Best Jeep Hood Latches of 2021 – Ultimate Review

Cory
| Last Updated: May 14, 2021

When you’re pushing your Jeep through the toughest challenges, you need the toughest gear you can get.

Whether you’re slogging through bumper-deep mud or scaling a steep mountainside, the last thing you want is for something as simple as a hood latch to fail.

Here’s our ultimate guide to the best hood latches available:

Comparison of the Best Jeep Hood Latches

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Easily fit on all Jeep Wrangler models
  • Made from durable Stainless steel materials
  • Help to keep the hood without tremors on harsh terrain
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  • Everything needed to complete installation included
  • Tension rod is adjustable for a much better fitting
  • Nice looking and rust proof design
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  • Best for the Money
  • Locking mechanism included for better security
  • Quickly and easily install on the vehicle
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  • Best Jeep Wrangler Hood Latch
  • Strong and durable materials used in construction
  • Everything needed to complete installation included
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  • Best Jeep TJ Hood Latch
  • Will easily install in only a few minute
  • Will fit on all models from 1997 to 2007
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  • Best Jeep Cherokee Hood Latch
  • Helps to reduce flutter on the hood
  • Aluminum materials will not rust or fade
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  • Best Jeep JK Hood Latch
  • Adjustable for wider opening of the hood
  • Durable aluminum materials used to last longer
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When Would I Need to Replace My Jeep Hood Latch?

Generally speaking, you’d want to replace your hood latch before you need to. Over time, latches degrade. Since they are rarely something you think about, it’s easy to overlook them when doing your pre-ride checks. If you are halfway up a mountain ascent, you can’t afford to lose visibility if the stock latches give way. 

We think that it’s best to prep your vehicle for any serious off-roading, which means making sure that everything from your tires to your wipers is capable of handling the job. As any experienced off-roader will tell you, it’s the small stuff that makes the difference. 

Are All Jeep Hood Latches The Same? 

No, Jeep hood latches are not all the same. Different models and vehicles use different hood latches, which are not always interchangeable. Check whether or not the latch you have purchased is compatible with the Jeep you’re planning to put it on.

Latches that fit a specific model vehicle may also have minor differences. For example, some latches feature a locking mechanism that keeps the hood closed until unlocked by the owner. Others have a clasp or close, which snaps on and off to access the engine.

Rugged Ridge 11210.17

Why Did These Jeep Hood Latches Make Our List? 

We selected the latches on this list for many reasons. The primary things we looked at were durability, quality, security, cost, and materials. A latch with a combination of these factors is worthy of our consideration.

Your latch must properly close, keeping the hood of your Jeep securely fastened. It is also important that the latch does not simply wear out after a year or two. If you’re taking your Jeep through mud and snow, you want to be sure that the latch can handle the elements.

For that reason, we’ve taken material and construction into account. Material is also important when it comes to cushioning. The latch should not corrode or damage the paint or the hood itself when installed. If water collects beneath it and causes rust, you’re looking at serious costs.

Another important factor, for us, is the ease of installation. If you can’t install your latch at home, it is not particularly useful to the average consumer. There’s no point in spending twice the cost of the latch itself to have it professionally installed.

The latches on our list are the ones that excelled in all of the categories above. 

Review of the Best Jeep Hood Latches 

There are hundreds of hood latches out there. We took a look at the various latches available on the market. After some exploration, we managed to whittle our list down to eight of the best. Here is our complete guide to the best Jeep hood latches available.

Best Overall

RT-TCZ Black Stainless Steel Latch

RT-TCZ Black Stainless Steel Latch Locking Hood Catch Kit For 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK JKU

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What Recent Buyers Report

Buyer feedback is overwhelmingly positive for the RT-TCZ latch. Most customers even prefer these latches to the original manufacturer latch, which gives a bit of hood flutter. Buyers find them heavy duty and well constructed.

Negative criticism focuses on the fact that the latch closes a little too tightly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The RT-TCZ Stainless Steel Hood Latch stands out as the best Jeep hood latch on the market. 

This latch is durable, rugged, and very secure. It closes the hood securely and holds it snugly closed to prevent any rattling or fluttering. Like many customers, we prefer this latch to the OEM Jeep hood latch.

With these latches, we put a lot of stock into the installation process. We want something that is easy to install and requires little to no maintenance. With the RT-TCZ, we were very impressed. This one is easy to install and stays secure for a long time.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is, this latch is durable, rugged, and very simple to install. It stood out above the competition by a considerable amount.

To put it simply, the RT-TCZ Black Stainless Steel Latch is the best hood latch out there.

Pros

Easy installation

Durable stainless steel

Heat resistant material

Fits a wide range of Jeeps

Rubber cushions included

Cons

Closes very tightly

Not very adjustable

Runner-up

Rugged Ridge Textured Black Aluminum Set

Rugged Ridge 11210.17 Hood Catch Kit, Textured Black; 07-18 Jeep Wrangler JK

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What Recent Buyers Report

Buyer feedback is very encouraging for Rugged Ridge’s hood latch. Customers are impressed with the fit and quality of these pieces. Also, they tend to commend the easy installation process.

Negative criticism focuses on the paint quality of these latches, which wears over time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Rugged Ridge’s Textured Black Aluminum Set is a strong contender. If we weren’t so impressed with our top pick, this product would have taken the crown.

This latch is strong, well made, and well fitted. Many people prefer these latches to the original latches on the Jeep and choose to install them before encountering any serious issues with their original latches.

One of the biggest advantages of these latches is the adjustable tension rod. It allows you to customize the fit and enables the latch to fit a wide range of vehicles.

Bottom Line

We loved this latch. It is easy to install, easy to adjust, and well designed. 

The Rugged Ridge Textured Black Latch Set is one of our top picks.

Pros

5-year warranty

Rust Proof material

High-grade aluminum

Fits a wide range of Jeeps

Features adjustable tension rod

Cons

Paint could be of higher quality

May need to adjust to fit certain Jeeps

Best for the Money

Hydraker Black Hood Latch

Hydraker 1 Pair Black Hood Latch Hoods Catch Lock Fit for 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK&JKU

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What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very impressed with the value for money they get with this Hydraker latch set. Once again, people tend to prefer them to the original latches. They are well fitted and secure.

Negative criticism focuses on the fact that some people have had to modify the latches to fit their Jeeps.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We looked for two things here: value and function. The Hydraker latch set excelled in both arenas. It is an affordable and very functional piece of hardware. 

When installed, the Hydraker latch stops the hood from rattling entirely. We like the look of these pieces, which feature a slim aluminum and stainless steel connector between two black stoppers. 

We found these latches quite easy to install. They also require little maintenance after the fact. If you’re looking for value for money, this is the best option out there.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is, these latches are well made and sturdy. They keep the hood securely closed and prevent unnecessary movement.

When it comes to bang for your buck, the Hydraker Black Hood Latch is our number one pick. It is affordable, functional, and neat.

Pros

Easy installation

No drilling required

Heat resistant material

Corrosion-resistant material

High-quality billet aluminum

Cons

Does not lock

Not very adjustable

Best Jeep Wrangler Hood Latch

Xprite Aluminum Hood Latches Catch Kit

Xprite Aluminum Hood Latches Catch Kit for Jeep Wrangler JK JKU 2007-2018 & 2018-2021 Jeep Wrangler JL JLU Gladiator JT - Pair

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What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report that the Xprite latches hold up well after heavy off-road use. Feedback commends the construction, the materials, and the locking mechanism. 

Negative criticism focuses on the lower quality of the nuts and bolts included in the package and the need to adjust the spacing to fit certain models.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For the Jeep Wrangler, the Xprite Aluminum latch is our number one pick. It fits the model very well and can be fitted easily onto a range of variants, including the most recent years. We also like that the latch fits a range of other Jeeps.

This latch is strong and well designed. We like the simple appearance of this product. Also, the hardy aluminum and steel support provides optimal strength.

To top it off, Xprite’s latches are easy to install with a direct bolt-on installation process, which means that no additional drilling is required.

Bottom Line

As far as we’re concerned, if you drive a Jeep Wrangler, you should buy the Xprite Aluminum Hood Latch Kit. This kit is well made, great looking, and highly functional. We think that it’s one of the best latch kits on the market today.

Pros

Adjustable latches

Aluminum construction

Easy bolt-on installation

Fits most recent Wranglers

Different padding options for different models

Cons

Spacing needs to be adjusted

Included hardware is lower quality

Best Jeep TJ Hood Latch

Sukemichi Hood Latches

Sukemichi Hood Latches for Jeep Wrangler, TJ Wrangler Locking Hood Latch for Jeep 1997-2006 Upgrade 1Pair

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What Recent Buyers Report

Feedback is generally positive for Sukemichi’s hood latches. These are great looking pieces and fit most models of Jeep well. They also seem to latch securely and reduce rattle almost entirely. 

Negative criticism focuses on the size of the base mount for these latches.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The great aesthetics of this latch caught our eye at first. We loved the combination of rugged steel and modern plastic. Simply put, it looks good. 

If it looked great but didn’t work well, we wouldn’t waste any time on this latch. However, it also fits securely, is made of high-quality material, and serves its purpose tremendously.

Though this latch is not particularly adjustable, it is designed to fit the TJ very well. One of the most common issues with Jeep hoods is the flutter. With this latch, Sukemichi reduces flutter entirely.  

Bottom Line

This product is a great looking latch. Also, it is high quality and fits securely on the hood. 

These are the best hood latches out there for TJ models. They are also great for many other Jeeps.

Pros

Aesthetic design

Very quick installation

Rust-resistant material

Fits a wide range of TJs

Aluminum construction

Cons

Not very adjustable

May need to be adapted for some models

Best Jeep Cherokee Hood Latch

Dorman 820-100

Dorman 820-100 Hood Latch Assembly for Select Dodge/Jeep Models

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What Recent Buyers Report

Overall, buyers are impressed with this product. For the most part, it seems that customers selected this latch to resolve an issue with their remote start function. When the hood is ajar, remote starters won’t work. After installation, this issue was resolved entirely for most people.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Dorman 820-100 is our number one pick as a hood latch for the Jeep Cherokee. Jeep Cherokees run into an issue with the remote starter if the hood is ajar. Over time, OEM hood latches degrade. However, Dorman’s latch seems to fit perfectly onto the Cherokee and resolves the remote starter issue entirely.

Also, this latch is solid, sturdy, and durable. It closes the hood securely and does not falter when exposed to the harshest terrain. 

We also like that this latch fits easily over the OEM setup. This means that the installation process is simple and hassle-free. 

Bottom Line

This latch is a great product. It is strong, durable, and well made. Better yet, it seems to be specifically for the Cherokee.

When it comes to latches for the Jeep Cherokee, this is our top pick. 

Pros

Lightweight at 14oz

Ready-to-paint exterior

Fits original latch position

Installation process is easy

Corrosion-resistant coating

Cons

Not adjustable

May not fit some vehicles

Con3

Best Jeep JK Hood Latch

Topfire Hood Latches

Topfire Hood Latches Aluminum Hood Catch for Jeep Wrangler JK, JKU Rubicon Sahara Sport 2007-2018, No Drilling Needed (Matte Black, 1 Pair)

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What Recent Buyers Report

Feedback is very positive for the Topfire hood latch. People love the sleek design and the easy installation process. Also, the catch is ergonomic, making it very simple to lock and unlock.

Like some others on our list, the negative criticism focuses on the fact that the latch closes too tightly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Topfire crushed it with this latch. It has a great design in terms of user-friendliness of any latch on our list. The latch is gently curved to make locking and unlocking as easy and comfortable as possible.

This latch is also a very well made product. The pieces are all top quality and seem quite sturdy. It fits very snugly over the stock position of the OEM latches.

Once again, this latch impresses us more than the OEM latch. It reduces flutter entirely and holds the hood securely in place. 

Bottom Line

If you’re in the market for a hood latch for your JK, don’t bother looking any further. The Topfire Hood Latch is the best latch available in 2020. This latch set is ergonomic, high quality, and fairly adjustable. 

Pros

Adjustable design

Bolt-on installation

4 rubber pads included

Aluminum construction

Fits a wide range of Jeeps

Cons

Hood closes metal-metal

Lower nut is tricky to reach

Best Jeep YJ Hood Latch

Smittybilt 7601

Smittybilt 7601 Black Hood Catch Kit for Wrangler CJ5, CJ7, YJ

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What Recent Buyers Report

Buyer feedback is very positive. Customers report that these pieces install very quickly, in approximately five minutes, and look great on the YJ. They fit a wide range of jeeps and are easy to open and close.

Negative feedback is almost exclusively focused on the difference in appearance between this and the OEM parts. However, many buyers prefer the new design.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Smittybilt 7601 is a great looking and hardy piece of equipment. It is one of our favorite latches. If you are in the market for a YJ hood latch, this is our number one recommendation. 

Smittybilt’s latch is sleek, slim, and very aesthetically pleasing. As far as we can tell, it is as sturdy, or sturdier, than the original latches on the Jeep. 

The simplicity of this design is very impressive. It is essentially a hook and catches feature; however, the hook slots cleanly into a pinched insert that holds it firmly in place, which makes it secure but still easy to open and close.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the Smittybilt 7601 is the best latch on the market for the Wrangler YJ. It looks great, is well built, and gets the job done. This latch was another strong contender for the top slot.

Pros

Great price

Sleek design

Very easy installation

Simple hook mechanism

Available in stainless steel

Cons

Not adjustable

Design does not match OEM

Common Jeep Hood Latch Issues 

If you’re driving your Jeep for long enough, chances are you’ll run into an issue with your hood latches. Over time, and miles, these little latches inevitably start to degrade. 

Misalignment

The most common issue people encounter with a hood latch is simple misalignment. If your latch becomes misaligned, you can end up with any number of issues. These include a “fluttering” hood, a hood that won’t close, or a hood that won’t open. The cause of a misaligned latch can be a dented hood or simple wear and tear. If you encounter this issue, you can usually fix it pretty simply. Latches can be realigned, or you can repair your hood.

Wear/Degradation

Another issue that people face with hood latches is a degraded latch. If you’re an off-roader, your Jeep takes quite a beating. It has to put up with mud, water, and dirt. Over the years, a piece with moving parts, such as the latch, will eventually wear out. If this occurs, you will likely need to replace the latches entirely.

Loosening Over Time

A final issue that people encounter with hood latches is a loose latch. If your latch is loose, your hood will not stay securely closed and will likely rattle or flutter. Generally, you can fix this by simply tightening the latch with an Allen key or screwdriver.

Sukemichi Hood Latches

Jeep TJ Aluminum Hood Latch vs Rubber – Comparison Overview 

After plastic, the two most common materials for hood latches are rubber and aluminum. Often, latches are made with a combination of the two. Aluminum can provide a strong backbone for the latch while the rubber sits against your vehicle’s hood to prevent damage or rust. 

Each style of the latch has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a handy overview of both.

Aluminum

Aluminum hood latches are very popular because they provide a strong and sturdy clasp. Compared to other latches, they have higher degrees of stability and are more durable, meaning that they last longer overall. Through the harshest of terrains, these latches will stay strong and secure. Aluminum latches also look great.

Rubber

Rubber latches are very common. Rubber is a durable and rugged material. It is a little more pliable than aluminum and provides a sturdy, flexible hold. It is not quite as strong as aluminum but may hold up better in wet conditions. Also, it does not cause any rust or corrosion as it sits against the hood of your car. 

In addition to rubber and aluminum, latches are sometimes made of stainless steel or plastic. 

Photo credit: jeepautogarage.com

Jeep Wrangler Aftermarket Hood Latch Install

Hood latches are one of those components that make sense to install at home. You aren’t fiddling around with any of the inner workings of the Jeep, you don’t have to disassemble anything important, and the installation process is not particularly specialized. As a result, it doesn’t make much sense to fork out a mechanic’s hourly rate for a simple handyman job.

The specific latch you’ve bought will have its method of installation. Here’s a basic breakdown of the process itself.

  1. First, you need to remove the old latches. Start by unbolting the stopper on the hood itself. 
  2. Next, use a wrench with a 13mm socket to unbolt the bottom of the latch.
  3. Wipe down the area where the latch was removed.
  4. Install the new latches onto the Jeep by bolting the stopper and latch the body down.
  5. Align the latch with the stopper and fenders.
  6. Tighten and secure the latch.

This guide is just a brief overview of the steps involved in installing your own latch. Be sure to reference the video attached below for a more thorough guide.

Conclusion 

Though latches are just a small component on the Jeep, they are integral to it. If the latch fails, you lose visibility instantly and even run the risk of a crash. Since your Jeep probably gets quite a workout, you must fit it with solid hardware. We hope we helped you find the right latch for your needs.

Quick Summary – Best Jeep Hood Latches

Before you head out, here’s a quick wrap-up of the best Jeep hood latches:

  1. RT-TCZ Black Stainless Steel Latch
  2. Rugged Ridge Textured Black Aluminum Set
  3. Hydraker Black Hood Latch

People Also Ask

We broke down the basics of the hood latch. However, you probably still have a few unanswered questions. Before sending you off, we decided to tackle some of the most common questions regarding latches. 

How to Fix a Hood Latch That Doesn’t Lock

If your hood latch isn’t locking, it may simply be dirty. Try wiping down the mechanism first. If that doesn’t work, take a look at the hood. If it is warped or dented, the latch might be misaligned. Then, you’ll need to reshape the hood. If this isn’t the issue, try to readjust the latch.

How to Adjust a Hood Latch

Prop the hood up. Then, loosen the bolts around the latch. Align the latch manually by shifting it to the right or left. Next, tighten the bolts. If this doesn’t do the job, you may need to visit a mechanic!

Will JL Hood Latches Fit a JK?

Yes. With minor adjustments, a JL latch will fit a JK. You can drill into the hood and then bolt the new latch on, or you can cut the plastic tabs from the latch and modify it. Once you remove the tabs, you can manually screw the new latch into place.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Hood Latch?

The cost of a hood latch depends upon the type of vehicle you’re driving. In general, they tend to range between $55 and $335. 

Can I Drive With a Broken Hood Latch?

Yes, you can technically drive with a broken hood latch. If the hood is locked, you will not likely run into any visibility issues. You will, however, have service issues. If the hood is broken and will not latch, you should not drive the vehicle until it is repaired or replaced.

How Do I Stop My Jeep Hood From Fluttering?

The best way to stop a Jeep hood from fluttering is to check the latches. If your latch is not aligning properly, it can simply be adjusted. If the latch is holding the hood loosely, it may need to be replaced. You cannot simply tie down a loose hood.

How Do I Open My Hood if the Latch is Broken?

If your latch breaks, but your hood doesn’t open, you’re in quite the predicament. First, get a piece of aluminum wire or clothes hanger. Then, take a look through the grill and try to locate the hood latch mechanism. Bend the end of the wire and slide it through the grill. Lock it onto the latch, and pull!

Who Worked on This?


Brian

Editor

A master of organization, Brian helps keep everything running smoothly for Your Jeep Guide.

No Jeep yet but we’re working on that!

Cory

Writer

Cory loves his XJ and frequently thrashes it through the hills. He’s constantly fixing something.


“What fenders?”

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