Picking the Best Bumper for You
If you own a Jeep, and if you are reading this, then you will most likely bump into things off road. While car owners normally have a lot of different customization options to choose from, Jeep owners have far more options for their vehicle. A large part of that is simply because Jeeps are such versatile vehicles. While the overall style of the parts may be a consideration for you, the majority of your decision, especially if you will be going off-road, are based around functionality. One area that you may have initially overlooked is your bumper. There are actually quite a few different Jeep bumpers available on the market, each with a different shape, size and function. The argument has been that bumpers are the least of the equipment that you have to worry about as the factory installed can suffice. Maybe. Maybe not. There are four general categories of bumpers, those being stinger bumpers, stubby bumpers, off-road recovery bumpers and tubular bumpers. Knowing what they are for, and what they can do for you can help you decide whether you want to up your game, or use the equipment that came with your ride.
Stinger bumpers are shaped similar to a boomerang. They have a triangle shaped tube extension, which tips upwards to create a hoop along the front of the bumper. The overall size of the stinger bumper can vary depending on the brand, and some stinger bumpers have a front hoop which extends beyond the hood of the Jeep. The stinger bumper is very popular for drivers that frequently take their Jeep off road.
The purpose of the stinger bumper is to keep the Jeep from spilling over if the truck goes over a particularly rough obstacle. In addition, the stinger bumper can actually function as a makeshift ramp, which assists Jeeps in getting over various obstacles that their tires would normally be unable to rise over. Finally, the stinger bumper offers a little more protection to the Jeep, acting as a natural buffer for the rest of the vehicle.
Stubby bumpers are often considered the default bumper, since many of the commonly displayed Jeeps on a car lot feature this type of bumper. Stubby bumpers get their name from their length. They are shorter than other Jeep jumpers, only going about as wide as the length of the Jeep’s grille. This size is convenient when you have to change your tires, since the bumper does not obstruct the tires. The downside of this is that the bumper offers virtually no protection to the tires, which makes them vulnerable in any sort of off road situation. A Jeep with a stubby bumper can still go off roading, but the tires will take a significantly greater hit. Stubby bumpers are best for traditional highway driving, or at the very least on very flat off-road trails.
Off Road Recovery Bumpers
Off road recovery bumpers are sometimes referred to as safety bumpers. The bumper is mounted more firmly then the rest, since it is meant for towing. The bumper is attached with shackle mounts, which make it significantly easier to detach the mount. In terms of appearances, off road recovery bumpers have the most variance. Some models resemble a stubby bumper, while others resemble stinger bumpers. Since towing is most associated with off road terrain, it is a little more common to see the stinger variants. Off road recovery bumpers are usually a little more expensive than other bumpers, but there are still plenty of reasonably priced options available.
Tubular bumpers are named for the two tubes which run across the front of a Jeep. The tubes loop together, forming a single tube along the center of the bumper. Tubular bumpers provide some of the best protection for the front of the Jeep, but most models are not well suited for towing. So, if you like the look of the tubular bumper, then look into adding a winch or other accessory as well.