I had a Smittybilt XRC and a Bestop HighRock front bumper on my Jeep. I thought I would write a product comparison in case other people were interested in either of these.
I got the XRC bumper a while back off Craigslist for $250. I really like it.
The Bestop HighRock bumpers have always been my favorite though. They're made in the USA and in Colorado! There are different types of HighRock front bumpers. The 2 I'm interested in are the standard HighRock (42901-01) and the HighRock High Access (42917-01).
I found the standard one on Craigslist for an incredible deal. It was only $200! They go new for around $470! It didn't include the grill guard. I ordered one for $104 from my local 4WP store.
After comparing the two I really noticed the reinforcements the Bestop has that the Smittybilt is lacking. We're talking 3/16" plates piled on top of each other.
One thing going for the XRC is it bolted right up. The Bestop needed several modifications.
First, the top of the bumper (where a winch would mount) extends all the way back to the anti-swaybar. They did not give enough room for anti-swaybar shaft collars, which I use to keep my swaybar centered. I had to grind the corners down some.
Second, the bumper wouldn't slide far enough back on the frame rails to get the bolts in. I had to grind off a little on the lower front part of the frame rails.
Third, the lower bolt holes in the bumper didn't line up with the frame mount holes.
So I had to grind away some metal to elongate the 2 lower holes. I used an angle die grinder with a carbide bit. I elongated the holes 3/16" toward the front of the bumper. Keep in mind there are 3x3/16" plates stacked on top of each other for a total of 9/16" thick! The Smittybilt only has single plate for the whole bumper. The carbide bit worked really well and went fairly quick.
I'm not sure why modifications were needed. Could it be my Jeep? The bumper? Since I got it on Craigslist, from someone who didn't know what it was, I don't know it's history. A rare early prototype maybe? That should double its value! If only it was in unopened original packaging....
After painting the grounded areas I mounted the bumper. Below is a picture of each bumper. Notice how the Bestop extends to the edges of the fenders. I like that look better, but the XRC looks sweet too. Tell me which you like better.
Here's a side view of the HighRock. It looks like a stealth fighter.
A few more facts. I weighed the XRC and HighRock both at 51 pounds. The HighRock grill guard tube adds another 7 pounds. You need to remove the anti-swaybar cover with the Bestop. The finish on the Bestop seems really nice. It's a little glossy and has some texture. It feels really hard. The finish on the XRC has more texture and does not have any gloss to it. It feels softer than the HighRock.
I still haven't made up my mind on which one I'll keep. I'll know after a month or so driving with the HighRock. I bet I keep the HighRock though.