A winch is a pulling mechanism, equipped with a cable, a motor, and a hook that mount on the Jeep’s front bumper. The best winch for Jeep may become a rescue in a seemingly hopeless situation when all four wheels of your Jeep get stuck in the mud, pit, or sand.
Winches have come a long way, evolving from simple tools to high-tech equipment. Now, many models can supply an enormous pull-power, allowing you to get your Jeep’s wheels out of mud, pits, water, or sand with minimal effort. Although they still stay compact and easy to use. The winches don’t require any additional skills to be installed and don’t depend on the vehicle’s engine, so they can pull out even Jeep with a stalling engine. Most models include a wireless remote control and overload protection. The winches are reliably isolated from dirt, dust, sand, and moisture.
Driving on unsurfaced roads or tracks is the main benefit of purchasing any off-roader. That is why you should always have a top-quality winch in the trunk of your Jeep for insurance. In order to pick out the following top of winches for Jeeps, we have tested a lot of models. So keep reading to discover the most appealing option for your vehicle and budget.
Jeep Winch Reviews
Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC — Best Winch for Jeep
This model is waterproof (IP67 rating) and weather-resistant, being able to function in the rain and snow. It can’t be damaged by mud or sand as they just won’t get to the electrical parts of the winch, thanks to the well-sealed housing.
This electric winch is commonly referred to as a Jeep Gladiator winch as it’s extremely popular among the Gladiator’s owners. It has a thick steel cable (93.5 ft long) with an amazing capacity of 9,500 pounds (options with higher capacities are available too). The motor has 6.6 HP. Hence, the winch is robust and powerful enough to tolerate steep inclines and cross-country terrains.
The winch has a black matte finish that is UV-resistant. The winch itself is controlled by a corded controller and a three-stage gear system.
The Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC is 22.3 inches long, 5.4 inches wide, and 9.4 inches high. The weight is 78 pounds. It also features an automated in-drum braking system, which is a substantial advance over the previous generation.
The kit comes with everything you’ll need to get started, and the manufacturer recommends sticking to supplied items rather than using third-party ones. It comes with a beneficial warranty: a 3-year warranty on all the electrical parts and a lifetime warranty on mechanical parts.
- The solenoid can be mounted at three different positions, which allow for installation flexibility.
- Although the winch is made in China, I didn’t spot any low-quality materials used in its construction.
- The 4-way roller fairlead ensures smooth handling.
- The kit does not include any cover for the winch.
- It’s hard to spool the cable at low temperatures.
Overall rating: 9/10
Smittybilt X2O COMP — Best Winch for Jeep JK
Being endowed with a 6.6 HP motor, this winch is really capable of delivering a powerful performance. The dynamic braking system is safe, provides additional support, and prevents excessive drum heating, prolonging its service time.
Having a maximum load capacity of 10,000 pounds, this model is widely used as a winch for Jeep Wrangler, having enough power to pull out most Wranglers. The synthetic rope is lightweight and surprisingly durable. It’s 98.5 ft long, giving you the opportunity to tow the vehicle across vast distances.
The 3-stage gear system ensures fast and smooth line-out, making it more user-friendly. You can control the winch via the wireless remote controller or wire it to the winch and use it as a corded controller. You may really need this wired option because the wireless remote doesn’t work properly from time to time. This Jeep Wrangler winch is rated at IP68 which means that it can be safely submerged.
The X2O COMP has plastic casing material, but it doesn’t seem to be of a poor-quality or easily breakable. Like all the other models from the X20 series, it features a textured black finish. The overall dimensions of the appliance are 22.3 x 5.4 x 9.4 inches, and the weight is 67 pounds.
- It’s much quieter than many models with the same power rating.
- A forged hook makes hooking an easy process.
- The aluminum hawse fairlead ensures a secure grip during the winching.
- The installation instructions are somewhat complex, so installing may be challenging if you have no experience.
- The included hardware for mounting doesn’t seem reliable as it’s made of cheap and weak materials.
Overall rating: 9/10
The 103252 VR EVO 10 is a high-performance winch made in the U.S. For testing, I’ve got a model with a 10,000-pound load capacity (the winch is also available in 8,000 and 12,000-pound capacities) that is perfect for Jeep models that weigh around half a ton. Consequently, it can be added to the Jeep Wrangler winches list.
The winch comes almost fully assembled and wired, so you just need to mount it on a bumper and connect the cables to the battery. The installation hardware is supplied, so there is no need to buy anything separately. The kit also includes a controller that can be used as both wired and wireless.
The device is equipped with a wound motor and works fast even under heavy loads (around 5 wraps of cable per minute when the winch is under load). Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not provide information on the engine’s horsepower rating. The winch has a long 90-ft steel cable with a thickness of 0.3 inches (a synthetic cable is also available, but it is more expensive).
This model can’t be found among cheap Jeep winches, as its price is quite high. On the other hand, it features WARN’s exclusive Albright contactor that ensures reliability and, as for me, is well worth the money.
This winch for Jeep has watertight construction with an IP68 rating, so it will work in inclement weather and can withstand submersion up to 4.9 ft deep. The dimensions of the winch are 21 x 6.3 x 10.1 inches, and the weight is 91.1 pounds.
- Multiple mounting points are available on the control pack.
- Thanks to low amp draw, the winch doesn’t require a lot of power to function.
- Along with the winch, you will receive a long, 7-year warranty on the electrical parts of the device.
- The installation diagrams in the manual don’t show all possible variants of mounts.
- The winch jammed when I pulled the cable in.
- The bolts on the housing were loose, so I had to tighten them up.
Overall rating: 9/10
The winch is armed with an efficient and powerful 7.2 HP motor. Despite being so powerful, this model is smaller (23 x 13.5 x 10 inches) and lighter (57.9 pounds) than the other winches on our top. With a full load, it has a speed of around 5 ft per minute and 16 ft per minute without. The motor makes 85 dB of noise, so it’s not so quiet but definitely quieter than many other winches. A dynamic braking system gives superior control and ensures safety.
It has an extremely powerful 13,500 pounds pull rating, being suitable for full-size SUVs. This way, it will work as a Jeep Cherokee winch. Its synthetic nylon rope has an ample length of 100 ft but does not appear to be particularly sturdy, and it may break if subjected to heavy weights on a regular basis.
The winch’s shell is completely waterproof (IP68) and is resistant to UV rays. It has a standard mounting channel, so installation isn’t likely to cause problems. There is a clevis hook with a safety latch and an aluminum powder-coated hawse fairlead that smoothly guides the rope.
This winch Jeep also comes with two wireless handheld remote controllers that have an incredible reach of 90 ft that function well right out of the box. The 3-stage planetary gear system ensures strong and smooth operation.
- It comes with a protective waterproof cover.
- The solenoid is enclosed and includes circuit breaker protection, so it is entirely protected from external effects.
- The winch features a free spooling clutch, which allows the cable to be pulled out manually.
- The electrical components of the winch have only a one-year warranty.
- It comes without a mounting plate.
Overall rating: 8/10
Thanks to the 5.6 HP high-speed motor (7 ft per minute with a full load, 25.3 ft per minute without load), this model can most likely be the best Jeep winch for those searching for a genuinely speedy option. It has a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds (13,000 and 13,500-pound options are also available) and appears suitable for two-door Jeeps and lightweight SUVs.
The device is available in 4 colors: red, black, blue, and orange. The case has an IP67 rating of waterproofness, so it will work in harsh environments as it can float in water and operate in conditions of extreme temperatures. The 78.5-foot synthetic rope is also resistant to bending, adverse working conditions, UV-rays, and chemicals.
Like most mid-priced winches for Jeep, it comes with everything you’ll need for installation, including a clevis hook, sets of bolts and wires, and a control box. The installation process won’t be tricky for users who have done it before but may be a little bit tricky for inexperienced users. The hardest part is getting the wiring done correctly. The winch also ships with a wireless remote and corded controller that adds to the convenience. They both are equally responsive.
Silicon steel is used to make the rotor, which ensures high electrical throughput. The gear is also durable, thanks to its forged steel construction, which allows for more power and speed. The winch itself weighs 61 pounds, has a length of 20.8 inches, a width of 6.5 inches, and a height of 8.6 inches.
- The winch has an overload protector.
- The automatic load-holding braking system has a breaking strength of 23,809 pounds.
- The wireless remote can be charged directly from the winch.
- The installation instructions are colorless, making them difficult to comprehend.
- It takes some time to cool down between pulls because it heated up quickly.
Overall rating: 8/10
Off Road Boar QZ01516-OB — Best Jeep Winch for The Money
This is a good budget model with an average load capacity of 9,500 pounds (you also may choose the same model with 13,000 pounds capacity for your Jeep). The powerful 5.5 HP winding motor has a speed of 6.4 ft per minute with a full load and 24.6 ft per minute with no load. The automatic load-holding braking system is responsive and triggers quickly.
The dimensions of the device are 20.3 x 6.3 x 7.9 inches, so it has a low-profile design that provides good installation flexibility and can be neatly mounted on any Jeep. The weight is 61.6 pounds. The winch is waterproof and has an IP67 protection, so it can withstand almost all weather conditions. It has a roller fairlead with a tensile steel 92 ft long cable going through it.
The winch comes with two controllers, one wireless and one wired. The manufacturer also provides all the bolts, wires, and other items needed for the winch mount.
- Given that this is a low-cost winch, the bolts included in the kit are of surprisingly decent quality.
- The installation guide is easy to follow because it is accompanied by a lot of illustrations.
- The winch works smoothly, without jerks.
- The battery cables may be too short to reach the battery on some Jeep models.
- The winch plate easily gets scratched.
Overall rating: 8/10
The winch has a 6.2 HP motor and a maximum load capacity of 13,000 pounds, so it’s powerful enough to tag four-door SUVs. Hence, it can be used for Wrangler Unlimited and other Wrangler models, like JK, for example. It has a full load speed of 4 ft per minute and a no-load speed of 21.3 ft per minute. The rope is synthetic and measures 86 feet in length.
With an IP68 rating and a totally sealed housing constructed of metal with a corrosion-resistant coating, this Jeep JK winch is ideal for off-roading. However, this metal case has bad heat dissipation, so the winch heats up pretty quickly. The overall dimensions of the winch are 23.7 x 13.6 x 10.7 inches, and the weight is 59.9 pounds.
The winch comes with a controller with an 11.5-ft long cord. Among all the Jeep JK winches available on the market, this model can be considered as one of the most easy-to-install ones as it comes with all the mounting hardware and clear instructions.
- All of the cables are color-coded, making the wiring process easier.
- The power cables are thick and durable.
- The wireless remote works great right out of the box, and this surprised me a lot. Most budget winches come with malfunctioning remote controllers that require battery replacement or additional adjustment to make them work.
- It lacks the power to withstand long-duration pulls.
- The gear box lacks grease. Due to that, the winch operates loudly.
Overall rating: 8/10
How to Install a Winch on a Jeep
The Jeep winch is usually installed on the vehicle’s bumper if there are special slots for the mount. If not, you’ll have to either buy and install a new bumper or drill holes in it for the winch fasteners with a drill.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a winch on a Jeep:
- Determine the location where you want a winch to be installed. It’s recommended placing it between the grill and the bumper.
- Make the holes with a drill.
- Make sure that the holes are perfectly aligned with the winch before tightening.
- Tighten the winch.
- Release the clutch and pull out the cable for around 3 inches.
- Install the ferret and ensure that it’s fixed firmly.
- Finally, you can install the hook.
Types of Winches
Steel cables can’t be damaged by mud, sand, or rocks due to their durability. It requires minimal maintenance (you just have to rinse it under water from time to time) and costs less than a synthetic cable. However, it’s heavier (adds about 20 pounds of weight to the winch), prone to rusting, and gets prickly as it wears. When utilizing a winch with steel cable, gloves are recommended.
Generally, synthetic cables are more popular. They are usually made of polyethylene and are considered more secure, flexible, and lightweight, requiring less energy from the user. In terms of disadvantages, synthetic cables aren’t resistant to heat, abrasion, moisture, and chemicals (however, some models have a protective coating that can increase their service life). They also need to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep them free of dust, mud, and other debris.
- 70 ft — 80 ft
Ropes in this length range have the highest pulling capacity and are less prone to tangling and jamming, so such ropes are the most popular.
- 80 ft — 100 ft
Such long ropes are helpful in situations when you can’t stay close to your vehicle while pulling it out since they give a longer reach.
- 6,500 pounds — 9,500 pounds
This range of winches has a pulling capacity that is sufficient for even the lightest Jeeps (for example, two-door versions of the Jeep Wrangler).
- 10,000 pounds — 13,000 pounds
The winches in this range are the most popular ones as they are suitable for a vast majority of Jeep models (Jeep Wagoneer, Jeep Gladiator, etc.).
- 13,500 pounds — 17,000 pounds
Winches in this pulling capacity range work for the most heavy-duty Jeep models (for example, Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland or Jeep Grand Cherokee).
My name is Brandon, and I’ve been interested in cars since I was a kid. I got a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology and worked in a private car workshop. I have two cars that have been completely upgraded with my own hands. So I successfully put all my knowledge into practice.
Last update on 2021-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API