Keeping personal valuables safe in your vehicle is a common concern for most people, but it is especially difficult to achieve in the offroad community. Some of us have soft tops, some of us have no tops, and some of us don’t even have doors; all of which leave our vehicles increasingly vulnerable to theft.
In order to allow me to feel a little more comfortable about leaving my vehicle parked in public with the half-doors on, I decided to replace the stock center console and glove box in my Jeep TJ with something that wasn’t plastic. After a little searching, I decided to go with Tuffy Security Products. Tuffy is a company that has been around for a little over three decades and produces secure storage options for vehicles. Their products are primarily vehicle specific giving you that custom fit and finish and cover most major makes and models. After a few years of living with a couple of their products in my rig, I can tell you there are some really great things about these products but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
- Weather-resistant. Despite being exposed to rain and the elements I’ve never had any water enter the storage compartments.
- Easy to install. The instructions are easy to follow and the company provides grade 8 hardware.
- Lifetime warranty. Their warranty covers any manufacturer defects for life.
- Availability of replacement parts. Any parts you may need to replace that fall outside of the warranty are easy to order. I’ve personally replaced my locks, which can be keyed-alike, after having my keys stolen. I’ve also replaced my vinyl padding after ripping it. I should throw in the prices were reasonable for the replacements.
- Design and durability. 16 gauge steel and limited pry points make the storage spaces difficult to break into. I’ve had my Jeep broken into three times and nothing was ever stolen from my Tuffy products. You can even see in the image below the punch and pry marks on my glove compartment lock that thieves tried to get into.
- Loud. The closing of the storage compartments can be borderline obnoxious unless you love the sound of metal slamming on metal. Now in all fairness, there is a gasket around the lid to help with this but its mostly the operation of the latch as it closes that makes it so loud. Due to the metal design, there’s also a high chance that items you put in the compartments will vibrate and rattle. This can be mitigated with the installation of interior carpeting which Tuffy does sell on its website.
- Small armrest. One of the more common thoughts I have while driving around is “I wish there was more padding”. The lid of the center console is only partially padded and I find myself often having to adjust my arm so my elbow isn’t hitting the push-lock or metal on the lid. I doubt this issue exists for the center consoles in all their vehicle applications but it certainly exists for late model TJs.
- Rudimentary cup holders. Sometimes its the little things and while cup holders certainly shouldn’t be a deciding factor in your purchase of security products I do have to say it feels like there was almost no effort or thought put into these. The cup holders are oversized and I really do mean oversized, they’ll fit even your largest tumbler. With the current design, smaller bottles and cups have a tendency of flopping all over the place while I drive. Another negative of the design is because of the steel construction there is a risk of marring your finish on your cups and the flimsy foam fingers that line these need to be replaced. I would like to see these come with different inserts or a durable rubber lining.
- Dangerous finger pull. The finger pulls on the glove box could really use a rounded end or even replacement with a cloth loop. As it currently exists it just hangs around waiting to claim your next passenger’s kneecap as its next victim. My poor wife has literally bled over this feature.
The cost of the center console was approximately $400 and the cost of the glove box was just below $200. I consider this money well spent. Originally I purchased these products because they helped provide peace of mind and after several years of use and protecting my personal belongings through multiple vehicle break-ins I can say with confidence that I absolutely recommend Tuffy Security Products.