If you are an outdoor enthusiast and enjoy using your ATV, then you should always have something to get you out of a bind when stuck. The best tool for the job is obviously a winch.
However, with the number of models to choose from, (plus potential compatibility problems) selecting the right one can be overwhelming.
That’s where we come in. We’ve pulled together 5 of the best ATV winches currently on the market in 2018.
For our results at a glance, just head to the table below. For full reviews of each of our top picks, plus a comprehensive buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Best ATV Winch – Top 5 Revealed
|TOP PICK:Superwinch1135220 Terra 35||3500lbs/1591kg(2500, 3000 & 4500lbs also available)|
|Warn 89020 Vantage 2000ATV Winch||2000 lb. Capacity(3000 & 4000lbsalso available)|
|Champion PowerEquipment 13004ATV/UTV Winch Kit||3000 lb. Capacity|
|Extreme Max 5600.3072Bear Claw ATVUTV Deluxe Winch||3100 lb. Capacity(3600 lb. alsoavailable)|
|BadlandElectric ATVUtility Winch||2500 lb. Capacity|
- Best ATV Winch – Top 5 Revealed
- ATV Winch Buyer’s Guide
- Top 5 ATV Winch Reviews
- 1. TOP PICK: Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 3500lbs/1591kg Review
- 2. Warn 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch – 2000 lb. Capacity Review
- 3. Champion Power Equipment 13004 3000 lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit (12V DC) Review
- 4. Extreme Max 5600.3072 Bear Claw ATV / UTV Deluxe Winch Package – 3100 lb Review
- 5. Badland 2500 lb. Electric ATV/Utility Winch with Wireless Remote Control Review
ATV Winch Buyer’s Guide
Things to consider when buying a winch for your ATV
As with any tool, when buying a new winch there are a few things to think about before you part with your hard earned money.
Let’s take a look at a few of them now…
The first issue to take care of is to know the specifications of your ATV. More specifically, you need to know the weight of your vehicle.
The owner’s manual will give you all the information you need, (if you don’t have a hardcopy to hand you will almost definitely be able to download one from the internet).
Knowing the weight is important because you need to ensure that you buy a winch capable of hauling more than the weight of your ATV or UTV, (plus the extra force required to get you unstuck from a potential jam).
Another issue to consider is your planned usage for the winch.
If it’s just for peace of mind backup if you end up stuck in the mud or wedged in a ditch you can opt for a lower powered model that is capable of pulling the weight of your ATV.
However, if you are planning on using your ATV around the farm where more gruelling work is required you will want something with a bit more grunt.
An ATV with a winch can be used for a wide range of tasks, whether you’re hauling game out of the woods or pulling timber from the roots, thinking about the power and features you need will help you get best model for you.
- Related Content: Best ATV Snow Plows For Winter 2017
The different power options available
As we looked into above, the power capacity of your winch is extremely important. Because of this, most brands will release a line of winches to cover the various power categories.
ATV winches start at around 1,500 pounds, with the more powerful ones reaching over 4,000 pounds in pulling capacity.
Let’s take a look at the different power categories in detail…
1,500 – 2,500 pound capacity winches
Clearly the lower powered models are designed to be used with lighter ATV’s.
Winches of this size are the more affordable on the market. They are smaller in design and tuck nicely into the frame rails of the ATV. They provide great backup for when you might hit trouble, rather than a daily work-horse solution.
2,500-4,000 pound capacity winches
This is the more common power range ATV winch as they are far more versatile. They are much better suited to pulling jobs and models on the top end of this power scale can comfortably work with UTVs too.
If you are planning on using your ATV for construction work or sports such as deer hunting, you will certainly need a winch up to the task. These power levels should serve you well.
Features to look out for
So we’ve covered the ATV winch power options available, what about the features?
The following are just some of the bells and whistles you should look out for when buying the best ATV winch.
A free-spooling clutch
A winch with a free-spooling clutch means you can save the gears by pulling the cable from the spool only.
On models without a free-spooling clutch, it actually takes longer to work the winch as you are pulling against the gears. That extra force also adds wear and tear on the winch over time.
Remote mounted/rocker switch
A remote switch (or rocker depending on your circles) is a device that is mounted on to the handlebars of the ATV.
The switch gives you the ability to control the winch while you are sat comfortably on top of your ATV.
Some of them even come with long extension cords so that you can control the winch from a safe distance if need be, (great if your ATV is knee deep in mud).
Fairleads are built in guides that help ensure that the cable sits evenly as you spool it in. The two main styles of fairlead are the Roller and the Hawse. Both do a good job of keeping your winch cable neat and tidy, ready for use.
Finally, you should look for a winch that has a sturdy cover. Winches get a battering. While are the built with durability in mind, a well made hard cover will help keep dust and dirt out of the winch components.
It will also be the first line of defense for the inevitable knocks and bumps that occur when you are using your ATV.
Top 5 ATV Winch Reviews
Armed with the knowledge above, it’s now time to dive into our top 5 ATV winch reviews. We have aimed to cover the demands of all ATV users, to ensure one of these choices will fit the bill for you.
1. TOP PICK: Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 3500lbs/1591kg Review
Superwinch have released one of the best series of winches you will find on the market right now. The company is known to produce products that are of high quality, durable and versatile.
It is easy to see why. They are all designed to pull weight faster and longer in deep water and heavy mud.
The new Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 is a perfect device for outdoor enthusiasts who travel to harsh terrains, especially when you consider the tool is capable of pulling over 3500 pounds, (other power capacities are also available).
It comes with wireless remote as well as mounted controls allowing you control it from the comfort of your vehicle.
The model has an invaluable safety feature which involves mechanical load holding and one of the most sophisticated braking that reduces any chances of rope slippage in case you experience a power outage.
Unlike most product of its kind, Superwinch Terra 35 features its own circuit breaker protection and a weather sealed solenoid contact that assures safety, reliability, and convenience in all conditions.
The Terra 35 is compatible with almost all four-bolt pattern ATV mount kits you will come across.
What’s more the Terra 35 features rugged all steel gears with machine-in oil pocket bearings. The end result is a much smoother performance and increased durability.
Other additional features on the Super winch 1135220 Terra 35 include, a handlebar mounting switch, a cam action frees polling clutch that allows you to disengage the motor quickly as well as draw out the winch rope as and when you need.
Pros of the Superwinch 1135220 Terra 3
- Easy to use
- Durable construction, thanks to the weatherproof and sealed circuit breaker.
- Built with power in mind
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Wide steel planetary gear making it one of the best machines
- Greater efficiency w and with low power consumption
- The roller fairlead is a 4 way.
- The rope quality needs some improvement; it could be better
- Versatility is good but need more improvement
This Winch is our top pick here, it’s quite affordable, great for hauling even the heavier vehicle thanks to the large capacity and the release mechanism. Its efficiency and durability is definitely something competing brands cannot beat.
Warn’s line of winches are some of the best in the market right now and they come at an affordable in price.
The Warn 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch offers more power compared to most competing brand within its capacity.
It’s most suited to lighter and smaller ATV, but its power capability allows you to complete a large variety of tasks with complete ease.
Therefore, it’s more of a great all round winch. Much like previous Warn series, the Vantage 2000 offers superior performance without hurting the pocket.
The product has so much to offer compared to the competing brands with features like smooth planetary gear train, synthetic rope, powerful motor, weatherproof and sealed motor all as standard.
The unit features a corded remote, which means you can remotely operate it from your comfort zone, in or off on your ATV.
What’s more, you have an option to choose between a sturdy aircraft steel wire cable and the synthetic alternative. The 50 ft is also a big plus on this one, so you won’t struggle mounting it.
Pros of Warn 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch
- Has fully sealed motor as well as drive train to keep element out.
- Invaluable safety features,
- Effective operation thanks to the differential planetary gear train
- It’s an all-around winch
- Easy to use thanks to the handlebar mounted control.
- Comes with a five-year warranty
Installation instruction can be a little overwhelming
- It’s a little expensive when compared to other models in this power range
A lot of features here make this Winch a joy to use. With pounds of pulling capacity as well as best in class performance, this Vantage 2000 comes highly recommended.
The Champion Power Equipment 13004 is a powerful, effective winch designed for those on a budget.
It has 3000 pounds rated pull, with an automatic break which means whatever winching situation you might have, this winch will have you covered.
It also has one of the best clutch systems allowing for easy spooling. The kit also comes with a remote control, a roller fairlead, and mounting channels, and other tools you need to have an effective winch.
One among the frequent criticism of many ATV winches is the weak cable they usually include, however, the 49.5 ft provided by Champion is an aircraft grade made for use in any kind of environment. It is rugged with a latched clevis hook.
The last thing you want when your ATV is stuck is figuring how to use a winch. Well, Champion has made it easy for you, the winch is pretty easy to install and on once in place, you won’t have trouble getting it to work.
Pros of Champion Power Equipment 13004
- The provided provided power is more than enough for small ATVs
- You won’t have trouble getting it to work.
- The manufacturer offers lifetime technical support and a 2 years life warranty.
- The planetary gear works perfectly well
- The pulling power is quite reliable
- Effective remote control
- Only suitable for small ATVs
- The remote has been reported as being bulky and overly slow
- Relatively durable but affordable
The Champion Power Equipment 13004 is compact yet does not compromise on power.
The general consensus is that the model is only suitable for small ATVs and it’s a little slow, but it does get the job done all the same.
In terms of cost, the price is slightly higher than most budget friendly ATV winches, but you will be pleased with its performance.
The Extreme Max is one of the most budget ATV winches you will come across yet with its large range of features it makes a worthwhile addition to our top 5 list.
Extreme max comes with a 3100 pound Winch package named bear claw, a battery plug-in, and a universal hitch mount.
The battery features a quick connect tech that ensures seamless connection or disconnection. The universal receiver is purposely designed in a way that makes it compatible with 2 and 4 bolt winches.
The bear claw 3100 pounds has a compact design and features a concentric winch spool to ensure better cable alignment.
On top of that, the Extreme max 5600 comes with a two-year warranty.
The product does not only have low power consumption but it’s also not noisy thanks to the triple planetary gear box.
All parts are covered and sealed as necessary for weather resistance; therefore you can expect good performance even in tough weather conditions.
One of the features that distinguish Extreme Max 5600 with other models is the setup process, it really is very easy to install.
Pros for Extreme Max 5600 ATV Winch
- Low power consumption
- Dynamic breaking providing safety and convenience as well.
- Comes with a 2 years warranty.
- Features a universally mounting system compatible with almost all winches.
- Durable and budget friendly
- Hassle free setup process
- The wires are too short for large ATVs
- There are some complaints about cable durability
Overall, this is a fantastic winch kit with everything you need to bolt it to your ATV. It might be a little simple, but it’s a durable and a performing product. Unlike most winches of its kind, this one is compatible with almost every winch out there.
Combine its durability, it’s incredible performance, low power consumption and smooth spooling, and you have a winch that is unsurpassed.
If you need to move a lighter ATV or materials, this 2500 Pound Electric winch from Badland is worth a look.
It is one of the best budget friendly, winches you will find on the market today. It’s definitely a great and safe addition to any off-road adventures.
The electric ATV/Utility winch is most suitable for light and small ATVs. It features plenty of power to let you recover from the worst possible scenario you might experience in your adventure.
This unit is capable of lifting up to 2500 pounds and you can control all the action with a wireless remote.
The wireless remote switch makes it easy to use when you are up to 20 ft away.
Other notable features include single stage planetary gear systems that allow fast line speed and an aircraft grade wire rope, reliable motor and a convenient 7 ft handlebar control.
Also, this winch has an automatic braking system and load holding that helps maximize any possibility of wire rope slippage, in case of power failure or surges.
The Badland ATV/Utility Winch also features a single-stage planetary system for quicker line speed, and free spooling for fast line out.
Pros of Electric ATV/Utility Winch
- Great performance for ATV
- Features a wireless remote making it easy to use
- Decent quality and durable for the price
- Budget friendly
- Doesn’t feature a mounting plate for fairlead
- The wires are could have been longer
- Remote control could be smaller
Overall, this is a powerful ATV winch although that while it doesn’t offer all the features found elsewhere, its performance remains good.
Overall the cost on this one is something quite attractive, as you will find very few ATV winches at this price range.
To make sure you get the best UTV winches, you need to find the one that offers convenience and one that‘s easy to use. Other than that, you need to check the accessories included, to avoid ending up buying these accessories separately.
Our best pick, out of the reviewed five options is the Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35. It offers convenience, has superior features, and is a budget friendly machine.
Essentially, whatever ATV winch you decide to buy, be careful to consider how it will be able to serve your needs as well as your wallet.