What is it
It used to be that Dakine was the only name in tailgate pads. After years of dominating the bro truck market, competitors like RaceFace, EVOC, and Fox flocked to the scene. Many brands went the easy route and churned out copycat products, while others tried to differentiate themselves with features like raised bumpers or Velcro straps.
These improvements made a big difference in overall performance, but in recent years, innovation has tapered off. That’s not really surprising; tailgate pads are simple products. We are talking about an item that performs the same task as a moving blanket and some bungee cords.
Recently, a startup out of Colorado surprised us with their new SwitchBack Tailgate Pad. What sets their product apart is that it features an integrated backrest that deploys seamlessly. This innovation isn’t going to save any lives, but it’s a neat party trick.
- Highly padded
- Backrest for relaxing
- Huge logo
- Lots of straps to mess with
- No Velcro straps/bumper blocks to hold bikes in place
The tailgate cover is made from a PVC coated Nylon that is UV resistant. The inside portion that rests against your truck’s paint is a soft fleece material that won’t cause scratches. It’s currently only available in a small/mid-sized 54” version, which easily mounted up to our Tacoma.
The top of the pad doesn’t feature Velcro straps of bump blocks to hold individual bikes in place, so loading takes a little more work to prevent sliding around. There is a long daisy chain so you can bungee things down for bumpy roads or long trips, but it’s not our preferred solution.
The real standout feature is the seat. And it works. The whole thing deploys seamlessly in just a few seconds. The concept may seem silly, but it’s actually really nice to have a backrest while post ride chilling. Our only complaint is that the seat component introduces a whole new array of straps and buckles. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to get them caught when closing your tailgate.
Overall, the SwitchBack Tailgate pad is an impressive first effort. There are some small things that could use improvement (like the gigantic logo across the back), but the core functionality is there. If you’re interested in standing out from the crowd, this tailgate pad is worth a look.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
More Info: www.switchbackpads.com