The Best Jeep Wrangler Upgrades Can Make Your Jeep Life—And The Worst Can Break It
You can drop a fortune on the best Jeep Wrangler upgrades, or any model Jeep upgrades for that fact. That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned over my 20+ years of being a Jeep Wrangler owner—you gotta pay to play. My original Jeep was a 2-door TJ, but even with my current Jeep Wrangler JKU 4-door Unlimited, the story is still the same.
TL;DR: Skip the images & why these parts are worth your time and jump to a list with links to everything here
Want a discount code for a free hard copy of the book? Help me celebrate 1 year of being published!
This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs and may earn from qualifying purchases. You’re never charged more, but it helps out little by little! Check out “Privacy” in the top menu if you need to know more!
Jeep life is better with the right aftermarket accessories, but sometimes it takes a while to find the best upgrades. Personally, as a budget travel grasshopper, I’ve never been one to spend too much loot on Jeep aftermarket parts that fall only in the “aesthetic upgrade” category.
READ NEXT: Sleep in A Jeep Wrangler JKU!? Step By Step How To Build It!
THE STOREFRONT: The Best Jeep Wrangler Accessories I’ve Owned
Fairly Inexpensive Jeep Wrangler Aftermarket Parts: Pics & Reasoning
Yes, I’m either currently running these upgrades/parts, used them when I was running a soft-top, or they were on my last Jeep but are well worth mentioning. And “inexpensive” is relative…these are in the 2-3 figure range—not in the 4-figure range. You can look at more of my Jeep articles and DIY builds here: Multiple bed builds, tarp system, etc.
Connect & Share This Article
Under-Seat Heavy Security Lockbox
Especially when I was running a soft top, but now still with a hardtop, I’ve sworn by Tuffy’s products. This lockbox is robust and bolts into the frame under the seat. You can get one for the passenger side too. (Used to run their trunk storage box back in the day.)
Expensive Jeep Wrangler Aftermarket Parts: Tops, Bumpers, Racks, etc.
These are definitely the big-ticket Jeep upgrades that can hurt the pocketbook. But if it’s a quality product, and you take care of it, there is the likelihood that when you sell your Jeep or the part you’ll get a chunk of your money back out of it. Like the Bestop fastback soft top that I reluctantly had to sell since I run a hardtop for security reasons now. Still a little torn up over saying goodbye to that.
Fastback-Styled Jeep Soft Top
One of the best purchases I’ve ever made…and one of the hardest decisions to sell ever. Loved the “Tonka Truck” look of this Wrangler soft top and its functionality, since you can open the sunrider or take off the back and/or sides while keeping the bikini intact. Make sure you get the twill version!
My black twill soft top looked nearly as good the day I sold it…after 3 years of use. Dark black instead of faded gray like you get with the standard version. Make sure you use this twill fabric protectant!
These aftermarket bumpers are simple, clean, and tough looking while maintaining function. The angled side pods make entry and exit angles a non-issue, and the rear bumper tire mount gets the weight of big tires off the tailgate. The angle of the integrated front and rear lights are perfect too, so make sure you get those.
Thule Roof Rack & Cargo Carrier
Once I had to switch to a hardtop for safety and the ability to add cargo, I outfit this Thule roof rack system. The system fits standard Jeep Wrangler hardtop gutters (foot pack here) and the 60″ load bars make plenty of room for the huge cargo carrier and a bike…or maybe two. Make sure you consider changing out the lock cylinders so they all match (with 1 key) with this kit.
RV Cooler & Power Sources
I wanted to include these two as they’ve been staples for me. Now that I have to travel with Type 1 diabetes, I have to keep insulin cold. So having a good (but not astronomically expensive) RV cooler and power are really important.
Jeep Wrangler JKU Upgrades & Aftermarket Parts List
|Jeep Part / Upgrade||Links||Notes|
|Bestop Trektop NX Fastback Soft Top||Amazon||Amazing…when I ran a soft top…|
|42 Quart RV Chest Cooler||Amazon||Still great after 3+ years of use|
|Bungie Nets – Attic Storage||Amazon||Not mine, but these look better sized|
|Goal Zero Yeti 400||Amazon||See Full DIY How To Article Here|
|Heatshield Custom Fit Windshield Shade||Amazon||Custom fit and worth the money|
|Custom Fit Seat Covers||Amazon||6+ years running now…|
|Thule Gutter Foot Pack||Amazon|
|Thule Square Load Bars 60″||Amazon|
|Thule Force XT Cargo Box||Amazon|
|Thule One-Lock Cylinders||Amazon||Worth it for a single-key system|
|Tuffy Metal Under-Seat Lock Box||Amazon||Made in the USA!|
|Dash Multi-Mount Phone Kit||Amazon||Love this thing…|
|Window Visors – Matte Black||Amazon|
|Bluetooth AUX 3.5mm Audio Adapter||Amazon||Key for older Jeeps!|
|Stealth Fighter Front Bumper||Amazon||These things are mean…|
|Stealth Fighter Bumper Side Pods||Amazon|
|Stealth Fighter Rear Bumper||Amazon|
|Hi-Lift Jack||Amazon||You’re screwed without one|
|Hi-Lift Jack Hood Mount||Amazon|
Connect & Share This Article
Make sure you’re using these just as recommendations and fit your specific vehicle and needs to find what’s right for you!
Updated Parts & Upgrades To Keep An Eye On
I tend to update this list often if I get a new part worth making the list. And if something turns into a piece of sh*t, I’ll take it off the list.
Hope you found some things here helpful!
Travel Planning Tips
Figure out where you are going & how are you getting there…
I suggest using at least 2 to 3 different travel search sites. Start with Skyscanner or Orbitz or Booking …or whatever aggregator site you prefer. Then when you see what airlines to use, check their respective sites for better deals or rewards flights.
Figure out where you’re going to stay…
If you’re interested in hostels, search Hostelworld or Hostelling International. For longer-term or more private digs, look at Airbnb, VRBO, or you can look for hotel rooms in the links from the search engines listed above.
Get comprehensive travel insurance, or in the least, travel medical insurance if internationally…
Especially with Covid not going anywhere, get covered. Start with an insurance aggregator like Insure My Trip, or with SafetyWing, World Nomads, or another. Then decide what is important to you; trip cancellation, baggage coverage, medical, or all of the above. And get a yearly evacuation plan, since you’ll have to get home after your emergency!
Need more resources? Click here!
Tough Love, Tips & Strategies To Help You Finally Kick-Start Your Travel Life…Or Go Full Nomad!
Been wondering how the hell all those digital nomads, location independent travelers, and remote workers, travel “full-time?” Maybe you’ve thought about living that life one day, but you’re really not sure where to start.
Beyond giving you the stepping stones to dive into short-term domestic and international travel, this book will show you how long-term travelers extend those tools, maximize their budgets, and turn weeks into months…or even years…of traveling the world indefinitely.