Best Off-Road Jacks: Get Unstuck Fast
It’s always good to be prepared when driving off-road, so keep one of these top jacks in your vehicle
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BY Deborah Wright / LAST UPDATED ON November 21, 2019
There is nothing better than heading out on an off-road adventure. Driving on unpaved roads can be a lot of fun, as long as you don’t get stuck. If you get stuck, the last thing you want to do is wait for help to arrive. Save yourself time and money by taking along one of these top off-road jacks.
This jack measures 49 x 5 x 10 inches. It can lift up to 3.5 tons and it weighs 28 pounds.
- With the slim shape, this jack can be used in tight spaces
- Works well with larger tires
- Works with the two-piece handle and socket
- Solid base stand is sold separately
- Paint may chip over time with use
- Loose parts make it noisy while driving
The jack measures 7 ⅝ inches tall. Works best on vehicles with a lower clearance. Has a 4-ton capacity. Weighs 8 pounds.
- This jack is easy and simple to use. It is compact and low maintenance
- Extension screws adjust and will accommodate your desired work height
- Base is small
- Jack may lose pressure if you leave the car on the jack overnight
- May not go as high as you need
This scissor jack measures 26.4 x 19.1 x 9.4 inches. The oversized base provides for maximum stability. This jack has a 1.5-ton capacity and weighs 7.7 pounds.
- Big base plate makes this jack stable
- Quick and easy to use
- Comes with a long handle for cranking
- Constructed with alloyed steel
- Handle may be difficult to turn when raising the car
- Base length of 15 inches may not fit into the tire wall space that held the original jack that comes with your car
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Benefits of Off-Road Jacks
- Vehicle recovery. If you're an off-road enthusiast and get stuck on the trail, the best jack for off-roading will help you get back on your way in no time. Many have the ability to operate as a winch to help you get unstuck.
- Upgrade to factory jack. If you install larger tires on your Jeep and you get a puncture, odds are the factory jack won't lift high enough for you to repair that flat tire. The best off-road jack will help you in situations where your stock jack can’t. Some brands also work as well in the garage as they do on the trail.
- Accessories. Many off-road jacks are compatible with a wide range of accessories that make your work more efficient. Some can be paired with off-road bases, covers, and mounts to affix them to your truck or Jeep.
Types of Off-Road Jacks
Hi-Lift jacks are the most versatile and work on various types of road surfaces. These jacks are fairly basic and are typically designed with a wide, flat base. One of the advantages of these jacks is they easily find leverage in a mix of situations, including gravel, sand, mud, and snow. They are not meant for tire changes and other vehicle maintenance.
If you want a very strong hold, then a floor jack will do the trick. However, this type of jack works best on flat surfaces. While some brands have wheels and can technically be used in sand, snow, and mud, they can be difficult to move around. They are not the best choice for off-roading.
Bottle jacks are also known as hydraulic jacks. The best bottle jack for off-roading is adaptable, but its versatility depends on the type of base it features. Those with wide and grippy bases are best for off-roading. Still, bottle jacks are most efficient if they're used on flat surfaces.
There are pros and cons to using an inflatable jack for off-roading. One advantage is that they work well on uneven or cambered surfaces, including sand, snow, and mud. The biggest problem with this type of jack is that it can be punctured, so it needs to steer clear of sharp objects (as well as hot temperatures).
The Hi-Lift Jack Company is part of the Bloomfield Manufacturing Company, which has been owned and operated by the Harrah family since 1895 and is one of the oldest companies in Indiana. Hi-Lift produces a variety of jacks, accessories, and other products, including this Hi-Lift Jack.
Powerbuilt is based in Cypress, Calif., and has been making tools for 40 years. Its products are geared towards automotive professionals and include hand tools, power tools, tool storage, and jacks and lift equipment, such as the Powerbuilt Black Alltrade 3 Ton, All-in-One Bottle Jack.
Smittybilt was founded in 1956 by Basil "Smitty" Smith and is based in Compton, Calif. The company got its start producing four-wheel-drive equipment for trucks and Jeeps. Today, the company manufactures more than 2,000 products for the truck and SUV market, including the Smittybilt Universal Trail Jack.
Off Road Jack Pricing
- Under $50: There are several off-road jack options in this price range. You can find bottle jacks or scissor jacks that can accommodate a weight capacity up to several tons, depending on the brand.
- $50-$100: Slightly more expensive off-road jacks may provide more safety features, such as wider bases and safety bars. You will find Hi-Lift jacks in this price range and products that are powder-coated or gold zinc-coated for a longer lifespan.
- $100 and up: Some off-road jacks cost several hundred dollars. They are constructed of high-grade steel or are inflatable. They are very versatile and can be used in sand, mud, and extreme conditions. They are designed to resist sinking on uneven ground and are designed to operate in the toughest terrain.
Safety is a number-one priority when you're shopping for the best off-road truck jack because you want to minimize risk. Therefore, ensure that it is designed to meet the needs of your particular situation so you don’t hurt yourself or others. Look for safe jacks that come with protective features, such as shear bolts, built-in weight limits, locking pin systems, and safety bars.
Not all off-road jacks work with all vehicles. Do your research and make sure the jack you purchase is designed to work with your vehicle's make and model. Check the lifting capacity and whether it can easily fit under your car, truck, or SUV. Also, check the size to see if it can easily be stored in your vehicle.
The best off-road jacks are heavy-duty, sturdy, and durable. They should be constructed of high-grade steel, so they can withstand the stress of off-road use. Some high-quality jacks are powder-coated, which protects them from rust and corrosion and extends their lifespan. Avoid cheaply made jacks that are more likely to fail within a short period of time.
Some jacks are more versatile than others, as we noted earlier. While many brands are geared towards road use and are perfect in the garage, some can also operate in the mud, sand, or gravel. An on-/off-road jack is convenient because you can use it in a variety of situations.
- Size. If you own an off-road jack, you're probably going to carry it with you when you go off-roading. Some jacks are designed to be compact and portable, so they're easy to store in your truck, SUV, or Jeep. Many can be paired with accessories such as mounting brackets to save space.
- Jack Base. This is a must-have jack accessory. Essentially, a strong and durable jack base provides a sturdy platform when you lift your wheel off the ground. One example is the Hi-Lift ORB Off- Road Base Accessory Jack, which keeps your jack from sinking on soft surfaces. It's compatible with all standard Hi-Lift jacks and is a universal fit.
Best Off Road Jack Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Use the jack according to its designed purpose. Hi-Lift jacks are designed primarily to get your vehicle out of a tight spot. You should not use them to change tires or to perform other types of maintenance on your vehicle.
- Try lifting your car with the off-road jack before you hit the trail to confirm that it works well. It’s important to find out about any working issues before you actually need to use the jack.
- Use the jack according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some parts may get damaged if not used correctly, compromising the safety of the device.
Q: What type of jack will support my vehicle?
Most jacks can support a car weighing from 1.5 to 4 tons. Look up the weight of your car and compare that to the weight that the jack will hold.
Q: How much does a jack weigh?
Jacks have different weights and sizes. For off-road use, make sure the jack is not too heavy and that it will fit in tight spaces if you need to use it.
Q: Will off-road jacks fit in my trunk?
While most jacks will fit in your trunk, they may not fit in the space where your car’s original jack fit. You can always store an off-road jack in a storage box. Then it won’t slide around your trunk.
Our top pick for the best off-road jack is the Hi-Lift Jack. This jack is slender and will fit in small spaces.
For a budget-friendly alternative, take a look at the Pro-Lift B-004D Hydraulic Bottle Jack.