Whether you’re looking for off-road accessories for your Jeep, pickup, or other 4×4, our list of the top five off-road modifications is a great place to start. These off-road upgrades are sure to make your 4×4 more capable out on the trail.
There is a nearly limitless number of off-road upgrades out there for your 4×4. Think bumpers, winches, lift kits, tires, axels, snorkels, lighting, the list goes on. Because of all the options, vehicle modifications could cost you pennies for value mods, to a pretty penny for top-tier products. With thoughtful analysis through years of experience and 1,000’s of miles of off-road adventures we’ve come up with the top five off-road modifications worthy of your money. These off-road upgrades will give your 4×4 a customized boost and will help you get out there to explore.
Top 5 Off-Road Vehicle Modifications
These are our top picks for the top off-road modifications worthy of your hard-earned money. Tires, suspension kits, front bumpers, winches, and auxiliary lights are a great place to start your 4×4 vehicle off-road modifications. Your vehicle deserves the best and you’re going to want the upgraded performance that these off-road modifications provide.
Having extra lights for night-time drives or trail running activities is key. From light bars to small cube lights auxiliary lighting will give you the extra lumens, beyond your headlights, to keep you safe on your next adventure. Auxiliary lighting options are offered in a variety of light patterns. Spot, flood, and combo beam spreads are the most common. The higher the lumen count, the brighter the light.
Baja Designs boast premium quality aftermarket lights. Their Squadron Sport cube lights pack a powerful punch, 3,150 lumens to be exact. Along with their compact appearance, these lights offer up a crisp 5,000K light. Consequently, this coloration isn’t too warm or too blue; they’re designed to lessen driver fatigue and offer up a natural white color. Baja Design’s Squadron Sport cube lights exceed MIL-STD810G Mil-Spec testing, have replacement lenses and optics, and are waterproof and submersible-worthy. Now, let’s hope your 4×4 is!
Along with a solid off-road rig, running it on great rubber is critical. Wrapping your wheels in all-terrain or mud-terrain tires from a reputable company is important. From tire tread design to sidewall patterns, off-road tires can either make or break off-pavement adventures.
BFGoodrich has a rich history of producing high-quality tires. As a result, they’ve won many races and off-road competitions with them, for decades now. BFG LT285/70R17 KO2 all-terrain tires are one of their most popular sellers. They’ll fit lifted Tacomas, Wranglers, Xterras, and more. BFG KO2 tires boast tougher and thicker sidewalls. Moreover, they have specially formulated tread patterns to keep users adventuring when the conditions get tough. Who doesn’t want to tackle off-tarmac terrain with grippy proven tires?
A winch could be the single-most important off-road vehicle mod. Not only could it help others get unstuck when the going gets tough, but it could potentially even save your life should a precarious recovery situation arise. As with many other products, winches start from entry-level models to those that boast the latest technology and are designed to handle serious use in the harshest conditions. So buy a quality unit, use and maintain it correctly, and it will give you years of reliable service.
The WARN ZEON 8 winch is a workhorse of a winch. Packed with 8,000 pounds of pulling capacity, the IP68-rated waterproof ZEON 8 showcases 100′ of steel cable, and has a fast line speed. It’s trail-ready for most two-door Jeeps and smaller SUVs. Furthermore, this winch is also available with synthetic rope (model ZEON 8-S). The WARN ZEON 8 and 8-S have a limited lifetime warranty for mechanical components and a limited seven-year warranty for electrical components.
One of the most important upgrades you can do to your off-road rig is outfitting it with a front steel winch bumper. Not only can it house niceties like aftermarket lights for improved visibility and a winch for vehicle recoveries, it can withstand a lot more abuse than stock bumpers.
Rugged Ridge makes thousands of different products—winch bumpers being one of them. Their Arcus front bumper boasts features like a winch tray, tow hooks, and allowances for lights. This bumper, designed to fit 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler JL and Gladiators, is manufactured from high-strength steel and is finished with a satin black powder coat to help resist rust and corrosion.
Suspension systems can not only improve your ride and vehicle’s handling but can raise your rig for improved ground clearance when tacking gnarly trails. A quality suspension system will help make any adventure more enjoyable. Your back and kidneys will thank you after long miles traveling over rough terrain.
Old Man Emu suspension kits are carefully designed. No matter if your vehicle is in stock condition or outfitted with several upgrades, Old Man Emu may have a lift kit to suit your ride. They’ve been around for years and specialize in top quality products.
This Old Man Emu suspension kit, designed for a 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ, is engineered to give approximately two inches of lift (if outfitted with aftermarket front bumper, winch, and rear bumper with tire carrier). This system is designed to attack challenging terrain, no matter if its sand, rocks, gravel, or dirt. As with all their lift kits, this Old Man Emu kit boasts a smooth and refined ride when traversing tarmac, too.
Off-Road Upgrade & Go!
Put some of these key off-road upgrades on your 4×4 and point it towards the road less traveled. These basic quality off-road modifications are sure to make a huge difference in the comfort, durability, and capability of your vehicle while on the trail. This list will get you started, but as we said already, there are nearly infinite options to upgrade and personalize your 4×4.
Mercedes is an Oregon-based freelancer who specializes in vehicular adventure travel. She and her husband have three right-hand-drive turbo-diesel Mitsubishi 4x4s and two customized subcompact daily drivers. Mercedes enjoys automotive adventure competitions, having competed in the 2018 Rebelle Rally and the 2020 Alcan 5000 Rally. Her freelance work includes writing, editing, photography, social media management, event coverage, and marketing services.