, place it properly, and secure its frame with the integrated Velcro straps. This pad provides a space of 9.5 inches between cradles to effectively eliminate unwanted contact.

What’s more, this bike features a weather-resistant nylon exterior and an ultra-soft felt lining for maximum protection.

Features

  • Material — abrasion-resistant and weather-resistant nylon
  • Capacity — 5 bikes for the medium size and 6 bikes for the large size
  • Width — 53 inches for the medium size and 62 inches for the large size
  • Neoprene Velcro closure
  • SitTight anti-shift cradles

Who it’s for

If you often have trouble finding a tailgate pad that fits the size and positioning of your handle, this pad from Yakima offers easy access no matter your truck design.

Pros

  • Supports hassle-free tailgate handle access
  • Simple style
  • Good for backup cameras
  • Broad straps offer easy installation

Cons

  • Lack a tailgate locking mechanism
  • Not very durable



RaceFace T2 Tailgate Bike Pad — Best for Rough Roads

The RaceFace T2 is designed to fit the design of pretty much any tailgate, even if it’s curved. The updated model features better closures to hold the bikes in place more securely and prevent bumps and contact when driving over rough roads.

This candidate is available in 2 sizes to accommodate virtually any truck. There’s a small/medium version of 57 inches width and a 5-bike capacity, as well as a large/Xlarge version of 62 inches width and a 6-bike capacity.

It’s well-padded and features sturdy frame straps to boost stability on the go. Its construction consists of durable PVC tarpaulin on the outside and a micro-brushed lining on the inside.

As such, it can withstand harsh weather elements and save your truck’s paint from damage. Not to mention, the adjustable handle flap allows you to see clearly via your backup camera.

Features

  • Material — PVC tarpaulin outer cover and micro brushed inner lining
  • Capacity — 5 bikes for the small/medium size and 6 bikes for the large/Xlarge size
  • Width — 57 inches for the small/medium size and 62 inches for the large/Xlarge size
  • Accommodates medium-sized and full-size trucks
  • Updated anti-shift closure

Who it’s for

If you often find yourself driving over rough terrain, the RaceFace T2 tailgate bike pad will get you through harsh rides without damaging your truck or bikes.

Pros

  • The straps and bumpers offer a secure fit
  • Suitable for driving through rough terrain
  • The lining effectively protects the truck’s paint job
  • The handle flap is adjustable

Cons

  • No storage pockets
  • Not very easy to install



Dakine Pickup DLX Tailgate Bike Pad — Best for Backup Cameras

The Dakine Pickup DLX bike is built to endure tough road conditions thanks to its sturdy construction featuring 1000D polyester. The DLX version is an update of the original Pickup Pad to include a large access flap that won’t block your backup camera no matter its model.

Available in 2 sizes, you can choose whether you want the pad to fit 5 or 7 bikes at a time. Both versions are equipped with 4 cinch straps for extra security.

The padding layer provides impressive protection when it comes to bumpy roads. Additionally, this tailgate bike pad has a reflective logo for better visibility at night.

Features

  • Material — 1000D polyester with UV and weather-resistant coating
  • Capacity — 5 bikes for the small size and 7 bikes for the large size
  • Width — 54 inches for the small size and 62 inches for the large size
  • Accommodates medium-sized and full-size trucks
  • Black color

Who it’s for

If you can’t seem to find a tailgate bike pad that’ll accommodate your model of a backup camera, the Dakine Pickup DLX will surely save you the hassle.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet durable construction
  • Equipped with individual straps for securing each bike
  • Ideal for using a backup camera
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Tends to shift slightly forward in the tailgate’s direction
  • Not intended for older tailgate models



Himal Outdoors Tailgate Bike Pad — Best Bang for the Buck

Offering great value for money, the Himal Tailgate Bike Pad features a 600D PVC exterior and a soft flannelette lining with 3/4 inches of foam padding. It comes in a universal side of 52 inches width and a capacity of up to 5 bikes.

Compatible with small and mid-size trucks, you can easily install this pad by fastening a couple of transport straps then securing the built-in Velcro. For added convenience, the Himal tailgate pad has 2 decently-sized zippered pockets to carry your gear, as well as a flap access window for the handle or your backup camera.

Features

  • Material — 600D abrasion-resistant and weather-resistant PVC with flannelette lining
  • Capacity — 5 bikes
  • Width — 52 inches universal size
  • 3/4 inches foam padding
  • Flip storage compartments

Who it’s for

If you’re on a budget and in need of a reliable tailgate bike pad, then you should go for this one from Himal.

Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • Includes 2 flip-up tool pockets
  • Robust materials
  • Easy access to tailgate handle

Cons

  • The back cover can be bigger
  • Available in a single size only



Thule GateMate Pro Tailgate Bike Pad — Best Look

Known for their dependable bike-related products, the GateMate Pro from Thule features premium construction and user-friendly designs with a sleek back look that everyone can appreciate.

It comes in small and large sizes, where one measures 52 inches wide with a 7-bike capacity and the other measures 59 inches wide with an 8-bike capacity. Not to mention, both options offer separate slots for each bike.

The GateMate Pro also includes strap anchors to minimize contact, even when things get rough. Additionally, the padding is adjustable for a customized fit.

This tailgate bike pad is further equipped with mesh pockets for storage and a rear opening for handle access or a backup camera.

Features

  • Material —  abrasion-resistant and weather-resistant nylon
  • Capacity — 7 bikes for the small size and 8 bikes for the large size
  • Width — 52 inches for the small size and 59 inches for the large size
  • Interior mesh pockets
  • Adjustable vinyl padding

Who it’s for

The GateMate Pro by Thule is an excellent choice for anyone interested in a premium tailgate bike pad that looks as good as it performs.

Pros

  • Stylish, sleek look
  • Flexible configuration of padding to fit different bikes
  • Heavy-duty construction

Cons

  • On the expensive side



Evoc Tailgate Bike Pad — Best Durability

The Evox Tailgate Bike Pad provides superior protection for your precious bikes thanks to its rugged 600D tarpaulin exterior with an added PU coating for extra resistance. It’s obvious that this unit is designed for maximum durability.

Sold in 2 sizes, both the 53-inch and the 63-inch versions can hold up to 5 bikes. They’re suitable for a wide range of trucks including the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet Canyon, Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram, and Chevrolet Silverado.

The foam padding is impressively thick and the rear flap allows for easy handle access.

Features

  • Material —  cut-resistant, UV-stable, and water-resistant 600D tarpaulin exterior with fleece lining
  • Capacity — 6 bikes
  • Width — 53 inches for the medium/large size and 63 inches for the Xlarge size
  • Thick foam padding
  • Adjustable and removable straps

Who it’s for

If you’re worried about durability and protection, you should consider the Evoc tailgate bike pad as it offers long-lasting security and remarkable sturdiness.

Pros

  • Very durable materials ensure long-lasting service
  • Simple attachment to tailgate
  • The ample cushioning effectively resists tears
  • Available in 2 color options

Cons

  • The rear flap may block your backup camera
  • It may not fit thicker downtubes



MICTUNING Tailgate Bike Pad — Best for Storing Gear

Last but not least, the MICTUNING tailgate bike pad measures 62 inches wide and can hold up to 6 bikes at the same time. It can fit virtually any full-size truck, but more compact trucks can be problematic.

It features a weather- and wear-resistant PVC construction along with a soft flannelette lining to preserve the condition of your truck’s paint. It also offers separate concave slots for each bike with built-in straps to attach the pad to the tailgate and secure your bikes in place.

A neat addition to this unit is the 2 oversized storage pockets that provide plenty of room for carrying gear and even snacks. Not to mention, there’s a nice central flap for facilitated handle access and uninterrupted viewing of a backup camera.

Features

  • Material —  abrasion-resistant and weather-resistant nylon
  • Capacity — 6 bikes
  • Width — 62 inches universal size
  • Concave design for improved support
  • 10-minute installation

Who it’s for

If you need extra space for storing your gear, the MICTUNING tailgate bike pad is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • 2 oversized gear pockets
  • Accommodation full-size trucks
  • The soft lining prevents paint scratches
  • Quick setup

Cons

  • Too big for smaller trucks
  • Access flap may be a bit small



What to Look for When Buying a Tailgate Bike Pad

Here are some of the most important features to consider when shopping for the best tailgate bike pad:

Material

First, you need to check the material of the pad. It should be durable enough to withstand harsh road conditions and tough weather elements. It should also have a soft lining to prevent scratching of the truck’s paint.

Size

Tailgate bike pads are sold in different sizes to accommodate small, medium, and full-size trucks. Before purchasing one, make sure it’ll properly fit your vehicle by checking its dimensions.

Installation

Ease of installation is crucial when you’re anxious to get on the road. So, choose a bike pad with a straightforward setup that doesn’t involve too many straps and locks.

Security and Padding

It’s always a good idea to have extra security for your bikes, so I recommend picking a tailgate pad with dedicated bike straps or closures. Also, be sure the pad has plenty of padding to minimize damage from bumps and unwanted contact.

Rear Flap

Finally, consider the size and design of the rear flap. It should be convenient and large enough to allow for quick access to the handle without blocking your view from the backup when you reverse.

Wrap Up

Choosing the best tailgate bike pad can be a tricky task, especially with so many features to consider such as materials, sizes, security straps, additional padding, attachment, and design. This is why I made sure to include only the top-performing options on today’s list so you’ll be getting a reliable product no matter what.

Generally, the best tailgate bike pad should match both the size of your bike and truck tailgate, have a secure attachment, and be easy to install. It should also be durable and weatherproof, offer enough cushioning, as well as look good on the road.

That being said, I recommend the Demon Tailgate Bike Pad as the overall winner and the RaceFace T2 Tailgate Bike Pad as the winner for rough roads. Both of these options are quite sturdy and secure, easy to mount and remove, as well as available at reasonable prices.

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