Grab handles, better known as “oh shit handles” are pretty straight forward. There are a number of choices for the Wrangler JL in this category. Most non-Mopar aftermarket options are cheaper at $20-$30/set but use velcro to secure them to the roll bar. The Mopar option has the Jeep stylings and has the benefit of bolting directly on to the roll bar giving it a sleek look and fit but have an MSRP near $40/set.
We picked up a set of the Mopar Grab Handles and installation was easy enough. The top(s) need to be removed, or at least shifted out of the way or you will need your T20 wrench to be able to make a 90 degree angle (pretty easy if you use a socket wrench).
They are sold in separate front and rear sets. The front set works on both the Wrangler and the Wrangler Unlimited.
The brackets are quite heavy and have a polymer coating to help them not scratch the roll bars. They arrived with the brackets wrapped in cellophane to prevent any scratching or scuffing in transit. While grab handles are a pretty basic thing, it was nice that some care went in to packaging and having them play nicely over time with the Jeep roll bars.
Check out the links below to pick these up on Amazon.
If you have a dog and you have a Jeep then you need a way to keep your pup safe in the event of a fast stop. There are several barriers on the market and picking one out is no easy task.
Here were my requirements:
Fits 4 Door Wrangler (JK Unlimited) – The one from Bestop happens to fit both 4 door and 2 door
Has floor to roof coverage so that dogs are contained with seats down or up
Does not affect rear seat function meaning people can sit, or I can fold seats down without messing with the barrier
Strong! We have Akitas which are a large and strong breed of dog
Requires no drilling/modification… Easy install
Can be easily removed and installed when needed
Quiet – Does not rattle when driving off road
There weren’t many options that fit the above criteria, but the Bestop 42501-01 Satin Black Pet Barrier for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited seemed to hit most of them. I understood that high strength works against the convenience of quick and easy install/removal. Thus, I prioritized strength and reliability over some of the products that could be removed and installed more quickly like netting and the pressure mounted barriers.
Ease of install – 9/10
The barrier was packaged and delivered in an appropriately large box. The instructions were pretty good and it took me a couple hours from start to finish (including gathering the tools and then putting them away) and I assembled without any help. The only room for improvement would be that I had to use some deep thought to be sure I was installing the barrier in the correct orientation. I went with the intuitive way of facing the attaching floor brackets toward the rear seat (to stay away from doggy paws) which was correct. Some doubt occurred when attaching the lower brackets because they don’t quite reach the floor mounts perfectly (you have pull down a little) but once you fasten everything down the little bit of preload in the barrier seems to keep it perfectly quiet.
No drilling, no modifications. Just bolt it on and go!
Strength – 9/10
I can’t think of any reason why any pet barrier would need to be stronger than this one. If you come to a screeching halt at high speeds I have no doubt this barrier will hold up to two or three akitas in the back even without the seat down for extra support. I don’t give it a 10/10 because I know there are stronger ones out there which are completely over the top.
Functionality – 9/10
I’m happy with the functionality and understand that when you introduce convenience (quick releases for easy removal and install) that you do so at the expense of strength and reliability. The rear seat folds up and down as needed without interference. The barrier can be removed in under 5 minutes.
This barrier is as high quality as you need a pet barrier to be. The only reason it doesn’t get 10/10 because I would have made it a few mm taller, or changed the angle of the lower and top piece so that it didn’t take so much force to attach the bottom portion to the lower bracket. It wasn’t over the top difficult, but it could have been a little easier without a loss in performance.
Overall – 10/10 – Highly recommended
After hundreds of Akita car rides the barrier has performed flawlessly.
The coating on the metal is holding up perfectly
The barrier makes ZERO noise when driving around (even when wheelin’!)
There’s a perfectly planned spot for the rear seatbelt to pass through from the cabin to the rear seat
I’ve removed it and replaced it a few times to get larger items in and it was easy and the barrier showed no loss of strength after multiple removal and installs.