(Ed. Note: We have this pad on a 2015 GMC Sierra 2500, which has a bulged lip tailgate. This design may be a big contributing factor in some of the negatives we have run into with the pad as Cache is a small, start up, they wanted to build one pad/mold that would work on as many trucks as possible, old and new, big and small.)
The install of the Basecamp pad is super simple and setting up the pin for the combo lock is very easy. The hooks on the Lounger chairs and Jeffrey cooler slid easily into the loops on the inside of the pad. I’ll be honest, I was not a fan of the pad when I first threw it on my truck. Mostly because it looks too small on my Sierra, I wish it was about six inches wider. That being said, I’ve had the Basecamp pad on my truck every day for the last three months now and the more I use it, the more it grows on me.
I was surprised with how planted the bikes stayed on the pad on one of the roughest, rutted out fire roads I had driven on. The incorporated tire chalks on the pad did a great job of keeping the bikes in place. I regularly tested the pad without using the payload strap and was still impressed with how well the bikes “stuck.” Speaking of the payload strap, not my favorite part of the pad. My biggest gripe stems from trying to fit the hook back through the loops on the pad, specifically the middle loops. The middle loop is taught from its location near the fold on the pad, making it difficult to thread the hook through. There are other loop options to choose from, but the middle loop offers the best angle in terms of tightening the strap. From a mountain bike only standpoint, the payload strap leaves a lot to be desired. However, the strap and pad weren’t made with just mountain bikers in mind, and looking at it from the aspect, I understand why Cache opted for this design.
The size of the pad allows for four 29er’s to fit comfortably, a fifth can fit if they are right on top of each other…and if you don’t mind a little tire rubbage on the tailgate. The only other issue I have run into, is that I still can’t use my backup camera. The opening on the pad just barely covers the lens. I can’t blame this on Cache though, this has more to do with GM and them placing the tailgate handle and camera much lower than many of the other pick-up options out there. Nevertheless, lots of people probably also drive newer GM trucks so it should be taken into account.
I had some worries that the accessories would fly out at higher speeds, but Dillon reassured me that with the tests they ran, the accessories would stay in place at all speed limits. After a few trips with 80mph speeds, my worries flew out the window and my accessories stayed in the bed. The Lounger chairs are comfortable and take all of three seconds to dial in. A quick pull on the seat back straps gets the desired angle set-up. The Jeffrey cooler does its job extremely well also. There have been a few times where I’ve opened the pack after 24 hours to a couple pieces of ice remaining. The accessories can withstand having the weight of a bike, however we found when trying to load five bikes onto the tailgate pad with we had to remove the cooler because it prevented the downtubes of the middle bikes from resting on the tailgate.
As a launch product from a brand new company, Cache has done one helluva job. The Basecamp pad has proven to be durable and hasn’t shown any signs of fading since its installation, however we do believe some adjustments could greatly improve it for Generation 2. It’s a quick install and easy set-up which we really like. Having the ability to have a comfortable place to chill after a ride (or any other activity) is also a super rad feature that is only found on one other pad so far, the Sensus Bachelor Pad we reviewed earlier this year. The Lounger chairs are a great add-on and the Jeffrey cooler performs very well with a leak-proof design. It will be interesting to see what future products Dillon and Tyler come up with, I know I would like to see a way to add Velcro downtube loops as they’d be much easier to use than the current strap.
I solely believe that most of the negatives I have with this pad, come from the compatibility with the GM tailgate itself. If the tailgate had a flat lip (or small rounded lip) like most of the vehicles Cache tested on, the features they have incorporated into the pad would function as designed. The payload strap would slide through the loops easily and the back-up camera would be unobstructed. The only thing a flat lipped tailgate would not fix, is how tiny the pad looks on full-size vehicles. If you want to see how the pad looks on wider range of vehicles, check out Cache’s Instagram page here.
Basecamp System – $299.99
Basecamp Pad Only – $219.99
Jeffrey Cooler + 2 Lounge Chair Bundle – $119.99*
*(Chairs and Cooler can also be purchased Individually)