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Top 9 Best Winch For Jeep Wrangler Review With Buying Guide [2021]

The market for the best winch for jeep can be a bit confusing because of the numerous options available.

However, our team of experts has done the job of reviewing the best of the best so that customers can quickly make an informed decision.

Winches have evolved from basic tools to more sophisticated options that are capable of huge pull-power capacity in various wire and synthetic variants.

Off-roaders will be particularly pleased with the curated options presented in this review.

We have carefully selected them by paying attention to features that are tailored to specific needs.

Winches are more like an insurance cover; you may not need them often but you can’t tell when they can come in handy.

So make a pick from our list with confidence.

Contents

Top Comparison of Best Winch For Jeep Wrangler

PREVIEWBRANDDETAIL
WARN 103252
Smittybilt X2O
Superwinch
Rugged Ridge
Offroading Gear
Mile Marker
Warn 88990
Superwinch
KEEPER

What is the best winch for Jeeps?

The WARN 103252 VR EVO 10 is the best winch for jeep according to our conducted survey of about 30 popular winches.

Alternatively, the Smittybilt X20 is also a wise consideration if the WARN brand doesn’t fit in.

Why the WARN 103252 VR EVO 10 the best winch for jeeps

We investigated several features before concluding that the WARN 103252 VR EVO 10 is the best.

It combines an above-average pull capacity with top-notch functionality to present a winch that is capable of lasting a lifetime.

Top 9 Best Winch For Jeep Review

In this updated review our team of experts analyzed a couple of popular winches out in the market and have come up with the best of them all.

We have carefully selected these winches by paying special emphasis on the features that each has to offer.

Without wasting much time, let’s dive right in.

01. WARN 103252 VR EVO 10 – Top Rated Performer

 

Highlighted Features

  • 10,000 lb capacity winch
  • Lower amp draw under load
  • Waterproof construction design
  • IP68 rated
  • Wired and wireless option design’
  • Planetary gear system

The Warn 103252 is an America made winch for jeeps that suppresses other competitors in terms of performance.

Warn holds a very high reputation for the off-road industry and is capable of pulling jeeps out of every spot.

With a 10k pound load capacity, users can choose between a synthetic rope or a steel rope for the winch operation.

Furthermore, a fairlead and hawse fairlead comes with steel rope or synthetic rope respectively.

Depending on the rope choice of the user, prices may slightly vary.

However, faster line speeds in low-amp draws make up for any shortcomings of the winch.

The faster line speeds are delivered by powerful series-wound motors designed by Warn engineers.

Versatility and ease are enhanced by the use of state-of-the-art two-in-one remote control systems that provides users with the luxury of either wireless or wired operation.

Warn fans should check this product out

Pros

  • Wired and wireless options
  • Waterproof system
  • High load capacity under a low amp
  • High-performance Albright contracting design
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Quite pricey

02. Smittybilt X20 – Best Value Winch

 

Highlighted Features

  • 4-way roller fairlead
  • 3-stage planetary gear
  • 12,000 lb pull capacity
  • Waterproof 1P68 rated
  • Remote of manual operation

The Smittybilt X20 is one of the best winches for jeeps in the market today.

It’s no wonder that it made our review list as the best value winch money can buy.  It’s a Gen2 series that has been thoroughly updated with integrated features.

A brilliant mix of updated features enhances the performance of the Smittybilt X20 winch that can be operated from a wireless remote control system.

“Plastic casing surrounding this winch looks cheap and can be prone to easy breakage. However, there haven’t been many complaints by users on the plastic casing material”.

With winches, pull power is a major feature that must be given adequate consideration.

The X20 Gen2 variant provides an astounding pull power from a 6.6HP amphibious motor.

Also, the high pull power is facilitated by a strong synthetic rope and a dynamic braking system that reduces drum temperatures by about 66%

The remote control system provides some versatility to the user because it can be operated in either wired or wireless mode.

Subsequently, the updated Gen2 Smittybilt winch is also equipped with a 3-stage planetary gear train to support pull-power and line speed.

Pros

  • Watertight construction
  • Heavy-duty remote control
  • 12,000-pound capacity
  • Four-way roller fairlead

Cons

  • Plastic casing material
  • Complex installation guide

03. Superwinch 1511201 Tiger Shark

 

Highlighted Features

  • Weather seal solenoid
  • 0HP motor system
  • Synthetic rope
  • Ergonomic free-spool control
  • Stainless steel shark casing

Superwinch 1511201 is another innovative model from a well-recognized brand.

This particular model is rated for 11,500-pound pull-power making it one of the most powerful winches in online stores.

Unlike the Smittybilt X20 with a 6.6HP motor, the Superwinch 1511201 has a 6.0HP rated motor which is tightly sealed in a well-constructed waterproof box.

The waterproof feature is made possible by a sealed solenoid contractor to improve the shelve life.

“Waterproof solenoid contractor is made from plastic and may be prone to easy breakage. Be sure to carry out due diligence on the quality before purchase.”

Like all quality winches, this Superwinch model also has a remote control feature that offers the luxury of control from a safe distance.

With a synthetic rope that is 24.4 meters long and an aluminum hawse fairlead, there is enough power to pull any jeep from a tight spot.

To provide the much-needed torque, a 3-stage planetary gearbox works in line with the free-spool rotating gear making this winch one of the easiest tools for off-loading duties.

Finally, all these features are encased in stainless steel hardware to improve longevity.

Pros

  • Quality build in stainless steel
  • Watertight casing
  • 11,500-pound pull-power
  • Easy Free-spool feature

Cons

  • Very expensive

04. Rugged Ridge 15100.25 Trekker Winch – Best Budget Winch

 

Highlighted Features

  • Powerful 6.6HP motor
  • 12,500 lb capacity
  • IP-68 waterproof rating
  • Complete part kits
  • 216:1 gear ratio

Rugged ridge’s impressive power output takes this winch heads and shoulders above many competitor winches in the market.

It has been truly designed to provide a contemporary solution for the off-road enthusiast.

With top-notch features, coupled with an impressive design rival competitive winches stand no chance in terms of power output and capacity.

The motor system is capable of delivering a consistent pull-strength via a bulletproof designed planetary drive gear.

Line speeds are enhanced by the high dedicated gear ratio (216:1) that is capable of getting users back behind the wheel in record time.

The rugged winch is capable of surviving the worst imaginable conditions in the real world where they are expected to shine.

Practically impenetrable to water and any form of dirt, off-road enthusiasts will get the most out of this winch.

Pros

  • Easy installation (1 hour)
  • 7 feet per minute line speed
  • Bulletproof planetary box
  • Off-road accessories included
  • 26-meter synthetic line

Cons

05. Offroading Gear 12,000 lbs Electric Winch

 

Highlighted Features

  • Strong 6.6HP motor
  • 12,000 pull capacity
  • Free accessories included
  • Double remote controls
  • Waterproof design

The offroading gear 12,000 lb electric winch is constructed from some of the finest materials in the industry.

With a massive 12,000 pulling capacity, this ultimate recovery tool is capable of getting large loads out of any rough situation.

Included with this product are some bonus accessories not seen in other brands.

You will find a long synthetic rope, a stainless steel hawse, and an elastic winch cover valued at over $250.

Additionally, each winch form off-roading gear comes with twin remote (one wired and one wireless) control systems for easy operation from any location.

Ergonomic EZ-Grip allows users to effortlessly pull large loads with lightning-fast remote-controlled lines.

At a 35 inch per minute pull speed, users should be behind the wheel in no time.

It’s no wonder then, that thousands of customers use the offroading winch to get the hardest of tasks done in record time.

Pros

  • High-quality material build
  • Two remote control system
  • Ergonomic EZ-Grip
  • Fast line pull speed
  • Already mounted synthetic rope

Cons

  • No mention of a planetary gear ratio

06. Mile Marker SEC15 15000-pound Winch – Most Versatile Winch

 

Highlighted features

  • 15,000-pound capacity
  • 3-stage planetary gear
  • 296:1 gear ratio
  • IP68 Waterproof
  • Powerful stainless steel construction

Mile Marker’s 15,000-pound winch is one of a kind surpassing professional vetting as one of the most versatile winches for the off-road enthusiast.

This winch features a fully sealed assembly that is capable of keeping all contaminants outside where they belong.

“Very good winch but there have been small complaints from customers about missing pieces. Additionally, there are small parts required for installation that should be in the right packages”

The versatility comes from the numerous choices users can make between a steel cable and a synthetic rope.

In incremental stages, owners can choose from 4,500 steel cable to as high as 18,000-pound capacity steel cable.

Subsequently, a synthetic variant from 8000 – 15,000-pound capacity is available.

The working range of lines provides strength, performance, and value that are tailored to the needs of a wide range of customers.

All that is left is to choose the line that is best suited for your off-road capacity.

For durability, the winch is made from all-around stainless steel hardware with black zinc clutch handles making them super strong to take on any task.

Pros

  • Highly versatile
  • Wide range of lines
  • Quality steel and synthetic options
  • Center-mounted control box
  • Stainless steel construction

Cons

  • Contains small parts
  • Complex installation

07. Warn 88990 ZEON 10 Winch – Best Contemporary Winch

 

Highlighted Features

  • 10,000-pound capacity
  • Optional mounting systems
  • Powered-coated finish
  • Convertible control pack
  • Satin-black aluminum housing

The Warn brand introduces the Zeon series which is a masterpiece winch designed to change things forever.

The Zeon series are powerful and capable of a full power capacity of 10,000 pounds. This places them above average in the winch industry.

Atheistically, the Zeon series from Warn Industries is a next-generation series that complements the beauty of any jeep.

With the aid of a convertible control pack, users can mount the winch in any way they deem fit.

“There have been a few complaints about the quality of the product.

While the aesthetics seem to be of top-notch quality, the high price tag doesn’t seem to have reflected on the functionality”

A very powerful motor and a durable gear train provide a workhorse to tackle any task at hand.

Moreover, the exceptional styling and attention to details that went into the construction of this winch make it one of the most evolutional pieces in recent times.

The sound from the Zeon winches is a lot lower in comparison to other standard products.

The major feature that makes this winch one of the best contemporary choices is the design from the ground up that gives it a look that is quite advanced on trucks and SUVs.

Pros

  • Versatile options to choose
  • Aesthetically designed
  • Convertible control pack
  • Reduced sound output

Cons

  • Very expensive

08. Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 3500lbs Winch – Best Low-end winch

 

Highlighted feature

  • 6 HP motor
  • 50-inch steel wire rope
  • Steel planetary gear
  • Circuit breaker projected
  • Water sealed solenoid contact

The high-end power provided by the Superwinch Terra 35 series is unraveled by any other competitive winches of comparable prices in the industry.

Right out of the box, it has a 3,500 –LB pull rating with a low-amp draw.

The idea behind the Superwinch Terra device was conceived with rough terrains in mind, so it is capable of pulling the limit load out of any tight spot.

It is a good fit for most Powersports cars because of the compatibility with most four bolt-patterned ATV mounts.

“Be advised that you can’t use a standard bolt for this winch and there is no rubber stopper so you may need to order one separately to prevent damaging the fairlead and hook”.

Like most 3-stage planetary gear winches in the market, the Superwinch Terra 35 also has the power and durability to see to it that it completes all tasks at hand by combining a hefty 3,500 –LB pull power with a 1.6HP motor.

Safety during off-road activities is an important consideration to make.

There is a wealth of valuable features with this Terra winch to ensure it complies with industrial standards.

Users will find the dynamic braking system, the mechanical load holding, the sealed solenoid, and rubberized remote controls systems valuable additions for safety.

Pros

  • Inexpensive to purchase
  • Lots of safety features
  • Easy installation process
  • Synthetic rope
  • Waterproof design

Cons

  • Small pull capacity
  • Low motor horsepower (1.6HP)

09. KEEPER KW75122RM-1 Winch – Best Portable Winch

 

Highlighted Features

  • 5HP motor
  • LED working light system
  • 72 foot galvanized wire rope
  • Handheld switch controls
  • 12 Volt Direct Current motor

The KEEPER KW75122RM-1 is a winch that is parked with features that give users the liberty of choosing one that is best suited for their needs.

The minimalistic design is quite portable without sacrificing on pull-power capacity.

The pull line capacity of 7,500-pound is large enough for most off-roading tasks.

Many off-road users hardly get past that threshold.

In case you have a large load to pull, be rest assured that the automatic full load holding feature and the 4-way standard fairlead are capable of providing the right support.

“While the 7,500-pound KEEPER winch is portable, be informed that other higher variants like the KEEPER 9,500-pound winch are designed to be permanently fixed. Choose wisely according to your needs”.

The portable KEEPER winch does have a couple of safety features like the warning paints at both ends of the galvanized wire rope, the circuit breaker, the handheld pendant switch, and the integrated heavy-duty seals.

The ingenuity of combining safety features and performance places this portable model heads and shoulders above competitive winches in the market.

How We Picked The Best Winch For Jeep

Here are a few buying considerations to take to heart in other to make an informed purchasing decision on the best winch for a jeep.

The Capacity of the Winch

The first and most important consideration to make is the capacity of the winch.

All winch in the market come with a capacity that tells users about the maximum load capacity it can pull without breaking.

The capacity of the winch is a combination of a few factors.

Aside, the first being the mechanical strength and the second is the tensile strength of the line used.

Whatever the case may be, the capacity rating of a winch is indicative of the layer closer to the drum and not the other end.

Ideally, a typical line will have three to four layers. The first layer has the lowest gear ratio and subsequently the highest pull capacity.

The length of the line

The line length is another important consideration to make. Ideally, more line length means that the drum will be capable of reaching out farther.

There are two important considerations to make here. Since most of the pulling capacity is at the first layer, you will need to spool out a reasonable length to enjoy the full pull power.

However, pulling out too much of the length leaves it exposed to kinking or jamming.  For this reason, many users prefer shorter lines.

The Line Speed

The speed of the line is a function of both the motor power and the gear ratio.

Many brands have extremely fast unloading speed but a majority are dramatically very slow when they are under load.

Regardless of the unloading speed, a majority of brands have line speeds just within 2-6 feet per range.

Ideally, any winch that is extremely fast under load (above the average sped) will require a lot of electrical power to pull it off.

Therefore, decide your level of patience as well as power consideration before purchasing any.

Drivetrain Type

Three popular drivetrain types have really stood the test of time and are widely used by most brands.

These drivetrains types are planetary, spur, and worm gear.  As the name implies, the spur gear makes use of a pair of spur gears for operation.

While spur gear trains are fast, they seem to have low amperage because of low friction.

Worm gears work in unison with spur gears and are usually connected to the motor gears.

They are very good at holding load and reduce the over-reliance on brakes, making them a safer alternative.

It is no wonder then that they are very popular with tow trucks. However, despite the positives, they are very slow because of the gear reduction.

The planetary gear system can be found in brands like Warn and Smittybilt and is very similar to what is obtainable in automatic transmission systems.

The fact that they have a compact size and operate on automatic transmission makes them a very popular choice with users.

In terms of friction and amp draw, planetary systems are considered to be between spur and worm gear respectively.

Motor Type

The motor type is another important consideration to make, practically if you need them for regular or heavy-duty off-roading tasks.

Also, The major types include the permanent magnet motor and the series wound motor.

Both of these motor types are specific in terms of functionality.

Permanent magnet motors can be found in lower-priced models but have very low amp draws and aren’t overly resistant to heat.

On the other hand, series motors are best suited for heavy-duty winches.

Wire rope vs synthetic ropes

A synthetic or wire rope variant is the basic choice for the best winch for a jeep.

These two options have their merits and drawbacks so choosing one over the other is a matter of preference.

The tensile strength of the winch is the point at which the rope breaks and is influenced by a variety of factors like the diameter, capacity, and pull-power.

Wire rope winches are made from carbon steel and are the traditional choice for many off-road tasks.

They are more resistant to abrasion and heat than their synthetic alternatives.

However, wire ropes are very vulnerable to accidental crushing when they aren’t properly re-spooled.

Subsequently, crushed or broken wire ropes will produce sharp edges that can rend flesh.

Synthetic ropes are relatively new and offer several advantages over wire ropes.

First and foremost, synthetic ropes are lighter than wire ropes and are safer when something breaks or when the rope snaps.

Synthetic ropes are stronger than the equivalent amount of wire ropes.

The drawback for synthetic ropes is that they are quite expensive than wire ropes and are highly susceptible to chaffing.

Subsequently, the inability of synthetic ropes to deal with the heat is a major operational problem.

Best Winch For Jeep Wrangler (FAQs)

Q:  How do I know the best winch for my Jeep?

Ans: Apart from choosing a suitable and renowned winch brand, you should ensure that the winch doesn’t overly add much weight to the jeep.

A good rule of thumb is to follow the gross vehicle weight rule that is multiplied by 1.5.

Q: What winch brands are considered to be the best for Jeeps?

Ans: This page reviews some of the best winches for jeeps. Any one of them will do just fine but be careful to choose one that is tailored to your needs

Q:  Do I need to put a winch at the hood of my Jeep?

Ans: It’s not necessary to do that but a winch can come in handy in situations where cars get stuck.

If you are planning an off-road trip, you most definitely need a winch.

While all it takes to get a stuck car out of a difficult situation is a tow strap, using a dedicated winch is much safer, powerful, and effective.

Q: How do I know the appropriate capacity of a winch to use?

Ans: It’s easy to know or calculate the winch capacity to purchase.

Again, the rule of thumb is to follow the standard practice of doubling the weight of your vehicle.

For example, full-sized trucks will benefit from a winch that has between 12,000 – 15,000 capacity. Smittybilt X20 is a popular option for full-sized trucks and jeeps.

Q: What are the most important factors to look out for before considering a winch?

Ans: Some of the most important factors to consider are enumerated and explained in the buying guide of this review.

The capacity, line speed, line type, gear type, and ratio, and motor type are all important considerations to make.

Q: Is having a winch worth the stress?

Ans: Emphatically yes. Having a winch offers a practical solution for getting many things done by off-roaders.

It not only helps in removing a car from a tight spot, but it can also remove barriers like fallen trees and other huge obstacles from the way.

Q: What is the best way to protect my new winch and prolong life?

Ans: To prolong and preserve the life of your winch, it’s standard practice to have them covered even while driving under the rain.

This should keep it dry and prevent the build-up of moisture that can seriously compromise its function.

Secondly, if you have used it in mud be such to quickly wash and dry them up.

Q: Should I go for a synthetic rope or a steel cable rope?

Ans:  Both types of ropes have their advantages and disadvantages.  You can learn more from the buying guide above.

However, synthetic rope is considered to be safer than steel cables but are less resistant to heat.

Subsequently, because synthetic ropes don’t store that much energy they are less likely to take up a hazardous projectile when they snap.

Q: What is the duration of synthetic ropes?

Ans:  The duration of synthetic ropes is dependent on how it was made, the tensile strength, the way it was used, and how the owner stored it.

However, according to manufacturers, a new synthetic rope should last for about 10 years.

Q: Why will I need a synthetic rope winch?

Ans:  Synthetic ropes are a lot safer and lighter than steel cable ropes.

Therefore, if you carry out a lot of winching or anticipate doing so in the nearest future, it may be better to purchase synthetic rope over a steel cable winch.

Q: On a fairlead or hawse fairlead?

Ans:  Winch ropes usually make use of a hawse fairlead while steel cable winch ropes make use of a fairlead.

Q: Is it possible to use or modify a roller fairlead for a synthetic rope?

Ans:  This is quite difficult to do. The steel rollers that manufacturers use for a roller fairlead were initially not compatible with synthetic winch ropes.

If you use them for synthetic ropes be ready to experience a lot of abrasion and chafing that will dramatically reduce the lifespan of the synthetic rope.

Q: Is it possible to modify any winch to use a synthetic rope?

Ans:  Ideally, many winch systems can be modified to use a synthetic rope if you purchase the right fittings and employ the services of a professional.

However, it’s best to purchases a winch with a dedicated synthetic cable if it is required.

Q: What is the basic working systematics for a traditional winch?

Ans:  The basic functioning of a winch is self-explanatory even though there may be complex designs out there.

If there is a car to pull or an obstacle to getting out of the way, the cable wire or synthetic rope is attached to the car or obstacle and spooled out of the way with the help of a rotating motor.

Conclusion

Our best winch for jeep is the WARN 103252 VR EVO 10 because it ticks all the right boxes as a top-rated performer.

It is easy to handle and provides reasonable pull-power capacity for most off-road needs.

However, it may not be suited for everyone that’s why we took the pains to review some of the best in the industry.

Be sure to pay attention to the buying consideration highlighted in this article as it will save you the hassles of making annoying returns.

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