Protection, clearance, and good looks – that’s what armor fenders have to offer. When driving through rough-tough terrain, it’s very important to know that your Jeep is well-protected. In this post, we’ll check out the best armor fenders for Jeep JK. The list includes fenders both for the front and the back. Powder-coated, packed with the necessary hardware, and affordable, they will be a good investment for your bucks.
The following comparison table includes five worthy picks, and they all come from Smittybilt. This is one of the biggest and most trusted third-party gear manufacturers based in the US (California, to be exact). These Fenders have their pros, cons, and best features. Join me, and let us check out what they have to offer. Then, in the Buyer’s Guide, we’ll master the art of finding the right set. Let’s get right to it!
Best Armor Fenders for Jeep JK (Updated February, 2024)
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1) Smittybilt 76880 XRC Armor Front Fenders
2) Smittybilt 76882 XRC Rear Corner Guards
3) Smittybilt 76887 XRC Body Cladding
4) Smittybilt XRC GEN2 Armor Front
5) Smittybilt XRC GEN2 Armor Rear
Armor fenders aren’t the most complicated third-party accessory for Jeep JK. They are pretty straightforward and even “old-school” in some ways. Still, I decided to make this Buyer’s Guide, because there are some things that you’ll need to keep in mind when shopping for a new set. Those are the price, ease of installation, protection, and some extras. Let’s take a good look at the most important aspects of armor fenders.
A rule of thumb here would be to go for the golden middle. You don’t want a set of armor fenders that are too cheap, as that will bring a lot of headaches. On the other hand, something that’s too fancy will probably be a waste of hard-earned bucks. Well, maybe not a total waste, but definitely an area where you can save money. Most consumer-oriented third-party products are usually right in the sweet spot: they’re not very expensive, but still decent in quality.
Ease of Installation
First of all, look for armor fenders that come with detailed instructions. True, you can find cool, informative videos on YouTube, but it’s always better to have the manufacturer’s guide by your side. Now, most manufacturers do their best to make their fenders an easy fit. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen in real life. If you’re shopping at a physical store, ask the mechanic/staff whether it’s a bolt-on installation or not.
The term “bolt-on” means you won’t have to line everything up for hours. Some drilling will still be involved, though, so, I highly recommend going for a set of armor Fenders that includes all the necessary installation hardware. Remember: some Jeep models have more than one layer (sheet), meaning you’ll have to do a lot of that drilling. The good news is – all the holes can be easily covered with some silicone.
Stainless steel is probably the best material for fenders. The reason – it’s very sturdy, easy to clean, mostly rust- and corrosion-free, and looks good both in the front and around back. To make it 100% immune to contamination (like rust/corrosion), manufacturers add powder coating to it. If you see that in the specs, best believe the fenders will stay shiny throughout the toughest adventures.
Now that we’ve gone through the most important aspects, let us talk a bit about the extras. First of all, look for a set of armor fenders that increase the wheel well clearance. Yes, they can significantly increase that and make room for bigger tires (up to 40”), which is pretty cool.
Secondly, it would be best if the fenders pack some liners. They will keep mud, dirt, snow, and water at bay. This is still very important despite the powder coating that I just mentioned. Why is that? Because the liners will keep the engine compartment protected, and you can never have enough of that.
Smittybilt has quite a collection of armor fenders that can improve your Jeep JK in more than one way. The XRC series is durable, reliable, (relatively) easy to install, and powder-coated. Yet, if you want the ultimate deal, go with the GEN2 line-up. Yes, it will cost you more, but with it, you’ll get extra damage protection and liners.
If you’ve got the dollars, GEN2 will be money well-spent. The engineers did an excellent job with these fenders – they will last a lifetime. The regular XRCs are also quite good and offer great value for the price. As always, everything depends on the thickness of your wallet and how big of an off-roading fan you are. Got some questions you wanna ask me? Be my guest! I’ll do my best to help you out.