2021 saw Jeep and others taking their adventure vehicles to the next level, offering more off-road features and ways to customise each ride than ever before. Plus, the off-road market is booming right now, with more people than ever looking to accessorise and upgrade their rides. The 4×4 market has seen a huge trend in aftermarket rock sliders and side steps as the premier choice for those looking to add on components. The reasons are varied, but the proof is clea according to PPD Performance: rock sliders and side steps are here to stay, thanks to products for specific vehicles like Hilux rock sliders and others.
There have been several performance improvements in the available aftermarket parts for things like side steps and rock sliders. Today’s products are made from durable materials that are designed to withstand a lot of force and give you years of reliable use. They often include additional coatings or protections and give you the chance to get more out of your 4×4 while keeping it protected at the same time. Today’s rock sliders feature full frame-and-body bolts so that you get a secure fit with premium materials for long-lasting durability.
There’s a growing market, and thanks to the Internet, it’s easy for people to find a wide selection of upgrades that are less expensive than they used to be. Plus, people are starting to realize that they’re not the same thing and that having both running boards and rock sliders is a must for total protection. There are models available for just about every vehicle that can fit them, and there are several styles within those to choose from, as well. You’ll find manufacturer models and aftermarket styles alike, offering something for just about everyone.
The obvious reason for upgrades with something like rock sliders is to protect your 4×4. Of course, when you do so, you will have your choice of stylish options so that you’re getting a custom look with your safety upgrade. Side steps make it safer for you to get in and out of your 4×4 and give you a little extra protection for the edges of the undercarriage when you’re out on the dirt or playing on the trails.
More People Outdoors
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, social activities and getting out are very limited right now. In 2022, that caused a lot of people to get back to the only safe place—the great outdoors. That means more people were buying and upgrading 4x4s, ATVs, and other equipment so that they could still have some adventure even if they weren’t able to spend as much time with family and friends. As the market demand grows, so does the available selection.
Again, the 4×4 and off-roading markets are booming right now. People are clamouring to get out and have a good time and of course they want to do it in style. With the available selection of aftermarket parts and components like rock sliders and side steps, everyone can create a customised look for their ride and add useful features at the same time. Whether you’re looking to create a one-of-a-kind finish, or you just want something as edgy and cool as your 4×4, you’ll find plenty of different options to choose from. It’s a great way to customise your ride without spending a fortune on custom accessories. Plus, you get extra protection along the way.
What’s the Difference?
Some people don’t understand the difference between running boards or side steps and the actual rock sliders that are used for protection. For starters, side steps are typically designed only for easier access to your vehicle, not so much for protection. They may offer a buffer, of sorts, but they won’t take as much of a beating as rock sliders will. They come in several sizes, lengths, materials, and styles, so you can get the ideal finish, and most suppliers will remind you that they’re more for style and access than they are for durability like rock sliders.
The latter are specifically designed to bolt to the frame or the body of the vehicle, or both, to help with sliding off of obstacles when your vehicle gets stuck. Rock sliders are made of premium durable material and designed to withstand the entire weight of your vehicle, no matter what kind of terrain you’re stuck on. They offer a very functional purpose and are often necessary for many terrain conditions. Rock sliders are a godsend for off-roaders, and they can take your adventures to a whole new level.
What’s Up for 2022?
There’s a debate raging as to whether this trend will continue into 2022 or something else will take the spotlight. However, people are still begging for new releases and solutions, and there are tons of advantages to upgrading both of these elements. Of course, rock sliders are the more valuable and necessary of the two. Getting in and out is good but getting off that rock without having to call a buddy with a winch is going to be even better.
If you’re lifting your vehicle, side steps will be a helpful addition. You can find nerf bars, side steps, running boards, and so much more. The new market is for sleek, simple features that don’t take up a lot of space. It’s no wonder that these two upgrades are so popular as the 4×4 community gets more active and heads out on the open road. With more capable 4x4s comes the need for more capable accessories.
You’ll be able to pick the side steps and rock sliders that you like best for your specific off-road vehicle (for example check out these Ford Ranger side steps). Just make sure that you check out all of the features, get the right fit, and read some reviews to see how people actually like the parts in practice. It might seem like you’ve found the perfect sliders but if they’ve got more bad reviews than good, you’ll want to keep looking. It’ll be interesting to see what 2022 brings, but for now, the style and substance of rock sliders and side steps are captivating the 4×4 community.