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Thule GateMate Pro Tailgate Pad and Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Thule GateMate Pro Tailgate Pad and Bike Rack

Today, we're gonna be taking a look at the Thule GateMate Tailgate Pad. It's available for full size trucks with part number TH 824 PRO and compact trucks with part number TH 823 PRO. If you're looking for a truck and bike rack, go with the Thule GateMate Tailgate Pad. It lets you transport up to eight bikes in your truck bed. It's a large padded cover that straps around your tailgate and secures your bikes in the upright position with hook and loop fasteners.Here on top and towards the inside, it features some raised reinforced padding. This is what's gonna prevent our bikes from sliding along the top here and it's gonna prevent them from making contact when we're on the road.

Here you can see how the hook and loop strap is connected to our pad. It's adjustable along the top strap, so it's gonna work with a variety of bikes. Here you can see how it actually connects around our down tube. Goes around and connects back to itself.While it may be more suitable for mountain bikes, it will work with road bikes. Those frames tend to be a bit more fragile, so just be aware.

Not only is it gonna be great for carrying bikes, but it's gonna be great for carrying other things, such as your paddle boards, kayaks or any other elongated items that might stick out over your tailgate that you don't wanna get damaged. If you carry any of these things, I do recommend tying them down with a strap.I've gone ahead and removed the gears, so we can take a look at some more features. Unlike other tailgate pads, the one thing that's unique to this one, is that it has a large panel that folds down. It connects to a hook and loop fastener underneath. To make sure it remains down, not only does it reveal the handle for our tailgate, but for this particular truck, it allows us to still use our back up camera.Here on the inside of our truck bed, the pad features two large mesh storage pockets.

The flap on top is held down by hook and loop fasteners. These pockets are gonna be great for things like, extra bike tubes, bike pumps, gloves, biking shorts. Anything you can fit into them. Here at the bottom, you can see the three straps that come in under in a rounder tailgate, that hold it in place. Now, I'll show you how to get it installed.I've got my GateMate laid out on my truck bed.

Let's go ahead and take a closer look at it. I'd like to point out that the entire thing is padded, so we don't have to worry about it harming or scratching our gear or our tailgate. Here underneath, we've got a soft fabric covering our pads. This is what's gonna be coming in contact with our tail gate. So with it being soft, we don't have to worry about it harming or scratching that finish on our truck.Over time, I recommend keeping this clean, that way nothing gets stuck underneath and causes any harm. To get it installed, the easiest way I found was to go ahead and have your tailgate closed and then just drape it over the tailgate. Now, you'll wanna make sure that it's right where it needs to be, so I would recommend checking the large panel here and make sure it's centered. And make sure that you can easily open your tailgate and close it.From here, we can run our straps. Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. What I like to do, is pop the tailgate just a little bit, grab that strap. You'll wanna feed it underneath, up into your truck bed. Once you've got fed up underneath, you can either get a second set of hands to help you pull it through, or you can reach down and grab it yourself. You can do each strap individually. What we'll do is we'll run it through the buckle. And then back down through and we'll leave it loosely installed for now. We'll repeat the same process with the other two straps.Once I've got all the straps loosely installed, I'm gonna go ahead and lay it down all the way and start tightening it up. Just get it nice and secure. Make sure it remains in place, where I want it. Now, I'm gonna raise it up and then hop inside the truck bed and tighten it down the rest of the way. I like to grab the strap and then just take my palm and then push down on it. And I'll just work my way around. From here, we can just bundle up our excess and put it within the keeper here.Here on the outside, with it installed, you can see it's nice and tight. It's not going anywhere. We can go ahead and pull up our flap to cover up our handle and we'll get ready to install our bike. You want to pull up, the hook and loop strap; go ahead and undo it. Leave it open and we'll set our bike in place. I'll lift it up over my tailgate. I wanna be sure that our pedals are out of the way. We're going to rest it in place and angle my front tire. Then I'll take my strap, run it over my down tube, then back through to itself.As you can see, our fork is resting up against our pad instead of our tailgate, preventing any damage. It's important to note that the pad, over time, may cause some abrasions or wear and tear to your fork or the underside of the down tube. With one bike installed and secured, we can go ahead and repeat the same process with the other bikes.And that's gonna complete our look at the Thule GateMate Tailgate Pad.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Michael W.
How do you secure the Pad to the truck bed?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

There are 3 straps that keep it attached to your tailgate. If you're talking about adding a lock this doesn't come with provisions for a lock. The best I can think of is running a cable lock like part # e98891 through the fixed straps that sit on top of your tailgate and then running the cable lock through a tie-down point in your truck bed.

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