Full guide to Jeep bumpers: front & rear, all types

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I love the fact that as Jeep owners, we have to freedom to customize our offroad monsters in whatever way we want. One look at any Jeep forum will showcase the insane variety of Wrangler modding going on.

That’s simply amazing and inspiring.

Both Jeep front and rear bumpers are a good way to tinker with how your beast looks. But honestly, there’s no such thing as a single best JK bumper.

Instead, the best solution depends on a) the level of protection you want and b) what kind of looks are you shooting for with your ride.

With front bumpers, there’s three main types:

Stubby Wrangler bumpers like the solid choice Razer Offroad are better for wheeling. They provide better tire clearance and will make any flat fender look way more awesome.

Additionally, they give you more control over the flares unlike full-width bumpers whose design forces you to be stuck with stock flares.

Full-width front bumpers focus on ensuring your maximum protection. They have a more finished, conservative look. Some of them come with winch plates included.

A good example here is Warn with their Elite Series bumper. It delivers maximum protection both for your Jeep and your winch.

Warn is also a premium brand that’s highly respected among Jeep owners.

Warn: a reputable brand that will ensure your Jeep Wrangler has the best full-width protection from the bumper side.

Also, I really feel full-width bumpers inspire respect. No, I don’t mean in the “Don’t mess with me!” kind of way, but rather a touch of maturity and relaxed vibes.

If you plan on going hard with your off-road adventures, you’d better consider one of these.

Stingers are somewhat rare to come across. They turn any Jeep into a 100% kickass, aggressive monster in the looks department. Their main utility purpose is to prevent front roll-overs.

E-Autogrilles have an outstanding mid-sized stinger JR bumper that’s worth checking out:

That said, probably 95% of the time, people use stingers for purely cosmetic purposes. This bumper type is also far from great of you plan to drive on the road/highways.

It’s straight up dangerous for head on collisions and increases your front length. Instead, they’re made for hardcore off-road trails.

Rear Wrangler bumpers are easier. On one hand, you have very basic models without any fancy stuff added.

On the other, you have Jeep JK rear bumpers with tire carrier like Havoc’s Aftershock. These focus on utility and the tire support comes in really handy in most off-road situations.

I’ve prepared a concise comparison table with various Jeep bumpers I consider a good bang for your buck. It features both affordable and high-end brands.

These should be great for rookies/onroad and mild to semi-intensive off-roading. If you want to go for an extremely high end custom build, you’ll need more $$$ and go for ultra high end brands. 

Stubby
RazerStubbyBumper
  • Razer Auto
  • Best for:
    Stubby front bumper for approach and clearance, with extra lighting capabilities.
  • Supported models:
    All 2007-2017 JK Wranglers.
  • Stock light fit:
    Yes. Extra light bar installation possible (22")
  • Material:
    Black textured 5/32 steel sheet.
  • Winch & D-rings:
    Up to 12 000 lbs & 4.75t

    ★★★★★
Popular
EAGPopularFullWidthSmall
  • EAG Full Width
  • Best for:
    Affordable full-width bumper with great overall performance. Simple installation.
  • Supported models:
    All 2007-2017 JK Wranglers.
  • Stock light fit:
    Yes.
  • Material:
    Black textured 5/32 steel sheet.
  • Winch & D-rings:
    Up to 12 000 lbs & 4.75t

    ★★★★★
Premium
PremiumFullWidthSmall
  • Warn Elite Series
  • Best for:
    Premium full-width bumper with improved winch protection and overall durability. For avid offroaders.
  • Supported models:
    All 2007-2017 JK Wranglers.
  • Stock light fit:
    Yes. Fits Warn350F lights too.
  • Material:
    CNC-formed, sand blasted steel with extra toughness.
  • Winch & D-rings:
    Up to 12 000 lbs & 4.75t

    ★★★★★
Stinger
EagStingerSmall
  • EAG Stinger
  • Best for:
    Aggressive Jeep looks, anti-roll over and hood protection. Balanced stinger height.
  • Supported models:
    All 2007-2017 JK Wranglers.
  • Stock light fit:
    Yes.
  • Material:
    Black textured 5/32 steel sheet.
  • Winch & D-rings:
    Up to 12 000 lbs & 4.75t

    ★★★★★
TJ & YJ
EAGForTJSmall
  • Opar Different Trail
  • Best for:
    Front bumper with winch plate for the older TJ and YJ Jeep series. Durable, with LED accented lighting.
  • Supported models:
    1987-2006 TJ, YJ, Unlimited Jeep series.
  • Stock light fit:
    Should fit.
  • Material:
    Black powdered 5/32 steel sheet.
  • Winch & D-rings:
    Up to 12 000 lbs & 4.75t

    ★★★★★
Rear
RearWithTireSmall
  • Havoc Offroad GEN 2
  • Best for:
    Midwidth rear bumper with tire carrier. Outstanding design, durability and great tire clearance/approach.
  • Supported models:
    Should fit all Wranglers.
  • Stability:
    ★★★★★
  • Material:
    CNC laser cut & brake formed 3/16 steel. Very durable.
  • Tire size support
    Up to 40"

Materials: steel vs aluminium JK bumpers

The first thing you want to keep in mind is what material the bumpers are made of.

Most front bumpers for Wranglers are made of heavy-duty steel that’s made to minimize the effects of impacts. Some of them are powder-coated in black, others come in a bare steel design.

If you got a model that was “naked” steel, don’t worry. For some $150-200 you can always have them powder coated.

There are also aluminium Jeep bumpers. As you can guess, their usefulness comes with the huge weight reduction as they put less strain on your Jeep parts.

This is especially good in case you decide to go with an extra-protection full width bumper that would otherwise weigh too much. With rougher terrain and more offroad driving, an aluminium JK bumper will reduce pressure and preserve your parts.

Aluminium front bumpers for Jeep JKs are generally a bit more expensive. That said, their lightweight, premium protection is really something.

Rugged Ridge’s XHD bumper is especially great and looks cool with its black powdered modular design:

Rugged Ridge have some outstanding aluminium bumpers for Jeep JRs.

Bumper with a winch plate or a clean one?

Some people prefer polished, clean looks and think that they don’t need a winch. The highly reputable Poison Spyder has the best no winch bumper and I admit, it looks kickass.

However, a winch is a paramount part of any offroads-focused Jeep.

It can save you when the least expected happens and you get stuck somewhere with no way to pull yourself out.

In this sense, Wranglers bumpers with winches are a more sound options for any adventurous Jeep owner. Just make sure you get a heavy duty one that supports up to 12 000 lbs winches.

There are some really slick bumpers with winch plates. You can even skip on actually having a winch for the time being without this affecting their looks. I know some people who rock their Jeep like that.

I say cover all the bases and go the winch bumper way. There will be a day that you’d be glad you made that choice!

It’s yet another layer of possible protection for you and your passengers. My ramblings on Jeep batteries and their importance for your outdoor safety follow the same line of thinking. Better be safe than sorry!

The best Jeep bumpers:

[3 solid picks for any owner]

1. Best stubby bumper with light bar:
Razer Auto

I like stubbies and if you’re looking at a medium-range Jeep bumper, this one is a good choice. The setup is pretty standard – winch plate that supports up to 12 000 winches, two D-rings that hold up to 4.75 tones, and a 5/32″ steel construction.

The convenient feature you get here is the LED light bar mount. While the bar itself isn’t included, some other bumpers don’t even support additional lights.

Here’s the deal, though: fog lights could be a pain to install. The light bar requires some work so it doesn’t obstruct the winch, so you’ll need a few spare minutes to do that.

What other people have done is to grind the cooling fins of the lights just a little bit, so they free some space for the winch to fit like a glove.

If you don’t want to use some additional lights and don’t feel like tinkering a bit more, here’s what I suggest. Switch to EAG’s stubby bumper for Wranglers.

It has no light bar, but the installation is more straightforward and it preserves the awesome stubby looks. Winch, D-rings and materials are exactly the same.

2. Best premium Jeep JK front bumper:
Warn 87750 Elite

Yes, this Wrangler front bumper is a bit more expensive. Boy, is it a tough monster though!

I strongly recommend it for those of you who’ll do a lot of off-road driving with heavy winch usage. There’s a simple reason:

This is the best full-width bumper with advanced winch protection you’ll find. At least at this price range.

The secret lies in the recessed winch mount design, unlike some other frontal bumpers.

The steel here is also laser-cut and CNC-formed, welded to deliver a remarkably tough performance. Standard powder-coated full with bumpers are quite durable, but this is on a completely another level.

If you run into installation problems, here’s a useful video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW-c6vBeEdw

A design that slightly differs from traditional bumpers helps with mud or dirt troubles. Usually, you have somewhat of a gap between the stock bumper and the tender flares. It’s frustrating!

So, when you go off-road in more muddy areas, the tires will just hurl the dirt over the bumper. This soft spot is properly protected by Warn’s elite series bumper. Something that other non-stock fellas don’t really do.

It also fits the stock lights, or you can just put the ones Warn manufacture. In any case, I recommend mounting the lights before you lay down the bumper. It’ll make things easier for you.

3. Best Jeep JK rear bumper with tire carrier:
Havoc Gen 2 Aftershock

Havoc's heavy duty rear bumper with tire carrier is a Wrangler's best protection friend.

Most of the Wrangler owners I’ve spoken with so far strictly prefer having their rear bumper come with a tire carrier option.

It makes sense. Jeep tires are some heavy-duty beasts, but you never know what can happen out there in the wild.

Havoc’s Gen 2 Aftershock rear bumper is priced a bit above other options, but with a reason. It offers flexibility and durability for those who are keen on frequent off-road trips.

The first thing, as always, is the enchanced contruction. The 3/16″ steel here is both CNC laser cut (precision) and brake formed. Much like Warn’s front bumper, this is a solid manufacture that goes well beyond standard practices.

A good point to consider is this: the steel is welded both inside and out. This two-side welding approach allows for toughness that will soften collisions where other rear bumpers might fail miserably.

As far as compatibility goes, things are looking good. First of all, this should work fine with your factory receiver hitch. You might need to cut the welded nuts off the factory hitch, depending on your model, though.

Second, up to 40″ tires should fit the tire carrier without any loss of stability occurring. Re: lifts, some people have noted that you won’t need any modifications if you want to pair it up with a 3.5 lift.

Last but not least, you can get some color action going with the name plate located on the lower part. I’m not that much into branding, but some people enjoy it. There are built-in LED cube light mounts if you ever decide to customize things.

What are the best Jeep bumper brands, then?

That’s a question whose answer depends on your budget and what build are you going for.

There’s dozens upon dozens of Wrangler brands that produce bumpers, because the community is actually somewhat big.

Higher end brands include Poison Spyder, Warn or Rugged Ridge, for example. Mopar can also join their company given its nice portfolio of Jeep accessories.

From the mid-range manufacturers, Smittybilt are a reasonable choice. Recently, however, EAG (E-Autogrilles) are gaining traction in the affordable, yet delivering quality sub-market of bumpers for Wranglers or TJs. Havoc performs well too.

There’s a lot of brands to choose from and you’re free to do your own research. Just remember that the most expensive bumpers don’t always equal the best results. Vice versa for seemingly cheaper (but not too cheap!) accessories.

The best brand for you is the one that will deliver you optimal performance in line with your budget.

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A nut about anything related to wild trails, cars and crazy fun. Sharp tongue, soft soul. My wife always says I need to trim my beard because I look like a hermit.