Replacing and upgrading the stock factory bumper is one of the best modifications Wrangler JK owners can make. And the reason is pretty simple. Stock factory bumpers, while lightweight, are also plastic and simply cannot hold up when you take the vehicle into more demanding conditions. Upgrading to a stronger aftermarket front or rear bumper can give you peace of mind, help add safety features like winch mounts, tow strap attachment points and D-rings, while allowing you the ability to customize your Wrangler JK to the look you want.
Wrangler JK aftermarket front and rear bumpers come in a variety of styles including full-width tubular, stubby, mid-width modular, and recovery versions - even grille guards that fit over your existing bumper and protect the JKs front end. Tubular designs, along with most stubby bumpers, usually are the lightest bumpers around while still retaining superior strength and durability. Aftermarket tubular designs also offer that classic appearance many prefer, and are a favorite for daily drivers. The full-width design allows plenty of protection for the vehicle's front end as well- including fenders and tires. Stubby bumpers are smaller and have a more aggressive look that many off-roaders love. Stubby designs allow better ground clearance and gives the JK Wrangler's front tires unobstructed access to rocks, while the shorter and angled sides keep it from getting hung up on trail obstructions.
Modular bumpers are similarly lightweight and durable, and allow for multiple accessory options that attach to the bumper's center section - such as center hoop bars, striker or stinger bars, different end caps versions like high clearance, and D-rings. This allows the daily driver and off-roader the ability to customize accessory pieces to augment appearance and function to fit whatever driving conditions are present. Heavy duty recovery-type bumpers are perfect for the serious off-road driver as they give serious protection from whatever the trail throws, while giving JK owners multiple attachment points for D-rings, lights, and recovery straps.
As far as rear bumpers, aftermarket designs come in full width tubular or flat, a stubby version, mid-width options, and many even offer an integrated hitch as well as optional rear tire carrier attachments. If your JK Wrangler does not have a hitch, adding one to the Jeep gains access to a wide variety of accessories like bike and cargo racks, as well as recovery hooks, and gives the vehicle the ability to tow. Tire carriers allow you to pull heavier tires off the JK Wrangler's tailgate and mount to the carrier - thus preventing tailgate warping and hinge damage.