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Best Winch For Jeep in 2020

Venture Into Off-Road Adventures With The Most Suitable Winch For Your Jeep

Winches have time and again proven they are the most cost-effective option of recovery and self-sufficiency in hauling tasks on your farm, in your garage, or out in the wilderness. With plenty of branded and quality-oriented winches saturating the winch market, it becomes equally uncertain which model to buy. The basis of choosing a winch becomes more brand-oriented due to the great online reviews.

However, through this winch review article, we aim to help you find the best winch for a jeep and understand the essentials and prerequisites of buying a winch. Picking out the right winch that is compatible with your jeep is no small matter. Especially when you find yourself stuck in a pit you never meant to be in, relying on a winch that will not, in any way, help you out of the muck.

How to Select Correct Jeep Winch Size?

If you have questions like; What size winch for jeep? What pound winch for jeep? Before buying a winch, the main factor to be considered is the winch capacity. The winch with higher capacity is always preferable. The weight of the vehicle is directly related to the capacity of the winch. We need a more powerful winch for a heavier vehicle, a winch, which is 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight.

We can calculate it by considering the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rate) and multiplying it by 1.5. This rating is supposed to be the minimum rating, and, in some cases, certain factors can make the winch capacity be exceeded.

GVWR = BASE WEIGHT + PASSENGERS/ CARGO

Best Winch Size >= GVWR × 1.5

So, if we have a vehicle with 1.8 metric tons (4000 lbs), we have to choose a winch with at least 2.7 metric tons (6000 lbs) capacity, which is 1.5 times that of the vehicle. This 1.5× is the industrial standard rule. But to be safe and conscious, we need to choose a winch with higher capacity than usual.

With the best Jeep winches, we can travel through any difficulties and have a great adventurous trip. Some of the benefits of Jeep winches are:

  • Pulls heavy objects
  • Add extra power, especially during off-road travel.
  • Improved mobility
  • Reduces vehicle damage
  • Saves time and money
  • Versatile under any circumstances

Best Winch For Your Jeep

After having gone through the considerations for a suitable winch, the next step is to browse through various winch models with your specifications list. Try not to get ahead of yourself when you come across a feature-loaded winch. Most times, you may not require said features depending on your work specs.

Jeep Winches

Line Pull

Control

Rope

Brake

On Amazon

8,000 lbs
Handheld Remote
Steel Cable and Roller Fairlead
Automatic Mechanical Cone

8,000 lbs

Handheld Remote

Synthetic Rope and Hawse

Automatic Direct Drive Cone

8,500 lbs

Handheld Remote

Steel Cable and Hawse

Automatic Load Holding

9,500 lbs

Handheld Remote

Steel Cable and Roller Fairlead

Automatic In-Drum

10,000 lbs

Wireless Remote

Synthetic Rope and Hawse

Automatic Out-of-Drum

10,000 lbs

Wireless Remote

Synthetic Rope and Hawse

Automatic In-Drum

11,500 lbs

Handheld Remote

Synthetic Rope and Hawse

Automatic Load Holding

Here are a few brief features, pros, and cons of selected winch models with a sizable range of winch capacities suitable for all jeeps, including Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Jeep Wrangler Jk, Tj & Yj, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Moab. Jeep Rubicon, Jeep Gladiator, Jeep Commander, and Jeep Tubular.

While these may help give a clear idea of the winch and the features it furnishes, ensure to do your research and check out multiple customer reviews before settling on a final decision of the ideal and best winch for the jeep.

Warn 88980 Zeon 8 Electric Winch Wire

Rated Line Pull: 8,000 lbs (3630 kg) | Control: Handheld Remote Switch | Winch Line: Steel Cable | Fairlead: Roller | Brake: Automatic Mechanical Cone

Best Overall Jeep Winch: Warn 88980 Zeon 8 electric comes with the best features and pulling power. It may perfectly fit for the Jeep Wrangler 2020 (according to the customer’s review). Warn provides you with higher reliability and dependability with its products. Compared to other lower rate winches in the market, this is worth the money and investment. – Check Price >>

Warn 88980 Zeon 8 Electric Winch Wire

The Warn Zeon series of winches come with a unique and symmetrical exterior with a black powder-coated finish that prevents corrosion. With its larger diameter and integrated rope anchor point, the winch drum allows for reduced rope wear and easy spooling.

The control pack can be mounted in various ways, and the IP68 rating keeps the winch safe from the elements. The gear train enables faster speeds with quiet functioning. The low amperage maximizes your line pulling power’s efficiency, thereby minimizing the general strain on your jeep charging system.

Pros

  • The materials used for the construction of the winch are top-notch with anti-corrosion coating and satin finishing.
  • The multi-mount feature of the control pack enables easier installation of the winch.
  • Performance and durability are coupled with power that let the winch operate at fast speeds and furnish efficient pulls.
  • The automatic braking offers an additional sense of security.
  • IP68 waterproofing warrants better use of the winch in harsh conditions.

Cons

  • The lack of wireless remote control is a major letdown.
  • It is comparatively high on the price tag compared to other branded winches in the same winch capacity.

Customer Verdict:

Warn Zeon 8 users have all appreciated the ease of use and installation of the winch. However, many have struggled in the initial few years of utilizing the winch, leading to its eventual breakdown.

For those whom the winch has worked fine, other than the usual mechanical issues, the Warn winches have lived up to their name and features. Customer service did receive flak for a few repairs, but customers seemed satisfied with their purchase in most cases.

Check Price on Amazon.com

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC 9,500 Pound Winch

Rated Line Pull: 9,500 lbs (4309 kg) | Control: Handheld Remote Switch | Winch Line: Steel Cable | Fairlead: Roller | Brake: Automatic In-Drum

Best Budget Jeep Winch: Like all other products, it may have some drawbacks too, but to be noteworthy, it is the cheapest winch for a jeep in the market. This always remains as the top picks by the consumer. Above all, it is highly durable and reliable. – Check Price >>

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC 9,500 Pound WinchThe Smittybilt Gen 2 series of winches are upgraded versions built with updated features to enhance performance and durability. With its 6.6 HP amphibious motor, this recovery system furnishes powerful pulls to bail any jeep stuck in a muddy rut, keeping the winch dry even in wet conditions.

The main feature of the Smittybilt XRC Gen2 9,500 lb winch that sets it apart from the rest of the competition lies in the fact that the winch furnishes waterproofing for a winch in its class at nominal rates.

Pros

  • The lifetime and part-electrical warranties, coupled with the affordable price, are an attention grabber.
  • Ease of installation.
  • The sliding ring gear mounting clutch amps the safety by preventing the cable from snapping easily.
  • The reverse gear ratio allows fast and consistent pulling power for quick recovery.

Cons

  • Though it is an affordable winch, it does not come with a battery or a mounting plate.
  • It does not include the wireless remote.

Customer Verdict: 

With the Smittybilt XRC, most of the issues are related to packaging failures, where most of the equipment arrives cracked or missing. Mounting may require some effort and adjustment, and the wiring of many components fails within 2 or 3 uses.

But for those that the winch has worked, the users have found the winch to be sturdy. The only issues were with respect to heating within operational limits but otherwise customers termed their purchase worth the costs.

Check Price on Amazon.com

Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum 10,000 Lb Electric Winch

Rated Line Pull: 10000 lbs (4535kgs) | Control: Wireless Remote | Winch Line: Synthetic Rope | Fairlead: Hawse | Brake: Automatic In-Drum

Most Advanced Jeep Winch: Warn 92815 Zeon 10-S Platinum series is the most expensive winches and they’re the top-notch products if you’re looking for the best warn winch for jeep wrangler unlimited.

This is considered to be technically advanced winches out there. The wireless remote control may sometimes run out of battery, which is the only drawback. Best suited winch for Jeep Cherokee.Check Price >>

Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum 10,000 Lb Electric WinchThe ZEON Platinum series of Warn winches have double the durability, faster line speeds, and the IP68 waterproof rating in inclusion with crucial features like a remote-controlled clutch and an advanced wireless remote control.

With its ergonomic LCD screen, the remote gives feedback on the winch motor temperature, battery strength, and other related accessories. The remote itself is IP67 waterproof resistant, making the winch a top-tier competitor in its class.

Pros

  • A warranty backs it.
  • The key features like advanced remote control and the remote clutch, as well as the waterproofing, make the winch irresistible.
  • The utilization of synthetic rope is an added incentive for safety.

Cons

  • Packed with features, the ZEON winch series is high on the price tag.

Customer Verdict:

Although the major concern was the price, having once purchased the ZEON winch, users are thrilled with the host of features and their convenience. The advanced features have left them with several memorable winching experiences.

The general build of the winch, robust design, ease of use as well as exhilarating versatility of the features themselves have the customers rooting for the product.

Check Price on Amazon.com

Superwinch 1511201 Tiger Shark SR 11,500 Lb Winch

Rated Line Pull: 11,500 lbs (5,216 kg) | Control: Handheld Remote Switch | Winch Line: Synthetic Rope | Fairlead: Hawse | Brake: Mechanical, Automatic Load Holding

Best High Capacity Jeep Winch: Reduced damages from rain, snow, and other dust particles because of weather-sealed motor and contractors. It comes at an affordable price which is the major benefit of this product having 11,500 lbs pull power and also covers a lifetime mechanical warranty.

It can be best suited for high gross weight vehicles like Jeep Wrangler Moab, Jeep Renegade, and Jeep Rubicon.- Check Price >>

Superwinch Tiger Shark 11,500 Lb WinchThe Superwinch TS 11,500 lb winch includes affordable and standard features like the synthetic line with an aluminum hawse fairlead, weather-sealed motor and solenoid, automatic load-holding brake mechanism, the power-packed 3-stage planetary gearbox, and an ergonomic free-spooling lever.

Tiger Shark SR Superwinch is one of the easiest free spooling winch, which stops trail debris from activating your winch during rough terrain maneuvers.

Pros

  • The automatic load-holding brake is situated away from the drum center, thereby preventing heat transfer to the synthetic rope, making operations more productive.
  • The sealed contactor solenoid offers reliability and reduced damage from excess/harsh heat and rain.
  • The planetary gearbox handles all the mechanical strain efficiently and supplies torque on demand.
  • The ergonomically designed free-spooling lever prevents accidental activation of the winch during intense off-roading rescue operations.

Cons

  • The high price tag is the only issue with the winch.

Customer Verdict:

In addition to furnishing durable and reliable features, the Tiger Shark winch also provides a complete kit of accessories and the essentials, making the users all giddy with their purchase.

Customer service is not automated, meaning the staff is genuinely concerned for your troubles and are trying their best to give you a meaningful customer service experience.

The winch has held its own even after being used daily under strenuous conditions. The only issue arose with the rest cycle. But after a cooldown period, it was as good as new. Customers have openly praised the winch for its efficient and productive performance, terming it worth every penny spent.

Check Price on Amazon.com

Smittybilt X20 Comp 10,000 Lb Winch

Rated Line Pull: 10000 lbs (4535kgs) | Control: Wireless Remote | Winch Line: Synthetic Rope | Fairlead: Hawse | Brake: Automatic Out-Of-Drum

Best Wireless Jeep Winch: This is one of the best winches with a wireless remote control which may operate even from long distances. Due to synthetic ropes, damages to the hands are reduced. Also, the wireless controller may get stalled or malfunctions at times, which is the only drawback. With a powerful 6.6 HP motor, it can even pull out heavier objects.- Check Price >>

Smittybilt X20 Comp 10,000 Lb WinchThe Smittybilt X20 COMP series comes upgraded with several features including, and not limited to, a 6.6 HP amphibious motor that ensures the winch remains dry in wet conditions, also providing industry-grade torque. The inductive braking system manages heat production for lasting performance.

With multiple mounting options for the solenoid box, installation is made easier. The COMP series features Competition Aluminum Hawse Fairlead with 98.5’ of synthetic rope equipped with a rope sleeve to reduce chances of violent snapping of the rope if such a situation occurs.

There is an integrated wireless remote control option if you prefer controlling and overseeing your winching process from a distance.

Pros

  • The winching process for heavy vehicles rolls off without any lags in the pulling capacity.
  • The wireless remote feature is a much-appreciated asset.
  • A lifetime mechanical warranty backs the product.
  • The braking system maintains the general temperature of the drum and motor to improve performance.
  • The waterproof rating of IP68 allows freedom of exploration in rough and wet conditions.

Cons

  • The only issue lies in the operating range of the wireless remote.

Customer Verdict:

The availability of multiple and efficient features in the Smittybilt X20 COMP has found immense acceptance from customers. The affordable price is an additional incentive.

The only real issue lies in the wireless remote range. While changing the batteries in the remote sometimes does the trick, some users tweak the range’s reach using various creative means.

The synthetic line, moderate and controllable speeds as well as the waterproof rating make it an undeniable best winch for jeep option within its class.

Check Price on Amazon.com

Warn 87800 M8000-S Electric Winch

Rated Line Pull: 8,000 lbs (3630 kg) | Control: Handheld Remote Switch | Winch Line: Synthetic Spydura Cable | Fairlead: Aluminum Hawse | Brake: Automatic Direct Drive Cone

Most Highly Reliable Jeep Winch: One of the best quality warn winch for jeep wrangler. Simple, reliable, and trustworthy. This product comes with only advantages and also it is cheaper and the best.

So far, this product came out with zero failures. These do not submerge in water even though it is not waterproof.- Check Price >>

Warn 87800 M8000-S Electric WinchThe easy to install Warn M8000-S Electric Winch utilizes a series of wound motors with an efficient cooling system to aid longer load hours. The planetary gear system ensures the pulls are smooth even with heavy loads.

The Warn winch comes equipped with 100 feet of Spydura synthetic rope encased by a ballistic nylon sliding sleeve that adds durability to operations with other safety features like the automatic brakes and a weather and mud resistant handheld remote control.

The control box has multiple mounting options, and the contractor is well protected in a weather-resistant and durable housing.

Pros

  • The lifetime mechanical warranty encourages purchase since the winch is backed effectively by the manufacturer.
  • The synthetic rope is a safety feature and durable to boost.
  • The powerful motor enables hassle-free and successful rescue operations.
  • The waterproof design helps extend the general shelf-life of the equipment.

Cons

  • The operations may tend to go slowly.

Customer Verdict:

Warn M8000-S users to have nothing but well wishes for the winch purchase. The Warn winch has stepped up to its reliability in muddy conditions, from operations to durability, ease of installation, and use to everyday rescue operations. The winch is an affordable and productive option within its winch capacity class.

Any issues the customers have faced lies in the damage sustained during delivery. Most of the outer casing is reported as damaged frequently, but the winch still functions well after enduring the external damage.

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Superwinch 1585202 Gen II 8,500 Lb Winch

Rated Line Pull: 8,500 lbs (3856 kg) | Control: Handheld Remote Switch | Winch Line: Steel Cable | Fairlead: Hawse | Brake: Automatic, Mechanic Load-Holding

Highly Reliable & Affordable Jeep Winch: This fits in with almost all models, and that is the reason why customers prefer this product. It’s a good and heavy-duty winch. With its pulling capacity of 8,500 pounds, it may not suit simple tasks but still one of the best selling winches for jeep.Check Price >>

Superwinch 1585202 Gen II 8,500 Lb WinchIdeal for medium-sized Jeeps, the Gen II Superwinch is primed for safety, simultaneously ensuring efficient winching experiences. The automatic load-holding brakes, the weather-sealed solenoid box, and a 15’ handheld remote allow safe operations even in rough conditions.

The lever controlled free-spooling feature enables quick rollout of the steel cable by disengaging the motor. The 4.5 HP motor allows powerful loading and rescue pulls for a winch in its class.

Pros

  • The winch offers ease of use since it is compact and lightweight.
  • The three stages of the planetary gear system enable consistency in pulling heavy loads.
  • The sealed-motor feature protects the heart of the machine.
  • The free spooling clutch allows faster cable payout speeds.

Cons

  • The general shelf-life of the machine is comparatively low.
  • The other components are prone to rust.

Customer Verdict:

The Superwinch LP8,500 lbs Gen II winch is an affordable entry-level winch. The length of the handheld remote has been an inconvenience to some, especially for truck operations.

For an entry level product, many customers have found the winch to be a great help with daily lugging tasks and the winch pulls through even in demanding conditions. The winch operates well for the gear system and the motor it is equipped with.

Check Price on Amazon.com

How to Buy a Right Jeep Winch?

Several factors help determine the winch capacity you require, its features, and compatibility with your jeep. Follow the guidelines given below to pick out the best winch for Jeep that suits your specifications.

Winch Capacity

The winch weight or winch capacity is a measure of the maximum weight your winch is capable of handling. It is the most obvious factor to consider among many others.

All you have to do is calculate your jeep’s general weight and multiply it by 1.5 or x2 to be safe. This takes into account any excess weight like accessories and equipment in your jeep, as well as the frictional forces experienced during the winching process.

Tensile Strength

This term refers to the breaking point or the highest possible degree that your winch line (cable or rope) can handle loads before it snaps. A typical tensile value necessity is for the tensile strength to exceed the forces exerted on it during the pull.

Generally, manufacturers ensure the ideal line is installed in the winch they supply. However, if you ever require a replacement for your worn down winch line, certify its tensile strength before purchasing.

Winch Rope or Winch Cable?

The winch line comes in two different yet robust variants – the wire cable/metal cable and the synthetic rope/cable. While synthetic ropes are a less common choice, they have their own pros and cons, similar to a metal cable.

Winch ropes weigh ridiculously less when compared to a winch cable. They are ideal for recreational or moderately small vehicles like ATV since they require less power to be rescued. Winch cables are more durable and are made to handle heavyweights, but both the variants are, in the end, prone to damage.

Winch Power

Winches powered by an electric motor are the most commonly purchased winches since they simultaneously offer efficiency and convenience coupled with power. These winches depend on a duty-cycle to keep them under check and furnish that immense power to keep the winching progress. This causes a heat-strain on the winch, draining the electrical system and raising temperatures to a dangerous degree.

Hydraulic winches are another option that operates indefinitely and near full power but requires a jeep powered by a hydraulic system.

Winch Motor

There are two types to choose from – Series wound and Permanent magnet.

The series-wound motor is robust but mooches off of excess power in addition to being expensive. The permanent magnet motor is comparatively cheap but less durable and prone to malfunctions in freezing weather.

Winch Drivetrain

The drivetrain or the gearbox in a winch transfers power from the motor to the winch line. The three types of gears available are – Worm, Spur, and Planetary gears.

Being the slowest of them all, worm gears are nevertheless reliable because they handle most of the load during the pulling and lowering of loads, thereby reducing the brakes’ strain. Spur gears are an older style but are fast in their winching. Planetary gears are the sum average of the two, but the hub-centered brake’s unfortunate drawback is getting unbearably hot under strenuous work conditions.

Electric Amperage

The amperage can be viewed as excess power or available power stored in your winch, which is determined by the Jeep’s charging system.

While winching, it is necessary to consider all the power needed by any electrical system present in your jeep or if another vehicle is attached to your jeep. The value of your amperage will determine how much load you can afford to winch in general.

Common FAQs

If I run my winch over a pulley, can I use it to pull loads?

The maximum work angle of a winch, when pulled over a pulley, is 45°. Any more than that, and the winch can break down completely. The brake system inside the winch is geared to work with loads at a maximum of that angle, and any excess strain over the recommended angle pull will cause overheating and damage to the winch line as well as the winch.

So, in short, do not use your winch pulls at an angle of more than 45°.

Does the waterproof rating matter?

It does. And it differs from vehicle to vehicle and the weather and work conditions the winch is put through. Summers and Winters can be equally harsh on a winch. Whether they have to sit in the dank season or dry in the scorchy season, the waterproof rating is required to keep a winch in working condition even after months of unuse.

For off-roaders who tend to hike through muddy trails and water crossings 1 m deep, a winch of IP67 rating is a must. However, it is always wiser to invest in an IP67 or IP68 rated winch when seeking the best winch for jeep.

The cable never spools back on properly. Why is this happening?

There could be three possible reasons: You may not be applying the proper tension required to spool a cable back effectively.  Without the required tension, the wire will spool loosely, and chances are when unspooling, the line will tangle up and damage the winch.

The other reason is debris in the wire when spooling. Ensure to clean the line after every winch session, especially after a muddy rescue. The third reason is there could be abrasive damage on your winch line that is causing the spooling process to go haywire. Check your cable for kinks or bends and have it replaced before excessive damage to your spool drum and the winch.

When I try to winch a load, my car keeps sliding forward. How do I deal with this?

This issue is probably because your jeep is not grounded well enough, and the frictional forces of the load are far greater than what friction is holding your car back. Try loading your jeep with more weight and chock the wheels with solid blocks to avoid its movement in such situations. If this does not work, try tethering your jeep from the back to a tree or any stationary structure.

Conclusion

You are not going to feel satisfied by simply purchasing the best winch for jeep. This contentment can only be felt after you have made careful considerations and checks to determine, in all eagerness, which winch is ideally the most suitable for your jeep.

Consider all the working conditions you will put your winch through and then decide on the optimal capacity required. The brief guidelines given above can help you ticking points off your checklist, so make an informed decision. It can be tempting to fall prey to the branded products, so ensure you have a grasp of all specifications you require before checking out the brands the winches belong to. Happy trails!

[Total: 3   Average: 5/5]
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