Jeep Wrangler owners LOVE to tinker with their vehicles. Which is no surprise considering that the Wrangler is super customizable and has more after-market options than most other vehicle models on the market.
Making upgrades to your Jeep allows you to customize it for improved performance, or to create a one-of-a-kind look. And while most Jeep Wrangler owners usually focus on upgrades like lift-kits, running boards, accessory racks, wheels, and tires sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference.
One of these “little things” happens to be the antenna but finding the best Jeep antenna is an upgrade that can really make a difference in your travel experiences.
Upgrading your antenna seems silly, right? Well, believe it or not, trading out the stock antenna can really improve safety and resale value. Not sure what we mean? Well, consider this scenario:
You, your friends, and your four-legged best friend head out for a camping weekend. You get to your favorite, off-the-beaten-path camping spot when it starts to rain unexpectedly. You want to know if the rain is going to last an hour or all weekend.
With your stock antenna, you’re probably out of luck getting the local weather report. With an upgraded Jeep Wrangler antenna, you can tune in to the local weather even when you are miles from the closest town or enjoy tunes while crawling a new 4-wheel drive trail.
Besides, a new antenna will look a lot cooler on your Jeep Wrangler than the tiny one that comes standard.
So, here are our five favorite Jeep Wrangler antennas to help you decide which one is the best option for your needs and style.
1. Rydonair Antenna
One of our favorite after-market Jeep Wrangler antennas is the Rydonair 13-inch antenna. Of the many options on the market, this one is really worth your time to consider.
The Rydonair antenna is shorter than the one that comes standard on the Jeep Wrangler but does not lack in performance or durability. We like that this antenna is flexible, without bending or breaking.
The rubber cover protects the antenna from inclement weather and the carbon fiber base column looks great while at the same time, provides a very sturdy connection to your vehicle.
Many options out there don’t fit on a wide range of Wrangler models. However, the Rydonair antenna will fit on the Wrangler JK, JKU, JL and JLU, the Rubicon Sahara and the Gladiator line for model years 2007 through 2022.
We have found that this antenna does seem to have better AM and FM reception than others of similar size. This is great for ensuring that you’ll be able to get news and weather in those out of the way spots when you need it most.
Finally, we do really like that the Rydonair antenna blends in so nicely with the looks and styling of the Jeep Wrangler. It is unintrusive and the simple black color will match easily with your paint color and existing accessories.
- 13-inch length classy appearance
- Premium construction for durability
- No tool installation
- Not great AM reception
- Only fits newer models
- No plug & play installation
2. AntennaX Off-Road Antenna
Perhaps not as versatile as our first pick, the AntennaX Off-Road Antenna is still a great pick. We really like this option but did find it a little disappointing that it doesn’t work on more Wrangler models.
The AntennaX is great for Wrangler JK and JL as well as the Gladiator JT. For these models you’ll be pleased to know the AntennaX fits model years 2007 through 2022.
One of the best things about this antenna is that it is so easy to install. There is no wiring necessary, and you’ll spend more time getting the antenna out of the package than you will fitting it to your Jeep Wrangler.
Like our first pick, the AntennaX has a carbon fiber column at the base that allows for sturdy installation and keeps the antenna securely attached to the mount. We also like the rubber construction that does a good job of protecting the internal electronics from all sorts of weather conditions.
This 13-inch antenna is much shorter than the 31-inch version that comes as standard equipment on your Jeep Wrangler. It looks sleeker, and since it comes in basic black, it blends nicely into the features of any color Jeep Wrangler.
And despite its compact size, this antenna works really well, and you’ll find that it holds station clarity, both AM and FM stations, even in remote locations.
- Good value for the price
- Flexible rubber antenna
- Plug & Play installation
- Does not fold
- Only comes in black
- Could get better reception
If you want your antenna to be a little more interesting, then you will want to consider the AntennaMastRus 6 ¾” antenna. This super compact antenna works great, looks great, and can be a little extra flare for your Jeep Wrangler.
The AntennaMastRus comes in a variety of sizes and styles, so it really is a great option for the Jeep owner that wants a custom look. The low profile of the 6 ¾’ option is perfect for off-roading. It stays safely out of the way, avoiding snags that can happen even with other low-profile antennas.
One of the unique features of this antenna that we really like, besides the range of sizes and colors, is that the metal used inside of the antenna is copper instead of steel or aluminum. Copper is a better conductor so in many cases it works better at catching a signal and maintaining solid reception.
Installation of the AntennaMastRus antenna is really simple and requires minimal tools. Simply use a wrench to unscrew the factory installed antenna, and screw on your new AntennaMastRus 6 ¾” antenna. Most installations should only take a couple of minutes.
We mentioned the color options of this antenna. The AntennaMastRus antenna line comes in 9 great colors, so you can pick the perfect one to complement your Jeep or add a splash of color.
The AntennaMastRus fits a wide range of Jeep Wrangler models including the Wrangler JK, JL, and Gladiator for model years 2007-2022.
- Very low profile
- Available in various color options
- Car wash proof
- Lower quality radio reception
- A bit stiffer than hyped
- Requires a wrench to install
4. JeCar Short Antenna
JeCar has made a great antenna that is a perfect fit for your Jeep Wrangler. Made to fit Wrangler models JK, JKU, JL, JLU and Rubicon Sahara, and surprisingly some Ford F10 models, this antenna is a great option no matter what model Wrangler you drive.
Stuck in the middle of our five picks when it comes to length, the JeCar short antenna comes in at a compact 7.5-inches. It gives you a little more clearance from the body of your Jeep but is still compact enough to avoid snags when off-roading, while still looking sleek.
The satin black finish of the rubber coating coordinates perfectly with any Jeep color and is a much-improved look over the factory installed antenna. Looks aren’t all you’ll get with this antenna, the JeCar is one of the most reliable when it comes to holding a strong signal, even in the backcountry.
One of the features that this antenna has that we didn’t see with many other Jeep antennas is the three adaptors that allow you to use this antenna on a wider range of Jeep models. The adaptors are threaded for easy installation.
Unlike the first four products we’ve reviewed, the JeCar does not have a carbon fiber base. The JeCar uses an aluminum base which is durable, but not as sturdy as carbon fiber.
- Short and sturdy
- Car Wash safe
- Solid 1 year warranty
- Some loss in radio reception
- Rubber housing can come apart
- Only available in black
5. Rugged Ridge Antenna
For our last product, we come back to the longer, 13-inch antenna. The Rugged Ridge Jeep antenna is a great option if you are looking for low-profile with optimum performance. This antenna fits Wrangler and Gladiator model years 2007 to 2022.
The simple and sleek design is a perfect replacement for the less than attractive option that comes standard on Jeep models. It is slightly longer than some of our other options but is still compact enough to protect against snags or the horror that is an automated car wash.
We do like that this antenna is compatible with a variety of Bluetooth, GPS and U-connect devices, so you’re not limited to your Jeep’s stereo for tunes or the local weather.Our biggest complaint with the Rugged Ridge antenna is that it isn’t “plug and play”. There is a bit more work necessary to install this antenna. It’s not difficult, it just isn’t as easy as our other options.
- Low profile sleek design
- Great value for price
- Compatible with most devices
- Some reception loss
- No plug & play installation feature
- Only comes in black
How to choose an antenna for a Jeep Wrangler?
So, how did we pick our five favorite antennas?
Well, when you are considering a new antenna for your Jeep Wrangler, there are some particular features that you should consider, especially if you want an antenna that will last, and won’t fall apart after just a few months.
Here’s our list of product features that you should consider when selecting an after-market antenna for your Jeep Wrangler.
When it comes to materials, there really are two things you need to think about. First the antenna’s core material, and then the exterior material that protects the core.
When selecting an antenna, you will find that they come with two different core materials: aluminum and copper. Either is fine, but if you really want the best reception, copper is your pick. Since copper conducts better, you’ll get a stronger signal even in the backcountry.
The external material is what protects the core from damage. Look for material that is strong yet bendable. Rubber is a good option since it stands up well to weather conditions and bends without breaking or sticking.
If you are going for looks and aren’t really concerned about how well your antenna works, you’re probably not interested in reception. However, if you’re installing a new antenna on your Jeep Wrangler for improved radio reception, then this is important.
If reception is important to you, make sure to select an antenna with a copper core, and one that is slightly longer, to reduce interference from the body of your vehicle. These two factors combined will improve performance and reception, when you need it most.
Just AM, Only FM, or Both?
Depending on where you live, or how you want to use your Jeep, you will want to think about whether the antenna you are selecting can pick up FM, AM, or both AM and FM signals.
If your Jeep is a fun vehicle to drive around town, you’ll likely not find much use in an AM antenna or one that picks up both bands.
However, if you are taking your Jeep out into the woods and into remote areas, you will really want an antenna that will pick up AM signals.
As you are shopping look for antennas that have reviews that indicate that the reception is strong and consistent and is capable of picking up a large range of station frequencies.
Station frequency is the key here. It doesn’t do you much good to have an antenna that has strong consistent reception if it only can pick-up higher station frequencies.
Sure, like lots of other things, size does matter when it comes to antennas. However, this is more from a looks and safety perspective than a function perspective.
There are plenty of short antennas that work great at receiving a wide range of station/band frequencies, and there are long antennas that are just terrible at tuning in even local channels when you’re in town.
Where size really matters when it comes to antennas is if you are planning on doing a lot of off-road traveling. Shorter antennas stay clear of tree branches that can snag your antenna and break it. If you are planning on increasing your off-road adventures, consider a lower profile antenna.
Now, size isn’t going to always save your antenna from a tree branch. Sometimes snags just happen. And there’s the carwash. Nothing is more dangerous to an antenna than the automatic car wash.
To protect your antenna from trees and swirling car wash brushes, consider flexibility as an important product feature when buying an after-market antenna for your Jeep.
Look for antennas that will bend, but not break when snagged. This means looking for flexible materials. We like rubber coated antennas because they are durable and flexible.
Avoid plastic antennas. They are too rigid and won’t stand up well to off-roading adventures and the beating from your local car wash.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a good after-market antenna. However, if you want to make an investment, you can find some higher priced antennas that are compatible with more system and equipment options.
However, for the most part, most Jeep owners will find that a good antenna won’t set you back more than $50. There are even great options for less than $20.
Work within your budget and remember that a higher price doesn’t always mean a better product. It’s more important to consider the features we’ve already mentioned before you consider price.
It seems like a no-brainer, but make sure that the antenna you pick will actually fit on your Jeep Wrangler model. We found that on many on-line shopping sites, it can be confusing to determine if a particular antenna is compatible with all, some, or no Jeep models.
Make sure you take the time to read the product descriptions thoroughly before hitting the “buy” button or you may end up with a product that won’t work with your vehicle at all.
Ease of installation
In reality, installing a new antenna isn’t terribly difficult. Even the most difficult to install won’t take you much more than an hour. However, if you aren’t comfortable with wiring work, or you don’t have a ton of tools at your disposal, look for antennas that are simple to install.
Many antenna options are as simple to install as unscrewing a fitting, and many don’t even require tools.
Yes, your style does count. Don’t pick an antenna just because it’s been raved about on some fan website if you think it’s ugly and you don’t like it. Pick an antenna that fits your style, color preference, and performance needs.
Frequently asked questions
What is the value of an antenna?
When it comes to basic function, antennas are used to receive radio signals and transmit them to a tool that will convert the signal to a sound (i.e., your stereo). This is where the value in an antenna lies.
There are a lot of reasons why Jeep owners change out their antennas. For many it is for improved radio reception for off-road adventures. It’s fun to listen to music while off-roading, and if you don’t want to connect a media player or cellphone to your Jeep, good radio reception is a must.
Of course, not everyone needs great signal or reception. If you’re hanging out around town, you may just want an antenna that looks good on your Jeep.
How do I know if an antenna will work with my model Jeep?
Not all antennas that you’ll find will fit with your particular Jeep Wrangler model or model year. In our guide, we’ve selected a few antennas that will work with many Wrangler models and years.
However, if you are considering an antenna that isn’t on our list, you will need to do your research to ensure that the antenna that you want will fit your Jeep.
This means reading product descriptions and searching your preferred shopping site for antennas that fit your particular Wrangler model and model year.
If you’re still not sure what antenna will work for your Wrangler, before you buy, consult your owner’s manual.
Do I need to have a warranty?
A warranty never hurts. Antennas are electronic devices, and they can go bad or have manufacturing defects. Selecting an antenna that has a warranty might save you some money should it unexpectedly stop working or is damaged when received.
Most antennas come with a 1-to-5-year warranty, but there are some that don’t have a warranty at all. You’ll also want to consider the price of the antenna when thinking about a warranty. If you’re spending more on a higher-end antenna, a warranty will save you some money. However, if your new antenna is on the inexpensive side, a warranty may not be necessary.
What distance can I expect to receive a radio signal?
This is an interesting question, and the answer really depends on the band that your antenna is made to receive.
If you are using your Jeep in the city, you are likely tuning into FM stations. And in town, your FM station signal is bounced around repeaters that keep the signal strong even if you are fairly far from the signal’s source.
However, if you are traveling away from town, and especially if you are using your Jeep Wrangler for off-road driving or accessing remote locations, you’ll want to have an antenna that can pick up both FM and AM frequencies.
FM frequencies tend to have a fairly short range, without a booster station. For the most part, we’re talking 30 to 40 miles from the source at the most. If you’re looking for weather reports or a bit of music when you’re away from town, this isn’t ideal.
However, AM frequencies operate at much greater distances from their source than FM frequencies. When it comes to distance, AM frequencies can be received hundreds of miles from the source. You might not love the music or news options on AM stations, but at least you’ll have an option.
How complicated is it to install an antenna on my Jeep Wrangler?
Really this is based on the brand of antenna that you purchase. Some antennas are as simple to install as screwing on the antenna to the base. Others may require some basic wiring skills.
If you don’t feel comfortable with some basic electrical wiring, make sure you read the installation instructions prior to purchasing an antenna. This will save you a lot of time and frustration when you are ready to install.