Jeep Must-Haves for SummerLast Updated August 8, 2023 | Alison Smith
Summertime and Jeeps were made for each other. Although there’s no place we’d rather be than out in our Wrangler on the trail, the scorching summer sun can sometimes be too much to bear. While air conditioning can provide some relief from the heat, wheeling with your windows up doesn’t allow you to truly experience the great outdoors. Versatility is one of the Wrangler’s main appeals, with the ability to remove the doors, the top, and even the windshield for slow-speed driving. Whether you have a JK or JL, there are several Jeep must-haves that can make your Wrangler more enjoyable in those warm summer months.
Jeep Must-Haves For Summer
- Soft top
- Sun shade
- Half doors
- Side mirrors
- Foot pegs
- Camping gear
- LED lights
- Seat covers
- Tailgate accessories
Do you have a hard-top Jeep Wrangler? Then you should consider investing in a quality aftermarket Wrangler soft top for the summer months. Having two tops comes in handy when the seasons change, and it can also give your Jeep a whole new look. Wrangler summer tops offer an easy way to remove the top when needed and are easy to store in the back of your Jeep once removed. Investing in a secondary soft top for your Wrangler eliminates the struggle of removing your hardtop every time you want to take your rig out on the trail. Soft tops are going to offer you the protection that you need and the versatility to be able to remove the top in a matter of minutes.
The best part about soft tops is that you don’t need any help removing them, it’s a one-person job. Hardtops are not only a little awkward to remove, they typically require two people in order to lift it up off the Jeep. So why not give your Jeep a new look for summer with an aftermarket soft top? Even if you already have a soft top equipped, factory soft tops are not always the highest quality and can be a pain to remove. Most aftermarket options are more durable, will last longer, and are usually easier to remove in comparison to stock tops.
What’s so great about a soft top is the freedom to easily remove it! Removing a soft top takes little effort, but once removed, there is no shelter from the beating sun. It gets hot on the trail, especially if you are wheeling in an area with little to no natural shade. Wrangler sun shades are built to withstand high wind levels and usually require no modifications in order to install. You won’t have to worry about it flapping around on the highway on your way to the off-road park. Some may require a header channel, so be sure to check the product description for any additional components you may need. Many are UV-resistant in order to prevent fading from the sun. With sun shades, you can still get that open-air Jeep vibe with some added protection.
Available for both two-door and four-door Wranglers, sun shades will help shade both you and your passengers while out on the trail. Whether you frequently off-road in the desert, where there’s little to no shade, or simply need some additional relief from the heat, sun shades are perfect for the trail. They are compact, so they won’t take up much space, which is important to note given the Wrangler’s lack of cargo area. CJ’s carries several affordable, high-quality sun shades that are perfect to stash in your Jeep, so you can easily access them on those sunny days!
The worst part about off-roading and camping in the wilderness is the unpredictability of mother nature. Weather forecasts aren’t always accurate, and a sudden, unexpected thunderstorm can appear out of nowhere. Emergency trail covers can help shield your Jeep’s interior from the rain if you get caught out on the trail or while you are camping. With all-weather protection, these covers will completely encase your Wrangler’s cab to prevent water from coming inside the Jeep. Covers come in handy in the event of emergencies, but they can also help keep your Jeep cool and protected while you’re parked. These aren’t to be used while driving, only when the vehicle is not in motion. Some have flaps. so you can access the interior if needed. If you’re planning on removing your top for an extended amount of time during the summer, then a cover is definitely a must-have component to have in the event that bad weather hits.
Jeep Wranglers are famous for their open-air capabilities, which includes being able to remove the doors. Although you are free to remove the doors entirely and have complete freedom, half doors are a great alternative and midway between doors and no doors. Half doors are especially beneficial for off-roading as they provide added safety while trail riding. Half doors, including trail and tube doors, will give your Jeep a rugged, aggressive look and allow the breeze to flow freely throughout the vehicle. Opting for half doors in comparison to full doors can even help increase visibility on the trail. Removing the doors is a pretty easy process, it just requires a removal tool. Once you’ve removed the factory doors, installing half doors is also fairly simple as they are lightweight and typically require no modifications. If you do plan on doing some water fording or driving through puddles, you may want to opt for the solid half doors rather than the tube or trail doors as water will be able to splash into the cab. Note that you will most likely need to install aftermarket side mirrors, as when you remove the stock doors, the mirrors are also removed. Certain state laws and regulations require side mirrors, so be sure to check with the proper authorities before heading out with no side mirrors.
As we established, removing your Jeep Wrangler’s doors will leave you with no side mirrors. While some half doors will come with side mirrors included, most of the time you will have to purchase them separately. Quick-release mirrors easily mount to brackets that are installed on the windshield frame of the Wrangler. A locking knob provides an easy way to attach the mirrors when needed and a quick way to remove them when you want to put your stock doors back on for the cooler seasons. Even if side mirrors are not legally required by your home state, it’s still a good idea to have them as they allow you to see better, which is extremely important when you’re off-roading. Being able to see how close you are to a rock or tree will make a big difference out on the trail. Without mirrors, you will have several blind spots that might potentially cause you to bang up your Wrangler unnecessarily.
If you opt to have the doors completely removed from your Wrangler, then foot pegs are the perfect affordable mod to give you a great resting place for your foot. Obviously, if you have a manual Wrangler, you’ll need both your feet at all times, but you can still give your passengers a way to kick back and enjoy the ride. Foot pegs mount to the outside of the door, using the hinges that hold the door when it is attached. Several fun shades are available, so you can add a nice pop of color to your Wrangler, or you can stick with black for a stealthy, more rugged look. Whether you need to stretch out your legs or need a resting place once the doors are removed, foot pegs are definitely a Jeep must-have for summer!
Overlanding in a Jeep is a great way to spend a little extra time in the great outdoors.
Next time you go camping with your Jeep, don’t settle for a run-of-the-mill tent or other basic camping equipment. Your camping gear should be as rugged and durable as your Wrangler. Awnings, roof tents, and camping chairs are just a few of the Jeep must-haves you’ll want to grab for summertime. Even when you aren’t settled at the campsite for the night, awnings can come in handy out on the trail during the summer. If you want a place to picnic during your excursion but can’t find any shade to get away from the sweltering heat, an awning is the perfect solution. Simply pull out the awning and instantly create a shady spot. A roof rack may be required in order to attach camping gear properly to your Jeep. Along with the necessary camping equipment, it’s a good idea to keep a fridge in the back of your Wrangler for cold beverages and food. Staying hydrated is always important but even more so in the summertime. After a long, hot day of trail riding, wouldn’t it be nice to grab an ice-cold water bottle out of the fridge? Just make sure you have enough battery to properly power your accessories as you wouldn’t want to completely drain it while your’re camped out in a remote location.
Even though the first day of summer is usually the longest day of the year, LED lights still come in handy on the trail. If you plan on doing some late-night off-roading escapades, then you’re going to want to be well-equipped before you go out exploring in the dark. Being able to see your surroundings and any potential obstacles is a must-have when venturing out on the trail at night. LED lights will greatly enhance your visibility and allow you to see any rocks, dips in the terrain, or fallen trees. Rock lights are also available, so you can get a better view of the angles underneath the vehicle and prevent any body damage. Available in a wide variety of colors, LED lights allow you to personalize your vehicle and enhance your safety on the trail after sundown. Since there are plenty of options to where you can mount LED lights, you can truly personalize your Wrangler. Whether the LED lights are on or turned off, light bars and spotlights will give your rig a tough and aggressive look, even when riding down the highway.
Summer is for loading up your Wrangler with friends, hitting the trails, and maybe even taking a dip in a nearby river. Whether you like to get your Jeep down and dirty in the mud or prefer to play around in the sand, tracking in some of that dirt is inevitable. In order to fully protect your interior, seat covers are one of the most prominent Jeep must-haves for summer. If you take your four-legged furry friend with you on the trails, then seat covers are going to help protect the interior of your Wrangler from pet dander, muddy paw prints, and any odors. CJ’s carries a large selection of Wrangler seat covers, from officially licensed Mopar covers to well-known aftermarket brands such as Rugged Ridge and Smittybilt. When the seat covers get covered in filth from the trail, most are machine washable or can be rinsed off, so you’re ready to go for your next off-roading exploration.
Jeep Wranglers aren’t known for their abundance of extra space, especially when it comes to the cargo area in the back. Tailgate accessories such as tables and storage add-ons can be a great way to organize all your cargo and create some much-needed room. Tailgate covers with pockets create more storage space and are a perfect place to store all your recovery gear or camping equipment. Multi-purpose tailgate tables attach right to the tailgate and fold out whenever you need to use it. These are great for tailgating, when you’re picnicking on the trail, or even when you’re on the job site and need a place to set your lunch. If you’re out camping, you can even use the table as a prep area before you throw some burgers on the grill. Tailgate accessories help you squeeze more room out of a relatively small cargo area, so you can have enough space for all the things you need to store in the back of the Jeep.
Image Credit: FCA