The Best Jeep Winches in 2021

by Jeep Auto Garage Team

If you are planning on going down the less traveled trails and wild country with your Jeep, then you are going to need a reliable jeep winch for some of those slippery and sticky areas.

However, there are different types of winch with varying ratings of horsepower and drivetrains, among others. But how do you find the most appropriate for you?

Top Jeep Winch Options

Product Name



WARN 96820 VR12 12V Electric Winch

WARN 97740 16.5TI-S Electric 12V Heavyweight Winch

Smittybilt X2O COMP

Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

AC-DK 12500 lb Waterproof IP67 Electric Winch

The 12,000 pounds capacity electric winch is a beast when it comes to pulling your Jeep off a sticky section of the trail. It is compact and tough and wears a tactical black look, informing you that it means business. The 12-volt electric winch features a center-mounted control pack to provide a cleaner integrated appearance.

The Jeep does not look out of place even when riding on normal roads. It also comes with a sealed and waterproof contactor best designed for the off-road situations so that you can ride in confidence. The mechanical cone break is the best in its class to give you maximum control when winching.


  • 12,000 lbs capacity
  • Compact and tough with a tactical look
  • Center-mounted control pack
  • Effective mechanical cone brake

The 12V WARN 97740 is undoubtedly one of the most powerful by the brand. You will need to reach deeper into your pocket, but it is the best value for your jeep wrangler. To justify the price sticker, the winch boasts a massive 16,500 lbs.

The jeep winch has a spydura pro synthetic rope, 80 feet long, and 3/8 inch for convenience and ease of use. It is lightweight, and that makes it so much easier to handle.

Another notable feature is the efficient and powerful series wound motor. It is the power behind this heavyweight winch. The cone brake is also the best in its class to give you ultimate control.


  • Pulling capacity of 16,500 lbs
  • Three-stage planetary gear
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Series wound motor
#3 - Best Value

The bestselling Smittybilt X2O COMP needs no introduction. It has a 10,000 lbs load capacity and a powerful as well as efficient 6.6 horsepower amphibious motor. The motor is waterproof for ultimate reliability.

It also boasts an efficient load-holding cone brake so that you are always in control. The low-profile design is most suitable for SUVs, jeeps, and trucks. It has a load capacity of 10,000 pounds, which is pretty much sufficient for a variety of applications.

The standard-duty synthetic rope is up to the task and safe in a variety of outdoor conditions. It has an industry-leading tie plate for structural strength and integrity of the winch.


  • 10,000 load capacity
  • 6.6 horsepower amphibious motor
  • Low profile design that is most suitable for SUVs, jeeps, and truck
  • Efficient load holding corn brake

Smittybilt GEN2 XRC Winch, with a tough-looking textured black finish, is one of the few bestselling winches that you can get for your Jeep without a sticker shocker. It is one of the more budget-friendly options out there on the market. The winch boasts a load capacity of 9,500 lbs and a 3-stage planetary gear train, and you can be sure your Jeep will not be flying down a steep incline.

The mechanism of the winch is completely waterproof and, therefore, ready for the outdoor adventure. You will find the necessary wiring for the installation inside the kit, and you don't have to purchase anything else.


  • Completely waterproof
  • Textured black finish
  • 10.0" in length
  • Three-stage planetary gear train

The heavy-duty electric winch does not require all hands on deck as it is user-friendly. It comes with a new control box with an on and off switch for easier handling. The winch is rated at 12500 lbs and has overload protection.

It has excellent pulling power drag to get you out of the uncomfortable conditions in the outdoors. The strong 3/8 inch X 85 ft steel wire rope has the strength and durability you need for off-road driving.

To protect the mechanism against the elements of the weather, it has a winch cover. You will find two wireless remotes for convenience, especially in those tight outdoor spots.


  • New control box with an on and off switch
  • Overload protection
  • 12500 lbs load capacity
  • A winch cover to protect against the elements of weather

The steel front bumper is stylish and powerful as well. It is a one-piece welded design, with 2"x .120 steel tubing and cold-rolled steel sheet for strength and durability. The textured black powder coat provides additional protection against corrosion and rusting.

The coating also completes the rugged look fitting for the jeep wrangler. Well, a modern twist of classic design in the front bumpers complements the rugged look.

Also, the 12,000 lbs rated built-in winch plate provides additional strength and robustness needed for the conditions. Installation is a walk in the park as there is no drilling or cutting required.


  • Appropriate for 1987-2006 TJ YJ Wrangler
  • One-piece welded design
  • Textured black powder coat for additional protection against corrosion and rust
  • Welded D-ring mounts on the inside and outside

A winch for a jeep should come with safety features like the overload protection that you get from ORCISH. Other features include a waterproof rating of ip67 and positive load control of power in power out. It also has a heavy-duty sealed contactor and 3-stage battery gear system built for the tough outdoors.

The steel cable is 26 meters long and sufficient in most cases. The electric winch also comes with two remote controls for easier operation. For maximum safety, the winch has a breaker and automatic load-holding.

The manufacturer recommends that you get a professional to install for you.


  • Overload protection
  • Waterproof rating of ip67
  • Heavy-duty sealed contactor
  • 26 m long steel cable

What makes this electric winch quite popular and a choice of many people is its sheer quality and strength. The electric winch is rated at 9500 lbs and comes with a strong steel cable. It has a 3-stage planetary gear clutch for efficiency when winching.

The included remote control comes in handy when you need to operate the winch at a distance. It is water and dustproof to make it ideal for a variety of conditions. The rugged new design, together with the series wound motor, are less prone to overheating at high speeds.

In comparison to permanent magnet motors, the series wound is much better.


  • Three-stage planetary gear clutch
  • Wired remote control
  • Water and dustproof
  • Rated at 9500 lbs

The military-grade materials with wireless and cabled remote switches are among the features that make this winch better than most. In particular, the remote switches make it convenient and easy to use.

The wireless remote has a range of 50 feet, meaning that you can winch the Jeep at a distance to avoid the dirt or mud.

The synthetic rope is quite efficient and strong for the winching task that you throw at it. It is also ip67 waterproof for use in a variety of conditions. The company provides you with a choice between European Dyneema rope and air-craft grade steel cable.


  • Wireless and cabled remote switches
  • Military-grade materials
  • Strong synthetic rope
  • It is ip67 waterproof

This winch is specially designed for UTV, ATV, car, jeeps, trucks, multi-purpose trailers, and modified vehicles. It boasts a state-of-the-art 500 amp relay and heavy-duty sealed contactor for efficiency in the toughest of conditions.

Other features that make it a true beast of the outdoors include a 3-stage planetary gear system and 6.6 horsepower 12 v series winding motor. The high sensitivity of the remote, a unique brake design, and fast line speed makes it fun to use. It is sand proof and waterproof for the outdoors.

Another thing that you will notice is that the winch is compact, easy to handle, and yet quite powerful.


  • 500 amp relay and heavy-duty sealed contactor
  • High sensitivity remote control
  • 9,500-pound winch
  • Unique brake design

What Features Should my Jeep Winch have?

Among the things to consider when choosing a jeep winch includes the pulling power. How much weight do you intend to handle?

To avoid damaging your Jeep, make sure to choose the right winch with the appropriate rating. Take your time to double-check how much the winch can handle. It pays to be a little keen when choosing a winch.

You will also need to determine the mounting of the winch. How frequent are you going to utilize it, and are you willing to sacrifice power for convenience? Most people choose smaller winches for easier movement.

The power of the winch is another important factor to consider. If you choose to go electric, make sure that you have enough battery juice to go the distance. While the hydraulic winch is more powerful, it only functions when the vehicle is on, which is a disadvantage.

Every winch will come with its safety guidelines, and it is always good to follow them. It also doesn't hurt if the accessory is easy to install and handle.

Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


What's the Best Winch for a Jeep?


There are various good quality jeep winches that you can choose from. However, the problem is in choosing because there are also several imitations.

The best strategy to get your jeep winch is by purchasing from a verified vendor and brand. Be sure to check the customer reviews as well to know how well it can handle stress. Among the top brands include Smittybilt, based out of Compton, California.

The company has more than 2000 products specifically for Jeep, and they have the necessary expertise to offer recommendations. Another customer favorite is WARN, the brainchild of Warn Industries, founded in 1948. The company started by making World War II hubs for jeeps.

It would be a terrible mistake to forget the San Dimas California, Superwinch. The brand is undoubtedly one of the leading makers of winches for ATVs and jeeps. Their units are overflowing with positive reviews all over, and you couldn't get a better vote of confidence.


Should I put a Winch on my Jeep?

Well, the answer to that query depends on several factors, such as whether you need the winch in the first place. Do you fancy taking your Jeep off-road for an adventure? If the response is in the affirmative, then you need a winch as a backup in case you need to get off a muddy section.

The leverage, torque, and power of a winch allow you to free yourself from a sticky situation, effortlessly. Most of the winches are easy to operate, and it only takes a few minutes to get back on the trail. Also, the improved maneuverability of the device makes it easy to attach to anything.

As a result, it comes in handy as a jeep owner or any other type of vehicle. A winch also reduces damage to the vehicle, which is not the case by attaching a line. In our opinion, a winch is something that you should never be without, as a jeep owner.


 How Big of a Winch do I Need for my Jeep?

The size of the winch depends on, among other factors, the size of your vehicle. Ideally, it should be about 1.5 times the weight of your vehicle. Multiply the gross weight of your four-wheeler by 1.5 to find the exact weight of the winch that you should have.

Winches come in various designs and weights. Well, it makes sense to choose the most convenient to use, and of course, the most functional. Instead of looking at the overall size of the winch as opposed to the weight capacity, it is wiser to determine cabling.

We have two types of cables; steel and synthetic. Most people would prefer the steel ropes, but looks can be deceiving. Of course, steel ropes are durable and strong, but they also have a few more shortcomings compared to the synthetic ropes.

They are more dangerous to handle, and they can rust over time. Synthetic ropes are much easier to handle, lighter, and safer.


Is Synthetic Winch Rope Better than Cable?

For most people intending to buy a winch, a steel cable appears better than synthetic rope. However, synthetic rope is usually better in most instances. For example, it's convenient to handle, lighter, and easier to use.

Decades ago, the steel cable would have made much sense in the absence of better alternatives. Technology and better materials have come to the fore, and now the synthetic winch rope provides better service.

Synthetic rope is made from hi-tech polyethylene and has become mandatory in most off-road events because of its safety. The rope does not conserve a lot of energy like its counterpart, the steel ropes, and would not become a dangerous projectile if it breaks.

But in highly abrasive terrains, such as sand, rocks, and mud, the steel winch cable is much preferable. It resists scuffing and fraying that would happen with a synthetic winch rope. The steel rope requires less maintenance and will not cost a large chunk of change.


How Much Weight can a 2500 lb Winch Pull?

To find the most appropriate winch, you will need to determine the gross vehicle weight. Multiply the gross vehicle weight by 1.5 to get the recommended winch rating.

In our case, we already have a winch rating. To get the gross vehicle weight that it can handle, divide the winch rating by 1.5 (basic math formula). The answer is roughly 1,600 lbs.

But what is the gross vehicle weight? Two factors determine the gross vehicle weight; the curb weight or the weight of the vehicle, and the weight of the items on or inside the vehicle.

Friction is also among the factors that place extra load on the winch. When stuck, the Jeep will not roll freely, and that means more work for the winch. It is always recommended that you get a winch with 50% more pull capacity.


How Powerful of a Winch Do I need?

As mentioned above, the ideal winch has more than 1.5 times the rated load capacity of your vehicle. There are other factors to consider, like where you will be driving the vehicle. For example, in muddy terrains, the resulting stiction makes it harder to extract the vehicle.

But still, the 1.5 times rating comes in handy because it means that the winch has reserve power. You will not need to worry that it is going to break when the 2,500 lbs vehicle is stuck in the mud. The same case applies to other terrains, such as hills and rocks.

It is also a good idea to have a pulley block along with the appropriately rated winch. The typical winch line is about 80-100', translating to a range of around 35-45', depending on the number of wraps that must remain.


When it comes to choosing a good Jeep winch, it cannot get any better than WARN 96820 Electric Winch, at least in our opinion. It has a 12,000 lbs capacity to handle any type of winching that you may need for your Jeep. This machine is also quite compact and tough for the task that you throw at it.

The center-mounted control pack and the tactical black look gives it a cleaner integrated appearance. Other features include the sealed waterproof contactor and three-stage gear drive, best designed for the toughest of the outdoor conditions. It also comes with a mechanical cone brake for maximum control of the machine. 

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