Jeep owners have a huge array of choices when it comes to off-road-worthy bumper upgrades, but really, there are just a handful of names they should know. One of those names? The WARN Elite Series.
Beside manufacturing some of the best, most durable vehicle recovery winches in the world, WARN Industries has plied its expert design and manufacturing skills to numerous other off-road parts and accessories. For Jeep, these efforts have culminated in the WARN Elite Series: a line of rugged off-road bumpers designed with a host of clever features to make your next trail outing a success.
Here’s how the WARN Elite Series can help take your off-roading adventures to the next level.
WARN being the manufacturer behind some of the best vehicle recovery winches in the industry, it should come as no surprise that the company’s Elite Series bumpers are built to winch. In fact, WARN is something of a stickler when it comes to the Elite Series’ winch-readiness; they’re the only bumper fabricator that designs bumpers specifically for winching, pull-testing each design to guarantee that it will perform as advertised.
Elite Series bumpers, with their integrated WARN winch-compatible mounting plates, are certified to withstand up to an industry-leading 12,000 pounds of pulling force – about twice the JL Rubicon’s curb weight – without deformation. So if you ever find yourself in over your head on the trail, you can rest assured your WARN bumper is up to the task of pulling you out.
These bumpers are compatible with some of the company’s most popular winches, including the VR and VR EVO model lines, the XD9 and XD9i, the M8, and the ZEON line. They’re even compatible with WARN’s revolutionary HUB wireless receiver system, which allows your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to take over the role of remote winch controller.
Not only does that mean there’s no separate wireless controller to keep track of; it also gives you a readout on your smartphone with real-time battery voltage data, and depending on the winch model, additional metrics like the load and winch motor temperature.
Version 103945 of the WARN HUB Wireless Receiver integrates with popular WARN-branded winches, but there’s even a version that’s compatible with Smittybilt Gen2 XRC and X20 winch models. Both are IP68-rated against dust and water intrusion, and both work seamlessly with WARN’s free Android and iOS apps.
If you weren’t already a student of geometry before you took up overlanding, you’ve likely become one. Approach and departure angles, breakover angle, total ground clearance – all of these are critically important to your Jeep’s trail capabilities, and they depend not only on the height of your suspension, but on the design of your bumper. Different bumper designs have different face angles and different overhang lengths, and some are friendlier to oversized tires than others.
WARN understands the importance of getting the bumper design just right for off-roading, and that’s why their Elite bumpers feature trail-worthy designs with small overhangs and optimized angles. Bumpers for the Wrangler JK, Wrangler JL, and Gladiator JT are available as “stubby” designs that don’t extend in front of the wheels, ensuring compatibility with the biggest tires you could possibly fit.
But even full-width versions are swept up at the ends to fit tires larger than stock; with nothing more than a 2-inch lift and the factory offset, WARN’s full-width Elite front bumper can fit tires up to 37 inches in diameter. And you don’t need to be a geometry expert to see the value in that.
Maybe the most compelling thing about these WARN Elite bumpers is the fact that they open up tons of new avenues for additional upfitting – and we’re not just talking about their winching provisions and WARN’s cutting-edge HUB wireless receiver.
There are the obvious features, such as the integrated eyelets for D-ring shackles, and then there are the less-obvious touches. Full-width Elite front bumpers, for instance, feature built-in recessed light ports – perfect for either factory or aftermarket fog lights, spot lights, or any other 4” round light – while the stubby versions allow you to mount auxiliary lights on top of the bumper. Rear bumpers, meanwhile, can be outfitted with WARN’s Elite Rear Tire Carrier (sold separately), allowing you to carry up to a 40” tire on a sturdy, secure steel frame that affixes to the bumper instead of the tailgate for extra off-road security.
The Elite Rear Tire Carrier can even be equipped with a Hi-Lift Jack Mount, giving you the perfect spot to attach a Hi-Lift Jack, a virtual necessity if you ever plan on pushing your Jeep to its absolute off-road limits. Alternatively, there’s a Tire Carrier-compatible RotopaX Mounting Bracket that lets you attach a RotopaX fluid container to the outside of your Jeep, so you always have a store of reserve fuel or water handy when you venture out onto the trail.
And in case that’s not enough trail prep for you, WARN also offers an Elite Skid Plate for the Wrangler JL and Gladiator JT, which integrates perfectly with their Elite bumpers and delivers extra protection for critical components such as the swaybar disconnects.
Toughness is a prerequisite for any off-road accessory, and WARN’s Elite bumpers have it in spades. Laser-cut and CNC-formed from thick-gauge steel, WARN’s Elite Series bumpers are sandblasted prior to powder-coating for the best possible coating adhesion and durability. They’re also tested with 408 hours of salt spray, showing a patently absurd level of corrosion resistance.
From the D-ring shackle eyelets, to the recessed off-road-jack lift points, to the available tubular grille guards, every square inch of every Elite Series Jeep bumper is carefully and expertly coated to fight off rust and stay functional for years to come, regardless of rain, shine, snow, or whatever else your next off-road adventure throws your way.
For more on WARN Elite Series bumpers, click here.