Mountain Hatch Tailgate Panel Review

Blue Mountain Hatch Tailgate Panel On White 3rd Gen Tacoma

Flat, Plastic Replacement That’s Safe For Food Preparation

The factory tailgate that comes with your Taco is not the friendliest or most useful piece of equipment.

It hurts your knees and you can’t even rest a drink or backpacking stove on it. Don’t you wish someone made a replacement piece that you didn’t even know you needed? Well here it is, the Mountain Hatch tailgate insert!

When it comes to tailgating and overlanding, the factory tailgate could be so much more useful. When I was searching the web and forums just like every other Taco owner looking for their first mod, I came across the Mountain Hatch tailgate insert and cutting board. Such a simple concept that I had to have. So, I bought it during a sale and was excited for it to arrive.

When I opened the box, I could tell that this was a quality item and it also included a sticker and some starburst candy. A very nice touch if I may say so.

Find It Online

Cutting/Cooking Board & Cup Holders

Mountain Hatch Review

Mountain Hatch makes their cutting boards and insets from 100% food-safe materials – designed by off-roading/ outdoor enthusiasts

I have used mine to prep camping meals and also for tailgating while at a game. It has two cup holders that can accommodate cans, bottles and even my Nalgene bottle. I wouldn’t rest a hot pan directly on the surface but I have used my camping stove and Jetboil without any issues. I ordered mine in blue to add some character to my truck. They are available in a multitude of colors to tickle your fancy.

They even offer a two-tone version. Did I mention these are MADE in THE USA!? It is also available for other vehicles such as the Nissan Frontier and the Jeep Gladiator to name a few.

Don’t worry, they didn’t forget about you guys and gals that don’t drive Tacoma’s.

Easy DIY Project

How To Install Mountain Hatch Panel

The install was straight forward and probably took me about five minutes.

All you need is a T-30 Torx bit to remove the factory screws. Once the screws are out simply removed your OEM insert and then swap it with your new insert.

I found it to be much easier to start the screws by hand to make sure it is lined up. Once the screws are in, all it takes is a few twists of the wrist and your first mod is complete. If you are more of a visual learner, here’s a video on the install process:

Install Video

Overall Impressions

Food Safe Plastic Tailgate Panel Replacment

I have had mine for a few months now and I love it.

I use it all the time and get compliments on how useful it is. The color really pops and makes it easy to see what you’re doing.  I’ve also used it to clean my rifle and the bright color allows me to keep track of parts. I use the cutouts for the cup holders to hold smaller parts such as springs and firing pins.

The surface is easy to clean with a bit of soap and water. I also keep sanitizing wipes in my truck so that I can wipe the hatch down before and after using it. This will prevent any cross-contamination which can cause you to become ill. That’s the last thing you want while out in the backcountry or on the trail away from civilization.

Off-Road Durability

Using knives and dropping hard items on the hatch will cause damage.

Depending on how often and what you use the board for it will show signs of wear and tear. Mine has a few marks from cutting food and dings from dropping my rifle on it. This is to be expected if you actually use it.

Side note: The surface of the hatch is smooth so it does become “slippery when wet”! So be cautious when stepping on the tailgate when it’s wet. That’s the only con I have found so far. I mean what do you expect?! I don’t find it to be an issue since I wipe it down before every use.

Final Thoughts

The customer service is awesome and they also have sales on certain colors. They also provide discounts for FIRST RESPONDERS MILITARY/VETS TEACHERS & NURSES. If you are in the market for a piece of kit that you will use and want to give your truck some character, check them out at

You can also check them out on IG: @mountain_hatch.  Prices vary depending on color and vehicle. The one I purchased was $229 at the time. Prices do vary so give them a look-see.

You won’t regret buying one!

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