Have you ever wondered about choosing a rear bumper for your Jeep Wrangler? Today I’m going to break down the differences between the rear bumpers. When it comes to your Wrangler, you definitely want to protect it, and a rear bumper as well as Front Jeep Bumper is a really easy way to get extra protection for the rear while adding a little bit of utility and style. With all the different types of rear bumpers out there, it’s easy to get lost. They come in a variety of styles and lengths, and they also have some very specific advantages. And here, I’ve picked five rear bumper options that represent a particular style and show you the differences in their coverage, benefits, and even how they can improve your performance whether you’re on the trail or just keep it to the road. I have the JL to discuss with you the rear bumpers I picked, but all of these different rear bumper options and each of these different styles will be available for other gens including YJ, TJ and JK. Let’s jump in.
The first style we’ll look at is a perfect representation of a high-performance aftermarket rear bumper designed for utility and protection. This style is usually more boxy and taller than some other models, making it the perfect candidate when it comes to full rear coverage in the event of a collision or obstacle on the trail. They also hold up much better as they are usually made from sheet steel which is extremely durable and can take a hit if needed. These bumpers usually also offer the standard perks when it comes to utility, like restore points, as well as a hitch or even just a recess for one, perfect for the Jeep owner looking for functionality. Not to mention the bumper has a lot of off-road styling due to the large HD steel design and goes really well with other HD accessories. By the way, there is a Barricade Extreme HD rear bumper that I have. This particular bumper fits into this style with the large and boxy design and offers plenty of coverage at the rear end as well as the sides.
The Barricade bumper will also highlight the standard features with the two welded D-ring brackets on the back, a 2-inch tow hitch mount, and a cutout for a larger wheel and tire. This cutout for the larger wheel and the tire on the back is very common on this type of bumper, which adds to its usefulness. In addition, this special bumper offers the possibility to mount a spare tire carrier for heavier wheels and tires. There are mounting points under the rear wall on either side, perfect for Jeep owners who want to build their own rear bumper. Many rear bumpers in this style have this option so I would keep that in mind when shopping. Again, this style will focus on that tough protection and practical use. I do want to mention, however, that this isn’t the friendliest type of rear bumper when it comes to increasing the take-off angles of your Wrangler as this is a larger design than other models.
This next style bumper gives you a unique selling proposition when it comes to take-off angles and better performance. Just like the last one, this offers complete all-round coverage. However, this style will usually be a bit more compact and even sloped up on the sides to avoid obstacles on the trail. Other similar features are the sheet steel construction for robust protection of the stern as well as additional useful functions. However, this is more for the Jeep owner who is looking for plenty of space in the back for the trail. Departure angles are very important when it comes to terrain and it is the angle or space you have when descending an obstacle. That particular option is the full length DV8 off-road rear bumper with LED lighting. It will support that thick steel plate construction, but as I said, this will be very compact and have high angled ends on either side to accommodate that extra clearance. It has welded D-ring mounts for recovery and even a recess for the factory trailer hitch.
This special bumper not only offers the usual benefits that you would want from a rear bumper, but also has additional accessories that make it even more functional. Functionality varies from bumper to bumper, but many rear bumpers designed for higher trail performance have these additional add-ons, such as the LED lighting built into the rear for extra visibility. These can be used as reversing lights or just as work lights. Not to mention the jacking points on the bottom of the bumper add extra functionality if you get into an awkward spot on the trail. As I mentioned earlier, these features aren’t built into every high clearance rear bumper, but they’re features that you absolutely want to keep an eye on while shopping. Also read How to Fix Loose Bumper.
Again, the big story with this rear bumper is that it will be a ground clearance improvement that will help you with your off-road performance. This next type of style involves a heavy-duty spare tire carrier. This type of setup is perfect for the Wrangler owner who wants to get everything out of the way in terms of functionality on the back of their Jeep. This offers many of the same benefits associated with the first two options but has the benefit of this spare wheel carrier. The bumper has a very solid attachment point considering it mounts all the way to the frame, which makes it the perfect place to carry all the extra weight of an oversized tire.
When upgrading your tires and the size of your Wrangler, you should keep an eye on reserve storage. The factory luggage rack can only hold this much weight before the luggage rack in the tailgate wears out from that extra load, especially when you’re bouncing around on the trail. A setup like this will be a two-in-one solution for a rear bumper and the support of an oversized tire.
The bumper I want to present you next is the WJ2 rear bumper with tire carrier. This is made from a steel plate material that supports the tire carrier but also covers and protects the rear of your Wrangler. This will carry over to most bumpers of this style. This style usually includes some additional features as well, just like the other options we’ve discussed. This will specifically have D-ring brackets, jack points and a coupling recess, but with this tire carrier there are additional attachment points for additional accessories, given the extra space. This is not always the case with rear bumpers with tire supports, but it is very common due to the larger steel construction.
The next style we’re about to look at is for those Wrangler owners looking for a little setback. This tubular styling gives your Wrangler a classic look while also being quite affordable due to its simplicity. This style usually provides adequate coverage around the back and sides, which protects the rear of the Wrangler well. That particular bumper is the RedRock 4×4 tubular rear bumper with wraparound ends, and it will do just that by providing plenty of good coverage and pretty complete styling too. The tubular bumpers will be a bit lighter given the lack of heavy-duty steel plate material, saving you some weight at the rear. This particular option is made from 3-inch steel tubing, which is very common on tubular bumpers. Since it is made of lighter steel, it serves more as a light protection against lighter obstacles and scrub on the trail than against hard hits. Well, not to say that this won’t save the rear of the Jeep, but rather this will be designed for easier protection. Well, when it comes to accessories and utilities, what you really see here is the simplicity of a tubular bumper design. Compared to most heavy-duty steel bumpers, these usually have no recovery points, additional lighting or the option of adding a spare wheel carrier. However, there are very simple solutions to all of these disadvantages.
This particular option is suitable for a factory or even an aftermarket towbar, for example, and doubles as a recovery point. There are plenty of solutions for adding accessories and lighting too, considering that tubular mounting brackets are very easy to access. Not to mention, there are other replacement tire solutions that just stick to the tailgate instead of integrating into the rear bumper design. As I said before, the big emphasis here is on the simplicity and the classic look with the added protection while remaining relatively inexpensive.
The next style will stick with this tube design, but will also incorporate some power into the mix. Instead of the classic straight wraparound option, this style incorporates some high angles and focuses more on clearance. The first bumper focused more on protection while the second focused on spacing, and the same goes for the two tubular bumpers I have. This will still do a good job of adding plenty of coverage to the rear end while incorporating a lighter design with the tubular construction. The difference, however, lies in the angles of the bumper and the margin that this will allow. The special bumper is the RedRock 4×4 Rock Crawler rear bumper. Well, around every corner, it has a tough upward angle and the down tube is angled. This design increases your take-off angles while on the trail while giving you the protection you need if you end up scraping off an obstacle. Not to mention, instead of the retro and more classic styling, you get an out-of-the-box design that adds some off-road aggressiveness and style to the rear of your Wrangler. This particular bumper has a very similar construction to the last one.
However, it will be a bit smaller at around 2 inches. This makes the bumper lighter and minimizes the sag at the rear. As for the accessories, this is going to be pretty bare in terms of utility. However, unlike the classic tubular rear bumper we’ve discussed, this bumper will have a standard 2-inch rear tow hitch mount that can be used as a recovery point. While this doesn’t apply to every performance-oriented tubular rear bumper, considering that it’s an evolution of the classic tubular style, this is definitely a bonus. When it comes to lighting or accessories, it will be pretty much the same story. The solutions are almost endless with universal brackets. However, due to the simplicity of design, attachment points are usually not provided as standard.
Well, as I said earlier, choosing a rear bumper can be a little confusing when it comes to all of the different styles and types. Hopefully this breakdown has made it a little easier to narrow down which is best for you and your Wrangler. Make sure you comment below which rear bumper you think is best and which one you would add to your Jeep. Drive safely!