Always take into account the weight of your Jeep (Wrangler, JK, whatever model). As a measure of best practice, one can calculate your weight requirements by multiplying the gross weight of your vehicle by 1.5. This is your minimum winch pull strength, which is literally just your minimum. A winch of this pull strength will not be capable of winching up steep inclines, nor will it be capable of moving large obstacles.
Below we take a look at 4 best Jeep winches on the market:
Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch Gen II – 8500 lb. Load Capacity
The Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 second generation winch has a line pull rating of 8500 pound and supplies you with 94-feet of durable steel-wire rope. It is rated as an entry-level winch, suited to those that don’t winch regularly and those who only need basic winching functionality. The three stage planetary gear chain is made from all metal and is driven by a quiet 4.5 horsepower engine.
Operation via 15-foot waterproof rubber remote makes winching safe and easy. This affordable winch is extremely rugged and construction is solid. It can handle taking a knock or getting wet without any problems. Hawse fairleads are supported but are not supplied. The Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Gen II Winch is a great heavy-duty, affordable option that does not disappoint. If you’re on a budget, this is one of the best winches for Jeeps (JK, Wranglers, and other models).
Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch – 9500 lb. Load Capacity
The Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch with 9500 pound load capacity is a bumper mounted winch that offers great power and performance. The 6.6 HP Amphibious motor and 3 Stage Planetary Gear System has a very quick pull in and remains rugged enough to winch 4500 pounds with ease, placing very little strain on the motor.
Mounting is easy, taking under an hour for most folks. A roller fairlead is provided free of charge, saving you the expense of an additional purchase, as is needed with most Jeep winches. You are covered by a limited lifetime warranty and a five year guarantee on the electrical system. It is also waterproof, carrying an IP67 rating and a 500 amp solenoid. The Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch outperforms many higher-priced alternatives, giving fantastic performance at a good price.
Warn 86255 VR10000 Winch – 10,000 lb. Load Capacity
The Warn 86255 VR10000 10,000 lb. Winch is one of the best priced middle-of-the-range winches available for your Jeep (JK, Wrangler, etc.) or some other 4X4. The 10,000 pounds of line pull strength makes this a winch that is perfectly suited to heavier vehicles. The Warn VR10000 (see full specs) is extremely reliable and will not fail any-time soon! It handles pressure extremely well, with the motor taking little strain even at heftier line pull rates. The wired control is waterproof and you also have the option of purchasing an additional wireless remote.
The rope is of satisfactory quality, although a stronger winch option is available for roughly a $250 more than this winch, in the form of Warn’s synthetic winch line. Servicing the unit is reported to be very straightforward, for those that like to tinker. The overall quality of the Warn 86255 VR1000 cannot found to be lacking in any regard, other than the just-good-not-stellar strength of the rope. At the price this is a small sacrifice, as the line strength barely impacts your ability to winch yourself, objects or others. This is among the best Jeep winches for the money.
Warn 89120 ZEON 12 Winch with Wire Rope – 12000 lb. Load Capacity
The Warn 89120 Zeon winch holds a line pull rating of 12, 0000 pounds, making it a high-end heavy-duty winch. Not only does this winch (see full specs) offer outstanding pulling performance but its powder-brushed veneer ensures that it’s easy on the eyes as well. Beneath the crisp aesthetics lies a three-stage planetary gear mechanism and a motor that provides excellent pull speed even when dealing with loads close to the limits of this winch. The unit is very well sealed, allowing for no form of water damage or eventual build-up of corrosion.
Included is an ultra-durable 3/8″ galvanized steel wire rope for maximum strength, allowing you to use the maximum pull strength of your winch. Easy to mount, long lasting and exhibiting top-class quality in all aspects, the Warn 89120 Zeon 12 Winch with Wire Rope is an outstanding option for heavy vehicles and those that use a winch often.
Considerations When Shopping for the Best Jeep Winch
When tempted to purchase a heavy-duty, high line pull rating winch for your Jeep, be sure to check what is needed from you battery. It is also good measure to make sure that the mountings and structure of your prospective new winch will fit your Jeep. From time to time you may find that a particular design simply does not work with your vehicle, with either the winch or the vehicle requiring custom modification. Unless you are up to the “modding” challenge, you had best rather choose carefully.
The best winches for Jeeps should hold a pull line rating that is far greater than one and a half times the gross weight of your vehicle, although this is not always possible due to budget constraints of the owner of a heavier Jeep. Fortunately, the ratio stated, although not desirable, can be used as the bare minimum for safe, damage free winching when trying to cut your costs.
Why Worry When You Have a Winch?
Never find yourself helpless when out and about again by ensuring that your Jeep is fitted with a reliable winch. If you are fond of dirt roads and rugged trails, then as the proud owner of an all-terrain Jeep, you owe yourself the benefit of a winch. Obstacles become fun and challenging rather than a boring frustration, while the peace of mind provided by the simple, functional winch is worth its weight in gold. And we hope you’ve found the best Jeep winch for your needs here. Good luck!