Top 8 Best Bumper Guards
By | Last updated: May 5, 2020
best bumper guards

It’s not your driving habits or parking skills that are in question here — it’s the other guy’s capabilities (or lack thereof) from which we need to guard ourselves. The cynical amongst us will say these types of bumper guards also fortify your own bumper to inflict maximum damage on others. Verticalscope’s bedwetting lawyers are reminding me not endorse that activity.

We’ve not limited ourselves to a single make or model in this post when selecting contenders for this list, so please be certain your bumper guard of choice fits your vehicle before ordering. Most of the ones shown here are of the “universal” variety. However, a lifetime of installing (and then removing and re-installing) vehicle accessories has taught your author that “universal fit” doesn’t always mean exactly what you think it does.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have a garage, or even off street parking, so there is a measure of usefulness to these items. In fact, there must be a fairly big market for this type of car protection if the array of available options is any indication. Your author used to be proponent of the phrase “bumpers are for bumping,” but today’s styling decisions often render that belief more obsolete than a Commodore 64. Note well: the non-adhesive versions of these things should only be deployed when the car is parked.

And don’t worry, in addition to the best bumper guards, we’ll have a list of off-road bumper guards coming up soon.

1. Editor’s Pick: Gold Edition Bumper Bully Extreme

If forced to slap one of these things on my car, this is the one I’d choose. Solid and durable, this bumper guard measures as one of the largest on this list at an expansive 46” x 12”. The straps from which it hangs are reinforced with steel, meaning that nefarious ne’er-do-wells will need more than a stout knife to swipe this thing.

High intensity reflectors make the thing stand out and remove any “I didn’t see your car!” protests from the offending motorist, an exclamations which was likely a fib anyway. They also make the thing look like an industrial tool from Fallout 4. A couple of stabilizer bars keep this thing on the straight and level.

This is our pick from a lineup of the best bumper guards.

Pros/Steel reinforced straps, large size
Cons/Brand logo placement is most unfortunate

2. Most Aggro: BumperBadger HD Edition

Sometimes, simply scaring your fellow motorist into submission is enough to keep them from inflicting wanton destruction on your car with their bumper during parking maneuvers. This black and red bumper guard from BumperBadger (snicker) stands like a tombstone and looks ready to absorb the most careless of parking taps.

Features on this bad boy include raised ribbing that extends from the surface to provide a flexible impact zone to cushion minor parking bumps. A set of top stabilizer bars keep the guard flat and stable for maximum protection. Those trunk straps are triple-stitched if not steel threaded and its extra wide surface covers lot of the bumper.

Pros/Aggro appearance, ribbed for your pleasure
Cons/All the style of a frying pan

3. Affordable Option: T-Rex Bumper Protector for Cars

If your car is not yet a beat-up hooptie but is also not worth enough to worry about sticking things on the exterior of it, then this may be a solution for you. Made of quarter-inch thick material, it is essentially one enormous bumper sticker. Attached with the magic of 3M double-sided tape, the T-Rex curves around to the side of your car, one of the only guards on this list capable of that party trick.

It’s only about four inches high but should do the trick if someone nudges your car with their own bumper. The offender will likely make contact with the guard instead of the bumper. It alleges to “keep the elegant look of your car” but I’m not too sure about that. In the days of full length body cladding (RIP, Pontiac), maybe. For those simply looking for a quick hit against quick hits, this will likely work just fine.

Pros/Many leagues cheaper than a new bumper cover
Cons/Only ¼ inch thick, held on with adhesive

4. BumperX Bumper Protection & Guard

Here’s another from the “peel and stick” files. This guard adheres to your car’s bumper just like the one listed above. This time, the protector is six inches high. Spanning 62 inches wide, it does not cover the corners. Its seller advises that this is not recommended for cars without a perfectly flat bumper and, alarmingly, should not be purchased by anyone who’s not a “DIY type”. Okay, then. It’s a sticker. How hard can it be?

Not hard, surely, as trimming can be accomplished with a simple set of scissors. Interestingly, its creators say this guard was modeled to fit a 1997-2015 Prius, explaining the whole ‘flat bumper’ thing. It adheres to the car with 3M adhesive designed to stick to paint or metal. In a fit of creative marketing, the seller notes that Uber/Lyft drivers can use this to spruce up their car if they already have a beat-up bumper.

Pros/Great if you have an old Prius, allegedly sticks like glue, resistant to bad weather
Cons/Only the thickness of a quarter

5. BumperSafe - Bumper Protector for Cars

This decidedly unattractive option is made from foam covered in all-weather material, explaining its odd protuberance. Fully adjustable straps which not only go into the trunk but also hooking onto the bumper’s leading edge by the wheelwell are the epitome of function over form.

It measures a good six feet wide, meaning it should span pretty much the width of any car. It is also nearly ten inches tall, providing good bash protection vertically as well as horizontally. There are a few safety reflectors to make the thing stand out on a black car and the material from which it is made is alleged not to burnish the car’s paint.

Pros/Functional, durable, good reviews
Cons/Ugly as sin

6. Bumper Thumper Ultimate Complete Coverage Front Bumper Guard

What? You live in an area of town where the front of your car needs parking protection? Well, at least this $50 accessory is cheaper than moving. If you don’t mind your car looking like a grade-school kid with an unfortunate mouth retainer, this product lashes to the front bumper to provide protection for the nose of your car.

The Bumper Thumper (chuckle) attaches to the bumper’s leading edges, just like the rear unit described above, then goes hooked to the front license plate. Drive in a location that doesn’t require front plates? Good for you. The company recommends a separate license plate protector upon which a person can hook the Bumper Thumper. That particular unit gives the car an unfortunate overbite, but hey – you’re already required to mount a front plate so you might as well go 10/10 on the ugly factor.

Pros/Protects the front of your car, scares those pesky kids into brushing their teeth
Cons/Plate frame bumper sold separately

7. Parking Armor Ultimate Rear Bumper Protector

This is the only bumper guard on our list whose sellers don’t show it deployed on a, y’know, actual car. Nevertheless, this rectangular accessory measures about four feet wide by a foot tall, so it won’t protect the corners of your ride but you should be covered in terms of height. Its straps are reinforced with steel to prevent theft and also have anti-skid foam pads on their anterior side to protect your car’s paint and keep the thing in place.

A foam core is apparently a good two inches thick, meaning it should be able to handle impacts that would flummox other bumper guards. It is weather protected, meaning it should hold up well in snow and rain. Nearly 90 percent of buyers from a good sample size give it four stars or higher, which is a pretty good endorsement.

Pros/Straps are reinforced with steel, flexible construction to absorb parking whacks
Cons/More costly than some other options

8. Luv-Tap Universal Fit Rear Bumper Guard

Our final entrant in this series is advertised to attach via bungee cords or suction cups. Those of you who remember the enormous uprights on the front bumpers of square-body GM trucks will recognize that styling feature immediately. Offered in different sizes and with or without a cutout for license plates, the Luv-Tap (comedic opportunities abound) should have enough options to fit just about any car.

By the way, those suction cups are apparently lined with a “washable/renewable” no-residue gel which create a temporary year-round bond. Just how temporary is not mentioned. Drivers could also use the supplied bungee cords should they so choose. There are up to six points of attachment.

Pros/Protects the entire bumper, strangely machine washable
Cons/Eye-searing styling choices

End Notes: Yes, we’ve pilloried the style (or lack thereof) exhibited by these bumper guards all throughout this article. However, they do have their place in the automotive kingdom and do an admirable job of protecting a car’s bumper against the carelessness of others. Yea, most of them look like a diaper. At least they’re cheaper than paying a bodyshop to fix the damage.

Of course, if bumpers still resembled the units found on American cars of the ‘70s and ‘80s – especially the horrid 5 mph bumpers – we wouldn’t need to be talking about this type of accessory at all. Those bumpers were arguably designed not just to protect the car on which they were mounted but also inflict the most damage possible to other cars.

In an age where more and more cars are being packed into ever tighter quarters, some motorists can use whatever defensive weapons they can find. Bumper guards are a cheap way to do just that.

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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