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Off-Road Front Bumper Options | Push Bars, Brush Guards & Skid Plates

Off-road front bumpers are stronger and have more ground clearance than OEM bumpers. We discuss which bumper designs and options will best suit your needs.
Off-Road Front Bumper Variety

There's a saying that advises out of all the paths you take in life, it's important to make sure a few of them are dirt. But while dirt can be found most anywhere you leave the pavement, far more challenging conditions and obstacles lie in wait - some seen, and some unseen. Because no two people's definitions of off-roading will be quite the same, we offer off-road front bumpers for 4x4s that are designed to avoid scrapes and damage while handling a variety of tasks OEM bumpers can't. Heavy gauge steel provides extra strength, and angled corners and edges provide extra clearance. Steep approach angles that would damage factory bumpers become no problem - wherever boulders arise from ashes.

For example, we've got partial-width bumpers, full-width bumpers, and bumpers with integrated grille guards, push bars, winch mounts, hook attachments, and even skid plates. If you want to transfer your vehicle's OEM fog lights to your new bumper, it will be easy because virtually all of the bumpers we sell come equipped with recessed light pockets - ensuring your LEDs or halogens stay damage-free. And if you want to mount large additional lights on the front of your truck, most bumpers and horizontal bars come equipped with pre-drilled holes. In the scope of this article, we'll look at factors to consider when purchasing an off-road bumper and we'll guide you to specific products that meet your needs.

Off-Road Front Bumper Options

Will You Need Protection From Heavy Brush?

If you'll be travelling through wooded areas on narrow trails overgrown with branches and brush, you may want to consider off-road bumpers with fully integrated grille guards. Such assemblies take a heavy, solid horizontal main bumper piece and add tubular steel bars that extend upward to surround and protect the truck's headlight and grille areas. So tree limbs and branches will be pushed off to the side instead of shattering headlight assemblies and causing radiator damage. Some grille guard style bumpers may even feature a mesh plate in the center to maximize protection from loose rocks and smaller debris. As with all items we sell in this section, grille guard tubing is shaped to fit the contours of your specific vehicle so that headlights are not blocked and radiator airflow is not compromised.

Fab Fours Black Steel Front Bumper with Full Grille Guard
The Fab Fours Black Steel Front Bumper with Full Grille Guard.
ICI Magnum Front Winch Bumper with Grille Guard
The ICI Magnum Front Winch Bumper with Grille Guard.

For starters, we've got the Ranch Hand Summit Series, Legend Series, and Sport Series Front Winch Bumper along with the Fab Fours Front Bumper w/ Full Grille Guard - all of which feature a mesh centerpiece. For those who prefer no mesh, there's the Road Armor Stealth Series Front Bumper with LoneStar Guard or Titan Guard, the Fab Fours Elite Front Bumper w/ Full Grille Guard, ICI Magnum Front Winch Bumper w/ Grille Guard, and the Fab Fours Premium Winch Bumper w/ Full Grille Guard. The Warn HD Off-Road Winch Bumper fits a variety of domestic and Japanese trucks of recent manufacture. Toyota Tacoma and Tundra owners can select the stylish Road Armor Stealth Series with Aggro Guard.

Will You Need To Push Another Vehicle Out Of Trouble?

Iron Cross HD Series Front Bumper With Push Bar
The Iron Cross HD Series Front Bumper with Push Bar. These extra bars may also be described as "pre-runner" bars.

If you've ever 4-wheeled in mud, streams, sand, snow, or other conditions where uneven footing and holes can easily be hidden from view, you've probably come across another truck that's gotten mired and needs a push. For those who may find themselves using their off-road vehicle to help push another one out of trouble, "push bar" bumpers may be a smart purchase. Push bars are typically equipped with an extra horizontal bar incorporated into a standard bumper, or they may have two vertical bars spanning from top to bottom over the front tubes of grille-guard style bumpers. Regardless of exact design, push bars on these bumpers are designed to align with the bumper of the truck being pushed - allowing a gentle push without causing damage because pressure is evenly applied. Horizontal push bars are often referred to as "pre-runner" bars.

Aries 3" Front Tubular Bumper
The Aries 3" Front Tubular Bumper for Jeep CJs and Wranglers in polished stainless steel or black powder coat finish.

Basic (non-grille guard) bumpers suitable for pushing include the Iron Cross HD Series Front Bumper with Push Bar, ARB Sahara Bar Front Bumper (available a variety of trucks including Land Rover Discovery and Defender models), the Ranch Hand Sport BullNose Series Front Bumper, the Fab Fours Vengeance Bumper with Pre-Runner Guard, and the Fab Fours Premium Front Winch Bumper with Pre-Runner Guard. Jeep Wrangler owners will find the Bestop HighRock 4x4 High-Access Front Bumper (available in partial and full-width configuration), Paramount Heavy Duty Rock Crawler Front Bumper, and Aries 3" Front Tubular Bumper for Jeep CJs and Wranglers in polished stainless steel or black powder coat finish. While virtually all off-road bumpers are made from traditional / carbon steel, the Aries Front Modular Bumper offers the distinction of optional lightweight, corrosion-free aluminum construction (see choices in Product Options).

Full Grille-Guard Style Bumper With Vertical Push Bar
Many full grille-guard style bumpers have vertical "push bars" that frame the grille, such as the example shown here. These vertical edges are also effective for pushing other vehicles out of trouble without causing damage.

Grille guard style bumpers suited for pushing include the Ranch Hand Summit Series Front Bumper, Road Armor Stealth Series Front Bumper with LoneStar Guard, the Fab Fours Elite Front Bumper with Full Grille Guard, Fab Fours Front Bumper with Full Grille Guard, Ranch Hand Sport Series Front Winch Bumper, Fab Fours Premium Winch Bumper with Full Grille Guard, and the Ranch Hand Legend Series Front Bumper (with standard 2" front hitch receiver).

Stinger Bars

Smittybilt XRC Front Bumper
The Smittybilt XRC Front Bumper, with optional front stinger bar.

Stinger bars are a feature that the most serious rock crawlers should look for. Stinger bars may be integrated into a front bumper, or they may bolt in place. They protrude much further forward than typical push bars do, and they angle upward at steep rake. When off-roading down a steep hill, a stinger bar will prevent your vehicle from tumbling off its wheels onto the front end should an end-over-end tumble become imminent. Additionally, if you're in a large hole, stinger bars are very helpful in allowing you to slide out of it without burying your front end.

Rugged Ridge RRC Front Bumper
The Rugged Ridge RRC Front Bumper features a tubular design with integrated stinger.

For Jeep models only, we've got the Smittybilt XRC Front Bumper, Smittybilt SRC Front Bumper, and the Rugged Ridge XHD Bumper - all of which feature an optional stinger attachment (see Product Options) which can be bolted on or unbolted. The Rugged Ridge RRC Front Bumper features a permanently welded stinger bar.

Skid Plates

ReadyLIFT Pre-Runner Style Tube Front Bumper
The ReadyLIFT Pre-Runner Style Tube Front Bumper, for GM full-size pickups.

Because they serve to protect your front differential and oil pan from direct hits that can leave you stranded, skid plates are essential if you'll be taking your truck over uneven, jagged roads - and they can be a life-saver when rock crawling. We offer several front bumpers that provide fitted skid plates designed to bolt right on to your bumper, which is the easiest possible way of attaching a skid plate. We've got the N-Fab RDS Front Bumper, N-Fab RSP Front Bumper, and ReadyLIFT Pre-Runner Style Tube Front Bumper - all of which feature minimalist, all-tubular designs.

Do You Plan To Install Lights On Your Bumper?

Ideal Off-Road Bumper For Driving At Night

When you're doing any kind of off-road driving at night, the right lights will brighten your path, make the adventure more enjoyable, and literally save your life if the going gets rough. So, to start with, virtually every bumper we sell is equipped with at least two pockets built into the main horizontal bumper bar. Designed for mounting factory or aftermarket fog lights of a variety of sizes and shapes, these pocket holes are usually located near the corners. Others may have rectangular openings tailored for LED light bars. Additionally, over half of the off-road bumpers we sell feature pre-drilled holes or hardware for mounting larger lights onto horizontal surfaces push bar and grille-guard bars.

Would You Prefer A Front Bumper Equipped To Handle A Winch?

Off-Road Bumper Designed For Mounting Heavy Duty Winch

Whether you're off-roading on rough terrain where getting stuck is simply a matter of when, pulling tree stumps on your property, or reeling in marine equipment at the docks, nothing provides the ability to move heavy loads at virtually any angle like winches do. And if you've ever been on the trails pulling yourself back on your feet or performing a rescue for someone else, you understand that sometimes the most important factor about tough situations is getting out of them fast. We offer a selection of off-road bumpers designed for mounting heavy-duty winches up to 16,500 pounds. For those who don't need maximum pulling power, we've got winch bumpers rated for 9,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds. Specifics can be found on the product description of any particular item, and our related article on How Much Winch Power Do I Need may help if you're uncertain.

ARB Deluxe Bar Front Bumper
The ARB Deluxe Bar Front Bumper is just one of many grille guard style bumpers we offer equipped for winch mounting.

If you're looking for grille guard style bumpers equipped for winches, check out the Road Armor Stealth Series Front Winch Bumper with Aggro Guard, ICI Magnum Front Winch Bumper with Grille Guard (16,500 lb rating), Ranch Hand Sport Series Front Winch Bumper (16,500 lbs), Warn Heavy Duty Off-Road Winch Bumper (16,500 lbs), and the Fab Fours Premium Winch Bumper with Full Grille Guard.

Looking through our off-road bumper section, you'll find a large number of non-grille guard winch bumpers. We can't list them all here, but you will find the word "winch" in the title of all except the GoRhino BR-10 Front Bumper, Ranch Hand Sport BullNose Series Bumper, Bestop HighRock 4x4 High Access Front Bumper, Smittybilt XRC Front Bumper, Rugged Ridge XHD Bumper, Paramount HD Rock Crawler Front Bumper, RBP Pro Series Front Bumper, and Warn Rock Crawler Front Bumper.

Bumpers With 'D-Ring' Attachment Points

D-ring attachments on bumpers feature a round eyehole for the purpose of holding heavy-duty D-rings typically found on the end of tow straps, chains, or cables used for pulling or winching a vehicle out of trouble. Approximately two-thirds of the bumpers we sell in this section offer D-ring attachments. Those attachments are either welded directly on to the front of the bumper, or they're offered as bolt-on pieces in the Product Options field. If you go off-roading regularly, it's not hard to imagine the many ways that D-ring attachments can be useful.

"D-ring" bumper
"D-ring" bumpers usually feature pre-attached or pre-welded eyehole plates such as these.
Eyehole Plates With D-Ring
The eyehole plates are designed for D-rings, which can be attached to serve a number of purposes.

Will You Be Towing Your Vehicle With 4 Wheels On The Ground?

Maybe you need to tow your off-road vehicle to the trails because it isn't legal to be driven on the street. For those that don't have a trailer, tow bars allow you to pull one vehicle behind you with 4 wheels rolling on the road. If tow bars may be useful, we recommend a look through the tow bars page of our website. While tow bars can be attached to the frame of your vehicle, they can also be attached to bumper D-ring holes referenced further above. Additionally, all off-road bumpers made by Fab Fours (examples: Black Steel Front Bumper, Premium Front Winch Bumper, and Black Steel Bumper with Grille Guard) as well as the Iron Cross HD Series with Grille Guard offer optional bolt-on 2" hitch receivers designed to mate with tow bars. The Body Armor Winch Bumper has available vertical and horizontal tow bar adapter brackets. Before towing any vehicle with full-time all-wheel-drive or 4-wheel-drive, we recommend consulting your owner's manual (or the manufacturer) to confirm such towing will not cause damage to center differential clutches or other drivetrain components.

Front Bumper With D-Ring Attachment Points
An example of a front bumper with D-ring attachment points hooked up for tow bar use.

To help guide you through the selection of off-road bumpers we offer, we've set up the corresponding section of our website to provide you with all the choices that will fit your truck. And choices aplenty there are. Since the front of your rig is its 'face', there's almost nothing like a heavy-duty off-road bumper to uniquely accessorize it. Talk about something that serves both form and function! Go for the rugged look while also protecting your entire front end during all your incredible off-road adventures.

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