Ram 1500s are the vehicular epitome of rugged. They’ve taken the world by storm, offering sheer power and size at relatively affordable prices, but despite their dauntless scale and masculine armored aesthetic, without quality fender flares, they can be a little self-destructive.
A lot of people think fender flares are fitted in place to simply protect the wheel arch against dirt, dust, general debris, and oxidization, and that is true, but they also protect a lot more than that. Your tire doesn’t throw dirt up at your wheel arch exclusively, but all over the sides of the vehicle.
This leads to buildups of hardened debris and small rocks in sensitive areas such as the handle and between the window and its seal.
Ultimately, all this particulate grit grinds down the mechanisms and when you open your window, causes a banshee-like screeching. This is why fender flares are more important than a lot of people realize.
They keep your arches safe, your Ram clean (or cleaner anyway), and sensitive mechanisms running as smooth as they should. So, where can you get some decent flares designed especially with the Ram 1500 in mind?
Well, you’re in the perfect place, friend. We’re going to be rating and reviewing six of the very best fender flares for your ram 1500.
We’re even going to spin through an in-depth buyer’s guide and brief FAQ section so you know exactly what you’re looking for beyond this article.
Got a Messy Offroad Adventure Planned?
No worries, trucker. Our top pick’s right here for your immediate consideration.
Best Fender Flares for Ram 1500
OUR TOP PICK
Our number one fantastic fender flares are a mean-looking matte-black design compatible with any 2002 - 2008 Ram. Flares can come with a shiny glazed finish that some might find a little too flashy. You won’t have that problem with these stealthy bad boys.
Crafted out of impact-resistant, injection-molded polypropylene, you’re getting a whole lot of protection here.
Polypropylene is literally the lightest of all synthetic fibers, so although these things are incredibly strong and nothing short of massive, they won’t be a burden on your Ram.
They’re supposed to take 2 hours to install, but we have to admit, the instructions are infuriatingly short and vague, so put aside the better part of a day.
These flares are made for some serious off-road shredding, resistant against cracking, warping, UV, and chalking, offering you long-lasting protection on all your adventures off the beaten track. Polypropylene is also super flexible, so these things just ride with the punches.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the marine-grade stainless steel rivets with accentuated pockets. They give Rams that untamed, wild offroad look, and as these are pocket style flares, you won’t even need to do any drilling.
You get a 2.5” overhang over your font and rear wheel, keeping the sides of your Ram squeaky clean and protected against hard granular matter.
- Gnarly looking exposed steel rivets
- Stealthy, lowkey, matte-black finish
- Wide 2.5” overhang protects your Ram’s exterior
- Relatively affordable for the quality
- Polypropylene is durable and flexible
- Super lightweight
- Instructions are insufficient
- Slightly better mounting hardware would be perfect
Coming in at number two, we have a set of super-aggressive flares with a not so aggro price tag, compatible with all 2002 - 2008 Ram 1500s.
We know it’s subjective, but these are probably the slickest looking flares on our list. Their smooth matte-black finish reflects a very soft light, accentuating their curves, and the extra deep ovoid pockets lengthen towards the outer edges. Smooth flares also lend themselves well to paint jobs, so if you want to match them up with the finish of your Ram, it should be no problem.
If you know what you’re doing, installation will take you around 2 hours on your own, but if you have a little help, you can expect to cut that in half. We’d suggest putting aside around 6 hours if you’ve never fitted flares before.
They’re crafted with ABS, the oil-based plastic that legos are made from, and we’ve all stood on those little suckers before and come off far worse than they did, so you know this stuff is sturdy. It’s not quite as lightweight or flexible as polypropylene, but it’s still really shock, scratch, and heat resistant.
These are a little bit smaller than the Tyger flares, so you can expect a marginally reduced overhang, but they should still provide you with plenty of protection. You can ride off-road with your window open and you won’t need to pick out debris from between your teeth later, nice!
- Extra deep rivet pockets give your Ram a dauntless look
- Exposed rivets give them a saddle vibe
- Super affordable
- Decent overhang protects the sides of your truck
- ABS plastic construction is shock and heat resistant
- They carry paint well
- Installation is relatively easy
- Some included screws are also made of ABS plastic rather than metal
- Not quite as protective as our top pick
A moment’s genuflection for the bonafide fender flare royalty at our number three spot. Bushwacker straight-up invented fender flares, so if you want the peace of mind that comes with brand reputability, you’re onto a winner here.
Generally speaking, Bushwacker flares do provide more of a snug fit, hugging your truck tight. You can also expect fatter ends that don’t taper out as some cheaper flares do.
They’re made from ABS plastic, but not just your run of the mill stuff. It’s a proprietary material known as Dura-Flex 2000 that has increased flexibility and durability.
All included hardware is top quality stainless steel giving you that hardcore open bolted look that won’t rust or wear, but some customers have claimed that you don’t get enough for a complete fit.
Providing you with 2.5” of overhang, they’re great for extreme off-roading, and if you’re looking for paintable flares, these Bushwacker beasts are completely smooth. Moreover, they’re fully UV protected, so you won’t have to worry about chalking, or keeping your truck locked up on a scorcher.
Whether these flares are worth the insane price tag is a matter of opinion. They’re fantastic flares, but for that cost, we’d expect perfection, and to be honest, they’re not quite there yet.
- Large 2.5” overhang
- Should fit totally flush
- Stainless steel hardware
- Mean looking deep pockets
- Made from a patented ABS plastic that offers greater flex and durability
- Smooth, paintable matte-black finish
- Industry-leading brand and inventors of the fender flare
- May not come with enough hardware
- More than twice the price of any other of our picks
Looking like some Cthulian nightmare newly emerged from the cauldron-black depths has taken residence on your truck, our number four flares offer an awesomely unique look.
That’s right, folks. This set of flares come with super deep, very aggro, raised square pockets. Picture a giant octopus’ leg lining each of your wheel arches and you’ve got a good idea of how these will look. They’re not for everyone, but we can’t knock their quality.
If you’ve got a newer model Ram from 2009 to 2018, excluding R/T and Rebel models, these will fit like a glove. They’re another ABS construction, lightly textured by an extra UV-resistant coating applied during the production process. This is going to make them a little harder to refinish, but the extra protection is worth it.
At 49” x 29” x 8.6”, these are the second largest fender flares on our list so far, so if you’ve got some hardcore off-roadin’ in your future, these might be just the thing you need to keep your pride and joy’s complexion smooth and clean. That said, at 2 inches - front and rear - they have a slightly smaller overhang than our top pick.
Our biggest issue is the separate DIY weatherstripping. It’s incredibly difficult to apply, and we don’t really understand why they can’t come pre-loaded with that stuff on. It would take hours off the installation process and make it wholly easier.
- Very unique cephalopod design
- Very large aggressive feel
- Solid shock, heat, UV, and flame resistant ABS construction
- Decent 2” overhang, front and rear
- Fairly affordable when compared to big brands like Bushwacker
- Cool exposed cosmetic rivets
- Lovely matte-black finish
- Textured finish may be slightly more difficult to paint
- Stylized design may not be for everyone
- Weatherstripping is difficult to apply
In our penultimate spot, we have another quality set of Tyger Auto flares in a larger size to fit any 2009 to 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 or any 2018 to 2020 Ram 1500 classic, excluding the Rebel, R/T, and Warlock models.
As you’d expect, specs are similar to our number one pick. They’re injection-molded polypropylene, lightweight, sturdy, ready to take on some exceedingly challenging terrain. They’re shock and crack resistant, and thanks to the awesome UV-resistant coating, they won’t warp either.
The pockets are exactly the same, giving you that aggressive studded look, and you can choose between a textured or totally smooth finish. They’re the first set on our list that gives you the choice, which we really appreciate.
As these are for different Ram models, their shaping is a little dissimilar to our top pick, giving your front tires 2.6” and your rear tires a solid 2” of coverage.
We’re not sure why they’d didn’t even this out. Perhaps it’s an aesthetic or road requirement thing. Either way, these will still give you shed loads of protection when you take to the track.
Much like our troublesome fourth set of fender flares, it can be really difficult to apply the weatherstripping, but other than that, these are a great product for the price.
- Fairly affordable
- You can purchase them smooth or textured
- Tough-look exposed stainless steel rivets
- Injection-molded polypropylene construction is durable and lightweight
- UV-resistant to prevent warping and chalking
- Large 2.6” front tire overhang
- Designed for newer Ram 1500s
- Weatherstripping can be hard to apply
Snatching up the final spot on our list is a set of street-style flares for 2009 to 2018 Ram models. They’re smart, sleek, and most importantly, offer tons of protection.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t dig up what kind of plastic these flares are made of, but what we do know is that it’s some kind of plastic composite with all the qualities you’d need in a set of flares.
In terms of finish, they have a very fine, very subtle black satin texture, the kind you won’t notice until you’re up close and personal with them.
These are of course factory/OE flares, meaning they’ll replicate the ones that originally came with your Ram 2015. If you love your ram exactly the way it is, but the flares have taken some blows over the years, you can replace them with these, and you won’t even notice the difference. If they’re true factory recreations, they’ll be made from polypropylene, so that might solve the plastic mystery.
If you’re looking for something a little more elegant and rounded for your truck, these are definitely the way to go. They’re a little expensive, but still nowhere near that scary Bushwacker price. If pocket style flares are your Ram’s tactical getup, then these are its tuxedo.
- Factory recreation so you can keep your look classic and consistent
- Subtly textured satin finish
- Should fit like a glove as they’re factory spec
- Shock, crack, and chalking-resistant
- A little pricey, but for precision, it’s worth it
- Doesn’t state material
Best Fender Flares for Ram 1500 Buying Guide
Hold your horsepower, trucker! Before you settle on that new set of fender flares, let’s discuss some of the things you should consider.
If you’re working with a strict budget, that’s not a huge problem. As you’ve seen from our list, there are a number of really quality affordable options.
We’d warn not to go too low though. Buying bargain bin flares will only mean they won’t fit right or that they’ll break after hardly any use. It’s best to spend a middling to large amount on a popular design that will last you for the foreseeable future.
Getting a flush fit is obviously the most important aspect of the purchase. If they don’t fit properly, they may protect your Ram for a short amount of time, but debris and moisture will linger in the gaps causing rust and degradation.
If you follow our links through to Amazon, you get the option to select your Ram model from a drop-down menu and it tells you whether or not the flares will fit.
Most fender flare kits can be installed in little over two hours as long as you know what you’re doing or have help. Unfortunately, instruction manuals can be a little hard to follow or vague, so we’d suggest setting out at least six hours for the process.
The biggest problem customers tend to experience comes in the way of awkward weatherstripping, so if you can find a product pre-stripped, perfect! There should also be plenty of online tutorials you can follow to smooth out the process.
Smooth as a Seal Vs Textured as Toast
Performance-wise, there’s nothing much to worry about on this count. It’s mostly just a matter of preference.
What we will say, though, is that textured finishes are going to be slightly harder to clean and to paint. On the flip side, smooth flares will likely show scratching more prominently than textured.
These are all minor concerns, so it’s best to choose whatever you think looks better on your Ram 1500.
Let’s talk cosmetics. It might not matter to some, but the Ram 1500 is a cool looking vehicle. It would be a shame if you didn’t honor that classic design with some slick looking flares.
Pocket style is the biggest defining feature of pocket flares. They come in many depths, shapes, and variations along the length of the flare. Generally speaking, the deeper the pocket, the more aggressive it will make your ram look.
If you want to avoid that outback off-roader look in favor of a more sophisticated vibe, why not look for smaller depressions or even raised patterns like our number four pick.
Most flares will also come with exposed rivets. These are ornamental, but it’s still important that you check if they’re stainless steel. Some cheaper options might come with poor quality metals that will rust when exposed to the elements.
Street style fender flares are much sleeker and generally more of a rounded design. They still offer you protection from debris off-road, but without the pockets and steel rivets, they don’t look anywhere near as aggressive.
Ram 1500’s factory setup includes polypropylene street style flares, so if you want to keep your Ram looking factory fresh, street style flares are the way to go.
No matter the style, you’re most likely to encounter two materials, ABS plastic and polypropylene. There is very little difference between these two plastics, so don’t worry too much about one being better than the other.
Polypropylene is super lightweight and has a cheap production process, which may explain how some of the quality, affordable options on our list managed to inhabit such a low priced place in the market. PP also has amazing moisture-resistant qualities that help prevent the build-up of damp or mold.
ABS is an incredibly durable and chemically resistant material with lots of flexibility, but it’s not quite as strong as PP. The reason being that ABS is a compound of three polymerized materials, and PP is crafted via a process known as chain-growth polymerization.
The most substantial difference between these two materials is their color. PP is developed pre-pigmented so its color lasts over time. ABS pigment is applied after polymerization, often providing a flashier finish, but it’s more likely to fade.
If we had to recommend one over the other, we’d perhaps say PP, as it’s what most bumpers are made out of and it’s slightly stronger.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are fender flares a good idea?
Definitely! Even if you never go off-road.
They’ll protect your wheel wells from moisture, dents, scratches, and rust, and as a bonus, they make your truck look awesome.
Do you have to drill holes for fender flares?
Sometimes, it depends on the style of flare. Pocket flares never require any drilling or cutting for installation, making them a favorite of truck owners who can’t bear to harm their pride and joy.
If your flares do need drilling, we recommend taking your truck to a body workshop or mechanic rather than attempting it yourself.
What does OE fender flares mean?
OE stands for original equipment, meaning they’re an exact recreation of the piece your truck comes with fresh out of the factory.
Do fender flares cause rust?
If not properly installed and treated, moisture can get trapped and cause rust.
If they are properly installed and treated, they will actually protect your wheel well from rust.
What does pocket-style fender flares mean?
Pocket-style refers to the depressions in which the exposed rivets sit.
They never require drilling for installation.
Style and Flare
That’s all from us, truckers. They all thought your Dodge couldn’t get any cooler...they were wrong. As long as you’re careful to check compatibility and you fit them properly, any one of these flares will be an amazing addition to your Ram 1500, just look at all their shining reviews.
If none of our top picks appeal to you, use our buyer’s guide to continue the search. Otherwise, pick your flare of choice, load them up, and shred the trail like an absolute demon!