Community Poll: 8 Must-See Front Bumpers

C4 Fabrication Hybrid Front Bumper, SCS F5 Wheels, & Prinsu Roof Rack on 3rd Gen Tacoma

We Asked 8 Owners About Their Front Bumper Setups

Welcome back to another community poll. This is a column interview Q&A with independent owner-submitted feedback from the overland community – centered around one topic. Each owner has thoroughly tested their products through off-roading or overlanding and gives us their honest opinion review of their set-up.

The first and obvious benefit is protection. For those who demand the most out of their rig, the stock plastic bumper doesn’t cut it. The second benefit is tire clearance. This is mainly true for only full front bumpers (not so much with slimline/low-profile choices). The last major benefit you achieve from an aftermarket front bumper is the ability to house many accessories. Adding one allows you to mount a winch, lights, and recovery points.

1. Jake Ingolia: CBI Off-Road Fabrication

Cavalry Blue 3rd Gen Tacoma with CBI Off-Road Fabrication Baja Bumper, Prinsu Rack & Dark Defense LED Lights


  • Fabricator: CBI Off-Road Fabrication
  • Model: Baja
  • Material: Aluminum 
  • Weight: 50 lbs
  • Price: $1,325 – $1,875


  • Dark Defense Amber Pods
  • Keeper 9500 ES Winch w/ Synthetic Rope

    Q&A – What Do You Like Best About Your Setup?

    I think the weight plays a huge factor in this setup! Trying to build an overland rig that has the least amount of weight is hard, so if I can save weight in certain areas, I’m all for it! I’ll be posting more about this setup on my YouTube: The Wander Taco.

    2. Brandon Chandler: Lil B’s Fabrication

    3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma with Long Travel, Alpha upTOP Roof Rack & Lil B's Fabrication Hybrid Front Bumper


    • Fabricator: Lil B’s Fabrication
    • Model: Hybrid Bumper
    • Material: Steel 
    • Weight: 105 lbs
    • Price: $1,399 – $1,699


    • Diode Dynamics Pods
    • Factor 55 Winch Accessories

    Q&A – What Do You Like Best About Your Setup?

    I love this bumper due to how aggressive it looks. The spikes near the grille add a cool aspect and work well with the truck. As opposed to different bumpers, you can remove the grille without scratching or bashing it as you remove it. This bumper was an easy install and there is plenty of space for a winch of your choice.

    3. Chris Brothers: C4 Fabrication

    C4 Fabrication Hybrid Bumper on 3rd gen Tacoma with weBoost Cell Signal Booster & Baja LED Lights


    • Fabricator: C4 Fabrication
    • Model: Hybrid Bumper
    • Material: Steel
    • Weight: 125 lbs
    • Price: $1,454-1,629


    • Warn VR EVO 10S Winch – 65 lbs
    • Baja Designs 30″ S8 Light Bar
    • Baja Designs Squadron SAE Fog Lights
    • Agency 6 Winch Shackle 

    Q&A – What Do You Like Best About Your Setup?

    Let’s start with the bumper. One thing I was concerned about was weight. So I looked at the options for hybrid bumpers. I decided to go with C4 Fab for a few reasons. One, I really loved how their hybrid bumper looked compared to other hybrid options. Secondly, I wanted the full hoop. I wanted full grill protection because when I just got the truck, I took it on a snow run with some friends and slid it very slowly into the back of my buddy’s Jeep. His spare tire went right over my bumper and into my grille. Now my bumper will stop me before I damage anything.

    Next up is the winch. I went with the Warn because I know it’ll work forever. My family has some old ones they use for moving trees around their property. They never let us down. So when it came to my Tacoma, the answer was simple. The VR EVO 10S had the power I wanted, synthetic rope, and a wireless remote. I was sold. I picked up the Agency 6 winch shackle because I wanted a closed system for winching. I also like that it has a rope guard integrated into it, saved me some money.

    Now for the lights. I just like Baja’s amber color. Ok, it’s more than that. I went with the Squadron SAE fog lights because I was gonna use them on the street and didn’t want to deal with any hassle if that ever came up. I went wide pattern for those, but I’m thinking about changing it to the combo pattern, just to get a little more light right ahead of me. I picked up the 30-inch S8, in amber, of course, because I loved the Baja Fog lights and wanted more Baja Designs. It also helps that the C4 Bumper was designed for that light bar. The three sections on the bumper cutout lineup perfectly with the light bar sections in the S8. And, I love Baja’s amber color.

    4. Chase O’Loughlin: Backwoods Adventure Mods

    Lifted MGM Tacoma with Icon Wheels, Pathfinder PROWLR Driving LED Lights & Backwoods Adventure Mods Front Bumper


    • Fabricator: Backwoods Adventure Mods
    • Model: Hi-Lite – No Bull Bar
    • Material: Combo Steel & Aluminum 
    • Weight: 80 lbs
    • Price: $1,600-2,500


    • Pathfinder 2″ Surface Mount Amber Spot Lights
    • Pathfinder 9″ PROWLR “True Amber” Driving Lights

    Q&A – What Do You Like Best About Your Setup?

    The hybrid construction. It’s super nice to be able to remove the lightweight outer shell when working on the truck as opposed to taking off a full, heavy bumper. Also, not having to remove the heavy winch is major. Check out my full install guide for more details! 

      5. Tyler Johnston: Coastal Offroad

      Lifted 2nd Gen Tacoma with Coastal Offroad Extreme Clearance Plate Bumper Kit & Prinsu Roof Rack


      • Fabricator: Coastal Off-Road
      • Model: Extreme Clearance Plate Bumper Kit
      • Material: Steel or Aluminum 
      • Weight: 98 lbs or 49 lbs
      • Price: $720-1,984


      • Vivid Lumen LED Lights
      • Rugged Ridge Winch
      • Factor 55 Fairlead & Winch Shackle

      Q&A – What Do You Like Best About Your Setup?

      I honestly love everything about this bumper. I ran Coastal’s regular high clearance bumper for a couple of years before getting this one and it was also great. But after talking with Brandon, I wanted to get more clearance and approach angle. Brandon redesigned the original bumper kit and came up with this one. Brandon used my truck for the measurements and the first kit for this bumper. It turned out even better than I could have imagined! This is most likely the BEST clearance and approach angle bumper available on the market right now for 2nd gen Tacoma’s.

      I do believe they have this available for 3rd gen Tacoma’s as well! Aesthetically, it looks awesome and very aggressive. It’s built strong, and with the weak factory cross member removed and replaced with a much stronger one, winching is easier now too. It’s very functional, I’ve been putting it through abuse for the past 5 months dragging it through some pretty gnarly trails here on Vancouver Island and it’s held up and performed flawlessly. I could not be more impressed with the quality of this bumper kit, the overall durability, and how aesthetically pleasing it is.

      It should be noted this bumper kit does require cutting out the low-hanging factory front cross member. By doing so, and welding in a new, stronger cross member directly between the frame rails this bumper gains over 4.5” of clearance compared to other aftermarket bumpers! If you aren’t wanting to cut the factory cross member out, Coastal’s normal high clearance front bumper kit is also a fantastic option. I ran that one for a couple of years as well.

      6. Luong: C4 Fabrication

      2nd Gen Toyota Tacoma with C4 Fabrication Front Bumper & Baja Designs LEDs


      • Fabricator: C4 Fabrication
      • Model: Hybrid Bumper (2nd Gen)
      • Material: Steel
      • Weight: 125 lbs
      • Price: $1,403-1,629

      Q&A – What Do You Like Best About Your Setup?

      My Tacoma is featured here with the 2012-2015 C4 Fabrication’s Hybrid Front Bumper. This steel bumper is 100% bolt-on, with cutouts in the front to allow access to a winch rope and clutch lever, and will accommodate most 8-12K winches. Based on your preferences, it can weigh 125 lbs without a bull bar, 130 lbs with a mid-height bar, and 13 7lbs with a full-height bar and side tube gussets. It is designed to fit a Baja Designs S8 30” light bar, but will also work with other brands such as Extreme LED or RIGID.

      Quality is key with any build and C4 Fabrication brings that to the table with each and every piece that they put out. The styling and design are both aesthetically pleasing and functional, which provides me with guaranteed protection against any obstacle, while offering multiple options on how I want to utilize additional equipment, such as after-market lighting.

      7. John Seda: Southern Style OffRoad

      Cement 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma with SSO Slimline Front Bumper & Snorkel


      • Fabricator: Southern Style OffRoad
      • Model: Slimline Hybrid
      • Material: Steel
      • Weight: 35 lbs
      • Price: $769 – $988


      • Smittybilt X10 Winch

      Q&A – What Do You Like Best About Your Setup?

      Southern Style OffRoad slimline front bumper. MADE IN THE USA. Mounts my Smittybilt x10 winch nice and neat behind the front bumper. Install was super easy. You will have to trim but it’s part of the game. The winch and bumper combined are under 100lbs, so it’s not beating on the front end. The recovery point welds are nice and clean as well, they have done their job on more than one occasion. It’s very beefy for not being a full bumper. I’ll have the high clearance sides and they will be going on soon. It’s a nice, clean look and the winch is mounted perfectly.

      8. James Panah: C4 Fabrication

      3rd Gen Tacoma with Mickey Thompson Tires, C4 Fabrication Front Bumper & Snorkel Upgrade


      • Fabricator: C4 Fabrication
      • Model: Hybrid Bumper (3rd Gen)
      • Material: Steel
      • Weight: 125lbs
      • Price: $1,454-1,629


      • (4) Baja Squadron Sports
      • (2) Baja S2s

      Q&A – What Do You Like Best About Your Setup?

      This is the cleanest designed tubular high-clearance bumper on the market (in my opinion). It’s super aggressive and sleek. The bumper allows you to run larger tires with ease, as well as give you all the clearance upfront for obstacles on the trails. Not to mention, there are a ton of mounting options for lights! I’ve always been a huge fan of the tubular-style bumpers. The bumper ties in flawlessly with my RCI rock sliders and my Outgear Solutions Tubular High Clearance Rear Bumper.

      It will fit most 8k-12k winches on the market, and the large cutouts on either side in the front allow for winch lever access. You can opt to have a front cut out for a 30” single row light bar. There are also 3 mounting plates on both driver and passenger sides (6 total) to mount lights. The bull bar can be customized to either full height or mid-height depending on your preference.

      Final Thoughts

      There are a lot of options out there when it comes to front bumpers and accessories. I hope this compilation of various trucks helps you out in your decision-making process. Front bumpers definitely aren’t cheap, but they are 100% worth it if needed.

      Each week, we will be choosing a different topic. Some weeks it will be very generic like Cement Grey Tacoma Builds and other weeks, we will get more specific like Suspension Setups. Regardless, everyone with a Tacoma can submit their truck to be featured here on Trail Tacoma.

      If you want to be featured for Taco Tuesday on 12/21, submit your build through Next week’s Taco Tuesday will cover Wheel/Tire Setups. We’re looking for awesome rigs to showcase. If this is you and you love your setup, send in your rig and details because we want to see it.

      Thanks for reading guys, I’ll see you next week!

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