The addition on the 5 bike cradle closure straps, along with a few other neat upgrades, makes the Yakima Gatekeeper the current class leader when it comes to trail gate mounted bike pads.
We’ve had this pad fitted to the back of the [R]evo 4×4 since the start of Spring (5 months ago) with constant shuttle duties during that time and it hasn’t skipped a single beat. As you’d expect from a Yakima product the construction of the Gatekeeper is top notch.
Installing the pad takes about 2 minutes. You simplyplace it over the trail gate of your ute and it’s then secured in place via 3 thick straps which wrap under the bottom of the tailgate. Size wise the Gatekeeper will fit most utes on the Australian market. It even features a nifty integrated strap management system which further helps to keep the pad tight and prevents the straps from flapping around in the wind as you’re shuttling to the top of every hill in town. The pad is constructed using a burly nylon outer material to resist abrasion and weather damage and sun fade. The foam inside the Gatekeeper seems to be the perfect thickness and density to keep our precious bike frame held safe and securely in place without risking damage to the bikes or the tailgate of the ute itself. The underside of the pad, the part that sits up against the paint work, is made of an extra-soft felt like material which keeps everything nice and safe and scratch/rub free.
As you can probably guess from the 5 ‘cradles’ that are evenly spaced across the top of the pad, the Gatekeeper is designed to transport 5 bikes. Oh and for what its worth noting we haven’t found a size or style of bike, or wacky frame shape, that the pad hasn’t been able to hold/secure yet. From BMX’s to roadies, to MTB’s and e-MTBs, you’ll have no problem transporting your pride and joy in the back of your ute using the Yakima pad. Installing each bike (seems like a weird choice of words but I can’t think of anything else) is super easy. Simply pick the bike up, and with the front wheel hanging over the tailgate just rest the bottom edge of the bike’s downtube onto one of the padded cradles. And then using the Velcro closure system each bike is held securely in place without risk of damaging your frame. To remove each bike you just un-do the Velcro strap and lift the bike up and out of the tray.
“This will take you all of approximately 6 seconds per bike. Maybe 7 seconds if it’s a heavy e-Bike.”
What else? Oh yeah, in the middle of the pad you’ll notice a handy flap which you use to gain access to the open/close latch to operate your tailgate and it’ll also allow you to still use your reversing camera and sensors even when the pad is fitted. We really like this feature (because we’re lazy and don’t bother removing the pad when we’re not transporting bikes, so it’s cool that you can still have full function of all of those mod cons that the car is equipped with even when the pad is installed). For under two hundred bucks we think the new Yakima Gatekeeper is impossible to beat. A great design, super easy to use, and we even think our ute looks cooler with a big black tailgate pad installed.