Thule Tailgate Pad Bike Rack Review | GateMate Pro Truck Bed

Published by Bike Scientist on

Tailgate pads are the simplest bike racks accommodating multiple bikes. Thule tailgate pad comes with its perks and drawbacks. Thule has been designing products to make the lives of outdoor enthusiasts easier. Thule GateMate Pro is a tailgate pad that can be easily installed on the tailgate of your truck.

If you are wondering whether you should purchase this tailgate pad, you should read till the end of this article to get to know about the various features of this tailgate pad. Also, with our rating system (R score) you will be capable of comparing the capacity, compatibility, security, and other factors with other tailgate pads.

Gatemate Pro falls in our top 5 for the best bike rack for truck bed list.

Thule Tailgate Pad Bike Rack
Thule Tailgate Pad Bike Rack

Thule GateMate Pro Summary


  • Hitch-less
  • Can accommodate up to 7 bikes
  • Easy installation
  • Saves the tailgate paint
  • Compatible with most truck tailgates
  • Waterproof
  • Opening to access the back camera and handle of the tailgate
  • Economical in terms of price per bike


  • No security
  • Might have to remove the batteries of e-bikes
  • Bikes might move a bit

Rack score

Rack score (R score) is a rating system that we have designed for your convenience. The thought behind this scoring mechanism was to save the time of bike rack buyers and help them make an informed decision. We rate different aspects of bike racks such as their features, aesthetics, security, capacity, customer satisfaction, the value of money, etc. on a scale of 10. Afterward, we give the bike rack an overall score.

The brand value of Thule

Thule has a prominent name in the bike racks industry. It was established in Sweden in 1942 and has been working for more than 75 years to find solutions for outdoor enthusiasts. It always comes with well-thought, handy, high-quality, safe, and eco-friendly products. Due to this, we give it an R score of 9 for brand value.

Features of Thule Tailgate Pad

The Thule GateMate Pro comes in two sizes or versions. The 823PRO is the smaller version that has a length of 52 inches, 15.5 inches in height, and 2.75 inches in width. Whereas, the larger version, 824PRO is 59 inches long, 2.75 inches wide, and 16 inches high. You can check the dimensions of your tailgate and buy accordingly.

The rack can be effortlessly installed on the tailgate with the help of straps. It is a strap-mount bike rack that has 7-position strap anchors. The padding can be adjusted on many types of tailgates.

Gatemate pro

Another useful feature is the opening that allows access to the tailgate handle and back camera view. It works on most trucks except for a few such as the 2019 Nissan NP300 Frontier.

The good thing about this bike rack is that there is no need for additional tools to install the bike rack or to attach the bikes. It does not even require a hitch receiver. The bikes can be held in the straps without the need to remove the front wheel. These straps can be adjusted for large-frame bikes.

This Thule Tailgate Pad vinyl padding prevents any damage or scratches on the bike or tailgate of your truck. It can also be used with a tonneau cover depending on the style of the cover. These features earn it an R score of 8.

Does Thule GateMate Pro look good on the truck?

The pad weighs only 6.5 pounds and has a very soft inner lining like fleece. But the upper side is made of vinyl and is waterproof. This truck bike rack looks better than other bike racks because it just falls down the tailgate and looks quite effective. Its black color also gives it an elegant look.

Just make sure that you clean the pad and surface of the tailgate before strapping it down. This can be done as a precaution because no matter how soft the tailgate material is, it can still scratch the paint off if there are dust particles. For aesthetics, we give it an R score of 8.

Value for money

The Thule Tailgate Pad weighs around $170. This is a good price if we consider the price per single bike. If you have multiple bikes then it might be the most cost-effective bike rack option. But if you want to carry one or two bikes only, then you can consider other options. This bike rack has a high value for money and gets an R score of 9 out of 10.

Security of Thule GateMate Pro

One downside of using this rack is that there is no in-built locking system for the rack or bikes. Although the mesh pockets hold the gear securely, not enough to save it from theft.

To make it work you can use your locks to secure the bikes and Tailgate Pad to the truck bed. With this, we give it an R score of 6 for security. 

Customer satisfaction

Out of 213 global ratings, users of the GateMate Pro have given 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon. Around 87% of the ratings are either 5 stars or 4 stars. We give it an R score of 8 for customer satisfaction. 

Capacity and Compatibility

The Thule GateMate Pro can hold a maximum of 7 bikes at once. It is compatible with most pick trucks. The best thing about this bike rack is that it fits numerous truck models, even the ones with curved tailgates such as the 2019 Ram 1500. There are only a few trucks that are not compatible such as the 2021 Ford Ranger. Below are a few vehicles that are compatible with the Thule Tailgate Pad.

  • 2006 Tundra
  • 2016 Tundra (824PRO)
  • 2018 Tundra
  • 2017 Ram 1500 Crew Cab
  • 2018 Silverado (824PRO)
  • 2022 Ford F-250 (824PRO)
  • 2018 Ford F150 (824PRO)
  • Jeep gladiator (823PRO)
  • 2020 Tacoma (823PRO)
  • 2004 Dodge Ram (824PRO)
  • 2015 Dodge Ram (824PRO)
  • Honda Ridgeline 2004-2016 models (823PRO)
  • Nissan Frontier NP300 2019 (823PRO)
  • 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 (824PRO)

Apart from the tailgates, the Thule Tailgate Pad is also compatible with many bike types such as children’s bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, and e-bikes. Although for e-bikes, it is recommended that you remove the batteries before you strap down the bike.  For capacity, the R score is 9. 

Comparison between Thule, Yakima, Fox, and Demon tailgate pad

Below is a brief comparison between the Thule GateMate Pro and the tailgate pads from Yakima, Fox, and Demon. Because they have many common features, you can buy the one that fits your tailgate and is affordable for you. 

 Thule tailgate padYakima tailgate padFox tailgate padDemon tailgate pad
MaterialVinylNylon PolyesterVinyl
SizeSmall, LargeSmall, LargeSmall, LargeSmall, Large
DimensionsL 59 x W 2.75 x H 16 L 53.25 x W 5.25 x H 17.25 inL 16 x W 54 x H 33.5 Small: W 54
large: W 62 in
Weight6.5 lb8.15 lbAround 2.5 lbAround 3.7 lb
Capacity7 bikes5-6 bikes5-67 bikes
PriceAround $170Around $160-200Around $100-140Around $110


The overall R score of the Thule GateMate Pro is 8.2. This makes it stand out among the various bike racks. It will be the most cost-effective if you travel with family or friends on multiple bikes. But make sure you have devised a locking system otherwise you won’t be able to leave your truck unattended for long.

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Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.