No one expects an off-road ride to be smooth and comfortable, but it can be made better with the best off road shocks. What are the best off road shocks? It depends on what you are looking for. We will look through the off road shock reviews to find the model that suits your truck and your needs.


Preview

Product

Vehicle Compatibility

Shock Type

Check Price

Bilstein 24-187374 Monotube Shock Absorber,...

Bilstein

24-187374

2009-2019 Ram 1500

Monotube

FOX PERF. SERIES IFP SHOCKS (FRONT/REAR)...

Fox Racing

PERF. SERIES IFP

2007-2015 Jeep Wrangler JK with a 1.5-3.5” lift

Monotube

Bilstein 24191203 Shock Absorber

Bilstein

24191203

1994-2013 Dodge Ram 2500, 1994-2012 Dodge Ram 3500 and 1999-2010 GM 2500/3500

Monotube

Bilstein 24186728 Rear Shock Absorber for...

Bilstein

24186728

2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma

Monotube

KYB 565102 MonoMax Gas Shock

KYB 565102

MonoMax

2004-2017 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500/2500/3500

Monotube


How Off Road Shock Absorbers Work

Shock absorbers are in charge of controlling the up and down movement of your truck’s suspension. The off-road shock absorber works a little differently because it has more responsibility.

Not only does this suspension need to create good cornering plus a comfortable ride, but there needs to be longer travel for additional flex. That’s why it’s vital to search out the best shocks for off road trucks and replace the stock suspension.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Off Road Shocks

Vehicle Year, Make & Model

The best off road shocks for Ford F150 will not be the same model as the best off road shocks for Jeep JK. You must compare the product with its compatibility, both by looking at the truck model and year. Plus, not all shock absorbers work with four-wheel-drive, so that’s something else to verify before purchasing.

Lifted vs. Stock Trucks

High-quality shock absorbers are needed when you have a lifted truck. They must be valved appropriately to handle the larger tires and unique handling characteristics of your truck. Some shocks offer user-adjustable valving, which permits the owner to soften the shocks when needed. This is valuable for rock crawling. Then, you can tighten them back up for highway travel. 

Shock Type/Heavy Duty Shocks

There are several types of shock absorbers. When you want the best off road shock absorbers, you have to decide what kind is ideal for your driving situation. Will you want a monotube or twin tube design? It depends on how much time you spend off-road and what your budget looks like.

Durability

It does no good installing a set of new shock absorbers only to have them fail in a year. That’s why it’s vital that you order from a reputable brand that uses high-quality materials for the shock construction. Reading through the off road shocks review left by existing customers can help you determine if the durability is top-notch.

Easy To Install

You can have the shocks professionally installed, but it's not necessary. For most novice mechanics, changing shock absorbers isn't difficult. You will need some basic tools and a few hours to complete the job. Just make sure you don't need to make further modifications with the best off road shocks for trucks that you choose.

Value For Money

We all want to find the best off road shocks and struts on a budget, but sometimes you need to spend more to ensure quality. Balance the difference between the cheap versus performance off road shocks to see what that extra money gets you. It may be worth the additional investment. 


5 Best Off Road Shock Absorbers Reviewed

1. Bilstein 24-187374

Our Top Pick

Vehicle Compatibility

2009-2019 Ram 1500

Shock Type

Monotube

Material

Aluminum

Extended Length

26.73”

Collapsed Length

16.75”

Of all that we have seen from this company, it’s easy to label these the best Bilstein shocks for off road. Plus, the price is reasonable, considering how highly customers feel about these shocks. The monotube design features a single tube with high gas pressure to provide fade-free performance while you travel off-road. It also contains a self-adjusting deflecting disc valving for superior control.

With the high-flow piston included, you experience less harshness on the trail. These shocks also boast of independent rebound and plenty of compression tuning for a superior ride. Even if you have added larger tires, you will find that these Bilstein shocks give you the performance you’ve been hoping for. You can use it with most 2009-2019 Ram 1500 truck models. Plus, installation is simple with the OEM mounting configuration.

You won’t find anything negative in this Bilstein off road shocks review. We have nothing but praise to give this equipment. Plus, the company provides a limited lifetime warranty to offer even further value. The zinc-plated construction is sure to provide more extended durability than the cheaper brands do. You are sure to get your money's worth out of these shocks, which just further proves why Bilstein is a leader in the industry.

Pros

  • Leading brand
  • Easy install
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Fade-free performance

Cons

  • None

2. Fox Racing PERF. SERIES IFP

Best Off Road Shocks for Jeep

Vehicle Compatibility

2007-2015 Jeep Wrangler JK with a 1.5-3.5” lift

Shock Type

Monotube

Material

Aluminum

Extended Length

27.95”

Collapsed Length

14.55”

Fox off road shocks continue to be one of the top choices but often come at a price. This particular model is compatible with the 2007-2015 Jeep Wrangler JK with a 1.5-3.5" lift. The 2.0 Performance Series IFP shocks provide innovative technology that completely alters the performance of your 4x4. You gain predictable handling and a smooth ride over any terrain.

The aluminum body shocks are created to increase the cooling capacity and resist rust. Inside the shocks is where all of the difference is made. The unique monotube construction keeps the high-pressure gas separate from the oil to eliminate aeration for exceptional performance. All kits come complete with the bushings, nuts, and washers needed for a quick installation. Plus, you can reuse the mounting bolts from the factory setup.

While you are going to pay a premium price for these shocks, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, this price is for all four shocks, where other companies only sell one or two at a time. On top of that, the customer reviews suggest that nothing compares to this model. However, we are slightly disappointed in the minimal one year warranty, which is far less than most other brands.

Pros

  • Top performance
  • Simple installation
  • Unique monotube design
  • Creates predictable handling

Cons

  • Higher price
  • Only one-year warranty

3. Bilstein 24191203

Best Off Road Shocks for Ram Trucks

Vehicle Compatibility

1994-2013 Dodge Ram 2500, 1994-2012 Dodge Ram 3500 and 1999-2010 GM 2500/3500HD

Shock Type

Monotube

Material

Aluminum

Extended Length

27.36”

Collapsed Length

16.95”

Another Bilstein option is this high-performance shock. It works with the 1994-2013 Dodge Ram 2500, 1994-2012 Dodge Ram 3500, and 1999-2010 GM 2500/3500HD. The B8 510 shocks are a direct fit for these lifted trucks. The monotube design is constructed to provide a fade-free performance ideal for your off-road adventures. There is a unique piston design that is velocity-sensitive and reacts to the changing road conditions for a superior ride.

You can also expect a cooler, efficient operation compared to your stock shocks. With the large piston diameter, you can expect handling like you’ve never experienced before. For maximum durability, you will be happy to know that the shocks are created from chromed case-hardened materials. It’s precisely what you would expect from a leader in the industry.

If you have any doubts about these shocks, read through the customer reviews because people can't say enough good. The company even offers a limited lifetime warranty for additional peace of mind. The only trouble that some people seem to have is with towing. If you spend a lot of time towing and off-roading, these might not be the best option for you. Instead, you might consider one of the other options we've highlighted. 

Pros

  • Reputable company
  • Fast install
  • Superior ride
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Bottoms out while towing

4. Bilstein 24186728

Best Off Road Shocks for Tacoma

Vehicle Compatibility

2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma

Shock Type

Monotube

Material

Aluminum

Extended Length

22.94”

Collapsed Length

14.02”

You can get the same shocks reviewed above for your 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma. Bilstein creates superior products for Toyota trucks as well. The B8 5100 shocks work great on lifted trucks. The uniquely created monotube design keeps the gas and oil separate to prevent aeration and improve the ride quality. The velocity-sensitive shocks seem to understand how the road is changing and alter the performance as needed.

These Bilstein shocks are recommended for occasional off-road usage while still offering a decent on-road ride. To increase durability, the shocks are created with a multi-layer Bilstein coating that provides superior protection. Because the monotube design dissipates heat quickly, you don't need to worry about fading. The only issue some people have is with the installation. It might take you a little longer to get these shocks on than with another set.

Still, the customer reviews suggest that this additional install time is well worth the effort. Whether you are rock crawling or hauling cargo, you will notice the improved ride. Plus, Bilstein is one of the companies that provides a limited lifetime warranty, which adds more value to the expense. You can’t go wrong by upgrading your Tacoma suspension with these Bilstein shocks.

Pros

  • Highly-rated company
  • Unique monotube design
  • Great for on and off-road
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • More complicated install

5. KYB 565102 MonoMax

Best Off Road Shocks for Silverado

Vehicle Compatibility

2004-2017 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500/2500/3500

Shock Type

Monotube

Material

Aluminum

Extended Length

15.59”

Collapsed Length

11.06”

If you want high-quality off-road shocks but don’t want to spend a small fortune, you might prefer this option from KYB. This particular part fits most 2004-2017 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500/2500/3500 models. With these shocks, you can expect up to a forty percent increase in damping performance when compared to your factory shock absorbers.

These shocks are the ideal solution when you are looking to upgrade your GM truck’s suspension on a budget. The monotube design continues to outperform stock equipment time and time again, especially when heading off-road. Plus, there is a zinc-coated stainless steel piston ring included to create a positive seal that holds up under extreme conditions. With the included rubber boot, the rubber seals also remain protected from debris and dirt that gets kicked up on the trails.

Of course, you can’t expect the same amount of positive reviews with this lower-budget option as you could with the Bilstein or Fox options. However, these shocks are a great value. Plus, the company still provides a limited lifetime warranty. That proves that the manufacturer believes in the integrity of these shocks, so you can’t really go wrong. Save some money and increase your truck’s performance at the same time.

Pros

  • Exceptional price
  • Durable construction
  • Great for all terrains
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not as highly rated

Ideal Shocks for Off Roading

Off-road shocks come in many different variations. Here are the differences between the top options.

Basic Hydraulic Shocks

The basic hydraulic shock is what is found on most stock vehicles. The twin-tube design features an inner tube that allows the shock piston to move, while the outer tube has the fluid. On the other hand, the monotube shock absorber has a single tube that can tolerate more abuse and build up more heat. These are usually gas-charged.

High Performance Shocks

There are four main classes of high-performance shocks. Emulsion shocks can be coilover or non-coilover. This shock utilizes a combination of high-pressure nitrogen and oil to control damping action. The reservoir style can also serve as a non-coilover or off-road coilover shock.

In the reservoir shocks, the oil and nitrogen are separated with a piston. Bypass shocks are used with a coilover setup. This design takes some of the oil within the body of the shock and routes it to other areas. Finally, the off road air shocks provide the spring and damping functions.


Matching Your Vehicle with the Right Shock Absorbers

You can’t just read a Freedom off road shocks review and buy that style based on the customer comments. You have to first make sure that is the right format for what you use your truck for. Otherwise, you aren’t going to experience the ride you are hoping for. Here are a few suggestions we can offer based on your driving preferences.

Driving Style
Ideal Shock Option

Occasional Off-Roader

Twin-tube

Passionate Off-Roader

Monotube

Medium/High-Speed Off-Roader

Reservoir

High-Speed Off-Road Racer/Extreme Off-Roading

Bypass

If you use your truck for multiple purposes, you want to balance the off-road performance with the on-road handling when choosing your shocks.


Signs That Your Shocks May Need to Be Replaced

  • Ride becomes bumpier
  • You have trouble steering the truck
  • Truck becomes unstable during braking or takes a nosedive
  • You notice fluid leaking from the shocks
  • Tires begin to wear unevenly

Of course, you might require new shocks even if you don’t have these symptoms. It’s wise to change the shocks and struts around 50,000 miles. If you are unsure if your shocks are still working correctly, it helps to have them inspected by a qualified mechanic. If you neglect a shock replacement, the ride could become so rough that it leads to handling concerns and could cause an accident.


How to Install Off Road Shocks

You can quickly replace shocks on your truck, as long as you have the right tools and a few hours. Here are the common steps to follow without further modifications.

  1. 1
    Raise the pickup with a jack.
  2. 2
    Spray shocks with WD-40 to help remove the bolts.
  3. 3
    Take off the bolts from the shock tower.
  4. 4
    Remove shocks from the suspension.
  5. 5
    Place your new shocks into the suspension bracket.
  6. 6
    Tighten according to the appropriate torque specifications.
  7. 7
    Repeat the same steps with every shock being replaced.

Here is a handy YouTube video that offers some more guidance.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What shocks give the smoothest ride?

It depends on the terrain you plan to drive on. We have highlighted the best options above based on your driving style.

Do these off road shocks really make a difference?

Yes. You will notice a significant difference with your off-road travel when you upgrade the shocks from your stock equipment.

Are air shocks good for off roading?

Air shocks are an excellent option for a lightweight vehicle but don't work as well with a heavy lifted truck.

What is the best brand of off road shock absorbers?

There are many reputable brands that make durable shocks for off-roading. We recommend KYB, Bilstein, and Fox Racing as our top choices.

How do I measure off road shocks?

The ideal way to measure shocks is to take them off of the vehicle. This way, you can get both the collapsed and fully extended lengths by measuring from mount to mount.

How long do these shock absorbers last?

The majority of high-quality shocks should last you 50,000 miles or more.

How often should I change my shocks?

You should change the off-road shocks as soon as you notice performance issues, or if it has been more than 50,000 miles.

How long does it take to change truck shocks?

The majority of truck shocks can be changed within a few hours.

Should I replace all 4 shocks at the same time?

You don’t need to replace all four but should always swap them out in pairs. This ensures that the handling remains at its best and helps you to maintain control.


Conclusion

If you have a Ram truck, we can’t help but recommend the Bilstein 24-187374 Monotube. Even if you have another model, it’s not challenging to find Bilstein off road shocks that work with your pickup. Take your off-road travel to new levels when you upgrade the suspension with high-performance shocks.

Last Updated on