Bestop RoughRider Line Offers Jeep Storage Solution

Oct. 15, 2013 By Jim Brightly, KF7SCT
Bestop’s safes and soft storage allowed us to thoroughly enjoy our travels through Arizona and New Mexico and bring along enough gear to ease our camping chores.

Bestop has long been known for durable products, innovative designs, and decent prices. And now Bestop has added some additional innovative products for some TJ and JK Jeep models. Anyone who has owned a Wrangler for a while knows storage space is at a premium—even if it’s four-door Unlimited—so Bestop developed an innovative approach to this problem with the new RoughRider Soft Storage line.

Moving from front to back in the Jeep, let me list some of Bestop’s new and improved products. As you may or may not know, you can secure your valuables in an open Jeep in a below-seat steel locking safe. The driver’s side safe has been available for the past few years, and now a passenger-side safe has just been added to Bestop’s lineup. If you wish to be extra safe, you could bolt safes under both seats and double your capacity. Not only are the safes secure, but they’re out of sight as well.

All the new products completely fill the rear cargo liner.

Each under-seat safe is perfect for carrying a pistol, an extra magazine or two, and a couple boxes of cartridges, or other small but valuable items.

For carpet protection, the Bestop heavy-duty, thick floor liners should last through years of hard trail use. They are available in pairs—one pair for the front seats and one pair for the rear seats. The liners—or mats as most of us call them—have molded-in upward curved edges that will hold in place all the dirt, mud, and gravel you can drag in on your boots until you can hose the mats off at home. Pressed with a cool-looking off-road tread pattern, the “heavy” lugs on the mats will act as dirt scrapers while you’re enjoying the trails. With the added rear cargo area mat—just added to the Bestop lineup—a JK owner can protect the entire floor of the Jeep, with the non-skid aspect of the mat protecting the cargo as well.

Replace your OEM floor mats with Bestop’s tough, thick, embossed rubber liners. With over 50,000 miles on my JK’s clock, my right foot had already worn a hole through my Jeep’s floor mat and the carpet underneath.

Embossed with an off-road tire tread pattern, both pairs of liners are like shallow rectangular bowls that keep mud, dirt, and debris contained until the mats can be hosed off after each trip.

The popular Seat Back Organizer fits over the headrests of Wrangler seats, and in fact, just about any vehicle that has seats with built-in headrests. It has four pockets that offer lots of space for medium to small items, plus dividers and even two cup holders. And it stays securely in place with a quick-clip strap system.

If your JK has the top-of-the-line stereo with the large bass speaker, you’ll have to trim the Bestop Rear Cargo Area Liner to fit around the speaker’s housing. It’s molded with the proper cut-out if the speaker isn’t onboard.

As you can see, once the rectangle is removed the liner fits snugly and flat. 

Instatrunk is a bolt-on metal frame that doubles the rear floor space (between the back of the rear seat and the tailgate) of a JK two-door by adding a secure second level—like a two-story building. It’ll support 75 pounds of equipment and is high enough to provide plenty of cubic space underneath, while still being low enough to allow an ice chest’s or a refrigerator’s lid to clear the Jeep’s roof. If the Jeep’s top is off or down, it’ll also keep your cargo out of prying eyes. The Jeep’s locking tailgate pretty much makes it a fairly secure trunk for your gear. As it says in Bestop’s literature, the Instatrunk is designed for the JK two-door only. It’s too narrow for an Unlimited four-door and leaves too much room between its forward bulkhead and the Unlimited’s rear seat to be an effective addition to the four-door’s equipment.

It not only protects the carpet but also gives you a nonskid surface for cargo. 

Due to my Jeep’s cargo nets, which keep cargo from sliding forward into our dogs, I had to cut two slots in my liner for the nets’ turn-buckles.

In Bestop’s listing of applications, the Saddle Bags are listed for the JK model, but not the JK Unlimited (it’s the same listing as the Add-A-Trunk). Each Saddle Bag has a full-length zipper and a full-length adjustable shoulder strap. Since the Saddle Bags are not listed for the Unlimited—we have an Unlimited (and the Saddle Bags won’t fit the Unlimited’s roll bar with their attached Velcro straps)—we modified their use to fit our needs. They became our suitcases for our clothes on our trips. We bungeed them to our nets while traveling, and then carried them into our room or tent by the shoulder straps each day. They’re just the right size for enough clothes for week-long Jeep junkets.

The Seat Back Organizer fits over the headrests of the seats. It has four pockets, dividers, and two cup holders. It stays in place with a quick-clip strap system.

The Instatrunk is a bolt-on metal frame measuring 35 inches wide by 11 inches high by 11 inches deep, made from 16-gauge heavy-duty steel with a powder coat finish. It provides 2.7 cubic feet of lockable storage space.

The Instatrunk will support up to 75 pounds of equipment, although as you can see, it doesn’t really work in a four-door Unlimited. The JK’s locking tailgate secures the trunk—no need for extra keys—and it forms a weather-resistant seal.

Bestop does list the Tailgate Organizers as available for JK and JK Unlimited. These are really cool and are perfect for all of your recovery gear: tow strap, winch control, etc. Both bags slide into a grooved track that is screwed into the tailgate, a strap is then snapped down over the end of the track to keep them in place. A quick unsnap and you can slide the bags off the track and carry them inside. There is one caveat, which is you have to leave enough room for the Organizers when you’re packing in the gear beneath the Add-A-Trunk or your tailgate won’t close.

RoughRider Saddle Bags utilize the sport bar uprights in CJs and certain Wranglers to expand its storage capacity. For appearance and durability, the Saddle Bags maintain shape in any temperature. The bags’ fabric is mildew-resistant, contains UV inhibitors and is offered in factory original colors. Outer accessory pockets secure with Velcro for easy access to small frequently used items. As you can see, they don’t secure to an Unlimited’s sport bar, but can be sequestered almost anywhere, and the shoulder strap works perfectly to carry the bag into and out of the Jeep.

The RoughRider Tailgate Organizer provides unique tailgate storage. Custom-designed for each model series, the Tailgate Organizer installs onto the inside face of the tailgate. Although mounting screws are included, I used self-tapping screws with large heads to mount my organizer.

An extruded channel attachment system makes for easy removal or installation of the two storage bags (one large, one medium size). Beneath the bags is a net container.

Integrated carrying handles offer quick, take-with convenience wherever you go. The most difficult decision you’ll have to make is what to carry in the bags.

Again listed as available for JK, JK Unlimited, and other models, the Spare Tire Organizer kit will actually work on any Jeep with an external spare tire; however, it’s ordered according to tire size rather than which Jeep model is going to carry it. These bags—a larger and smaller bag on each side and a long, thin one in the center—attach to the Organizer’s base via the same grooved track used in the Tailgate Organizer. Above the center bag, which is actually on top of the spare tire, are two pairs of adjustable straps that are perfect for strapping down a folded and packed tent. During our test trip, we failed to check the maximum weight suggestions for the larger side bags and loaded two one-gallon jugs of drinking water. Fortunately, we discovered our mistake before losing the bags, although one had nearly pulled out of its track before we found it.

RoughRider Spare Tire Organizers are said to be a first in exterior storage solutions with applications for 30-inch-diameter spare tires up to big-dog 40-inch tires. There are two pocket groups on either side; one large and one medium pocket, and both use an extruded channel attachment system for quick removal and installation. And there’s a horizontally mounted quick-access pocket on the front. Securing with a strap system encompassing the diameter of the whole tire—in this case a 35-inch Goodyear Dura-Trac tire—plus the tire backside, it stays in place on the road or on the trails. A handy strap on top helps secure whatever else you need to keep tied down.

Bestop’s Soft Top and Accessory Care Kit includes a top and soft accessory cleaner, a vinyl window cleaner, and a protectant that’s formulated to safely repel dust, grease, and mildew.

One thing we’re still missing is a rooftop weatherproof carrier bag. We’d love to see the big yellow Bestop logo adorning a large black strapped-down carrier bag on our JK’s rooftop rack. R&D could use the same material used in their tops, but, oh well, maybe next season?

800-845-3567 Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!