Did you know that there is evidence of the winch device dating back as far as 480 BC with Herodotus of Halicarnassus in the Persian Wars? That's because the winch is an invaluable tool—especially when it comes to a certain more-modern pastime—off-roading. They are also a lifesaver in areas where the weather gets rough, and the roads are rougher.
Whether you are crawling dunes or traversing icy mountain passes, a winch ensures you get where you need to go. If you are looking to invest in one, this review of winches for Jeeps has everything you need to know before you shop.
Best Overall Winch for Jeeps
WARN VR 10
WARN has made winches for more than 70 years. The company is known for pioneering the electric winch in the late 1950s when most four-wheelers used a power take-off winch. Today, the innovation comes through with the WARN VR 10.
The device blends style, performance, and reliability into a single robust machine. The low-profile, convertible package allows for multiple mounting configurations. It is also waterproof to mitigate rain, snow, and mist.
The VR Series is part of WARN’s new and improved line and includes features that you won’t find anywhere else on the market. Additionally, each winch comes the quintessential durability that is a cornerstone of WARN products. You can purchase the WARN VR 10 with a seven-year electrical and limited lifetime warranty on mechanical parts. It’s not hard to see why this model was an easy choice as the best winch for jeeps—it even looks great.
The WARN VR 10 has a 10,000-pound load capacity. Two additional models offer anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 pounds capacity. Considering the price tag, this strength is a substantial investment.
The WARN VR 10 comes with 94 feet of wire rope. The rope is a standard duty, synthetic, and arrives pre-wound around the drum of the winch. It also comes with an industry-leading tie plate to replace any previous rod configurations.
The winch weighs 52 pounds and ships at 65 pounds.
Waterproof contractor control
Elite load-holding cone brake
Easy to install
Some concerns with rusting
If the cable wraps up on the side, the winch casing may break
Best Value for Jeep Winch
If you want something heavy-duty that also won't break the bank, you need not look any further than the ORCISH IP67. This device delivers high-towing capacity and product quality with a remarkably low price.
You can control the winch from a distance thanks to a wireless remote control, as well as a handheld remote controller. The three-stage gears are adaptable based on input power. You’ll also find a free spooling clutch that rapidly releases the Dyneema synthetic rope.
The ORCISH IP67 is an ideal winch for Jeeps because it can stand up to even the toughest elements. One of the most valuable characteristics is its waterproof exterior. It has an alloy hawse fairlead that is waterproof up to one meter of water. It’s dust-proof, too.
The ORSCISH IP67 has a 13,000-pound load capacity, which is more than enough for trucks and SUVs. Considering the price, this rate is one of the best marks in the industry. It is strong enough for both residential and commercial use.
The ORCISH IP67 comes with 85 feet of rope, in addition to a pair of gloves. The line is synthetic Dyneema, which claims to be the world’s strongest fiber. Dyneema is best known as a premium brand for Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene.
The winch weighs and ships at 85 pounds.
Water- and dust-proof
Overload protector and winch cove
Great price—even includes a free pair of gloves
Outstanding load capacity
Best Budget Winch for Jeeps
Bravex Electric 12V
The Bravex Electric 12V is one of the most compact winches on this list. It measures just 12.4" x 4.72" x 4.17" and still packs 3,500 pounds of load capacity. Whether you need to tow a small boat or an ATV, the Bravex Electric 12V can handle it.
The size makes it portable and easy to install. The fairlead roller is alloy steel, so there is no question about durability. Additionally, the hook also uses alloy steel forging, so there is no risk of decoupling when trying to get out of a mud hole or over a dune.
The Bravex Electric 12V winch comes with a sensitive remote control that provides precision when you need it most. The winch has a rocker switch that you can toggle for remote use. The goal is for safe control that minimizes the risk of entanglement.
The Bravex Electric 12V winch can manage up to 3,500 pounds in load capacity. This total makes it a capable assist for ATVs, UTVs, and snowplows. While the device is small, it also handles trailers and similarly sized vehicles.
The winch has a 50+ foot galvanized steel rope. The material is specially designed for additional thickness and width. Thanks to the free spool control, applying the clutch should be intuitive and smooth.
The winch weighs 18.74 pounds and ships at 19.36 pounds.
Substantial value for the price
Easy to install
Other Great Winches for Jeeps
Smittybilt products are built by off-road enthusiasts for off-road enthusiasts. The company has made winches for Jeeps for more than 50 years, as well as trucks and SUVs. The Smittybilt X20 delivers the trademark power and superior reliability.
The thoughtfulness of the design is readily apparent. You can take advantage of a Series Wound 6.6 horsepower motor, a three-stage planetary gear system, a wireless remote, and a sizeable clutch for easy controls. The winch also comes with waterproofing for any wet situations, and the motor is amphibious.
Additionally, it features an optimized gear ratio for smooth spooling and rapid line speeds. That’s thanks to a sliding ring and a ratio of 218 to one. The Smittybilt X20 also comes with a limited lifetime warranty for the mechanical parts and a five-year electrical warranty.
A single line can pull up to 10,000 pounds of force. The winch leverages a 6.6 horsepower motor, which has the self-proclaimed highest torque in the industry. You can also operate the winch remotely.
The Smittybilt X20 contains 98.5 feet of braided steel wire rope. The rope is 3/8th of an inch and attaches to a four-way roller hawse fairlead. Additionally, there is a remote switch that offers 12 feet of lead on the wire rope.
The winch weighs 67 pounds.
10,000-pound load capacity
ZESUPER Electric Winch
ZESUPER is a household name in the world of 4x4. The ZESUPER Electronic Winch should be no exception. The device pairs high performance at an affordable price, so that off-roaders can continue to explore the great unknown without setback.
The winch has a 5.5 horsepower motor inside its heavy-duty shell. It delivers 9,500-pounds of load capacity and can manage 6.4 feet per minute when the load is full. The number shoots up to 24.6 feet per minute when the load is empty.
The ZESUPER Electronic Winch is capable enough to handle any environment. The components are waterproof, sand-proof, and deliver outstanding control and sensitivity. It also comes with lifetime technical support.
The ZESUPER Electronic Winch delivers some of the best pound-for-pound performance. It can manage 9,500 pounds in towing capacity while retailing under $300. The load capacity here will cover almost all makes and models of vehicles.
The winch offers 59 feet worth of synthetic rope. The material is nine millimeters thick and is light enough to float in water and heavy enough to endure freezing temperatures. This Dyneema rope is easy to handle, barely stretches, and doesn’t come apart or fray.
The winch weighs and ships at 60.6 pounds.
Lifetime technical support
Only a one-year limited warranty on electrical parts
Does not include wiring diagrams
The X-BULL 12V is for drivers who want ultimate power from their winch. The rugged design offers high-end load capacity that is invulnerable to water, mud, sand, and dirt. Thanks to a 265-to-one gear ratio and tremendous torque performance, the X-BULL 12V is an elite recovery system.
It maintains control even when you operate at a higher speed. Part of the reliability comes from the permanent magnet motor, which provides a smooth internal movement. There are also two wireless controls, one for the hand and another model, which is part of the new generation series. Additionally, the winch is easy to install, so you can get back to off-roading sooner rather than later.
With a 13,000-pound load capacity, the X-BULL 12V is the highest rated jeep winch we could find. No matter the size or weight of the Jeep, this winch has the power to pull you out of sticky situations. It also comes with a 4.5 horsepower motor.
The X-BULL 12V delivers 85 feet of stainless-steel cable. While synthetic options are desirable, the steel option still offers fast wire payout. You can change the wire for rope after the purchase if you want.
The winch weighs 83.6 pounds and ships at 84.7 pounds.
Outstanding load capacity
Easy to install
Remote control capabilities
The WARN 103252 is the quintessential example of why WARN is a trusted name in the off-road industry. While the price tag is sizeable, this heavy-duty winch is capable of tackling any scenario. It comes with a high-performance Albright contactor for ultimate control, in addition to planetary gears for quick line speed.
As part of the VR EVO series, WARN touts the winch as "the hardest working standard-duty winches we've ever made," and it’s hard to argue. The device seamless blends durability and performance without sacrificing reliability.
The WARN 103252 also comes with a limited lifetime warranty for the mechanical parts and a seven-year warranty on electrical ones.
The load capacity for this model is 10,000 pounds. The WARN 103252 is ideal for half-ton pickup trucks, jeeps, SUVs, and other heavy-duty cars. WARN also makes two similar models with 8,000 and 12,000-pound capacities.
The winch comes with a synthetic cable that reaches up to 90 feet. The line is 3/8 of an inch in diameter and connects to a hawse fairlead. The line can pull a maximum of four feet per minute.
The winch weighs and ships at 91.9 pounds.
Strength of brand
Rough Country PRO9500S
The Rough Country PRO9500S is one of the best electric winches on this list. It delivers reliable and high-power performance for under $400. It features a sleek design with a three-stage planetary gearbox and a sliding ring gear clutch as well as wireless controls.
This winch for Jeeps can withstand whatever elements or terrain you throw at it. It comes with IP67 waterproofing and dust proofing, so mud, sand, and dirt prove to be no match. The winch also comes with top-of-the-line torque efficiency and mitigates overheating thanks to a permanent magnet motor.
The load capacity for the Rough Country PRO9500S tips the scales at 9,500 pounds. The winch is electric and will effortlessly maneuver cars, trucks, and SUVs. There is a 12,000-pound model, too.
This model of Rough Country winch comes with an 85-foot synthetic rope. It is 3/8 of an inch and releases cleanly during unspooling. Rough Country offers identical models with higher load capacities, which feature 100-foot lines and steel options.
The winch is 63.9 pounds and ships at the same weight.
Impressive value for money
Heavy-duty and durable
Easy to install
Remarkable load capacity
Questionable quality control on the waterproofing
Powerful. Smooth. Quiet. Compact. The X-BULL 4500 delivers everything consumers need within a 16.4" x 10.9" x 7" frame. The model remains one of the most powerful and durable winches in the X-BULL collection. Thanks to a capacity of 4,500 pounds, it will assist with any casual 4x4 driver’s needs.
While the cable only extends to 50 feet in length, the X-BULL 4500 can get you out of a jam or over a ledge. The gear ratio is 185 to one, which compensates for the 1.7 horsepower motor. You can also utilize two wireless remote controls for effortless handling.
The X-BILL 4500 has a load capacity of 4,500 pounds. You can easily install the device on ATVs, UTVs, and other vehicles of a similar size. While 4,500 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot, it is an exceptional value considering the size and price.
The cable extends up to 50 feet. You can opt between braided steel or synthetic rope. Regardless of which type you select, don’t pull out the entire line during use. There is a warning line on the cable to prevent incidents from happening.
The winch is 27.7 pounds and ships at 28.2 pounds.
Wireless winch kit
4,500 load capacity
Moderate rope length
Don’t Buy This Jeep Winch
Smittybilt is a household name, though the Smittybilt 9500 is not what put them in households across the world. While the 9500 does come with stainless steel features, waterproofing, and 9,500-pound load capacity, it leaves something to be desired—durability.
Those durability issues range across the board with everything from failed fuses to malleable control boxes and remote plugs. There are also notable issues with the spooling when it tries to switch over to the engaged mode.
Smittybilt is a reputable company and seems to respond to customer complaints about the 9500 promptly, but we’d steer clear of this model. If there’s one thing you don’t want to overlook in a quality jeep winch, it’s reliability, and that hinges heavily on durability.
The Smittybilt 9500 has a load capacity of, you guessed it, 9,500 pounds. The device has no problem spooling out the line, though the free spool arm can be fickle. You’ll need to cycle the winch often to prevent it from choking up.
The cable is 94 feet long and 5/16 of an inch in diameter. The synthetic rope provides a safe and secure load capacity, especially compared to a wire alternative. While the synthetic option costs more, it is worth the additional investment.
The product weighs 78 pounds and ships at 84 pounds.
Easy to install
Solid load capacity
A trusted name in the industry
Moderate value at best
Highly questionable durability—often only lasts a few months
Clutch has trouble transitioning from free spool to engaged
Low-quality control box for mounting and overall feel