SENSUS BACHELOR PAD V2 REVIEW
Review by Sourpatch | Photos by Dusten Ryen
Not too long ago, Chili-dog received the first version of Sensus’s Bachelor Pad and laid claim that it was the best pad that ever dawned his tailgate. I would be lying if I said I was not jealous – I wanted the Bachelor Pad for myself with all that ranting and raving. After two long years, I’ve finally gotten a Bachelor Pad for Clifford (my GMC Sierra pickup), and it’s a new version to boot. Tailgate Pads have all gotten significantly better in the last couple years, so does the updated Bachelor Pad V2 still take the crown as being the best or has it been dethroned?
The Sensus Bachelor Pad is in its second iteration, and with that come a few changes to cater to modern tailgate designs. The overall design, construction and materials used remain much the same. The Bachelor Pad V2 continues to use a UV resistant PVC coated canvas material to fight against fading in the summer sun and fend off abrasion. Meanwhile, the interior of the pad uses a soft microfiber liner to protect the paint from dust scratches. Double layered foam still covers the upper portion of the tailgate pad aiding in downtube protection, along with padded bumpers at each side of the pad to prevent bikes from sliding into the side of the bed. Sensus also kept the “Backup Buddy” flap which is designed to accommodate most modern tailgate handles and cameras. This triangular flap is held open and closed by a single magnet. One of the most unique features Sensus employ on the Bachelor Pad, is their Quick Fit clips on the anchor straps.
Here’s where things get different from the previous version. The Bachelor Pad V2 gets a 2” increase in overall width to 61” which fills almost the entirety of most full-size tailgates. The number of anchor straps has been increased from three to four straps, all equipped with Quick Clips. Unfortunately, Sensus ditched the flap that was found on V1 that doubled as a seat back and is also where the downtube straps were located. As a result, the Bachelor Pad V2 has zero downtube straps leaving no way to secure your bikes. Sensus got rid of this flap to make room for their modular seat and accessories, which have yet to be released.
Out of the box, the Bachelor Pad V2 is a good-looking tailgate pad. The canvas outer shell feels and looks much nicer than the tarpaulin fabric used by most other tailgate pads on the market today. After four months of baking under the sun, the main body still retains a clean black finish, the trim on the other hand is a different story and has begun to fade with time.
Installing the Bachelor Pad V2 on Clifford was an arduous task to do solo, due to the thick foam top and unique “Quick Fit” clip set-up. The four Velcro straps used to secure the pad are as thick as they are wide, offering plenty of surface area to really pull the straps tight to the tailgate. I found it a bit tedious to get all parts lined up to get a snug fit on the tailgate. With the quick clips in line on the tailgate with the straps, the refinement process began. I must have adjusted the straps with each clip 4 or 5 times while also having to adjust the location of the pad itself. Just when I thought I had it right, I went to close the tailgate and no dice. The pad was too low on the interior of the bed preventing the tailgate from closing, so back again for another adjustment. All-in-all, it probably took about 10 minutes to get the pad on just right, which is a bit longer than some other pads we’ve setup. The Sensus Bachelor Pad V2 will work fine on any vehicle with a normal-shaped tailgate (flat – slight bulge design), but you newer Dodge (and maybe some Ford) guys will need to look elsewhere.
With the install out of the way, how well does the pad transport bikes and what’s the durability like? The pad itself is robust and has thus far withstood quite a bit of abuse, the coated canvas material welcomes it with open arms. I have just over 3,000 miles of hauling both analog and eBikes and it’s held up just fine. We have also run it over with dirt bikes and made some Home Depot runs and there’s no tears, scratches, or any sort of damage to date. When it comes to driving around with bikes loaded up, that’s where some issues start to arise. The Sensus Bachelor Pad V2 has no way of securing the bikes to the pad, instead it relies on the downtube and fork “pinch” on the pad. This is particularly an issue for those with analog bikes (especially if you like to hot rod). Take a corner too fast or drive through a canyon to the trail and the bikes will slide from side-to-side, and when trucking it on the highway with a bed full of bikes you have that lack of physical attachment in the back of your mind. I would loosen and rotate the handlebars to be parallel with the top tubes to prevent any unnecessary bike-on-bike crime when we’d load more than four bikes in the back. The sliding issue is less prevalent with the heavier bikes that get loaded up, and even less so with eBikes. The larger, flatter downtube and extra weight help to keep things secure, making it a decent pad if you are only hauling eBikes around.
The Wolf’s Last Word
I am at a crossroads when it comes to Sensus’s Bachelor Pad V2. It breaks the number one requirement I have when it comes to tailgate pads, to have downtube straps. You would think that that would make it a deal breaker from the start, but I, for some odd reason, like it this way. It is kind of nice to be able to just chuck the bikes in the back for a quick rip up to the local trail networks without having to mess around or line anything it. Then factor in the price of fuel, and driving conservatively isn’t a second thought, so worrying about the bikes sliding around is null and void.
Moving on from my moral dilemma, the overall length of the pad is awesome, the microfiber lining is a must have, the large stash pockets are a great addition, and the thick foam pad is ideal for hauling eBikes. I don’t particularly like the Quick Fit clips because they add an annoying step to the initial install, but I can see where those who take their tailgate pads on and off frequently would like them, and for that they do a great job once set up. The promise of added modularity to the Bachelor Pad V2 is enticing, but there’s no sign of these add-ons to date. The Bachelor Pad V2 may not take the top spot as an overall favorite, but it would be my pick on the days where we just want to take a quick trip to some of the local networks (or to Mt. Bachelor)that are minutes away.