Aftermarket bumpers can be spendy to buy and install, but they’re nevertheless quite popular among off-roading and overlanding enthusiasts. Are bumper mods just cool custom off-road accessories, or are they really worth the money? Let’s take a closer look.
What is an aftermarket off-road bumper?
An aftermarket bumper replaces your OEM factory-installed bumper. Dozens of companies offer aftermarket front and rear bumpers built specifically for off-roading.
Why would I need an aftermarket bumper?
There are several reasons why aftermarket bumpers are a good idea.
Off-roading can get pretty intense, which is why we like it. But taking your vehicle out on the trail exposes it to all kinds of hazards that just aren’t present on paved roads. Sharp branches, large boulders, and trail debris are just a few of the perils your vehicle must face in the wild. Your OEM bumpers aren’t built to handle those risks; they aren’t durable enough to tackle driving over a rocky ledge or through a tangle of brush and come through unscathed. If you take your OEM bumpers out off-roading, they will certainly come home dented, scratched, and cracked.
Another solid advantage of bumper mods is that they offer improved ground clearance. Your vehicle’s ability to get over barriers in the trail, such as boulders and ruts, depends on its ground clearance. Aftermarket off-roading bumpers offer higher clearances and better approach and departure angles, giving you more room to maneuver safely.
Bumper mods offer a lot of flexibility when adding auxiliary lighting to your vehicle. Spots, bars, and other lighting mods can be added to your bumper to enhance the look and visibility of your vehicle.
Recovery is a big part of off-roading; you’re going to get yourself into a pickle or two while out on the trail, and your vehicle needs to be built to help get you out. Aftermarket off-roading bumpers provide mounts for winches, shackles, clevis hooks, and other essential recovery gear that your OEM bumper was not built to handle.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, if you want to take your vehicle off the road and get it back in one piece, an aftermarket bumper is absolutely worth the money. Plus, it’s going to look amazing.