Feature Friday: 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner Recommended Armor & Protection Mods

Lifted 5th Gen 4Runner Using Winch with Synthetic Winch Line to Self Recover

We Asked 6 4Runner Owners What Armor & Protection Mods They Chose For Their 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner – Here Is What They Said!

This Week’s Topic: 4Runner Armor

Welcome back to another Feature Friday! I hope you all had a great week and are ready to wrap it up with some awesome 4Runners.

This time around, we are talking about armor and protection mods for the 5th Gen 4Runner. We asked 6 owners what armor they chose to protect their rigs and why. Below you will find their answers and the brands that they decided to go with. If you want to see more armor-related posts, check out our 4Runner armor category. Now, let’s get into this.

Top Brands Featured

Why Should You Protect Your 4Runner On The Trail?

Lifted 5th Gen 4Runner Off-Road

The number one reason? 4Runners are expensive (especially right now) and you want to protect that investment.


Front and rear bumpers are a nice addition of armor to your 4Runner if you are really thinking about taking your off-road adventures to the next level. Out of all the armor mods, I feel that bumpers, however, should be towards the bottom of your list. Don’t get me wrong, they are great for front and rear protection, but if your stock plastic bumpers don’t have a scratch on them, then they probably aren’t needed at this time. Some added benefits are improved ground clearance, the ability to run larger tires, and extra mounting options for accessory lights and recovery items.

Rock Sliders

Now, these definitely have a dual purpose for the 4Runner. Purpose number one is the slider acting as a side step. The 4Runner, for many, is a family rig. For those that have little ones, having a side step to get up into, or on top of the vehicle is crucial.

The second purpose of sliders is rocker panel protection. This is why they call them “rock sliders.” Having sliders allows you to have peace of mind going over rocky terrain. If you add kick-outs to your sliders, then you have some extra side protection against trees or tight situations on the trails.

Skid Plates

Toyota provides us with basic skid plates for the 4Runner, but a proper rock will do some unfortunate damage to the underside of your 4Runner without beefier ones. To me, purchasing skids is like having that “well it only takes one-time” mentality. They are an investment, but it only takes one rock or thick tree stump to put a hole in your oil pan or smash your rear differential to make you wish you had just gone ahead with that purchase.

With that said, let’s jump in it.

1. Matthew “Boz” Bosma (@boz4rnr) – 2019 TRD ORP

Lifted 5th Gen 4Runner with C4 Hybrid Front Bumper, RTT & Custom Magnetic Goat Truck Armor

Armor Details

  • Front Bumper: C4 Hybrid Full Front Bumper
  • Rear Bumper: Hefty Fabworks Aluminum With Dual Swingouts (Tire + Dual Jerry Can), High Clearance Hitch
  • Sliders: RSG w/ Kick Out
  • Skids: RCI (Aluminum) – Engine, Transmission, Transfer Case, Cross Member, Gas Tank, Rear Diff, & LCAs
  • Misc: GOAT Magnetic Armor

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

Obviously, the main benefit of armor is the peace of mind that critical components and expensive body panels will be protected. In addition to that, the front and rear bumpers can drastically improve your approach and departure angles for clearing obstacles.

I chose aluminum where possible to save on weight without sacrificing protection. I’d rather have a gouge in my skid plates than an oil pan or gas tank! The GOAT Armor is magnetic “armor” panels that do a great job of protecting the paint on the sides from trail stripes, etc. as well as providing an opportunity to customize the look of your 4Runner.

2. Alvin Hall (@4rungs) – 2018 TRD Pro

Cavalry Blue 4Runner with C4 Lo-Pro Front Bumper with High Clearance Wings

Armor Details

  • Front Bumper: C4 Lo-Pro Steel Half-Bull Bar Front Bumper w/ High Clearance Additions
  • Sliders: RCI Steel Sliders
  • Skids: RCI – Fuel Tank, Rear Diff, A-Arms, Lower Links, & Rear Shocks

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I decided to buy underbody armor pieces based on where I was seeing the most contact with obstacles on the trail. This route helped to keep weight down versus a full underbody skid option. I chose aluminum a-arm skids since I had to cut them to fit with my TRD front skid plate (aluminum is easier to cut than steel). The C4 bumper provides a solid front recovery point and extra clearance approaching steep obstacles. All together my armor gives me that extra peace of mind when things get gnarly.

3. Ian Chad (@aloha4r) – 2017 SR5 Premium

Silver 5h Gen 4Runner with Southern Style Rock Off-Road Sliders with Kickout & Black SCS F5 Wheels

Armor Details

  • Front Bumper: Southern Style Off-Road Slimline Hybrid Front Bumper With Stage 2 Clearance Side Protection
  • Rear Bumper: High Clearance Tube Bumper (ALOHA Bash Bar With Swingout)
  • Sliders: Southern Style Rock Off-Road Sliders With Kickout
  • Skids: RCI – Full Skids (Front, Transmission, Transfer, Crossmember, & Rear Diff)
  • Misc: 41.22 Hitch Slider

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

What attracts me most about my armor is the simplicity that each one brings to the table. Southern Style Off-Road (SSO) and my ALOHA bash bar bring along both aesthetics and the protection that you need when you’re wheeling. Anytime I’m in a sticky situation, whether it be big rocks or when the angle of the obstacle is harder than it seems, I feel really confident that my armor will withstand it. It’s necessary and important for me to have this type of protection because I always come across different types of terrain.

4. Rithy Pen (@rithtagram) – 2018 SR5

Red 5th Gen 4Runner with Silver Machined Wheels & Rooftop Tent

Armor Details

  • Bumper: C4 Lo-Pro Bumper
  • Sliders: Cali Raised
  • Skids: RCI – Front Skid Plate, Rear Diff, & Shock Guards

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

For the front, I went with the C4 Fab lo-pro bumper because I liked the sleek look with the medium-height bull bar. For rock sliders, I went with Cali Raised because of how local I was to them and they offered a kick-out option plus a powdered coat. I went with RCI front and differential skid plates, along with shock guards. Through rough terrains and light rock crawling, I couldn’t be happier with the protection I got from RCI skids.

5. Joe Cusack (@tarzan_rnr) – 2015 SR5 Premium

5th Gen Toyota 4Runner with Coastal Off-Road Front Bumper

Armor Details

  • Bumpers: Coastal Off-Road
  • Sliders: Southern Style Off-Road
  • Skids: CBI
  • Misc: GOAT Magnetic Armor

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

I’d have to say my favorite pieces of armor are my Coastal Off-Road bumpers. Let’s be honest, skid plates and rock sliders are all pretty much the same. However, when it comes to changing the overall look and functionality of your 4Runner, nothing else does this quite like upgrading your bumpers.

If you’re like me and enjoy building out your rig yourself, the offerings from Coastal Off-Road are the way to go! Their bumpers come in a weld-together kit, so not only do they look and function exceptionally well, but you also get to take great pride in the fact that you built them yourself!

6. Nick Dace (@nckydz) – 2020 SR5

Nautical Blue 4Runner with RSG Rock Sliders & Grille Mounted LED Light Bar

Armor Details

  • Bumper: C4 Lo-Pro Bumper, No Bull Bar w/ High Clearance Side Extensions
  • Sliders: RSG w/ Top Plate
  • Skids: CBI

What Do You Like About Your Setup?

What I like most about my armor is it looks good (in my opinion) while still being very functional. The bumper is great because it allows me to mount my 30” Baja S8, and Warn winch. At the same time, it gives me added recovery point options and offers protection for the lower front half of the truck.

Adding the high clearance extensions on the sides offers more clearance for bigger tires, and who doesn’t want more clearance? The CBI skid plate offers great underbody protection, a must-have if you’re going off-roading because the factory skids are very very easy to bend and offer minimal protection. Lastly, the RSG sliders offer great side protection in addition to being a very sturdy step for getting in and out of the 4Runner.

Final Thoughts

Cavalry Blue TRD Pro 4Runner with C4 Low Profile Front bumper and Baja Rack

What a great round-up of rigs for this week’s Feature Friday. I hope you all got some good insight on the vast variety of armor options available for the 5th Gen 4Runner. If you want more info on any of these setups, be sure to follow the owner on Instagram and ask them some follow-up questions.

If you would like to be considered for next week’s Feature Friday, we will be showcasing Army Green 4Runners.

We want readers to get inspired by a variety of rigs/products. Submit your build for Feature Friday here to get featured. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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1 year ago

Hi does anyone know if the CBI skid plates fit vehicles equipped w/ KDSS?

John meldorf
John meldorf
2 years ago

I’d like a front bumper/brush guard that protects my headlights and has an open enough front that my radar driver protection still works. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

2 years ago

Hi – can you provide some information on the aloha bash bar profiled here? Who fabricated that? Any contact info appreciated.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jordan

Bump. Yeah I second that question. Super high clearance rear bumper and looks affordable. Any insight on where to buy this one would be helpful.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mac

Dito, same here. more info would be would be nice. Googled it nothing much came out of it. Thanx.

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