We get a lot of comments on the forums and social channels comparing the UltraSwing hitch tire carrier against a complete replacement bumper with a swing-out.
The truth is we never intended for the UltraSwing to be an alternative to a bumper with a swing-out. The UltraSwing was built to be a lightweight ultra-versatile hitch tire carrier alternative to a replacement bumper. Personally, when I was building my 4Runner I had zero desire to put a rear bumper on. I didn’t want to add 250+ lbs of weight to the rear.
However, we did feel it would be helpful to breakdown the key benefits of both side-by-side.
So is the UltraSwing the right solution for you? The following is what we feel are the most important differentiating priorities to weigh when deciding which option is best for you.
Weight and Versatility:
Weight is the enemy of performance. Whether it’s for maintaining the performance of your suspension, or not wanting to need to change your factory suspension, the UltraSwing is up to several hundred pounds lighter than a replacement bumper.
If you engage in a range of activities, for example, cycling, camping, and off-roading, and you also want to maintain regular usage of your 4Runner around town, the UltraSwing is a better option than a replacement bumper with a swing out. A replacement bumper is a commitment. Even if your bumper choice does not include cutting the bedsides or factory bumper, that’s not something you are very likely to revert back to stock down the road.
If weight and versatility resonate more with you, UltraSwing is a better candidate for suiting your needs.
Also, although I spend a lot of time off-road, and sometimes get going with a bit of speed in the desert, I don’t do a large amount of very technical trails warranting the additional rear end protection. When I do encounter a ledge obstacle the most common scenario is dropping off with the hitch being the first place of contact. I’ve smacked the hitch portion numerous times, often on purpose just to see if I can get something to break or loosen if I do it enough, the UltraSwing is yet to show any signs of weakness.
If departure angle and rear-end protection are higher priorities, these priorities for you, then you should consider a replacement bumper and possibly a built-in swing-out.
If you are frequently finding yourself on trails that require maximum departure angle to clear and have already or almost already crumpled your factory rear bumper, a replacement bumper is most likely the best option for you. However, keep in mind that there are some aftermarket bumpers that maintain the stock hitch location and can still utilize a hitch mounted tire carrier like the UltraSwing. This gives you the ability to add rear-end protection, while also maintaining the versatility of the UltraSwing.
Conclusion: This is clearly a simplified conversation, but we hope it provides some context to start thinking about the experience you’re looking for in a rear swing-out for your 4Runner or other vehicle platform. If you have specific questions or comments we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Or give us a call or email.
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