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Guide to Winch-Ready Bumpers

A Guide to Winch-Ready Bumpers

There may be little difference between one winch-ready aftermarket bumper and the next to the untrained, non-automotive eye. To be honest, they all appear like large, heavy black metal chunks.

Even yet, the bumper landscape can be overwhelming and confusing, especially for individuals who drive a popular vehicle with an endless supply of manufacturer choices.

It’s best to build up a stockpile of knowledge to help you narrow down your winch-ready bumper search. First and foremost? Decide on a look.


Bumpers with Grille Guards 

2017 to 2019 Ford F250, F350, F450 Warn Cordless Pullzall Winches 24 Volt NiMh Bumper – 99396

Aftermarket bumpers are frequently seen as a style enhancement these days, but for many people, utility still takes priority. While compact and streamlined bumpers are popular, many truck owners still require a heavy-duty bumper that provides maximum coverage and defense.

Sure, the bumper and complete grille guard combo isn’t going to win any beauty pageants, but that isn’t an issue for those who choose them. This bumper is for you if you work in a professional setting, if you’re a fleet contractor, or if you frequently travel to locations with extreme conditions.

Bumpers with Prerunner Guards

2019-2020 Ford Ranger Stealth R Front Bumper GGVF-F223792200103

The iconic prerunner guard style looks completely at home on trucks of all sizes if you like the idea of extended front protection but still want to show off the face of your truck. It protects the grille from collisions and stray objects without obstructing the truck’s front end like a full grille guard. While there will always be critics, a prerunner guard, in our opinion just looks cool.

Bumpers with No Guards

2019-2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Stealth Fighter Front Bumper GGVF-F471203030103

The guard-less bumper is perhaps the most popular of the lot since it provides the look and level of protection that most truck owners require without the added weight and size.

While some bumpers still have a huge footprint, the trend has evolved to a more slimline design. Furthermore, many manufacturers devote a significant amount of time to designing these bumpers to blend perfectly with each application-specific body line. As a result, seeing the same metal bumper shape on a Ford and a Jeep is unusual.

Some people prefer the flat, boxy style, and those are still available, but these stunning new designs appear to have been carved by the OEMs themselves. Because there are no hoops or guards in the way of the winch mounting, you’ll have the most mounting room and accessibility when it’s time to unspool.

Tubular bumpers

Smittybilt SRC Front Bumper for 1987-2006 Jeep Wrangler YJ TJ LJ 76721

Tubular Bumpers extend the round, tube-style appearance found on bull bars and oval steps throughout the entire bumper. Tubular bumpers are modest and straightforward at their core, while some designs (especially later renditions) incorporate larger sheets of metal to add areas for mounting other accessories.

Unlike the previously described guard-less bumpers, they frequently lack the precise bends and curves to complement a vehicle’s body lines. They do, however, have less weight and a cleaner appearance, which means they rarely cause clearance or rubbing issues with wider tires.

The minimalist design comes with several drawbacks, such as an exposed winch that can only be installed on a top plate.


In addition to the styles mentioned above, you should consider the size or the length of the bumper you’ll need.

With the exception of the Bumper + Grille Guard category, which is normally only available in full-size versions, each bumper can be classed into one of three sizes:


2014-2021 Toyota Tundra Stealth Fighter Front Bumper

These bumpers are the most similar to the factory bumper in terms of body coverage. Full-size bumpers, which are popular for larger trucks, are usually the heaviest. In return, they provide the maximum protection and bells and whistles for mounting accessories to the vehicle.


2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Front Bumper Trail FX J031T

For size, these bumpers land squarely in the middle of the road, as the name implies. Mid-size bumpers, like the next category, are highly popular for Jeeps and SUVs. They cover the majority of the vehicle, however, they frequently leave space around the fender flares.


1997-2006 Wrangler Premium Stubby Front Bumper With Pre-runner – Fab Fours

Stubby bumpers are the smallest size bumper style available and are particularly popular among Jeep and off-road enthusiasts. The reason for this is that they typically leave the greatest open area around the vehicle’s corners and wheel wells, allowing for the most room for bigger off-road tires.

They may provide the least protection of the three, but their smaller size makes them lighter and less likely to become caught in terrain than larger footprint bumpers. Top-mount winches are generally always found on stubby bumpers.


Metal will decide the weight of your new bumper in addition to its size. Steel bumpers have long been the aftermarket standard since they are significantly more durable and difficult to dent or damage. Because it’s a heavier metal, everything mounts on or in it, especially the winch, will be more secure. Naturally, a heavier bumper may necessitate suspension changes.

A lighter-weight metal bumper is another alternative. Aluminum bumpers are significantly easier to maneuver and install because they are equivalent in weight to the OEM bumper. If impact protection and durability are priorities, keep in mind that an aluminum bumper will not withstand as much damage as a steel bumper.

The coating of a bumper also affects its longevity and corrosion resistance. A powder-coated bumper is typically worth the money, even though a bumper with a simple painted texture looks amazing at first and costs less. This is especially true for people who live in harsher environments or travel off-road.

We hope we made it easier to choose which winch ready bumper would be the best for your particular vehicle and needs. Let us know if you have questions by commenting below or send us an email

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