Best Jeep Winches – 2019 Ultimate Review

Driving off-road is a fun and exciting hobby for many Jeep owners. These vehicles can tackle almost anything and can take you almost anywhere you want to go. However, leaving the beaten path behind can be risky, and you might get stuck or come across a hurdle you won’t be able to overcome without some help.

A quality winch can safely get you out of mud puddles and ditches, saving both you and your Jeep from becoming stranded in the wild.

However, with so many models and factors to consider, choosing the right winch is often a time-consuming and daunting task. To help you find the right model, the following are reviews of some of the best Jeep winches available. So, make sure you go through them before making your purchase!  

Comparison of the Best Jeep Winches

Product

Rating

Price

Superwinch 1125220 Terra 25

Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch (4500lbs/2046kg Rating)

Best Overall

WARN 92815 ZEON

WARN 92815 ZEON 10-S Platinum 12V Electric Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope - 10,000 lbs. Capacity

Runner-up

Smittybilt 98510 X2O

Smittybilt (98510) X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity

Best for the Money

WARN 26502 M8000

WARN 26502 M8000 8000-lb Winch

Yescom 12000lbs

Yescom 12000lbs 12V 6.6HP Electric Recovery Winch Wireless Remote Control Trailer Truck SUV Jeep Off-Road Towing

What Size of Winch Does My Jeep Need?

The right size of a winch primarily depends on the purpose you’ll use it for. It’s advisable that you choose a winch that’s able to carry at least 1.5 times the weight of your vehicle. However, if you’re going to use it for heavier activities, such as pulling your vehicle from a ditch, it’s better to purchase a larger device.

If you want to be accurate, you can take your Jeep to a scrap yard or a local weigh station and find its exact weight when it’s fully loaded with the gear you plan on bringing with you on your off-road adventure. 

Why Are These the Best of the Year?

Although choosing the right winch seems tricky, it’s actually not that difficult. You only need to consider a few things before purchasing one. Some of these factors include:

Line Length

The longer the line is, the farther you can pull your Jeep from. However, getting a winch with the longest possible line is not a good idea, as it’s more prone to getting tangled. That’s why quality models are designed with an extension that can be spliced in if more length is required.

Superwinch 1125220 Terra 25 has 55' of 1/4" steel wire rope

Winch Motor

Winches are designed with two types of motors, Permanent Magnet (PM) and Series Wound (SW) motors. Quality models are usually designed with SW motors since they’re more powerful and produce 10% to 15% more amps than PM motors. They’re also more practical and durable than PM motors. Moreover, they’re more resistant to heat and abuse, and even work in icy conditions. 

Rated Line Pull (Winch Capacity)

Represented in kilograms or pounds, the Rated Line Pull (RLP) basically measures the pulling power of a winch and is perhaps the most important factor to consider. The mechanical capacity of the model and tensile strength of the rope are tested to ascertain its performance level.

High-end winches usually have an RLP of up to 13000 lbs, while lower-end models can have a capacity as low as 2000 lbs.

Quick Take - Best Winches for Jeeps

Skip the review - here are the best Jeep winches:

  1. Superwinch 1125220 Terra 25
  2. WARN 92815 ZEON
  3. Smittybilt 98510 X2O

Review of the Best Jeep Winches

Before you start your off-road adventure, make sure you have the best winch in your toolbox. To help you find a model that will effectively get your vehicle out of sand or mud, the following is a list of some of the best Jeep winches. So, feel free to give them a read!

Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch (4500lbs/2046kg Rating)

PROS

  • 4-way roller fairlead mechanism allows smooth and easy spooling
  • Oil pocket bronze bearings guarantee smooth, uncompromised movement
  • IP67-certified resistance and lightweight design makes it safe and easy to use
  • Ergonomic free-spooling clutch enables users to disengage the motor quickly
  • Circuit breaker protection ensures reliable and safe electromagnetic power in all weather conditions

CONS

  • Does not include a wireless remote control
  • Steel cable can be a bit slow while spooling

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were extremely happy with their purchase and stated that the Superwinch is a quiet, powerful, and well-built unit. Users liked the synthetic rope and found the wiring to be simple and easy. However, some customers were disappointed because of the lack of vehicle-specific installation instructions, while some reported that the circuit breaker was not the best for mounting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are several reasons why the Superwinch Terra 25 deserves the top place on our list. Firstly, with a gear ratio of 191:1, the gear is stronger and wider compared to other ATV/UTV winches. Secondly, its unique cover design helps you rotate and fit the motor into tight corners. The model is also dust and water-resistant, while its aluminum drums ensure that it bears the heavy loads during spooling.

Who Will Use This Most

Compatible with almost all four-bolt pattern ATV winch mount kits available today, the Superwinch Terra 25 can be used with virtually any utility vehicle you drive. This model is also capable of pulling snowmobiles, buggies, and terrain vehicles.

Bottom Line

Powered by a 1.3 horsepower motor, the Superwinch Terra 25 is surely one of the best models available today. Specifically designed to tolerate heavy loads, the unit provides the versatility, durability, and high-end power that’s essential for side-by-side UTV users.

Runner-up:
WARN 92815 ZEON

WARN 92815 ZEON 10-S Platinum 12V Electric Winch with Spydura Synthetic Rope - 10,000 lbs. Capacity

PROS

  • IP68 waterproof rating keeps dust and water out
  • Line speed is increased to 44 feet per minute, making it 20% faster
  • Stainless steel hardware resists corrosion and adds strength and durability
  • Advanced wireless remote can be customized to your personal preferences, ensuring ease of use
  • Backed by a one-year warranty on electrical components and a limited lifetime warranty on mechanical parts

CONS

  • A bit expensive than other models
  • Battery of the remote holds a charge for only 2 weeks
  • Rubber grommet covering the USB charging input is of inferior quality

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of people were impressed with the WARN and stated that it worked as advertised. Users were satisfied with the tow speed and found it easy to install. They particularly liked the remote control, with one user reporting that it worked from 300+ yards away. However, customers were disappointed with the high battery consumption.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The WARN ZEON primarily stands out to us because of its wireless remote. Using a WiFi signal, the remote allows users to handle and control all their winching needs, such as free-spooling the clutch. The remote further features a gauge that displays the battery’s charge level, while a built-in thermometric meter monitors the motor’s temperature.

Who Will Use This Most

The WARN ZEON is the perfect option for Jeep Wrangler owners who love to push the limits on the trail. It’s also ideal for Jeep owners who prefer off-road driving and use the road only when necessary.

Bottom Line

Offering extreme IP68-rated waterproofing, a high-performance motor, and ten percent faster line speed, the WARN ZEON is a model that’s capable of delivering 10,000 lb. capacities. Its quality construction ensures durability and longevity, while the wireless remote puts total control in the palm of your hand. However, it is a bit more expensive than other models.

Best for the Money:
Smittybilt 98510 X2O

Smittybilt (98510) X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity

PROS

  • Capable of pulling the heaviest vehicles without any lag
  • Remote control enables trouble-free wireless operation
  • Can be fully submerged in water for approximately half an hour
  • Backed by a 5-year electrical warranty and a lifetime mechanical warranty
  • Braking system reduces drum temperatures, ensuring durability and long-lasting performance

CONS

  • The solenoid is a bit difficult to mount
  • Wireless switch might not work properly

What Recent Buyers Report

Most people were extremely satisfied with the Smittybilt and said they would not hesitate to purchase it again. Users stated that the build quality was excellent, the speed was perfect, and found it very simple to install. However, customers were disappointed with the wireless range and some reported they were unable to use the center mounts for the solenoid. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Smittybilt primarily stands out to us because of the value it offers for the money. The sophisticated system, long synthetic line, and potent motor are among the industry’s best. The model is further backed by a comprehensive list of warranties and features a 6.6 HP amphibious motor that’s capable of pulling up to 10,000 pounds.

Who Will Use This Most

The Smittybilt is a powerful model with a load capacity of 10,000 lbs and does an excellent job in both water and off-road. So, if you’re a serious off-roader who owns a Jeep or a small SUV, the 98510 is the model for you.

Bottom Line

The Smittybilt X20 is cheaper than, but still as powerful as, the more expensive brands. Free spooling is smooth, installation is simple, and it doesn’t wear out, even after prolonged exposure to water. From its wide range of features to its high-quality build, it will surely get you out of all kinds of sticky situations.

WARN 26502 M8000 8000-lb Winch

PROS

  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
  • All-weather remote control makes it easy to use
  • Synthetic rope is flexible, light, and soft to the touch
  • Design is low-profile, allowing for a wide range of mounting options
  • Chip-resistant powder coat finish ensures durability, reliability, and longevity

CONS

  • The unit is not waterproof
  • Wire boots might be difficult to get onto the wires

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of people who used the WARN 26502 stated that it worked flawlessly. They found it to be reliable, stronger, and lighter than the cable version. Users also liked the quality of the control box and wiring. However, some customers were disappointed with the quality of the winch cable, with one user reporting that it snapped in half well under its maximum weight.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The ease of use offered by the WARN M8000 is what makes it stand out from the crowd. The hand-held rubber controller and automatic brakes ensure easy operation, while a distinctive lead-cord makes it extremely user-friendly. A stainless steel lever further enables easy handling and the remote mount control box allows for diverse mounting options.

Who Will Use This Most

The WARN M8000 is ideal for most trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps. It’s also perfect for 2x4 and 4x4 vehicles of a medium-weight class used in emergency situations, such as ambulances. Also, if you’re looking for proven performance and classic design, this model is the one for you!

Bottom Line

All in all, the WARN M8000 certainly deserves a place on our list of top picks. A user-friendly model with great features and an excellent performance rating, it’s perfect for Jeep owners who love off-road adventures. However, the lack of a waterproof rating might be troubling for some.

Yescom 12000lbs 12V 6.6HP Electric Recovery Winch Wireless Remote Control Trailer Truck SUV Jeep Off-Road Towing

PROS

  • Free-spool activation is extremely easy to use
  • Wireless function can be operated from a distance of 12 ft
  • Robust construction ensures durability, reliability, and longevity
  • Custom gaskets protect critical inner components from debris and water infiltration
  • 4-way roller fairlead effectively minimizes friction and prevents the wire ropes from tearing

CONS

  • The gloves are of inferior quality
  • Not suitable for intensive vehicle recovery tasks

What Recent Buyers Report

Most people who invested in the Yescom were happy with their purchase and stated that it had a lot of torque and worked great. Users particularly loved the remote feature. However, some customers found the unit to be very loud and were disappointed with the low quality of the gloves.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Since the Yescom is one of the best models available, there are several reasons why it stands out to us. Firstly, the competent three-stage planetary gear train helps provide dynamic horsepower. Secondly, the four-way roller fairlead guides the rope onto the spool evenly. Lastly, the automatic braking in the drum locks the wire rope and stops pulling once the button is released.

Who Will Use This Most

The Yescom is a sturdily-built model that’s perfect for individuals wanting to save some money. While the unit can easily pull vehicles weighing up to 12000 lbs, it’s not ideal for intensive vehicle recovery tasks.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for 12,000 lbs of pulling power at an extremely affordable price, then the Yescom is surely the model for you. To put it simply, it’s an impressive winching package that’s packed with features and is easily one of the cheapest models available today.

Pros And Cons of Adding a Winch to a Jeep

Like every good tool, a winch comes with its own advantages and risks.

Pros

Below are the primary pros:

Pulls Heavy Objects

If you love off-roading, then a winch is an extremely important tool for you. It helps you pull heavy objects with ease, load and unload a vehicle onto a trailer, and pull your Jeep free from sand, water, and mud. In short, a winch can free your vehicle from nearly any situation.

Adds Extra Power

While any other off-road vehicle can be used to free a trapped or stuck one, using a winch is much easier. It adds more torque, leverage, and power, enabling you to pull your vehicle free from whatever it’s stuck in. And doesn't require a second vehicle to be nearby. 

Reduces Vehicle Damage

Attaching a cable or towline from one vehicle to another can be damaging to both vehicles. While some vehicles are designed with areas where you can properly attach a line, many are not. Even improperly hooking up a line can cause severe damage. Using a winch significantly reduces the possibility of damaging your vehicle and someone else’s.

Cons

Below is the main con:

Negatively affects performance

Winches are heavy, even those with a synthetic line. They can range from as low as 30 lbs. to as high as 200 lbs. Since this weight is suspended in front of the Jeep, it amplifies the effect on the suspension, negatively affecting the ride quality of your Jeep, especially over rough surfaces.

Conclusion

All in all, winches are essential tools to have in Jeeps. However, there are several different factors you need to consider before making your purchase. You need to determine your budget and what you’ll be using it for. You need to consider how long it will last and if it perfectly suits your needs. Hopefully, the aforementioned reviews will help you make the right choice!

People Also Ask

Choosing a winch can seem tricky and there are several questions regarding using one. To help you choose the right winch, here are some of the frequently asked questions:

Synthetic Rope vs. Steel Cable – Which is Better?

While steel cable is considered to be stronger and more durable, it is heavier than synthetic rope. It is also susceptible to rust, making it more dangerous to use.

Meanwhile, synthetic rope is lighter without cutting down on power. It’s also easier to handle, safer to use, and loses tension more quickly.

Is a Winch More Effective Than Towing?

Yes, a winch is more effective than towing. If your vehicle is stuck, a winch is more suitable and better equipped to free it. It takes less effort, does a cleaner job, and is safer than towing with an extra car.

How Do I Determine The Ideal Capacity/RLP (Rated Line Pull) For My Jeep?

To determine the ideal capacity for your Jeep, you need to know the rated capacity of the winch and the Gross Vehicle Weight of your Jeep. It’s advisable to use the following formula to determine winch capacity:

1.5 x Gross Vehicle Weight = Ideal RLP