15 Best Tailgate Bike Pads: Compare & Save

best tailgate bike pad

Yakima

If you’re tired of struggling with bike racks or are seeking other options, a tailgate bike pad could be just what you need. These thick pads are easy to use and often hold several bikes at once, which makes them especially appealing for road trips and weekend getaways. We’ve reviewed top options from brands such as Thule, Yakima and Swagman to bring you the list below.

Shopping for a new bike? Check out our best budget mountain bikes for affordable options.

yakima gatekeeper Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Works with most mid- and full-size pickups
  • Easy to install
  • Weather-resistant nylon material
Price: $169.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tailgate bike pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Designed for mountain bikes
  • Fully padded for maximum protection
  • Water and UV-resistant
Price: $99.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
evoc tailgate pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Rear camera flap folds away
  • Ideal for mountain bikes
  • High-quality materials
Price: $156.30 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
mountain bike truck pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Concave slots keep bikes stable
  • Constructed with weather-resistant PVC material
  • Integrated straps add security
Price: $94.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
swagman tailgate pad
  • Soft fleece underside protects paint
  • Designed for mid- and full-size trucks
  • Covered by a limited lifetime warranty
Price: $185.00 Shop now at Competitive Cyclist Shop now Read our review
race face t2 tailgate pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Adjustable rear camera panel
  • Fits nearly any tailgate
  • Compatible with most mid- and full-size trucks
Price: $165.59 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
thule gatemate pro Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large rear window for easy handle access
  • Holds up to eight bikes
  • Strap anchors secure bikes in place
Price: $179.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dakine tailgate pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Transports five to seven bikes
  • Anti-theft measures
  • Designed for newer tailgates
Price: $149.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
gearflag tailgate pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fits most trucks
  • Heavy padding cushions bikes
  • Fits up to four mountain bikes
Price: $89.77 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
best tailgate bike pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Soft underside protects truck paint
  • Universal size fits most trucks
  • Fits up to five bikes
Price: $69.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tailgate bike pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • End loops secure wide loads
  • Extra-large tool pocket
  • Adjustable locking straps
Price: $129.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tailgate bike pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to install
  • Soft underside prevents paint damage
  • Large rear window opening
Price: $89.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bike tailgate pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Soft felt backing protects paint
  • Waterproof PVC exterior
  • Equipped with five bike slots
Price: $129.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tailgate bike pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Nylon daisy chains add stability
  • Fits most pickup trucks
  • Includes anchors for bikes
Price: $94.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bike tailgate pad Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Holds up to five bikes
  • Designed for use in inclement weather
  • Ideal for bikes, SUPs and surfboards
Price: $146.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Large rear cover accommodates backup cameras
    • Built-in straps hold bikes securely in place
    • 9.5 inches of room between each bike
    Cons:
    • Doesn't have a locking mechanism
    • Velcro isn't the most durable
    • Feeding straps through tailgate can be tedious

    Safely transport five to six bikes at a time with the versatile Yakima GateKeeper. It’s pricey but worth the splurge for its high-quality construction and user-friendly features. 

    Available in two sizes, the medium pad transports up to five bikes and fits most 53- to 61-inch wide tailgates. Several cyclists have successfully transported e-bikes with this pad, although a designated bike rack for ebikes might offer more stability.

    It’s compatible with many mid-size pickup trucks, including the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado. Upgrade to the large version to transport six bikes on a full-size truck with at least a 62-inch tailgate.

    A large window in the center allows fast access to the truck’s rear handle. It won’t cover up backup cameras, either. The cover even folds into itself to stay out of your way if you prefer.

    Both versions install easily and quickly, so you can head out at a moment’s notice. Installation is as simple as lifting up the bike, positioning it properly, and securing the frame using the built-in Velcro straps. With 9.5 inches of space between cradles, unwanted contact is virtually eliminated.

    Rain or shine, the pads have the same tough nylon coating that offers weather resistance and long-lasting performance. Whether you’re transporting mountain bikes for women or expensive carbon fiber frames, an ultra-soft felt backing prevents your ride from getting scuffed in transit.

  2. 2. Demon Tailgate Pad for Mountain Bikes

    Pros:
    • Easily adjusts to accommodate various frames
    • Secure hook and loop frame holders
    • Larger size fits up to seven bikes
    Cons:
    • Not ideal for smaller bikes
    • Compact rear access flap may block some cameras
    • Can take awhile to thread straps through tailgate

    Shuttle up to seven bikes on the Demon Tailgate Pad for mountain bikes. The larger 62-inch version holds seven bikes while the more compact 52-inch wide cover transports as many as five at a time. Some cyclists have even successfully carried their electric-assist mountain bikes with this hauler.

    Protect precious cargo (bikes and trucks) as you make your way to the trailhead. The Demon pad has thick 3/4-inch foam padding to guard against scrapes and scratches. Heavy-duty exterior vinyl covering protects bike frames while the soft underside prevents paint damage to your vehicle.

    Installing the protector is a straightforward process that involves securing three straps around the tailgate then using web cinch straps for added stability. User-friendly hook and loop fasteners prevent unwanted movement as you drive.

    Dual pocket holders offer plenty of storage space for essential tools and equipment. A small handle access flat provides easy access to the handle and won’t block rearview cameras, although its compact size can make it harder to align with certain cameras.

  3. 3. EVOC Bike Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Polyurethane coating offers weather-resistance
    • Constructed with robust 600 weight Denier
    • Thick foam padding resists cuts
    Cons:
    • Access flap doesn't always line up with the rear camera
    • Velcro straps might not accommodate thicker downtubes
    • Stitching isn't the most durable

    Founded by active individuals who set high standards for their products, EVOC’s Tailgate Pad offers maximum protection for your precious cargo. Securely transport up to six bikes on this truck cover, which comes in two sizes. 

    Use the medium/large pad for small to mid-size trucks such as the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Canyon. The large/extra-large cover fits the Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado, Nissan Titan, Dodge Ram and other full-size trucks.

    As if its robust 600 weight Denier doesn’t offer enough protection, an additional polyurethane coating resists even the nastiest conditions. While this pad is designed to haul mountain bikes, it’s suitable for most bikes, including hybrids.

    Several updates over the previous model make this version even better than the last. For example, foam padding protects each bike’s downtube in transit. There’s also easy access to the rear handle and enhanced compatibility with most rear cameras.

  4. 4. MICTUNING Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Contains two storage pockets for essentials
    • Full size holds up to six bikes
    • Soft flannelette lining protects tailgate paint
    Cons:
    • Small access flap
    • No convenient way to secure excess flap material
    • May not fit smaller trucks

    Carry up to six bikes at once on this MICTUNING pad for truck tailgates. It’s 62 inches wide and fits most full-size pickup trucks. A smaller 54-inch pad for five bikes is also available.

    Instead of canceling your plans if the forecast looks less than ideal, rest assured knowing that the pad’s weather-resistant PVC material can withstand rain and other conditions. It’s also wear-resistant for long-lasting performance. On the inside, a soft flannelette lining keeps your truck’s paint in top shape.

    This spacious truck bike carrier has concave slots for each bike. You’ll also find integrated straps to hold your bikes in place and secure the carrier to the tailgate. If you need more space for your cargo and gear, consider a roof top luggage box.

    Certain features make traveling with your bike that much easier. For example, two storage pockets offer room for tools and your favorite snacks. There’s also a central flap for instant access to the tailgate handle and backup camera.

  5. 5. Swagman Paramount Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Integrated stanchion slots secure each bike
    • Mesh storage bags fit helmets and tools
    • Fits up to seven bikes with the full-size model
    Cons:
    • May not fit smaller trucks
    • Can be a tight fit with bikes in every slot
    • Straps are relatively long

    The Swagman Paramount Tailgate Pad accommodates up to seven bikes on the 61-inch full-size model. The more compact 54-inch mid-size version fits up to four bikes. Swagman designed the Paramount for mountain bike riders, but it works just as well for most types of bikes. 

    While most similar products rely on foam padding to keep bikes from colliding, Swagman steps it up with integrated stanchion slots to secure each fork. You can also adjust the built-in Velcro straps to limit unwanted movement, much like the anti-wobble function on the brand’s popular hitch rack. High-density foam adds an extra measure of protection. On the other side, a soft fleece liner protects the truck’s paint from scratches.

    An extra-large access flap exposes the rear handle and backup camera for your convenience. This protective cover also has mesh storage bags that are spacious enough to fit tools, MIPS bike helmets and tasty snacks.

    The weather doesn’t always cooperate, but this pad’s waterproof tarpaulin is ready to go rain or shine. This tailgate cover is recommended for traveling and features a limited lifetime warranty.

  6. 6. Race Face T2 Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Raised spacers hold bikes in place
    • Weather-resistant PVC tarpaulin
    • Micro-brushed lining protects truck paint
    Cons:
    • Installation can be tedious
    • Doesn't have a ton of padding
    • Lacks tool pockets

    Several updates make the popular RaceFace T2 Tailgate Pad a top choice for many cyclists. For example, it’s designed to fit virtually any tailgate, including curved ones. Improved closures hold bikes even tighter to prevent unwanted contact on bumpy roads.

    Race Face T2 comes in small/medium and large/extra-large sizes. The more compact version fits five bikes and is designed for most mid-size trucks. Upgrade to the large/extra-large carrier to haul six bikes in a full-size truck.

    Once your bikes are in place, raised spacers and padding keep your precious cargo safe. You’ll also find lock loops and hook and loop frame straps to hold each bike steady.

    Durable PVC tarpaulin guards against harsh elements with its long-lasting three-ply construction. On the inside, a micro-brushed lining ensures your truck’s paint won’t get scratched or damaged as you travel.

    An adjustable rear camera panel ensures you can still properly access your trunk handle and clearly see when you’re reversing. You can also adjust the top edge as desired.

  7. 7. Thule GateMate Pro

    Pros:
    • Interior mesh pockets can store tools and accessories
    • Flexible padding accommodates various bikes
    • Heavy-duty vinyl is built to last
    Cons:
    • Takes time to feed straps underneath the tailgate
    • Bike straps are quite long
    • Can't be locked to the tailgate

    Thule is well-known for their dependable bike racks and cycling-related products, and the GateMate Pro tailgate pad is no exception. If you value premium construction and ease of use, look no further than this straightforward rear carrier for your truck.

    Sold in small and large sizes, this tailgate cover fits up to eight bikes at a time. The small GateMate PRO measures 52 inches wide and holds up to seven bikes, while the larger 59-inch version fits up to eight bikes. There’s plenty of space to store bikes for a family vacation or a weekend getaway with your riding buddies. 

    Whether you’re transporting one bike or eight, each item has its own slot. Strap anchors prevent bike-on-bike contact, even on rough roads. You can also adjust the vinyl padding for a fine-tuned fit.

    If your truck has a tailgate handle or rearview camera, you’ll find the integrated rear opening particularly handy. There are also interior mesh pockets to stash any tools you might need for quick repairs.

  8. 8. Dakine DLX Pickup Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Made with weather-resistant 1000D polyester
    • Features individual straps to secure each bike
    • Covered by a two-year limited warranty
    Cons:
    • Relatively narrow access door
    • Can't lock directly onto the tailgate
    • Might not fit older tailgates properly

    The Dakine Pickup Pad DLX withstands even the toughest weather conditions with its durable UV-resistant 1000D polyester material. It builds on the previous version, simply called Pickup Pad, with the addition of a large rear access flap and improved styling to keep up with modern tailgate trends.

    Depending on which size you choose, you can haul five to seven bikes at a time. The smaller pad measures 18 inches wide and works with most mid-size pickup trucks. It fits up to five bikes. Upgrade to the large pad if you have a full-size pickup truck and want to transport up to seven bikes. Each version has four web cinch straps for added security.

    A layer of padding cushions bikes and tailgates, even on rough roads. This tailgate protector also features a reflective logo for enhanced safety. It’s sold with a two-year limited warranty.

     

     

  9. 9. GEARFLAG Pickup Truck MTB Tailgate Protective Pad

    Pros:
    • Two interior storage pockets
    • Scratch-resistant PVC material
    • Dual-layer design won't obstruct rearview cameras or plates
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one size
    • Limited to four bikes
    • Need to unzip the clear window to access tailgate handles

    If you’re looking for extra-thick padding that provides maximum protection for your bikes, stand-up paddleboards and ski gear, consider the GEARFLAG Pickup Truck MTB Tailgate Protective Pad. The plush padding absorbs shocks and bumps for a smoother ride. 

    This tailgate pad is primarily designed to haul up to four mountain bikes at a time. It’s also sturdy enough to carry stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, ladders and other recreational items. With two interior storage pockets, you can securely pack everything from bike repair kits to small essential supplies. 

    Constructed with waterproof material, this tailgate pad holds up during inclement weather. It’s also easy to wipe clean. The heavy-duty PVC material resists scratches for long-lasting performance. 

    The GEARFLAG protective pad measures 49″W X 38″H and fits most trucks. It also comes with five straps to fit tailgates up to 27 inches high.

    Unlike most tailgate pads, this one has an innovative dual-layer design that won’t obstruct the rearview camera or license plate. You can conveniently roll up the outer layer to reveal the transparent layer. The transparent layer opens for direct access.

     

     

  10. 10. Himal Outdoors Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Features two integrated tool pockets with flip covers
    • Rear cover offers easy access to handles and backup cameras
    • Robust 600D PVC construction resists the elements
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one size
    • Rear window might not properly fit some trucks
    • Back cover isn't very big

    If you’re seeking a solid value, look no further than the Himal Outdoors tailgate pad. Built with sturdy 600D PVC on the outside and soft flannelette to prevent scratches, this versatile carrier suits most bike transport demands.

    Unlike some of the other options in this list, you only get one size with this protection pad. It measures 52 inches wide and works with most compact and mid-size trucks. There’s ample space to transport up to five bikes at a time.

    Installation is a straightforward process that involves hooking up the two transport straps and securing them in place using web cinch straps. The next step is to load your bikes and secure them using the built-in Velcro straps. The 3/4-inch padding protects bikes and trucks during off-road adventures.

    Even the smaller details can make one product more appealing than the next. This pad has two pockets for your bike tools with zippers and flip covers to protect your belongings. There’s also an access flap that easily opens up to expose the tailgate handle or backup camera.

  11. 11. Athletico Tailgate Pad for Bikes

    Pros:
    • Handle cutout allows easy access to handles
    • Can be used to transport bikes, surfboards and paddle boards
    • Felt backing protects against scratches
    Cons:
    • Bulky design
    • Might not fit curved tailgates very well
    • Threading straps under the tailgate may require a second person

    Carry five to six bikes at once, depending on which Athletico tailgate pad works best for your truck. The smaller 54-inch product fits most mid-size trucks and carries up to five bikes. Choose the large 62-inch cover with room for six bikes if you have a full-size pickup.

    Secure your mountain, road and kids’ bikes with the adjustable straps. Block separators prevent bikes of all sizes from hitting each other. Reinforced stitching ensures your precious cargo won’t fly off as you’re cruising down the highway.

    This tailgate protector isn’t as streamlined as others, but that’s because it’s designed to transport heavy loads. End loops with webbing anchors on both sides secure larger loads such as some electric mountain bikes, according to customer feedback. You can even transport a surfboard or stand-up paddle board

    Whether you’re hauling bikes or boards, this rip-resistant tarpaulin cover protects your vehicle and cargo from scratches and scuffs. A soft backside cushions the ride and guards against potential damage. Ample padding minimizes the risk of damage in transit.

    Certain features can make Athletico a more appealing option for your active lifestyle. One example is the large tool pocket on the inside to safely store your bike tools. You’ll also find an integrated handle cutout that rapidly opens up to expose backup cameras and tailgate handles. Two integrated utility rings secure your bikes to the truck as an anti-theft measure.

  12. 12. CyclingDeal Tailgate Bike Pad

    Pros:
    • High-density foam protects against impact
    • Fits five to six bikes
    • Comes in three sizes
    Cons:
    • Center flap doesn't fold into itself
    • Straps aren't the most durable
    • Can be tough to feed straps through tailgate

    Keep your budget in check with the affordable CyclingDeal Tailgate Bike Pad. This small tailgate cover measures 52 inches wide and fits up to five bikes. Upgrade to the 54-inch medium or 61-inch large pads if you have a full-size truck. The biggest carrier fits up to six bikes.

    This bike tailgate pad is designed for mountain bike riders, but it works with most types of bikes, including carbon and aluminum frames. All you need to do is place your bikes over the tailgate then secure them with the integrated straps. High-density foam prevents bike-on-truck contact.

    In addition to a 3/4-inch layer of foam padding, the bike carrier features waterproof construction for inclement weather. A soft underside keeps your tailgate paint from getting scuffed when the bikes are loaded.

    While the small tailgate pad doesn’t come with tool bags, the medium and large sizes do. Every size has a window cover for rear handles and backup cameras.

  13. 13. SPORTOURO Truck Bike Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Carries bikes, surfboards, ladders and more
    • Protects bikes with dense bumper pads
    • Comes with two tool storage pockets
    Cons:
    • Only available in one size
    • Bike pads aren't angled
    • Some competitors have more durable exterior material

    The SPORTOURO tailgate bike pad measures 54 inches wide and fits up to five bikes. It’s available in a universal size.

    While it’s designed to transport bikes, you can use this truck tailgate pad to transport skis, SUPs, snowboards, ladders and more. You can mix and match your cargo or just stick with bikes. Whether you’re transporting a single bike or five, each one has a dedicated slot along with downtube straps and bumper pads for stress-free transportation.

    Anti-slip measures such as three wide straps and eyelets that accept most cable locks prevent the pad from moving around, even on rough terrain. This cover also has two tool pockets with zippered closures to keep your belongings safe.

    A soft felt backing protects against paint damage to your truck, bikes and other cargo. On the outside, the pad features durable waterproof PVC material that’s easy to clean when you’re done for the day.

  14. 14. Softride Shuttle Pad

    Pros:
    • Useful for transporting bikes, surfboards and construction materials
    • Heavy-duty padding protects cargo
    • Works with most bikes
    Cons:
    • Small access window
    • Straps aren't the most durable
    • Doesn't have extra padding to hold bikes up

    Carry up to six bikes with the Softride Shuttle Pad, which comes in two sizes. The smallest 25-inch carrier fits up to two bikes, while the medium-size 54-inch and large 61-inch versions have room for up to six bikes.

    The Softride Shuttle Pad is a simple and affordable tailgate pad that fits most pickup trucks. While it’s designed for mountain bikes, the pad works with nearly any type of bike. It’s even useful for transporting kayaks, surfboards and construction supplies.

    Any fears that you may have about your belongings flying off or hitting each other during travel should be alleviated by the assortment of included wraps. You’ll find extra material to anchor your bikes to the rail along with straps to secure the pad to the tailgate. A Velcro access flap offers easy access to the release handle and rearview camera.

    There’s ample foam padding to protect your belongings, even on bumpy roads. This product is covered by a one-year limited warranty.

  15. 15. LifeCycle Tail Whip Tailgate Pad

    Pros:
    • Includes four extra-long straps for enhanced security
    • Comes with a 15-foot security cable
    • Built for medium and large pickup trucks
    Cons:
    • Only comes in one size
    • Relatively bulky design
    • Camera window needs to be removed for access

    Rain or shine, there’s plenty of space to transport up to five bikes using the LifeCycle Tail Whip Tailgate Pad. Constructed with durable weather-resistant 1000D material, this coverwithstands snow, dust and mud. Transport an assortment of road, mountain and eMTBs as well as surfboards and SUPs.

    From trailheads to road trips, this secure pad features extra-long straps to secure each object. A soft microfleece interior keeps scratches at bay. Although it only comes in one size, the truck tailgate pad fits most medium to large pickup trucks. Some examples include the Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator.

    Instead of a streamlined design, this relatively bulky truck pad comes with two storage pouches to safely transport tools and other items. Both pouches feature a zipper closure. A large, removable central window allows easy access to rear handles and backup cameras.

What Is the Best Tailgate Bike Pad?

We're big fans of the Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad, which stands out for its weather-resistant nylon material and numerous thoughtful details to make transporting your bikes that much easier. For example, it has an extra-large rear window and Velcro closures that are soft enough for carbon bikes.

Are Tailgate Pads Safe for Bikes?

Most tailgate pads feature a two-part design that's equally safe for bikes and vehicles. For example, the Demon pad protects bikes with its sturdy nylon exterior. On the other side, soft felt guards the truck's paint. Unlike SUV bike racks, for example, which have separate cradles for the front and rear tires, most truck pads have one front cradle to securely hold bike forks.

How Do You Secure a Bike with a Tailgate Pad?

Most pads feature foam padding, dedicated slots and an assortment of straps to secure your bike. You'll need to lift each bike then lower it to the appropriate position, then using the straps to hold it tightly in place. Most manufacturers suggest adding the bikes starting on one side and working your way towards the middle for consistency.

Many tailgate pads cater to mountain bike riders, yet are suitable for most types of bikes. Certain bikes such as fat tire ebikes or ones with a step-through frame might be trickier to load and secure than on a traditional bike rack.

Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs and may receive a commission if you purchase a product via a link on this page.

Read More
,