Best Jeep Bumpers Reviews
Bumpers have been around since 1901when they were invented by Frederick Simms. Since then, bumpers have advanced with technology and has become an important part of the Jeeps. When you become a new Jeep owner, you are most likely overwhelmed by the numerous bumper options in the market. In this article, we will discuss some of the basic things when it comes to Jeep so that as you make your decision to settle for a particular bumper. It will help you make an informed decision when selecting the right bumper for your Jeep. Also, we will shed some light on some bumper brands and their specifications.
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What are bumpers anyway?
In case you are asking yourself what bumpers are, they are structures integrated or affixed to the front and rear or back ends of a vehicle. Bumpers radically reduce height mismatches among vehicles as well as absorbing collision impact. As a result, vehicle occupants are protected from injury in cases of collisions.
Jeeps will mostly come from their manufacturers with bumpers that serve this purpose. There are however a variety of aftermarket bumpers for a more customized function depending on what your jeep is used for. Also, the jeep may be excellent but the bumper design and sturdiness is not impressive.
Why Do You Need Jeep Bumpers
In addition, bumpers are the most defining parts of any Jeep Wrangler and protecting against damage, impact and injury during the collision. They can perform a variety of functions depending on the type of bumper that you choose for your Jeep. These functions can range from tire carriers, towing and cargo options at the back to stingers and winch mounts in the front. Stingers come in handy and help prevent end over end movement when coming down steep hills or rocky terrains. Jeep bumpers serve to increase safety in cases of collisions, hence low repair cost as well as giving your jeep a good aggressive appearance.
Wrangler bumpers come in different shapes and sizes. Depending on your needs specifications, you will find out that some designers are better suited than others. It is because they differ in their weight and material. For example, the standard factory Jeep bumper is an aluminum plate integrated with plastic end caps on the factory rails. This weighs approximately 27lbs. The rear or the back bumper is wholly plastic with some mounting metal plates and weighs 15lbs on average. Neither of these two bumpers can offer much regarding protection. Both are prone to damage with even the slightest impact, all the more reason to for you to change them.
Why Should You Change Your Jeep's Bumpers?
Compared to factory bumpers, aftermarket Wrangler bumpers are made of heavier steel hence more efficient. They are mostly made of heavy and flat pre gauged plates welded onto each other. Like the special edition Wranglers from the factory, these bumpers could come with a stamped design.
In other cases, aftermarket Jeep bumpers come in aluminum which is way effective at offering protection compared to light steel alternatives and factory bumpers. Aluminum bumpers are therefore a little more expensive than steel ones. The aluminum bumpers can be used with extreme terrain if dense enough. It is, however, important to note that lighter materials will help with your gas mileage.
Heavyweight vs lightweight Bumpers
Your Wrangler’s performance and fuel consumption come to play when bumpers are concerned. You should note that though lighter bumpers are terrible at off-roading, they increase your fuel mileage significantly. On the other hand, having heavier bumpers decreases your fuel mileage hence very high fuel consumption. Heavy bumpers are however the best for an off-road enthusiast.
Factors to Consider When Buying Bumpers for Your Wrangler
Purchasing bumpers for your Jeep are not something you just wake up one day and do. A lot goes into research to find the best bumpers to serve your need. You will need to consider several constant factors to settle for the bumper for your Jeep.
One of the primary determinants that will influence the type and quality of the bumper you choose is your budget. You can narrow down your search by filtering the products based on price range. You will be able to get the best products without having to strain your pocket.
Settling for a particular bumper material can challenging since we know the heavier the material, the better it is for offering protection. In as much as this is true, several other things need to inform your decision on the best material for your jumper. Firstly, how do you use your Wrangler? If you are more of an on-road person, then a very heavy bumper will just eat into your fuel. Though heavy bumper materials reduce your fuel mileage, they are good for Jeeps that are off-road more than on-road.
The bumper you choose for your Wrangler will affect your Jeep's fuel consumption either positively or negatively like we already discussed above. However, since the decision of the best Jeep bumper is affected by several other factors, you might find yourself having to overlook some factors at the expense of others. For example, heavy bumper like Aluminum ones will reduce your fuel mileage. You cannot, however, afford to forego the aluminum bumpers just to save up on fuel if you are an extreme terrain enthusiast.
How do you use your vehicle?
How you use your Wrangler is another factor that influences your decision on the best bumpers for your vehicle. An on-road driver will need different accessories compared to an off-road driver. Be sure to know how exactly how you plan to use your Wrangler to avoid buying things you might need to change after some time.
Different off-road angles during off-roading
If you are an off-road enthusiast, knowledge about these three off-road angles will greatly help your off-road experience at large as well as inform your Wrangler bumper choice.
This is the angle between the back wheel ground tire contacts, to the undercarriage at the middle of the wheelbase, to the line from the front wheel ground tire contact patch, to the midpoint of the wheelbase on the undercarriage. This angle shows the sharpest arch you can drive over.
This angle indicates the steepest slope or slant you start at when your wheels are touching the obstacle. It is the angle between the line from your front wheels and the furthest point of your Wrangler bumper to the ground.
This is the largest angle your rig can take when descending an obstacle to a flat surface or the next challenge. This is the angle formed by the line between the rear and back tire to the furthest point of the rear bumper.
It is important to note that the departure and approach angles are affected by the bumpers you install on your Jeep. Unless your rig is lifted, the further out your Jeep bumpers are the less the angles you obtain.
Top 5 Best Jeep Bumpers
In case you are stack trying to decide which bumpers are best for your Jeep Wrangler, below is a review of some of the best Jeep bumpers available.
1. Smittybilt 76810 XRC Front Bumper for Jeep Cherokee XJ
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As the name suggests, Smittybilt is recommended for Cherokee XJ. It features a new line of Smittybilt XRC bumpers for the 1984-2010 Jeep Cherokee. It has been engineered to provide maximum ground clearance. It is manufactured out of 3/16 inch cold rolled steel that has been welded to some exact specifications. The front bull bar is manufactured from a 1.75-inch tubing. It is inclusive of two light tabs that can hold up to 9inch light. Its wide opening makes it possible for it to hold up to a 15000-pound winch.
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2. Razer Auto Black Texture Rock Crawler Front Bumper with Skid Plate, Fog Lights Hole & 2x D-Ring & Winch Plate (Black) for 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK
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Razer Auto Rock Crawler Bumper fits all 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler JK models. Razer Auto bumper gives your Jeep a rugged appearance as well as ensuring maximum or increased tire clearance. It is made from 5/32 inch steel sheet and 23/8*0.120-inch tube. Razer Auto Bumper is tiger textured with a black powder coat as an anti-corrosion measure as well as increasing durability.
This Rock Crawler Bumper has two 4.75 ton D-rings with their mounts welded on the inside. It also features an outside in-built winch plate that can accommodate up to 12000lb winch. Has two light tabs on a removable pre-runner hoop that comes in handy when a light is needed when off-roading. It has an easy installing that does not require any cutting or drilling.
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3. Restyling Factory- Black Textured Front Bumper with Fog Lights Hole &2x D-Ring & winch plate for all 2007-2017 JK models.
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Restyling Factory gives your Jeep a ragged appearance and a complex or aggressive design that withstands any terrain. This bumper ensures maximum clearance of the tires. Due to its direct bolt on, it calls for professional installation. It is made from 5/32 inch steel sheet and 23/8*0.120-inch tube. Like Razer Auto, it is tiger textured with a black powder coat that makes corrosion resistant hence long lasting or durable. Its two light tabs that are on the pre-runner hoop are ideal for off-road lighting during the night.
Restyling Factory has some mounts welded on its inside to hold its two 4.7ton D-Rings. This Front Bumper can accommodate a winch of up to 12000lb with its built-in winch plate. Restyling Factory also features OE Fog lights housing or hole that comes design as it is shown on the display of this bumper.
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4. Rampage Jeep 86510R Front Recovery Bumper with Stinger.
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As the name suggests, this Front Recovery Bumper with Stinger was specially engineered to give utmost protection hence a fast recovery from a collision's impact. For effectiveness and durability, it is made from a 3/16inch steel plate. Rampage has tapered ends that allow or permit some enhanced tire travel and extreme departure along with approach angles.
To ensure durability, it has a powder-coated finish that helps prevent the steel from corrosion and rust. It has a universal fit and comes with a 1year warranty from the manufacturer.
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5. E-Autogrilles 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ Front Bumper with 2x D-Ring & Winch Plate (51-0034)
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E-Autogrilles Bumper adds a bold, aggressive and attractive style to all Wranglers. The bumper is made from 5/32 inch steel sheet and a 2 inch * .120 wall steel tubing. This translates to ultimate strength and durability in handling impact as well as topping up the Jeep with a ragged look. It has an easy bolt-on installation hence less time-consuming. E-Autogrilles Bumper comes with a winch plate ready to house a winch. E-Autogrilles Bumper is an accurate representation of style at an affordable price. It has two tabs on the pre-runner hoop to additional house lights needed when off-roading at night. It has a welded hoop that protects the front of your Jeep Wrangler TJ.
For increased strength, D-Rings are welded both outside and in. Like any other bumper, it holds any winch model of up to 12000lb.
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Types of Jeep Bumpers
Jeep bumpers can be divided into two large categories namely front and rear bumpers. Front bumpers can be further grouped into either winch or non-winch bumpers. Most Jeep bumpers have a winch plate. Their bulk and weight, however, makes them unsuitable most especially if you have a highway cruise. With more on-road than off-road, a lighter option of a bumper would suit you more. If your Wrangler is an off-road driver, you will need to consider the approach angle first before settling a new front bumper. This is because of the sharper the angle, the more ground clearance you will need to tackle or handle your obstacle. It is, therefore, to be aware of the fact that some front bumpers will reduce your approach angles while others will stay out of the way.
Rear bumpers affect your Wrangler's capabilities as well. Rear bumpers will either boost your off-road capabilities or limit them. This is because of the disruption and change in the departure angle. Whichever rear bumper you choose will affect your off-road limits positively or negatively.
1. Stubby Jeep Bumpers
Stubby bumpers are amongst the most sought out bumpers due to their increased departure and approach angles and variable designs. Another plus to these bumpers is that it allows the use of some accessories that increase armor, storage and lighting. Stubby bumpers provide room for a winch without necessarily needing permanent modification. It allows for the even use of fog lights. Of its two types, modular is more sought after that tubular due to its rigidity and strength. With the right parts, stubby Wrangler bumpers will give exactly what you want with the right parts. These bumpers can be left bear with only end caps.
They however offer more protection compared to factory and other steel bumpers.
2. Jeep Tubular Bumpers
If you are looking for a classic look for your Wrangler, then tubular is bumper to go by. They come in an 80’s design that gives your Jeep a retro look. Tubular bumpers are high quality and come in various makes due to their low cost. Since the rear bumper comes in a full-width design, they wrap around corners to ensure some extra protection. Front bumpers are usually full length. Both bumpers are welded fully for maximum strength. Tubular bumpers are not the best for off-road driving. They can last as long on rocks as it would on concrete. These bumpers are prone to premature rusting due to their hollow design. To avoid this, purchase the ones that have welded ends or buy end caps.
Front bumpers can accommodate a winch which gives you Wrangler an upper hand when driving off-road. For a two in one specialty, some front bumpers have a welded on a bull bar or grille guard. To accommodate extra-large wheels, the rear bumper has a center cut out make.
3. Full-Width Jeep Bumpers
Rear and front factory bumpers are considered full width. This is because they cover your Jeep's full width that is from one fender to the other. In addition to an added protection level, full-width bumpers also offer greater approach angles and ground clearance. Full-width bumpers are made for wooded environments. They keep branches from damaging the fenders and body as well as puncturing tires. Recovery is easy with full widths because of the presences of D-ring Mounts and winch plates. Pre-molded cuts ensure that you keep the factory fog lights. To make it more compatible, some extended wiring may be needed. Full-width Wrangler bumpers are too heavy for on-road driving.
Full-width bumpers are the heaviest. Weight is a crucial point to consider most especially because factory bumpers are so light. The additional weight will have its pros and cons. The extra weight will greatly reduce your fuel mileage and also make handling difficult. Weight will also affect your Wrangler's height. This is solved by aftermarket suspension lifts as they consider any additional weight during their lifts.
4. Mid-width Jeep Bumpers
Though slightly narrower than stock bumpers, mid-width bumpers still offer a better level of protection. Mid-width bumpers aim to provide the same degree of protection as a full-width bumper with less weight and an increased approach angle and ground clearance.
Are an easier option that offers quality protection at a considerable cost and less cost?
5. The Stinger Bumper
The stinger bumper is a bumper specially made for serious off-road Wranglers. Comes with a unique design that prevents your Wrangler from rolling over. Stingers are primarily designed to protect passengers from severe injury in a roll over scenario. Ones the stinger contacts the ground during a roll over it shifts or changes the Jeep's rig momentum to the side rather than having it roll over.
Stingers stick out your wrangler ensuring a safe distance between any obstacle and the hood. Stingers come in a variety of makes with some having levelled up tips, triangular tips and rounded arch. They are mostly used as ramps to scale large borders on the trail. Their protruding edge adds an aggressive look as well as improving your safety. Stingers are steel tubes and can come in a one-piece design or can be two tubes welded onto each other at the tips.
The stinger can be used to give thrust to your Wrangler over huge rocks so that the front wheel can make contact. Another advantage of this bumper is the added protection to the grille, radiator and winch against damage by tough branches, logs and rocks.
6. The Rock Crawler Bumper
As the name suggests, rock crawler bumpers are most suitable for off-road rock climbing. This is generally because it allows your Wrangler to scale the rocks without any hindrances and at the same time protects your Jeep's body from damage. Rock crawler bumper comes in steel plate and or tubular designs or makes. It is ideal for Wranglers with huge tires as it allows room for larger fender flares. Most of them come with an in-built accommodation for a winch. Rock crawler bumpers allow room for customization to give your wrangler a personalized look. Like stubby bumpers, they provide excellent departure and approach angles.
The front crawler bumper is usually in straight steel plate or tubular designs. Straight steel bumpers can handle repeated abuse without getting damaged compared to others.
7. Off-Road Recovery Bumpers
Off-road recovery bumpers are primarily made to provide a way to pull your truck in case it gets stuck in a rut. You should, therefore, ensure that it is firmly gripped or mounted to make sure that it is not ripped off as your Wrangler is being towed. With off-road recovery bumpers, you do not need to drill to get your shackles attached since the bumper features shackle mounts. They come in a variety of designs that are mostly hybrid versions of stinger or stubby bumpers with off-road recovery features. A good example of a stubby bumper with recovery features is Warn Rock Crawler Stubby bumper. These off-road recovery bumper have installed lights hence allowing you to use them at night.
What are Grille Guards?
Grille guards can come as a simple hoop attached to your current bumper or can in a sophisticated and complex design. In whichever form it comes in, it protects your radiator and other parts of your engine from stray logs, branches, rocks and other debris. Though the elaborate design grille guard’s offer increased all-round protection, they do not give much lighting options. On the other hand, the single attachment allows for aftermarket lighting options with so much ease.
What are Bull Bar Add-ons?
Bull bars are primarily made to push through thick brush and brambles. Skid plates, on the other hand, keeps the delicate engine parts from bursting. These bull bars come in a variety of finishes to choose from. In case you want to install aftermarket lights, be sure to install the ones with 3in clamps. This is because most bull bars are made from 3in round tubing. It is usually a very effective way for storing hi-lift jack which is what they are made for anyway.
In conclusion, from our above review on Jeep Bumpers, it is clear to see that there is a big pool to choose from. All bumpers are manufactured in a way that they serve specific needs. You can customize your Wrangler with any of them to get what you desire for your Jeep.
Just like we do with other aftermarket accessories, how you plan to use your Jeep will automatically be the number one or rather a constant factor that will direct you to which bumper you may need. For instance, you cannot go for a rock crawler bumper when your Wrangler is your everyday driver to work. To avoid getting overwhelmed by the numerous options in the market, stick to the question of “how do I plan to use my Jeep Wrangler”.
Last but not least, no one rule says you must match your front and rear bumpers. Feel to mix and match the brands as long as they serve your need. This will give your Jeep an aggressive, mean look which is what they were made for anyway. Some aftermarket companies allow you a chance to enjoy flexibility by providing you with bolt-on tubing and interchangeable end caps for you to customize your jeep in a way that will solve your immediate need at the moment. This is to say that you can get a full-width bumper during the week and unbolt the components to drive a stripped down stubby version on the weekend. It is all about having fun with your wranglers.