Cache Basecamp System
Modular Tailgate Pad
Words & Photos by Sourpatch
Cache is a relatively new company based out of Salt Lake City, Utah and is the brainchild of Dillon and Tyler Green, and their late father Jeff Green. At the moment Cache only makes this single product (and the accessories for it), however, they designed that product to fill a void in the tailgate pad market. After hearing the same few complaints about tailgate pads Dillon decided he could create a product that would step up the game. After a couple of years in development, the pad finally became a reality and made landfall in 2019.
Earlier this year, I got the urge to replace my tried and true Dakine tailgate pad as it was showing its age (3 years) and looking a bit rough. I wasn’t sure what pad I wanted, then comes a forwarded email from Drew about the opportunity to test Cache’s Basecamp System. I had no idea who they were, but the feature-packed pad captured my attention.
The Basecamp System is comprised of four parts: the Basecamp Tailgate Pad, Two Lounger Chairs and the Jeffrey Cooler. Each item can be bought separately should the $300 price tag be to steep, but it does offer the biggest savings, about $65, to buy the complete system. The Basecamp System is meant to be a truck accessory instead of just a one-use product.
The Basecamp Pad is the first modular tailgate pad on the market to-date. It is constructed out of PVC and PU coated Nylon along with XPE weather-resistant foam. The payload strap and patented Molle webbing in the interior of the pad are high-density nylon webbing. The hooks are made from a glass reinforced plastic, making them resistant to both the cold and the heat. Last but not least, is the theft deterrent, a wire-beaded cable that is attached to a carabiner with combo lock. Dillon was tired of hearing people complain about stolen pads at his former bike shop so he took matters into his own hands. The Basecamp Pad is 50-inches wide and 45-inches tall (can be shortened 3.25”). Cache has also incorporated a rather large opening on the pad for most vehicles back-up camera.
The Lounger Chairs were developed as an all-purpose, collapsible, go anywhere chair. The chairs have a weather-resistant exterior thanks to the PVC and PU coated nylon materials. There is a lightweight aluminum backing for durability and comfort. The Lounger chairs also have an exterior mesh pocket and a tote handle for easy transport. The chairs also use high-density nylon for the adjustable “limit straps” to keep the seat back at a comfortable angle. The Lounger also uses the same glass reinforced plastic hooks to mount the chairs to the Basecamp Pad.
Cache’s Jeffrey Cooler shares the same weather-resistant construction as the Lounger Chairs and can hold up to eighteen 12oz cans with ice. It also comes with a bottle opener, as any cooler should. The Jeffrey Cooler also sports two mesh pockets to be used for drink storage. A detachable messenger strap and tote handle make for easy carrying on just about any type of activity. The Jeffrey has a welded inner seam to ensure contents stay cold for up to 24 hours. We kept a bag of ice, which eventually melted, in the cooler for one week and it didn’t leak a drop. Impressive.
(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.
The Wolf’s Last Word
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)
Weather Resistant Construction
Looks Tiny on a Full Size
Five Bikes is a Stretch
Pay Load Strap
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