Best Tailgate Pads for Pickup Truck

The Best Tailgate Pads For Bikes and Surfboard

Are you looking for the best tailgate pads for bikes and surfboard? Then you are in the right place. Whether for shuttle runs or regular transport, getting a quality tailgate pad will ensure that you get to safely carry your surfboard and bikes when you hang them to the tailgate bed of your truck. This will protect them from doing harm to the paint job of your truck and from each other.

There are various ways of carrying your bike, but if you are an owner of a truck or pickup, there is an additional option of being able to use a 1tailgate pad to ensure that your bike is transported securely and safely.

You can as well decide to use a towel or a blanket to ensure that your tailgate is padded but this, you will risk damaging your bike and your tailgate as well. Nowadays, there are great tailgate pads on the market which will do a great job for you.

As compared to bike rack options, tailgates seem to be affordable. I have tried to sample some of what I think might be the best in the market, the pros and cons of each so that you will be able to decide which one will work well for you. Get one that offers the best features, performance, and design to carry your surfboard and bike.

Comparison Of The Best Tailgate Pads


Dakine Pick-Up Pad Black, L

1. Dakine Pickup Pad

  • Constructed from high-quality nylon
  • Features an access flap
  • Five loop straps and hooks included
  • Over 300 positive reviews

4.6 of 5 stars


Evoc Tailgate Pad Olive, M/L

2. Evoc Tailgate Pad

  • Constructed from 600D polyethelene
  • Features separation blocks and foam pads
  • P600 coated tarpaulin foldaway flap included
  • Over 10 positive reviews

4.6 of 5 stars


RaceFace Tailgate Pad in-Ferno, S/M

3. Raceface Tailgate Pad

  • Constructed from high-quality materials
  • Features raised square pads for added protection
  • Velcro frame straps with loop system
  • Over 100 positive reviews

4.2 of 5 stars


Demon Tailgate Pad for Mountain Bikes with Tool Pocket for Mechanic Tools/Tailgate Cover with Secure Bike Frame Straps (Small (54

4. Demon Tailgate Pad For Mountain Bikes

  • Constructed from vinyl covered foam
  • Features a reflective logo
  • Velcro frame straps included
  • Over 500 positive reviews

4.6 of 5 stars


Thule 823 Gate Mate Tailgate Pad

5. Thule Gate Mate Tailgate Pad

  • Vinyl coated pad with fleece-lined sides
  • Features molded foam knock blocks
  • Long webbing ladder straps included
  • Over 100 positive reviews

4.6 of 5 stars


Yakima - GateKeeper Tailgate Pad for Trucks, Medium

6. Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad For Trucks

  • Constructed from rugged nylon
  • Features an integrated cradle
  • Easy closing system
  • Over 100 positive reviews

4.6 of 5 stars


Thule Surf Tailgate Pad

7. Thule Tailgate pad

  • Constructed from no-fade UV resistant fabric
  • Features a sewn-in strap system
  • Rack pads included
  • Over 50 positive reviews

3.9 of 5 stars


Zydek Bike Rack for Mountain Bikes, Tailgate Rack Crash Protection Pad, Medium

8. Zydek Bike Rack Pad

  • Constructed from high-quality nylon
  • Features an access flap
  • 3 straps included
  • Over 50 positive reviews

4.2 of 5 stars


Surf To Summit Tailgate Pad, Truck Tailgate Pad, Pickup Tailgate Cushion, Tailgate Pad for Bikes, Tailgate Pad for Surf Boards (Small)

9. Surf To Summit Tailgate Pad

  • Constructed from industrial-grade 600D fabric
  • Features an easy access flap
  • 2 zipper pockets included
  • Mostly positive reviews

3.9 of 5 stars

Tailgate Pads Reviews

1. Dakine Pickup Pad

There is no need to let your bike to beat your truck across the tailgate. This particular pad will ensure that it prevents that from happening. It is one which attaches easily to the tailgate of your truck. The material of construction strong nylon, measuring about 2cm of padding which is splash to ensure that, no scratches happen to your truck.

It has an access flap to ensure that, you will be able to access your tailgate easily without the need to remove the pad. It comes with 3 web cinch straps which ensure that the pad doesn’t move when you are in motion.

It comes with five loop straps and hooks to ensure that, the bike is able to stay in place across the pad’s top. For style and safety, the pad has the Dakine logo displayed on it. You will have two sizes to choose from: a small one which is measuring 54 inches and comes with 5 loops; and a larger one measuring 62 inches and which comes with 7 loops.


1. It has separate frame straps which are anchored

2. It has individual bike straps which are anchored

3. It provides protection for the tailgate which is padded

4. It is available in small and large sizes

5. For style and safety, it has a reflective logo


1. The security system of the strap is ungainly

2. Evoc Tailgate Pad

This is a tailgate pad which combines protection from damage of the tailgate and bike fixation security. It is made from durable 600 denier weight with polyethylene which ensures that it is resistant to weather so that, no corrosion happens to it whenever it is exposed to harsh weather while you are on the trail.

It has separation blocks and molded foam straps to ensure that at no given time are your bikes touching each other. It will be easy for you to be able to access your tailgate while your pad is in place due to the presence of a tailgate release handle.

It has a fold away flap for the rear camera. It is a pad which weighs 2300 gms for the one which is large and for the small one, it weighs 1850g.  It is constructed from high-quality P600 coated tarpaulin. It is available in olive/black, white/black, and black/olive colors.


1. It is available in different colors

2. It is available in two sizes to choose from

3. It is great for shuttling bikes

4. It has a bike attaching system which is unique

5. It has release handle which makes easy access to the tailgate


1. The company logo on the pad is big

3. Raceface Tailgate Pad

Due to the fact that it is available in two sizes, there are high chances that you will get one which will be able to fit your vehicle. The larger size measures up to 62 inches and it is meant for big trucks while the smaller size is meant for small to medium-sized trucks.

Though it is not one of the cheapest here on my list, especially if you happen to be on a tight budget, the tailgate will be protected well due to the presence of an inner lining.

It comes with square pads which are raised to ensure that, you get a design which is more secure while at the same time, your bike will be protected from damage due to the fact that, the forks of the bike will be held in place.

If your tailgate is thick, then this might not be a quality product for it. But if you find out that it is able to fit your tailgate well, then rest assured that, your bike will be secured up to where you are heading to without a scratch on it or on your truck.


1. The tailgate is protected by an inner lining

2. Available in two sizes to choose from

3. The frames are backed with a Velcro webbing strap and a loop system

4. The extra security provided by raised square pads

5. It is constructed using durable materials


1. It is expensive

4. Demon Tailgate Pad For Mountain Bikes

Using this particular pad might be the simplest way of moving around with your bikes. If you have a full sized pickup, get the larger size, which measures 62 inches wide. But if your truck is small, then you will need to go for the smaller size which is 54 inches wide.

It is a pad constructed from the foam of about ¾ inches with a cover made from vinyl that is a heavy duty on the outside. This ensures that your bike and truck are protected as you shuttle on your trail.

With this particular pad, it is easy for you to access your tailgate with the pad in place due to the fact that it comes with a handle flap. The pad will be able to get secured in place by using web cinch straps that have a reflective demon united logo for a cool appearance. For the bike to remain well spaced, secure and rubber free there are Velcro frame straps which are anchored.


1. Available in various sizes

2. A vinyl cover that strong to protect the truck and the bike

3. Velcro frame straps to keep your bike well spaced, rub free, and secure

4. Tailgate handle access flap ensures easy access to the tailgate

5. The reflective logo looks attractive


1. Doesn’t fit on a variety of trucks

5. Thule Gate Mate Tailgate Pad

It is a model which is less expensive on the market and thus if you really need a pad and you are on a tight budget, you can consider purchasing it. It will do for you the simple task of ensuring that, the bike is separated from your tailgate. Nd I that is why you require a pad, then get this one without the need to spend a lot of money.

The outside of this pad is coated with vinyl which strong to provide durability and elements protection. Its side is lined with fleece to ensure that, abrasion of your tailgate paint is prevented.

There are knock blocks which are integrated and molded in this particular pad ends to prevent the sliding of the bike into the truck’s side and in the process, getting damaged.

You should be aware though that, this pad doesn’t have straps to ensure that your bike is secured in place. The long straps on the pad will not be able to prevent side to side movement of your bike. If you are going to drive on a straight and smooth road in a way which is conservative, then this might not be an issue and you can use the pad anyway.

It uses long webbing ladder straps and buckles lock to be able to attach to the tailgate and it works just fine. When it comes to attaching and removing the pad, it will take you a lot of time to do so.


1. It will separate your bikes

2. It is affordable

3. It is durable

4. Prevention of abrasion due to the presence of fleece

5. The bike doesn’t slide due to the availability of molded foam blocks


1. Poor design

6. Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad For Trucks

This is a pad which is full of great features that might just make you decide that it is the one you are looking for. I had the pleasure of being given by my friend as an anniversary gift and I love it.

It has an integrated cradle which adds protection and stability to my bike. Its tuck away hind cover opens up to ensure that being able to view my backup camera clearly. The closure system is easy, especially on my carbon bike frames and other painted surfaces.

The outer materials are constructed from rugged nylon which ensures that the pad helps in resisting abrasion and other harsh weather elements. When on the way up the mountain, this pad is secure and tight, ensuring that my bike remains in place.

Whether your bike frame is small or large, you have an option of choosing between the medium size which measures 53  by 17 by 5 inches while the larger size measures 62 by 20 by 7 inches.

The large size has a capacity of holding up to 6 bikes and it will fit most of the full-size trucks. The medium size has a bike capacity of 5 and is able to fit midsize trucks plus other full-size trucks of the older models.


1. Strong to resist harsh weather conditions

2. Available in large and medium sized

3. Has strong straps to keep it in place

4. It protects the painted surfaces of the bike and truck

5. Easy to access the rear back up camera


1. It requires better stitching

7. Thule Tailgate pad

If you are planning to go out surfing with family and friends, then carrying your surfboard can be made easy by buying this particular pad for the tailgate. It is easy to install to your truck bed for safe and convenient transport of your paddle boards and surfboards.

Its construction is made from no fade fabrics which are UV resistant to ensure that, you are able to enjoy its durability for a long period of time. Its strap system is sewn in to ensure that the pad is secured to the tailgate. This makes it provide convenient transportation of your boards.


1. It is a tailgate pad that is easy to install

2. No fade UV fabrics resistant makes it be durable

3. It is a great rack pad to transport surfboards and SUPs

4. It will hold your board firmly

5. It is easy to use due to built-in straps


1. It is not good if your SUPs are wider

8. Zydek Bike Rack Pad

If you are looking for an easy way to transport your bike, then you might have an option of purchasing this particular pad. It is the best way to go for easy and fast loading. All you have to do is to place it on your tailgate back, tighten the straps and you will be ready for a ride with your bikes.

They are available in two sizes which will definitely fit in the tailgate of your truck as they are built for full size and mid-size trucks. It is constructed from nylon materials which are strong and durable, which will protect your bike and truck from elements.

It comes with 3 simple straps which you will be able to use to tie around your tailgate. The inner lining is soft which will leave your tailgate and bike free from scratches. On the outer rim, there is foam which ensures that the bike doesn’t slide far away.

Another great feature of this pad is the access flap which will enable you to easily get into your tailgate and open on the back of your truck without having to remove the pad.


1. Easy to load

2. Scratch free to your truck and bike

3. It is made from durable nylon material

4. It comes with 3 straps

5. It has an access flap to make accessing the back of your tailgate easy


1. Doesn’t come with clips or restraints for holding the bike

9. Surf To Summit Tailgate Pad

If you are planning to carry several bikes or surfboards, then this might be the ultimate protection to your truck. Its construction is made from the webbing of industrial grade and 600 denier fabric which strong to ensure that, it is strong.

If this is your tailpad of choice, it might be in a position to protect your surfboard, bike, and truck from dents and scratches. It will be easy to open your tailgate as there are the EZ access flaps. It also comes with two zipper pockets for storage that you can utilize to store tools and accessories. It is available in two sizes with the largest measuring 60 inches while the smallest measures 55 inches.


1. Available in large and small sizes

2. It has a soft felt on its underside

3. Heavy-duty webbing to ensure that the pad is securely attached

4. Strap anchors make it have secure down points for surfboards and bikes

5. Easy access flap makes access to the tailgate easy


1. It is expensive

Best truck tailgate pad for bike and surfboard

What Is A Tailgate Pad and Is It Necessary?

Just like the name suggests, a tailgate pad is a large rectangular pad which is made from stiff foam which folds over, cover and attaches to your truck’s tailgate. When you use it, it creates a barrier between your truck and your bike and thus, no direct contact between the two and in the process, no damage is done. This could be very important especially if you concerned about the appearance, paint or the resale value of either your bike or truck.

Tailgates tend to be useful if you are a person who likes shuttling with your bike, as it is easy and quick to hang several bikes over a pickup’s tailgate when you are on the move. They also are great for day to day transport around town for long distance or just from tail heads.

Consider Before Buying A Tailgate Pad

1. Features

Features for most of the pads that I have reviewed tend to be basically the same. There were however great differences which made some of the pads to stand out from the rest regarding their user-friendliness and features.

2. Attachment

There are several nylon webbing straps which ensures that your pad is attached to your truck. Most of the pads in the market use standard plastic ladder-lock buckle to be able to secure in place after cinching down the web.

This type of system of ensuring that the pads are attached in place though cumbersome works well to thread the webbing under your tailgate. After it is done, there will be plenty of webbing left in your truck bed. Get a pad which has hooks which are easy to use when you are placing the pad on or removing it. This will save you quality time during the process.

3. Durability/Materials

There are various materials and fabrics which different manufacturers use when they are designing tailgate pads and it might be hard for you to determine which one is good for you among the many in the market. Nylon and polyester could be among the choices which are resilient, which are available in the market. ensure that you check out the seams due to the fact that, they are the ones which easily breaks down, ruining the whole product.

4. Bike Securing Straps

The straps are the ones which prevent the bike from moving all over in the tailgate. This will prevent bikes from being able to flop around when you are on a rough road or unwanted contact between your bikes.

Get a pad which has straps which are also secured to the pad’s webbing with an additional velcro tab. It is a feature which will prevent the straps from becoming loose even if you happen to leave them not velcroed in a loop.

5. Size And Shape

Getting the right size and shape of a tailgate pad should be top of mind for you.  This is due to the fact that you have to get something which will be able to fit in your vehicle in a perfect way so that, you will be able to set it perfectly and correctly.

The shape of the pad is also something which is very important due to the fact that you don’t have to buy a pad which will end up impossible to carry your surfboard or bike in. You have to know what you will be using the pad for before you decide which one is right for you.

The good news is that manufacturers specify the brand which they have manufactured and you will have an opportunity to take the measurements of what you want to use it for before matching it with the size of your choice of the pad.

6. Additional Padding

There are models which come with additional separation pads and molded foam bumpers. This pads or bumpers tend to be a little taller and thus, create a certain groove which the frames of the bike can be able to rest in and thus, the bike will be less likely to move in the tailgate.

7. Usability And Comfort

The tailgate pad that you select needs to be easy to use and comfortable. It has to be easy to install and not consume a lot of your time when you are using it. You can be able to tell if your product is so by going through the reviews of those who have already used it before.

8. Tailgate Handle Flap

If you would ever want to open your truck tailgate while the pad is in place, it is important that there is access to the handle of the tailgate. Get a model which has a flap that provides access. Though the handle flap looks simple in the whole equation of a tailgate pad, they vary in location, size, and ease of use.


Although the above tailgate pads might seem to be similar, there are a lot of differences which set the 9 tailgates that I have been able to review different from one another. You have an option of choosing the one that you think will work well with your truck, according to your specific needs. I think that compatibility and durability are the two important features which you will need to consider when you are selecting the best tailgate pads for surfboards and bikes. If you do so, then it will be able to give you service for a longer period of time and thus, be a good value for your hard earned cash.

Read more: 

  1. 9 Best Truck Bed Bike Rack Reviews
  2. Best Truck Tailgate Lock – Buyer Guide and Reviews

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