When you have a Jeep, space can be sparse.
Especially if you have oversize tires. And when you consistently put those tires to the test offroading or otherwise, you need to have a spare.
So getting a quality tire carrier to handle your extra tire is a good idea. There are plenty of options for Jeep JK owners to safely carry their spare.
Here are the 6 best Jeep Wrangler Jk Tire Carriers on the market:
1. Smittybilt 76857 SRC Gen 2 Bolt-On Tire Carrier
Fit: 2007-2018 Jeep JK
The Smittybilt SRC tire carrier is the second iteration of their popular line. The heavy-duty steel kit will fit Jeep Jks from 2007-2015 or any SRC Gen 2 bumper.
It has a hinge based design so you can open it with one hand, and it looks pretty good in black.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Rugged Ridge 11546.50 HD Tire Carrier Kit
Fit: 2007-2018 Jeep JK/JKU
Rugged Ridge has a great reputation among Jeepers for quality products, and their HD Tire Carrier Kit extends the good word.
An extremely polished design that attaches to your door hinges means a bolt-on installation.
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.
6. Rugged Ridge HD Tire Carrier with Wheel Mount
Fit: 2007-2018 Jeep JK/JKU
The Rugged Ridge HD Tire Carrier is a nice swap to replace your factory mount. It bolts right up to the same holes and will give you a sturdier product to hold your over-sized tires.
It’s not as fancy as the swing out designs but it’s affordable and does its job.
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 really liked u-Box combo kit for tire carriers but its not going to be for everyone. 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. Well, you might pull your hair out but maybe not as much? Anyways, we hope you found the perfect carrier to compliment your Jeep!
Stay safe, and muddy 🙂
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.