CACHE BASECAMP PAD 2.0 REVIEW
The Multi-Purpose Tailgate Pad Built with Utility in Mind
Review by Sourpatch | Photos by Dusten Ryen
As a truck owning mountain biker, tailgate pads are a quintessential piece of gear. When Cache reached out for us to review their original tailgate system a few years ago, I was stoked as their pad looked like nothing else on the market. That stoke diminished a little bit when I saw how small the pad was on my full-size truck. As a result, I went a little over-critical on the review…for better or worse. Some of my (and other customers’) criticisms didn’t fall on deaf ears, and Cache hit the drawing board to make a number of improvements for the Basecamp 2.0. Instead of going for the revised Basecamp System, I opted for the standalone pad to keep things fair for our #TailgatePadTuesday mini series.
While the overall pad looks very similar to its predecessor, the Basecamp Pad 2.0 still received quite a few updates and improvements. The thermoform exterior of the pad has a grippier, almost rubber-like waterproof coating that encompasses the PU Nylon shell. The bumpers that face outward were also trimmed down a small amount compared to the original Basecamp pad. Cache parted with the original tie down strap that was subject to failure from breaking plastic g-hooks and replaced it with a new elastic strap that secures with heavy duty carabiners. The strap itself even doubles as a dog leash should you want to keep your four-legged friend nearby while tailgating. Cache went with a slightly larger tailgate handle access port this time round to play nicer with a wider variety of positions and added a removable cover for a cleaner look.
That covers some of the updates and improvements, there are plenty of carry overs as well. The biggest carryover is the continued “one size fits most” approach of the pad measuring in at 50”. The pad will fit almost all vehicles, with the exception of first gen Ford Rangers and pre-2016 Toyota Tacomas, and at 43” long should offer plenty of vertical coverage. Fastening the pad to the tailgate are 2 reverse-fed nylon straps which slide into a G-hook, in addition to a beefy anti-theft strap with a locking carabiner to keep it safe from theft. You can then use this to lock items directly to the Basecamp pad and rest assured they’re not going to be stolen. The interior of the pad continues to use a trusted, felt-like microfiber to provide plenty of paint protection.
Even though we opted to test the standalone Basecamp Pad 2.0, the pad still comes with the Molle webbing straps, in case you want to add the Lounger chairs and Jeffrey Cooler (or any other accessories that may come out) in the future. Cache fully stands by their products, and offers an unheard of, no questions asked 5-year warranty – impressive to say the least. At $230 for the pad alone, and $325 for the system, you would hope so though.
There is a lot to like about Cache’s latest pad, the Basecamp 2.0. Before we get to that, I have to address the size of the pad. At 50”, it is just too small for full-size vehicles, aesthetically anyways. That said, as Cache is a grassroots company, I understand why they kept with the one-size-fits-most design, as Tacoma’s are one of the most popular outdoors enthusiast vehicles. And after chatting with Tyler and Dillon (the mad scientists behind Cache) I’m not going to harp on them too much knowing what’s on the drafting table…all I can say is “Hurry Up!”
Installing the new Basecamp Pad 2.0 is not as quick as the original, or any other pad out there for that matter, as it requires a bit of patience. With the Thermoform construction, heat is your friend and will allow the pad to easily conform to your tailgate when you cinch it down. So, let it sit loose on the tailgate in the sun for a little while before you finalize the fit. One of my favorite features that Cache employs is their reverse-fed straps. Instead of the straps being sewn to the bottom of the pad and needing to be fed upwards, Cache straps are fed down from inside the bed and slide on to a G-hook on the outside of the bed. This makes the install and removal a breeze relatively, making life easy if you want to remove the pad while you wash your vehicle. While I’m personally not a fan of the anti-theft lock strap as a substitute for a standard strap, it does have merit in helping protect your tailgate pad investment.
The Cache Basecamp Pad 2.0 is rated at carrying 5 bikes and we were able to fit 5 on the pad…although the fit was extremely tight. We would recommend turning the bars in line with the top tubes and adding a little protection to the axle area of the frames to prevent any potential bike-on-bike violence. Bike contact won’t be as big of an issue for commuting on paved roads to the trail head. Off-road it’s more of a concern, as the tie down strap does not prevent the bikes from bouncing around. 4 bikes would be the maximum I personally would run. I do wish there was an option or accessory that would allow for each bike to be strapped down individually to help prevent unwanted bouncing and keep the violence to a minimum.
This Basecamp Pad 2.0 is meant for more than just hauling mountain bikes around. It is, in every way, a multi-purpose tailgate pad, capable of securing a number of different cargos. In addition to that, if a customer bought the system or bought the chairs and cooler separately, it is the ultimate set-up for tailgating.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Cache made a ton of great improvements on their Basecamp Pad 2.0, and for many it is going to be an excellent utilitarian tailgate pad. The construction of the pad and its features are second to none and it does meet their 5-bike capacity claim, albeit with the slight caveat of potential damage on rough terrain. There is very little I would change on this latest pad, the only thing I would like to see is a way to be able to strap bikes down individually to keep them from possibly making contact each other. The long tie-down works great for other types of cargo but leaves a little more to be desired with bikes. Obviously, as a full-size truck owner and a fan of full-coverage pads, the 50” width is a negative, but for others the narrow width may not be a deal breaker. I am looking forward to the day the XL offering makes its way off the drafting table…hopefully Cache won’t make us wait too long.
Price: $230 (Pad Only) / $325 (System)
Capacity: 5 Bikes
Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.
Unique, Durable Construction
Reverse Fed Straps
Some may like the Anti-theft Strap
Removeable Access Panel
One-Size-Fits-All Approach / 50” Width
Lack of Individual Bike Straps
XL Version still a ways away
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