If you are a Jeep owner, you will know how valuable a winch can be. Off-roading on a trail with your buddies is very tempting, and it’s all fun and games until you get carried away and get stuck in a ditch in the middle of nowhere. This is where a good, trusty winch will come in handy.
A winch is a rotating spool that is often driven by a motor that either tightens or loosens a cable. Usually, this cable has a hook attached to the end. You can use this contraption to connect your vehicle to other objects and pull it out.
It can be quite tricky to find the right winch for yourself, which is why I have done your work for you. Look no further than this list to find the perfect winch for yourself.
5 Best Jeep Winches
#1. Best for Off-Road: Rough Country Electric Winch
- Brand: Rough Country
- Weight: 63.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 23.25 x 13.5 x 12.5 inches
- Load Capacity: 12,000 lb
Rough Country 12000 LB is a high-quality, high-powered winch that can carry up to 12000 lbs of maximum load. Though it is relatively expensive, it comes with accessories like a sturdy hawse fairlead, a clevis hook, an 85 inches synthetic rope, as well as 12 inches wired remote control. Furthermore, the automatic in-drum braking system ensures reduced damage to the motor when the rope is under heavy tension.
It also has an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating which means it offers the best performance no matter the situation. Water, mud, sand, and dirt all stand no chance against Rough Country’s Electric Series Winch. The winch has series-wound motors, which, unlike permanent magnet motors, are extremely efficient when it comes to higher speeds. They are also less prone to overheating.
Furthermore, Rough Country Recovery Systems’ utilization of a 3-stage planetary gear with a 265:1 gear ratio also means a significant amount of torque.
- Waterproof and Dustproof Rating
- Easy Bolt-On Installation
- Powerful 6 HP Motor
- Does not come with a wireless remote
#2. Best Technology: WARN 95950 Zeon 12-S Winch
- Brand: WARN
- Weight: 39.3 Pounds
- Dimensions: 26.4 x 19.7 x 8.1 inches
- Load Capacity: 12,000 lb
It is not possible to make a “Top Winches for Your Jeep” list and not have a Warn model on it. The Warn model is definitely one of the most feature-loaded and technologically advanced models on the list – as well as in the market. It is an aluminum winch that not only reduces rope wear but also makes it durable and helps dissipate heat.
It comes with a Spydura synthetic rope and a convertible control pack – attachable to the winch, ensuring various mounting options. Furthermore, its extreme waterproofing meets rigorous IP68 standards, it has the highest rating among the WARN SUV/Truck winch lineup. The model is not only technologically advanced but is also pretty to look at.
It has a flat black powder-coated finish which not only limits corrosion but also gives it a modern, sleek look. Although this winch has excellent functionality and looks, it is definitely on the pricier side.
- IP68 Waterproof Rating
- Technologically Advanced Remote Controller
- New-design planetary gear train and series-wound motor
#3. Best Price: Smittybilt XRC 97495
- Brand: Smittybilt
- Weight: 83 pounds
- Dimensions: 5.4 x 9.4 x 22.3 inches
- Load Capacity: 9500 lb
If you are on a budget but still in need of a winch for your jeep, Smittybilt 97495 Gen2 Winch is the perfect option for you. This model is not just affordable but also has many of the same features as some of the pricier models.
The winch is completely waterproof and also has a 500-amp high-tech solenoid which makes it functional even in the worst weather conditions. It also has a powerful 6.6 HP amphibious motor with a three-stage planetary gear system.
Even though it is a budget option, this winch still comes with a limited lifetime warranty that promises replacements in case any part malfunctions. Although this winch does not have a wireless remote, it features a corded remote control which works just as well.
Due to the low price, the Smittybilt 97495 Gen2 Winch does not come with a battery or a mounting plate, and you may have to purchase them separately. However, it is definitely good for the price. If you are on a budget, I would definitely look no further.
- Lifetime warranty
- Easy to install
- Does not come with a battery or mounting plate
- No wireless remote control
#4. Best Value: Superwinch SX12 Winch
- Brand: Superwinch
- Weight: 61 pounds
- Dimensions: 22.04 x 6.3 x 9.67 inches
- Load Capacity: 10000 lb
The Superwinch SX12 electric winch is a model that comes with a sleek body and stylish design cues. It has a stealthy dark finish that compliments any kind of Jeep, irrespective of style and color. However, this model is not just pretty but also has incredible performance.
It also features a 6 HP series wound meter, meaning that you can pull up to 12000 lbs with ease. The three-stage planetary gearbox with a 231:1 reduction gear ratio provides incredible torque and consequently makes it a lot faster than previous models.
The unit is hence both pretty and reliable. Superwinch SX12 is a combination of longevity, ergonomics, performance, and style. This unit also has a limited lifetime warranty which definitely is a bonus.
- High load capacity
- Lifetime limited warranty
- IP68 rating
- Relatively expensive
#5. Best Heavy-Duty: WARN 68801 Winch
- Brand: WARN
- Weight: 134 pounds
- Dimensions: 28 x 13 x 10 inches
- Load Capacity: 16500 lb.
WARN 68801 offers its users extreme duty sealing, which ensures that the winch remains protected from various elements. It has a series-wound motor that allows strong pull and fast line speeds due to its high-speed performance. The WARN 68801 also has an exclusive brake design that allows you superior control when the product is under use.
It has a chip-resistant powder-coated finish with primer undercoating, which means superior corrosion protection. An Aluminum control box means added protection for the electronics.
The winch definitely can stand up to the most demanding conditions and can guard against most kinds of overheating and abuse. However, this definitely will put a dent in your wallet. It is the most expensive winch on the list.
- High load capacity
- Has an aluminum control box for added protection
- Extremely expensive
Important Considerations When Deciding on Jeep Winches
The right motor selection is extremely crucial for optimal performance. You will need to select between the two available motor options: permanent magnet or series-wound motor.
Series-wound motors are expensive and also require more power to run. However, they are more reliable when it comes to long-term use. Permanent magnet motors are more energy efficient, which means they won’t drain your battery, but they are prone to overheat, which may cause damage to the magnet and, consequently, to the winch.
If you do not need to use a winch regularly, a permanent magnet is a good option but if you are someone who finds it hard to resist off-roading, and cannot resist adventure, definitely opt for a series-wound motor!
Maximum Load Capacity
Maximum load capacity is perhaps the most important to be considered when shopping for a winch. This essentially refers to how much weight can a Jeep winch pull. Though it is recommended to have a higher winch load capacity, there are also several external factors that you should consider. One of these factors may include resistance by obstacles in your path.
Additionally, it is also recommended to keep reserve capacity and not have your motor running at maximum capacity since winches are sensitive to failure under extreme load. Considering all of these factors – recommended load capacity is 7000 lbs or higher.
Another important factor to consider is the material and quality of rope or cable. Winches usually come with two kinds of cables or ropes: synthetic or steel. Between the two, professionals recommend synthetic. Although these kinds of ropes are expensive, they are miles better than the alternative. Synthetic ropes are not just lighter but also stronger than steel ones. They also do not store energy under tension which means it does not ricochet at times of failure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a wireless controller for your jeep winch?
A wireless remote controller is extremely convenient because it allows you a certain level of flexibility and convenience that wired controllers can never meet. With such a remote controller, the winch can be operated from a distance which means you can stand far away and still be able to control the winch.
You can then also remain out of harm’s way in case of failure. You should definitely invest in a wireless remote control option if you can.
Is it necessary to purchase accessories separately for my jeep winch?
If you purchase a quality winch, then you will most likely not need to buy any new accessories separately. Some of the accessories that your new winch may come with could include: a solenoid unit, a fairlead, a rope or cable, a remote controller, and battery connection wires.
However, there are other accessories as well that you may want to buy, like safety gloves, a winch cover, a winch damper, and more that may not come with your purchase. These additional accessories are up to you – whether you want to buy them or not.
Do I need to maintain my jeep winch regularly?
Some upkeep could include basic tasks like checking the winch rope for cracks and other defects, testing the motor, etc. However, other components like motors or gearboxes come sealed shut from the factory. They usually don’t require maintenance, but if you have been using your winch regularly, exposing it to a lot of muddy water, offroading trails, and other extreme conditions, it is best to get it checked by an experienced mechanic.
Who would have thought that buying a Jeep winch could be so tricky? I have done my best to give you the top five options with different prices and features. From this list, I would recommend you buy the Superwince SX12. Not only is it economical, but it also has incredible performance, uses a synthetic cable, and has a wireless remote. This winch is also quite a looker!
I hope you are happy with whichever winch you choose. Happy shopping!