jeep wrangler upgrades
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Jeep Wrangler Upgrades & Accessories to Make Your Jeep Life Fun as Hell

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

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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.

If an aftermarket part is costing decent coin, it better be pulling double duty as both highly functional and nice on the eyes. Pretty much every part detailed below fits that bill.

Jeep Wrangler JKU Bed Platform Storage How To Build Details Passenger Side
Jeep Wrangler JKU Bed Platform Storage How To Build Painted Drawer Test Fit
Jeep bed build version 2.0 (How to build it here)

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.

Awesome cool jeep wrangler parts the nomad experiment hi-lift jack

Hi-Lift Jack & Hood Mount Kit

These jacks not only work for tire changes, but also as a winch if necessary. Check out the hood mount kit here. (I do not recommend buying the locking mechanism though! It’s garbage.)

Awesome cool jeep wrangler parts the nomad experiment rugged ridge window

Clean, Matte Window Rain Deflectors

These Window Rain Deflectors look awesome and do the job perfectly. They’re especially awesome since I sleep in my Jeep a lot, so I can keep the windows cracked open and keep some airflow, even in the rain.

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Awesome cool jeep wrangler parts the nomad experiment rugged ridge phone holder

Dash Phone Quick-Mount

This Phone mount fits into the stock dashboard cubby seamlessly. Been running mine for over 6 years now with no issues other than some rubber wear and tear. 

Awesome cool jeep wrangler parts the nomad experiment heat shield custom windshield visor

Must-Have Windshield Reflector

Two words: Custom Fit. Key for Jeep Wranglers since our windshields are so unique. Probably one of my most surprisingly good, kind of pricey Jeep Wrangler aftermarket accessories. But well worth it over 6 years later.

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.)

Heavy Duty Cargo Tie Downs

Maybe this is an odd item to have on this list, but I just love these tie down anchors and I use them everywhere in Jeep my bed builds. For less than $2 a piece, they’re good in the Jeep, workshop, or wherever else you need strong tie downs for bungies or ropes.

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.

Jeep Wrangler Bestop Soft Top fastback twill from the passenger side
Jeep Wrangler Bestop Soft Top fastback twill from right rear

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!

Front of Jeep Wrangler with aftermarket Addictive Desert Design Stealth bumpers on mountain road
One of the oldest fire roads in the US: Rocky Mountain National Park

ADD Off-Road Stealth Bumpers

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.

Jeep Wrangler aftermarket part Thule roof rack system with bike mount
Thule roof rack system with bike mount & cargo carrier

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.

Picture of Jeep Wrangler Bed Platform with drawer and an RV Cooler
Jeep Wrangler Bed Platform w/ drawer and RV Cooler

RV Cooler

I had to just find something in the price range of “not ridiculously expensive” and wing it. But I’ve been very happy and after 3 years this one’s still cranking! Plenty of space for a couple of days of food/drink as well.

Goal Zero Yeti Power

Goal Zero was one of the first companies on the scene making giant electric portable power sources. Mine is still going strong, but they’ve gotten bigger and better since I got mine!

Jeep Wrangler JKU Upgrades & Aftermarket Parts List

Jeep Part / UpgradeLinks Notes
Bestop Trektop NX Fastback Soft TopAmazonAmazing…when I ran a soft top…
42 Quart RV Chest CoolerAmazonStill great after 3+ years of use
Bungie Nets – Attic StorageAmazonNot mine, but these look better sized
Goal Zero Yeti 400AmazonSee Full DIY How To Article Here
Heatshield Custom Fit Windshield ShadeAmazonCustom fit and worth the money
Custom Fit Seat CoversAmazon6+ years running now…
Thule Gutter Foot PackAmazon
Thule Square Load Bars 60″Amazon
Thule Force XT Cargo BoxAmazon
Thule One-Lock CylindersAmazonWorth it for a single-key system
Tuffy Metal Under-Seat Lock BoxAmazonMade in the USA!
Dash Multi-Mount Phone KitAmazonLove this thing…
Window Visors – Matte BlackAmazon
Bluetooth AUX 3.5mm Audio AdapterAmazonKey for older Jeeps!
Stealth Fighter Front BumperAmazonThese things are mean…
Stealth Fighter Bumper Side PodsAmazon
Stealth Fighter Rear BumperAmazon
Hi-Lift JackAmazonYou’re screwed without one
Hi-Lift Jack Hood MountAmazon

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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!

— Jason

Related: NEW Version 2.0 Jeep Wrangler JKU Bed & Storage Platform Complete DIY How-To Build
Goal Zero Yeti Power How-To DIY Power For Days

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!

The beginner traveler's guide to going nomad book by Jason A. Robinson

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.

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