When it comes to the Jeep Wrangler JK and JK Unlimited, having a virgin (stock) rig, is a big no-no. The reason I say this, is because buyers of these vehicles, usually do so for one of two very specific reasons. Let’s be honest, a Jeep JK or JKU, is certainly not the most practical vehicle for daily tasks or commute. It certainly isn’t the most comfortable driving on road, good handling, fast or spacious SUV there is, and neither is it the most fuel efficient for long distance or high-mile drivers. So what are the reasons for buying them.
- They are bought to either customize them to suit their own personal individual styles for daily commute, or
- They customize them into purpose built off-roaders that can still be driven daily and back home from the trail.
One thing is for sure, and that is that the Jeep Wrangler JK has been designed and meant to be customized and built like Lego, into whatever it is that you want it to be, or to suit your own individual personality. Usually, the first thing on most new Jeep JK and JKU owner’s to-do lists for their Jeeps, is the front bumper, because let’s be honest, the OEM Jeep bumper leaves much to be desired. Not only does it change the entire look of the Jeep, it can also have very practical advantages when compared to the original OEM front bumper, both in clearance angles, and also in protection.
After some research, and speaking to most of the current and previous Jeep JK and JKU owners on our team, friends and family, we have come up with these as our favorite options and what we feel are the best front bumpers for the Jeep JK and JKU, in no specific order. These are most certainly not all that is available for the wrangler, and also not better than many of the other options not mentioned, they are merely just our, and people we spoke to’ favorite options.
Since the first day we saw this bumper with it’s square fog lights and strong mounted nudge bar on top, we just loved the look of it. The bonus of having the winch dropped down into the bumper also helps keep the air on the radiator where it belongs and ensures a strong winch pull locations mounted close to the chassis rails. This is our choice for the best front bumper for the Jeep JK.
Although most hardcore off-roaders we spoke to, prefer a stinger bar on their front bumpers, for those that prefer just clean look, or sand, desert and mud off-roaders that want as little weight as possible, this right here is the answer. This is what be call a Jeep JK minimalist front bumper. It’s doesn’t hurt that it is also the cleanest looking bumper out of the bunch either. It is also the best Jeep JK aluminum front bumper we have ever tested.
Completely different from the rest of the narrow bumpers on this list, this ARB Full Width Sahara bumper is more appropriate for the OEM full-fender type Jeep JK and JKU overland expedition vehicle builds. The reason for this, is that the sides of this bumper, tie up so well to the original OEM fender flares of the Jeep JK, and although it not having as much extreme clearance in front of the front tyres, this will hardly if ever be any hindrance on normal overlanding and expedition type trails.
Stingers on front bumpers are quite a polar item. People either love them, or hate them. Yes the have a very specific purpose of not only protecting the front of the vehicle, but also from stopping a off-road vehicle from rolling over forward on very steep declines and rock crawling. We doubt anyone other than the most hardcore rock crawlers will find themselves in that situation where it works, but when they do, this could save you thousands in damage and your entire Jeep. We like them however, because they are clearly visible in front of the hood of the Jeep from the drivers view, so it is easy to monitor how far you can go when parking, or on tight off-road tracks.
For the guys still preferring the Overland type JK and JKU builds, but with cut or aftermarket flat fender flares, ARB also makes this awesome looking and performing stubby front bumper, still featuring the heavy-duty recovery points and recessed winch mount. It’s form follows function, but it just so turned out, that the form turned out awesome and it perfects the look of any JK.
There you have it, our list of what we feel are the best bumpers for Jeep JK and JK Unlimited available at present. Feel we missed one? Comment below, or send us your thoughts via the contact page and we might include it.
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