So, words on the street are that you’re looking for a side step that would glamorous your jeep and pose all the benefits that you’d want? Hmm.. Now, that could be a nail-biter mainly because the market is jam-packed with so many side steps. So, which one should you get? Don’t fret. We’re here to lead you to your perfect match. Buckle up because, in this side step for jeep wrangler review, we will discuss multiple products along with their unique features, pros, cons, and most importantly, some guidelines on how you can pick the best fit for your jeep.
Therefore, let’s not delay anymore and see what we have in store for your beloved jeep!
Side Step for Jeep Wrangler: Top 10 Jeep Step Bars
I kid you not; the real terror begins when you start scrolling through a few branded and renowned pieces of side steps. One seems better than the others, but is that exactly what you should get? What does your ride or die jeep need at the end of the day? Ahh! It’s so confusing!
We know you’re overwhelmed with all the options, but hey, we’re here to help. There are indeed plenty of options to skim through, but it’s not necessary that they’d all complement your vehicle.
To know more about the differences in each of the best side step for jeep wranglers, we’ve put in uncountable hours of research and implemented that in this review. So, rather than gaining just surface-level ideas, let’s dig in deeper and see what the fuss is about.
1. Best Choice: OEDRO 6 Inch All-Steel Build Running Boards
Oedro has amazed its fan base with its distinct drop-down feature and sidestep design which complements the 2007-2018 jeep easily.
The leaf-shaped design on this bad boy isn’t just the eye-candy but also serves high functional convenience as it lifts even oversized tires with proper ground clearance. Another charm with this piece is the powder coating, which can prevent corrosion and rust while maintaining a durable and robust finish throughout its lifetime.
The welded brackets on this product also conform to added strength, unlike its contemporaries, making it the best side step for jeep wranglers to its loyal users.
Oedro also remains true to its roots by offering a no-hassle service and installation method. It’s super quick to assemble without the need for drilling or cutting.
- Comes in 2 styles and shapes
- Has a black and red exterior
- Constructed with a black powder coat finish
- Perfect replacement for 2007-2018 jeep wranglers
- Has a weight limit of 350pounds
- Extremely easy and quick to install
- Built with top-tier, sturdy materials
- Looks quite stylish
- Extra step in between lets users access the top of the jeep
- The metal portions are prone to rust
- Some users think it’s too close to the jeep
To be fair, if you need a no-hassle sidestep with exemplary after service – get this. Since there’s an inclusion of a 2-leaf shape, you can even access the top of your car.
2. Best Value: AUTOSAVER88 6 Inch OE Style Side Steps
This valuable deal would be useless if it weren’t for its superior corrosion-resistant, durable and sturdy material and construction. It’s made with grade-A aluminum alloy with a textured black surface and ABS plastic, which prevents it from deteriorating with time and slipping.
Autosaver88 also commits to delivering a product to its consumers who have no installation hassle. And they serve accordingly with their improved DIY installation process, detailed graphic assistance, texts, and easy bolt-ons. Yes, you guessed it right, this piece requires no cutting or drilling either!
- Made with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene and aluminum
- Comes in jet black color
- Compatible with 2018-2021 jeep wranglers
- Can handle a maximum of 450lbs
- Comes with all the necessary hardware and accessories for easy installation
- The anti-slip surface is also corrosion and UV resistant
- Built with top-notch sturdy and durable materials
- Provides great value for money
- The installation is a bit confusing
- The bracket’s sizes don’t fit perfectly
Seriously, if you’re looking for the best value deal, it doesn’t get any better than this. You get a stylish sidestep with a durable finish, long-lasting capacities and a perfect fit, all within a reasonable price point and undeniably higher value.
3. Premium Pick: AMP Research 75122-01A PowerStep Electric Running Boards
The best feature about this premium deal is its electrical and automated powered design that instantly captures your eyes and heart. The low-profile, LED implemented running board looks like a stunner in the streets, but that’s not it.
The side step has high-strength PTFE-coated stainless steel and aluminum construction which can resist corrosion, rust, and harsh weather conditions.
Now, even though you require some drilling during the installation, the side step is 100% stable, sturdy and maintenance-free, thanks to the precise pivots, rock-solid lubricant bushings, and pinch-proof technology.
- Made with aluminum and stainless steel
- Comes in two styles
- Weighs around 47 pounds and can carry maximum 600 pounds
- The step pad has a 12.5inch drop
- Relatively easy to install
- Comes with perfect 2-seconds timeout
- Great pressure safety feature
- Provides high precision and stability
- Only comes with one bracket to hold the entire body
- The LED lights are installed with double sided tape
Looking for a premium deal that will not disappoint? Good, because this one’s it. The AMP sidestep doesn’t only look exquisite but has multiple real-time functionality such as wiring harness, OEM quality motors and weatherproof technology, along with an excellent customer service.
4. Running Boards for Toyota Tacoma: Tyger Auto Drop Step Running Boards
This masterpiece will fit your full-sized four doors like butter.
But, the best about this deal is the design. The Tyger Auto sidestep comes in a drop step design which enhances the accessibility and makes it the best choice of running boards for Toyota Tacomas.
This sidestep also has a W design which provides ample space between the ground and the jeep’s base, ensuring smooth landing of the feet every time. Lastly, the end-to-end premium coat and build protect your car against debris, rust, and water damage while maintaining a rugged look.
- Finish is in textured black
- Compatible with 2005-2022 Toyota Tacoma
- Body is covered in heavy E-coating
- Best running boards for Toyota Tacoma as it fits 4 full-sized doors
- Premium build due to the heavy textured carbon steel and E-coating
- Only bolt-on installation, no drilling
- Round edges promote smooth entry and exit
- Prone to rust accumulation
- Takes a bit longer to figure out the installation on the driver’s side
The thing about running boards for Toyota Tacoma is that the options are endless. But, if you’re in dire need of the strongest build, opt for this beauty which has E-coating, heavy carbon steel construction and powdered finish that won’t budge.
5. Wheel to Wheel Nerf Bars: n-FAB | T1464R | Nerf Step
Don’t slack on this deal if you’re a trendsetter who loves to make a statement in the streets. First off, let’s take the stress off you by saying that the installation on this is super simple.
With zero hassles, all you need is to bolt in and enjoy the wheel to wheel nerf bars, all-rounder hardware, and design. The n-FAB has been welded to perfection with alloy steel and a durable finish. But there’s more. The entire metal is dimpled to equip reliable traction and is resistant to harsh weather conditions.
In the end, you will be left with a rugged design yet a clean and modern look with the 2″ heavy gauge rounding, mounting hardware, and the gorgeous black powder coat finish.
- Comes in 6 different styles and three sizes
- Has glossy black or textured black color shades
- Built with alloy steel
- Fits SUV, 14-21 4 Runners and Toyota
- Direct bolt-on installation without any hassle
- Welded with top graded materials which provides high durability, rigidity and strength
- Best wheel to wheel nerf bars with dimpled plates for easy in and out
- Promotes early rust problems
- Prone to scratches
These wheel to wheel nerf bars come in a wide array of sizes and style. But, users love this piece for its one in a million, aesthetic and functional dimpled, powder coated, rugged and weather resistant design.
6. Carbon Steel Bar: Tyger Auto TG-AM2T20018 Side Step
Let’s get the most eye-catchy element out of the way first – its ostentatious gray exterior. This is it if you need high functionality mingled with a carbon steel bar that looks rugged and ready for the streets.
This Tyger edition has a star metal patent which serves endlessly to step in and out of the cabs in a jiffy. The bar is also heavily protected with the dual girder technology and the 2-inch diameter tubes. Trust us, there’s much more to this product than its spotless textured black coating and finish.
So, hurry before it stocks out!
- Comes in four sizes
- Has a textured black exterior
- Constructed with metal
- Fits full-sized front two doors and two rear doors
- The carbon steel bar is particularly great for SUVs and pickups
- Can carry up to 500lbs on either sides
- No drills needed, easy bolt-on installation
- Comes with a triple, sturdy tube design
- Instructions need to be clearer
- The bolts and nuts aren’t the sturdiest
If you’re looking for the pinnacle of craftsmanship in a carbon steel bar, don’t forget to check this piece. This grey beauty has the sturdiest built along with multiple sizes for your jeep’s advantage and to make stepping in and out smoothest.
7. Chevy Running Boards: ONINE 6 Inch Chrome Side Step Nerf bar
Have you been looking for chevy running boards with unshakable structure and quality? Good, because we have just the right gear for you.
This running board is made with high-strength polished aluminum, unshakable mounting brackets, and ease for position customization. It can tailor users with extreme security and easy in and out due to its wide 6″ stepping area.
But that’s not all.
The extra-strength aluminum alloy construction prevents bending, discoloration, and weather conditions. It would be silly to look elsewhere if you’d like a taste of durability, seamless build and sturdy coating, and aggressive hardware.
- Comes in three different textures and colors and two sizes
- Made with aluminum and has a polished exterior
- Compatible with trucks and sports utility vehicles
- Holds around 350lbs on both sides
- Made with heavy-duty, high-end and high-quality materials
- Best chevy running boards for the road as it can take a beating
- Provides ample grip even in rainy, icy and muddy conditions
- Can be customized to forward and backward positions
- Non-slip, super wide surface
- Should’ve had another mounting to take heavy passengers without stressing
- Prone to stains and scratches
If you’ve been on the search for the best, heavy-duty chevy running boards, this nerf board will be a sweet surprise. It has the sturdiest built along with customization options that can tailor to various passengers and weight limits.
8. Drop Step Nerf Bars: Hooke Road Wrangler JK Drop Side Steps
The drop-off height design of these sidebars has the best rugged and off-road appeal. The 5.62-inches drop step nerf bars have undeniable functionality with all-over protection, durable non-slip functional steps, and rails for smoother entry and exit.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the Hooke Road sidestep also has a corrosion resistant take on its body which blends seamlessly with the E-coating. Most of its renowned capacities come from its tubular steel implementation. These don’t just look monstrous on the terrains but provide utmost functionality too.
Moreover, the nerf boards were structured with 2″ tubular, heavy-duty steel with a powder coating and textured black finish. Lastly, the no-fuss installation instructions and process make this deal a complete masterpiece, perfect for 2007-2018 jeep wranglers.
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- Manufactured with alloy steel
- Has a textured, black exterior
- Compatible with passenger cars
- Corrosion resistant construction
- Best drop step nerf bars for 2007-2018 4 doors
- Provides superior protection in undercarriage and car’s body
- Simple bolt-on installation
- There are some welding flaws
- Needs better quality check
These drop step nerf bars provide superior protection against tough terrains, the undercarriage and car’s body. Since everyone wants full protection for their jeeps, this piece is a game-changer.
9. Drop Step Running Boards: APS Black Tubular Drop Down Style Nerf Bars
First off, the bulky look and appeal are a showstopper with this APS model. The solid 6″ drop step running boards provide unparalleled security and anti-slipping technology that makes them compatible with users who want high safety in their rides.
Moreover, the installation is deemed super easy thanks to the comprehensive instructions, no drilling, and bolt-on installations. This board is also crafted with top-tier steel brackets and comes with two sets of mounting hardware and brackets, so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on installation accessories.
- Has a DIY, solid style
- Exterior is powder coated with matte black finish
- Made with carbon steel
- Best drop step running boards for jeep wranglers 2007-2018 4-doors
Reasons To Buy
- Arrives with full set of accessories making installation easy
- Best for lower entry usage
- It has a clean and bulky appeal
- Sturdy design
Reasons Not To Buy
- Installation time could take up to 3 hours
- Sometimes might need drilling for the bolts to line up
The APS drop step running boards is a favorite for all heights. If you need a side step which can accommodate your entire family, don’t hesitate about this model.
10. JK Running Boards: V8 GOD JKU Tubular Nerf Bar Side Step
This model is genuinely the best of the best of JK running boards. One of the many reasons for such uplifting reviews on this board is its all-rounder undercarriage and side protection.
The construction of this durable piece also has a non-slip overlay which makes every entry and exits smooth and accident-free. Furthermore, the rugged look and appeal mostly come from the hollowed star logos and its delicate details and hefty body structure.
Now, who wouldn’t love to catch a few glimpses while they’re on the road, am I right?
- Styled as a bar system
- Has textured exterior
- Built with alloy steel material
- Weighs 54lbs with 2.4” diameter x 0.79” thick tubing and 11-gauge
- The tubes are heavy-duty with anti-slip technology
- Comes with sealed ends to prevent dirt and water
- Highly long-lasting JK running boards
- Requires no drilling or modification
- Installation is a bit time consuming
- Not fit for winter
This JK running boards truly serves its name as God, with its rugged looks, non-slip pads, textured finish and premium E-coating. Users love this specifically because it can serve a long line of 2007-2018 4-door models.
Buying Guide of Side Step for Jeep Wrangler
So, as we understand by now, there’s no alternative to side steps for jeeps. These help users immensely in maintaining the ergonomics and feasibility of the jeep. However, you may still be confused, given that there are too many varieties in the market.
So, here are a few definite guidelines and notes to keep in mind while choosing a side step for jeep wranglers.
Jeep Running Boards & Side Steps for Wrangler
Side steps have many names, such as sidebars, step bars, and nerf bars. The primary function of a side step is to provide jeeps with a stepping surface.
Hence, these are mainly used in oversized vehicles such as SUVs, pickup trucks, and jeeps. But, they have other benefits, such as lowering the car, rounding up the overall look, and adding devices to make entering and leaving jeeps easier.
Here are a few reasons why side steps are different from running boards.
- They are narrower.
- Side steps have a custom-made position feature.
- They offer lower ground clearance.
- Leaves quite a bit of space between the vehicle and the step.
Running boards also provide a platform that acts as a vehicle’s surface board. But, its installation is different as it has a flushed mounting against the vehicle’s panel, thus, leaving no gap in between.
These boards are more comprehensive with a flat profile. Moreover, running boards mesh well with cars, starting from smaller crossovers to giant SUVs.
Here’s how running boards differ from side steps.
- They have a flat and wide profile.
- Features full-length and single tread.
- Offers greater ground clearance.
- Flush mounting system.
Are Side Steps Worth It: Do Running Boards Add Value
Side steps are definitely worth the hype and investment because it sits up higher, thus, enabling passengers to hop in and out in a jiffy.
Another great reason to have it is that it boosts the truck’s longevity and exquisite interior. How? Good question.
Well, while getting in and out of the car without a side step, the leather seats start creasing on the sides, increasing their wear and tear. Side steps are also significant when stuck in any obstacle or mud pit.
Running boards are worth it, too, as they can keep debris and dirt away from your vehicle, which lets users maintain a cleaner interior too. Another additional value with running boards is improving mileage by providing aerodynamic benefits.
Retractable Side Steps for Jeeps
Besides the essential functions that running boards offer, retractable running boards are one of the best advanced technologies in this sector.
The mounting is beneath the jeeps, and once the door opens, the retractable board propels down, eventually forming a lower ladder or step. These additional features benefit users during climbing in and out of the vehicles.
How to Choose Running Boards
It’s evident that choosing a running board can get very confusing. So, here are a few notes to remember before you make the purchase. Let’s take a quick gander at what they are.
Shape And Size –
There are a couple of lengths for a running board. Some models stop at the rear of the jeep, whereas others are wheel to wheel, which covers the entirety of the jeep.
Moreover, consider the size of the jeep, too, giving more importance to the width of the model. Tubular running boards have multiple diameters, which range from 2 to 10 inches.
Now, this is entirely dependent on your personal preference. You can get a few selections such as anodized aluminum, painted, black, textured powder coat, chrome, polished and black powder coat.
Polished coats only work well with stainless steel and aluminum thus, you get a classic shine without paying an arm and a leg for a topcoat. However, they require regular maintenance. The chrome finish can give the brightest shine of all, but they’re prone to scratches.
The patterned texture will depend on the manufacturer. However, most of the time, you will get a rubber or plastic texture overlaying the running board, making it the safest choice in the market. These are also great if you need a comprehensive step for your jeep.
Go for a functional yet, aesthetically pleasing running board. Some of the textures also come around the sides of the panels, which have a rubber base. These offer a more rugged look while possessing all the functionalities.
The base of all kinds of stepping bars will be metal, either aluminum, mild steel, or stainless steel. Entry-level side steps usually have a mild steel construction which is readily available and relatively affordable and have a protective top coating.
However, mild steel can’t withstand moisture; thus, over time, if some areas aren’t protected, it might be prone to corrosion or rust. So, if you want your investment an eternity, you must opt for stainless steel.
These are incredibly resistant to rust and have great shine, but they’re a bit more expensive. Aluminum is also one of the best choices as it’s sturdy and robust for withholding any amount of weight and exceptionally resistant to rust.
Pros and Cons of Running Board
There are indeed two sides to this coin. And like any other product, side steps have pros and cons too. Come and skim through to know what they are.
Pros of Running Board-
- They provide a step-up for passengers with all kinds of heights.
- Side steps protect jeeps from road rock chips and debris.
- Side steps regulate a cleaner interior of the jeeps.
Cons of Running Board-
- The side step will get dirty quickly and require regular cleaning and maintenance.
- They will affect the ground clearance to some extent.
- If the height and width match poorly, they will deteriorate the jeep’s seat quality.
Nevertheless, you need a side step to protect your go-to jeep when getting in and out of it or off the road. These come in handy, especially when you have a lifted ride, as some side steps fold and flip while others remain fixed.
What Are the Different Types of Side Step?
So it’s evident that people get further confused while choosing a side step for their jeep because there are many kinds of them. They all perform seamlessly, to be fair. However, the installation and choice must be suitable for that to work. Hence, it’s time to know a bit more about sidestep types.
Side Steps –
It’s a one-piece fixed pad or individual step placed on the sides of the jeep. They assist people in getting in and out and optimize the overall look.
Rock Sliders –
These protect the sides of the car from dirt and debris. But, they also benefit users by functioning as a step to get in and out.
Side Rails –
These are tubular steel rails that travel down the entirety of the car. There’s high-grip sheets placed around the rails, which optimizes footing and prevents slippage.
Electric Side Steps –
Electric steps are the most intuitive as they extend automatically when they sense someone opening the car’s door. They make exiting and entering cars a luxury.
Side Steps for Jeep Wrangler Sport, 4 Doors, 2 Doors
Side steps for mopars have a horizontal platform design that sticks out and assists people in getting in and out of the jeeps.
Similarly, side steps for sports, 2 or 4 doors come in a wide selection and range. These can be single or elongated steps that go around the entire jeep. While the designs and styles may vary, their sole purpose remains the same.
How to Install Side Steps/Running Board on a Jeep Wrangler
Before installation, a few things to note are to ensure that you have the correct size of sidestep, and its smaller end will face the jeep while the larger end faces the front.
- First off, let the sidebar hang in place as they’ll come with studs.
- You’re going to have a 13-mm bolt. Screw that into the body of the sidebar from underneath the jeep.
- Cover the studs with the provided nut and screw them in.
- Repeat the same process for all nuts, bolts, and studs.
- Tighten everything in place using a quarter-inch drive ratchet and 10mm deep socket. And voila!
Can check out the following tutorial video on how to install a Jeep wrangler side step with just an easy process.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q1. What Side Steps / Rock Rails to Add to JL Wrangler?
A) The best complementary side step for a JL wrangler seems to be the ones from AMP, Westin, Rockslide, and EVO MFG.
Q2. How Much Do Running Boards Cost for a Jeep?
A) The average running board costs could start around $150 and even work up to $30,000 or more.
Q3. How Can I Get Into My Truck without Running Board?
A) Here's how you can get on a jeep without a side step.
- Get in while maintaining a more parallel angle to the car.
- Be close along the side of the jeep to slide better.
- Use the right leg to hoist yourself up and hold the handrail or steering wheel for balance.
- Slide on top of the seat easily to avoid twisting your hip or knee.
Q4. Do Running Boards Affect Gas Mileage?
A) Running boards do affect a car's mileage but ever so slightly. Since they add extra weight to the vehicle, the mileage decreases a bit.
Q5. Do Trucks Look Better with Running Boards?
A) Other than the primary advantages, running boards attached to a truck can make them appear nearer to the ground, giving it a more seamless overall look. But, running boards also provide high protection on the road and can be implemented to keep a cleaner truck.
Q6. Which Is Better for Running Boards Aluminum or Stainless Steel?
A) Stainless steel is much stronger than aluminum, whereas aluminum is lighter than steel. Therefore, if you want your running board to support your weight and have a durable build, you must opt for stainless steel.
Q7. Do Side Steps Work as Rock Sliders?
A) Rock sliders benefit cars by adding higher protection to the underside. Thus, even though rock slides are usable as side steps, they can't work the other way around.
Q8. Why Are Side Steps Called Nerf Bars?
A) The word 'nerf' originally comes from racing. It's a term utilized for when racers bump another to pass them during racing.
Word On The Trail
And that’s a wrap to our comprehensive yet helpful (we hope) review.
Now, as we can all grasp from this detailed article, purchasing the best choice of a side step for jeep wrangler for your jeep may not be the most straightforward task in the world. However, when the best options are laid out to you, it must be a bit of a reliever, right?
But, hold your horses because you still have one last thing to do. We’re confident you have gained abundant information on jeep wranglers, their features, uses, and guidelines. So, it’s time to put that knowledge to use and pick the finest fit for your car.
Other than the budget, don’t forget to look for the features you need and match them with your requirements. This will lead you to have a valuable investment that will last in the long run.