Protection With Style: Warn Ascent Bumper Review

If you’ve taken your share of the roads less traveled, you’re likely familiar with the most commonly used recovery tool in the automotive industry—the winch. As a one of the most trusted names in the winching, Warn has a reputation for fast and reliable winches. What you might not know is that the company doesn’t just manufacture winches.

Understanding that your Jeep or truck needs a place to mount a durable recovery tool, Warn offers a full line of winch bumpers for a wide variety of late-model 4x4s.

This was something we kept in mind when building out our 2017 Toyota Tacoma. From the factory, our TRD Off-Road edition came equipped with plenty of great off-road appointments. Beyond needing a slightly more aggressive set of treads (which we took care of via 265/75R16 Nitto Terra Grapplers) the truck’s stock bumpers don’t exactly lend themselves to rugged off-road use. To fix this, we installed a set of Ascent series bumpers from Warn. The plate-steel bumpers are designed not only to improve the ascetics of the truck, but offer secure tow points, spots for auxiliary lighting, and a home for a winch of course.

To install the bumpers, we took our truck to Low Range 4x4 in Wilmington, North Carolina. There, the crew was able to knock out the upgrade in a few hours. While the video above walks you through the install, we’re breaking down the details the article below.

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Warn designed the Ascent series bumper to work with the 3rd gen Tacoma’s stock front bumper. You will need to trim out a section of the OE front bumper, along with the stock fog-light mounts, but it’s nothing a few minutes with an air-saw can’t handle.

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The front bumper mounts are bolted to the Tacoma’s framerails and tied into the stock tie-down points on the front crossmember. Like the bumper, the brackets come powdercoated with a black texture finish.

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The Tacoma-specific winch bumper is comprised primarily of 11-gauge steel, which keeps the overall weight down. Along with the necessary hardware, the Ascent bumper includes a spot for dual auxiliary lights.

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Since it is a winch bumper, we opted to fit ours with one of Warn’s Zeon series winches. The 10-S model we selected has a 10,000-pound line pull rating, which is plenty for the ¼-ton Tacoma. The 216:1 gear ratio on the Zeon model makes for a speedy recovery and the cast-aluminum housing helps keep down the weight.

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Adding some extra strength to our setup is Warn’s Epic Series winch hook, which is rated at 12,000 pounds for our application. The forged-steel hook is attached to 3/8-inch Spydura synthetic rope, which has proven to be durable and user-friendly on the trail.

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It’s easy to bang up the front bumper on the trail- especially at the factory ride height. We’ve already gotten good use out of the new setup, and even found the D-ring shackle mounts handy for a quick trail recovery.

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Since we wanted a more rugged rear bumper as well, we installed Warn’s Ascent Tacoma bumper out back. The bumper is entirely bolt-on and even allows you to re-use the Tacoma’s factory receiver.

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Similar to the front, the rear bumper comes fit with a black textured powdercoat finish to protect the 11-gauge steel.

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Along with appointments for the stock backup sensors, there’s allotments for 2-inch auxiliary lights. The bumper also has a step cutout on each side to make getting in and out of the bed much easier.

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Looking for more builder tips? Check out these 10 Common 4x4 builders’ mistakes.

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