Best Mountain Bike Tailgate Pads

Tailgate Bike Pads are critical when you wanna take your bike around and hence wee tested multiple products for Best Tailgate bike pads and found the Race Face T2 Tailgate Pad L/XL to be the best mountain bike tailgate pad for 2021.

We decided to test these four products by looking at what was hottest on the market. After testing out a variety of mountain bike tailgate pads, we decided that these four were the best. Not only are they affordable, but they are reliable, tough, and fit a wide variety of mountain bikes. 

Our Best Overall is the Race Face T2 Tailgate Pad L/XL, which can transport up to six bikes. It comes in two sizes, Large and Medium, and is weatherproof, waterproof, and comes with six straps you can adjust as needed. With this product, you will be able to transport your bikes securely and safely.

We have included only the best on this list, and there is something for everyone. You will be impressed by our pick for Best Budget Pick, the Dakine Pickup Pad DLX, which can carry up to seven bikes despite, and perhaps, in spite, of its budget price. You will also enjoy reading about our pick for Best for Tailgate Access, The Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate, as well as our other picks. 

Read on to learn more about the best of mountain bike tailgate bike pads for 2021.

Product Mini-Reviews

Race Face T2 Tailgate Pad L/XL – Best Overall

Pros:

  • Durable PVC tarpaulin
  • Waterproof
  • Weatherproof, can withstand the elements and won’t fade in the sun
  • Comes with six straps so you can adjust it accordingly, depending on what your tailgate is like
  • Inside has raised bumpers to protect your tailgate
  • Thick outside can protect fork stanchions
  • Can transport six large or extra large bikes
  • Comes in medium size, which is a bit less expensive, and can transport five bikes

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Padding is too thin where the bike frame sits
  • Frame straps are too close together for some bikes

This is our Best Pick because it is sturdy and fits on newer full-size trucks such as Dodge RAM, Ford, and Silverado. Many tailgate pads out there don’t fit these kinds of trucks, but this product’s grommets allow you to secure your bikes securely onto your automobile. Overall, this product is well worth your money, with a great fit, look, and finish.

We recommend this for all mountain bikers who need a tough tailgate pad to transport their bikes from place to place. However, due to its price, this product may not be suited for mountain bikers on a budget.

Furthermore, this may not be your best bet if you have a first-generation Tundra or Tacoma bike. This tailgate pad’s padding is too thin where the bike frame sits and the frame straps are also too close together, making it very difficult to transport two bikes side-by-side.

Dakine Pickup Pad DLX – Best Budget Pick

Pros:

  • Budget price
  • Padded protection for your tailgate
  • Works best on new tailgates with backup cameras
  • Weather-resistant coating that doesn’t fade in the sun
  • Made of 1000D recycled polyester
  • Built-in grommet allows you to lock this to your truck
  • Cam-action buckles for quick removal
  • Comes in Large (which can hold up to seven bikes) and Medium size (which can hold up to five bikes)

Cons:

  • Stitching on flap can be improved
  • Tailgate handle access could be better
  • Difficult to attach at times
  • Covers backup cameras on some tailgates
  • Bikes are not tightly secured at times
  • Doesn’t fit all trucks

This is our pick for Best Budget Pick because the Dakine combines a great price with great features. Significantly less expensive than our Best Overall, the Dakine can carry up to seven bikes, which is more than what our pick for Best Overall can do.

However, you get what you pay for. Unlike our Best Overall, the Dakine is lacking in some aspects and is not as secure or sturdy as advertised. The stitching is not the best and it can be hard to attach to certain tailgates. 

The Dakine can also cover your backup camera. Not only that, but its tailgate handle access could be a lot better. To make sure this product is the one for you, make sure to compare the dimensions of this product to those of your tailgate.

Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad – Best for Tailgate Handle Access

Pros:

  • User-friendly
  • Can carry up to six bikes
  • Made of tough nylon
  • Comes with a velcro cradle system that works well with painted surfaces and carbon bike frames
  • SitTight technology protects bikes from moving around
  • HindSight cover designed with backup camera in mind
  • Designed with tailgate handle access in mind. The opening for the tailgate handle is large, unlike many other models, so it will work for almost all tailgates.

Cons:

  • Takes a while to install the product since it can be hard to push the straps through the tailgate
  • May not fit so well on flared, large trucks
  • Velcro straps could be higher quality
  • Frame pads could be higher quality
  • The larger opening for the tailgate handle leaves more of the tailgate exposed, while other models offer more protection
  • Pricey

This is our best pick for Best for Tailgate Handle Access because it is the only pick on this list that was specifically designed for handle access. 

Unfortunately, it does not stand out in particular due to its price, weak velcro straps and frame pads, and inability to offer as much protection as other tailgate pads on the market.

EVOC Tailgate Pad – Best for Durability

Pros:

  • Can hold up to six bikes
  • Made of 100% silk
  • Tarpaulin exterior
  • Interior padded by foam
  • Water-resistant, cut-resistant, and UV-stable
  • Has fleece lining on truck side so paint of tailgate won’t be damaged
  • Comes with a 24-month warranty

Cons:

  • Not waterproof, only water-resistant
  • Straps can be too wide for narrow-framed tailgates
  • Flap for handle and camera doesn’t always line up

This was our pick for Best Durability because this is a heavy-duty tailgate pad that can withstand a lot. With its thick foam padding and tarpaulin exterior, the EVOC Tailgate Pad provides robust protection for your bikes. 

When we tested it out, it fit on a variety of trucks popular with mountain bikers. We were particularly impressed by the molded separation blocks, which worked with the straps to secure the bikes tightly to the tailgate.

The opening for the tailgate handle is a bit smaller than some of our other picks, and may not match up depending on the model of your truck. Other flaws include being water-resistant rather than waterproof, unlike many of its competitors.

Buying Guide

After reading our reviews of 2021’s best mountain bike tailgate pads, you may be wondering how to choose between these great picks.

You need to ask the following questions when looking to locate and choose the best mountain bike tailgate pads for you:

What Features Am I Looking For?

Ask yourself what you need in a tailgate pad. 

Do you need a lot of padding to make sure your bikes aren’t damaged as they are transported? This might be something you need if you are constantly transporting your bikes from one place to another, particularly if the drives are long and rough. If that’s the case, you may want to get the EVOC since it is our pick for Best for Durability.

You should also look into how the tailgate pad attaches to your truck. Some straps are spaced out more, while others are closer. Measure your truck, bikes, and look at the dimensions of a tailgate pad before you decide to buy it.

Finally, you should take a look at your tailgate pad’s handle flap. If you want to open the tailgate of your truck with the pad still attached, you need to be able to access the tailgate handle. Some models have poorly crafted handle flaps that make opening the tailgate very difficult. 

We were most impressed by the Yakima’s large tailgate pad, which fits a larger variety of trucks than most of our other picks.

What Material Is the Tailgate Pad Made Of?

If you’re constantly on the go, look for a tailgate pad that is thick, durable, weatherproof, and preferably waterproof (this is particularly important if you’re living in a rainy area, like Washington State).

You don’t want to buy a tailgate pad that falls apart easily or doesn’t provide the protection you need for your bikes.

What Is My Budget?

Finally, ask yourself how much money you are willing to spend on a tailgate pad. If you only transport bikes once or twice a year and have a small budget, you should look into getting the Best Budget Pick, the Dakine. 

On the other hand, if you have a larger budget and transport bikes at least a couple of times per month, you might want to get our picks for Best Overall or Best for Durability.

Conclusion

Overall, we were the most impressed by the Race Face T2 Tailgate Pad L/XL. It is the best bang for your buck because it provides the most security and flexibility for a good price. We highly recommend it for all mountain bikers who need a tailgate pad to transport their bikes.

You can buy our picks by using the links above in the Product Mini-Reviews section.

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