A Jeep without a tire carrier is like my uncle without a 40 in his hand. It just doesn’t look right!
Picking your signature mount can be like diving into an ocean of choices.
There are lots of quality options for Jeep owners to choose from with three main brands dominating the space. As the pressure builds, you are at odds with this gauntlet of diversity. Will you prevail?!
Here are the 7 best Jeep Wrangler Jk Tire Carriers on the market:
1. Smittybilt 2743 Oversize Tire Carrier Mount for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK - Matte Black
This will attach this to your factory tailgate. You won’t have to drill anything, and they supply all the mounting hardware.
It’s made of a powder coated steel with welded joints. Similar to the other options in this list. And because of that it’s still fairly sturdy. This weighs about 25 lbs. Most people raise their eyebrow on this, because they’re used to seeing carriers in the 500 dollar range.
But when you look at the details, and that it’s made of steel from a good company. Then you take a look at the reviews, you can rest easier. Sometimes an affordable product can provide a great value at its price point. Which is what we think this does.
2. Smittybilt 76857 SRC Gen 2 Bolt-On Tire Carrier
Installation is going to take you some work, and you’ll have to remove the rear bumper to install it. But the good thing is it bolts to your frame, you can watch the youtube video below to get a glimpse at the full install.
They have a decently good warranty that offers limited lifetime coverage on defects and issues. The big negative on this kit is instructions, they’re lacking and customers are a little peeved. When you’re paying a lot of money for something, the instructions should be up to par.
3. u-Box Rear Bumper w/Tire Carrier & 2 inch Receiver Hitch
It has 3/16″ steel tubing which is going to be sturdier than the stock plastic on Jeeps. There is a hinge to give you rear access after you mount your tire. The 2″ receiver will let you add something to tow.
Installation is going to involve removing your stock bumper and it’s a bolt-on design. The hardest part will be getting it seated properly. There is a limited 2-year warranty against defects.
Something to note is how heavy it is. Nearly 140lbs, so you will need help with installation.
4. Aries Jeep Heavy-Duty Spare Tire Carrier
Fit: 2007-2018 Jeep JK
The Aries Jeep Heavy-Duty spare tire carrier is a low-cost option(relative to others in the category) for someone wanting a hinge carrier.
This is meant to replace your factory door hinges and adding the brake light is a nice touch. You won’t have to drill anything for install and you can watch the video below to get an idea of the difficulty.
It does look a little less polished than other carriers, and maybe too plain – but what it doesn’t have in style it makes up for in price. It can hold tires up to 37 inches in diameter. It really is heavy-duty, at over 50 lbs.
You could give the bolts and washers a black paint job and then it’d look nearly identical to similar products that are 300 dollars more. This is a really good value for anyone trying to save money.
5. Smittybilt Black Pivot HD Oversize Tire Carrier
While this option is a bit heavier duty and the mounts appear to cover more area – it only adds up to 6 lbs more in weight compared to the Aries. It does include a high mounted brake light as well.
For the sake of comparison – we don’t think this is worth it when it is so similar in looks and function to the Aries.
6. Rugged Ridge 11546.50 HD Tire Carrier Kit
It’s a combination of steel and aluminum parts so that it has a quality construction for weight bearing spots but not overly heavy as to weigh down your frame. You can fit oversize tires here and use it with one hand.
We mainly like that it’s a clean functional product and its value to price point. There isn’t a lot of play in the hinge system as has been reported in other brands. If you want to get a well-made solution to your tire carrier and don’t mind dishing out some cash then we recommend Rugged Ridge.
This product comes with a 5-year limited warranty. The brake light is also adjustable. If it bothers you in your rear-view you can find a good depth for it.
7. Rugged Ridge HD Tire Carrier with Wheel Mount
At the root of it, this is just an OEM upgrade to your standard Jeep carrier. It’s 30 pounds and has the standard Rugged Ridge warranty. If you want something that looks better and is more heavy-duty than your stock setup – it’s a great choice. Plus, it’s affordable.
Upgrading a tire carrier can be pretty expensive. A lot of these options have the bells and whistles but also a price tag that makes you think twice, so finding the best value is a big deal.
We think there is one carrier that while simple, is an incredible value overall. And that’s the Smittybilt 2743. If you’re set on a hinge-based setup, the Aries is an incredible value. But if you don’t like the looks of it, we recommend the Rugged Ridge.
All of these options are bolt-on so you won’t be pulling your hair out trying to install it. If you end up picking something from this, make sure to tell us how it worked out. We love hearing from our readers! And as always, thanks for stopping by.