The Top 5 ATV Winches Reviewed
Buying accessories for your ATV isn’t something you should take lightly. These kind of accessories can be expensive, which means you need to make sure you’re getting value for money. There aren’t many ATV accessories that can be as useful as a winch. Maybe you’re pulling yourself out of something that got you stuck, or hauling a particularly heavy load. Disabled people have even been known to use a winch to pull their mobility scooters out of a vehicle. A winch has many uses and applications. Whatever you’re doing, a winch is a multi utility attachment that can do a lot of great things.
You must carefully consider your needs when purchasing a winch to ensure that you end up with the right one.
The Importance Of A Good ATV Winch and Why You Would Want One
A winch can be used in a number of tight situations. If you’ve ever gotten stuck in your ATV, or you want to prevent it from happening, you’ll need a winch. If you may ever need to haul a heavy load, you’ll need a winch. When shopping for your winch, the first thing you’ll need to think about is how much weight the winch should be able to pull.
Winch manufacturers rate their products with a number called ‘the rated line pull’. This gives you an indication of how much the winch can safely haul while in use. You can determine how much line pull you’ll need. All you need to do is measure your ATV’s gross vehicle weight (GVW). Get the number in pounds and ensure you include any accessories, cargo, and passengers. You should then multiply this figure by 1.5 to determine the line pull rating you’ll need for your new winch. Winches have to work extremely hard, so you need to make sure you do the math right and choose the right winch for you.
Below, we talk more about the top ATV winches to help you make your decision.
For those of you in a hurry, our choice for the Best ATV Winch is the Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV.
Best ATV Winches
This Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV doesn’t take up a lot of space, which is great news for people who hate bulky winches that take up a lot of room. With a great strap and pulley you can do more with less effort; this winch is great at pulling the loads it says it will. Not only this, the company offers great customer service, and will go above and beyond if for whatever reason you have issues with your winch.
You do get a lot for a reasonable amount of cash; you get the winch, mounting plate, roller fairlead, handlebar switch, a remote wired switch with accompanying socket, heavy gauge wiring, circuit breaker, and a robust looking solenoid. The whole set up is compact and very powerful and will last for years with regular use. You will struggle to get a better winch for your money with the Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV. It’s a great choice for a huge number of applications.
- Rated line pull of 3,000 pounds
- Roller fairlead and mounting plate
- Sealed low amperage permanent magnet motor
- Includes both handle bar mounted rocker switch and handheld remote
- Mechanical and dynamic brake
This SuperATV 3500 lb. Black Ops ATV/UTV Winch is at the higher end of the price bracket, so you would expect it to be one of the best winches on the list. However, you might find that the mounting kit is not suitable for you and need to make your own adjustments. Other than that, the winch is quick and easy to install. The wireless controller that comes with this set up is a bonus, and the whole thing is surprisingly quiet while it’s working. The winch itself is slightly bigger, but still a well made product that looks good. A fair choice for anybody looking for a decent winch.
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The Bravex Electric 12V 3500lb Winch is a solid unit. Again, you may need to make some adjustments to the mounting plate so that it fits your ATV, but this isn’t a problem for many winch users. The winch is made in China but seems to work great right out of the box, so unless you have an aversion to this you shouldn’t have a problem with it.
The operation you are carrying out becomes even easier when you make use of the included remote. Just make sure you’re not missing any hardware when you take everything out of the box, as this has been known to happen from time to time. The winch is not waterproof, which could be viewed as a downside. Although you may have some minor issues, the company offer great service and are likely to send out a replacement, so there’s that. A winch with great customer service is always a huge bonus. It is one of the best inexpensive winches out there and comes with simple instructions, so you shouldn’t have any issues setting the whole thing up providing all is as it should be.
- Please confirm the mounting plate fit before buying! Mounting bolt pattern: 3.13'' (79.5mm) Φ9. This Bravex brand new Electric 12V 3500lb Winch will work on ATVs, UTVs, plows and more!
- High-powered motor drive with a strong and steady pull. (Warning: 2 or more remotes CANNOT work at the same time !!)
- All metal gearing for durable dependability. Durable, smooth, and reliable three-stage planetary geartrain.
- Lightning-fast line speeds, sensitivity of remote control. Waterproof & anti-sediment, exclusive brake design for superior control.
- 4-Way roller fairlead to guide the rope onto the drum evenly. Attractive with a long lifetime and super protection packaging. Please be noted that steel cable is a consumable, that's is not in scope of warranty.
The Extreme Max 5600.3072 Bear Claw may not be the most reliable choice, especially if it gets wet. Many found that it would not work at all in the wet when they really need it to. It’s not as strong as a superwinch by a long shot, but not as expensive, either. The capacity is likely slightly oversold, too, as it doesn’t seem to be able to budge the weight advertised, which is annoying.
It lacks a remote which is also a downside, and will not work with a universal remote. The cheaply made toggle is somewhat of a hindrance, although it does have easy installation on its side. This winch can be hit or miss; it may last for years and a number of uses or it could break in the first few months. It all depends on how heavy you plan on using it and the applications you expect to use it for.
- Includes 3100 lb. Bear Claw winch, 45' steel cable, roller fairlead, snatch block, mounting hardware, battery cable, motor cable and connectors; Extreme Max Bear Claw 5600.3072 High Output 3100 lb. with 2800 lb. Footprint ATV/Utility Deluxe Winch Package
- 3600 lb. of pull in 3500 lb. footprint, with low amp draw, high efficiency and low noise
- Dynamic braking system and triple planetary gear box; sealed for water resistance
- 4-bolt mounting provides a universal fit for all brands of winch mounts
- 2-year replacement warranty
The Champion 3000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit is water resistant but not waterproof, so you may struggle to get it to work in areas of moisture and heavy rain. It fits great with the correct mounting plate and is fairly easy to install, even if you do have to make some adjustments yourself. It is rated at 3000lb but tends to struggle with loads much lighter than that, so this is worth bearing in mind if you expect to be doing pretty heavy hauling work. The remote that comes with it is huge and doesn’t seem to fit anywhere, though, which can be a huge downside for many winch users. Although it is a decent price, you are sacrificing the quality of the winch just to save a bit of money. It’s very loud, so don’t expect it to do the job quietly and serenely like other winches on the list. You can tell straight away if this one is struggling. When it works it can work fairly well but it is not the most reliable and may be best avoided.
- Powerful – 3000 lb. max rated line pull and 1 HP permanent magnet motor
- Bonus Accessories – Roller fairlead, mounting channel, handle bar mounted remote control
- 49 ft. super duty aircraft cable with rugged, latched clevis hook
- Efficient planetary gear and dynamic braking systems
- Champion Support - 2 year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support
ATV Winch Buyers Guide
Here is a good YouTube video explaining what you need to know about buying an all terrain vehicle winch:
All of the winches listed above are priced between $100-$200, which is a fairly standard price for a winch. Assuming you have set your budget, you should know which of them are in your price range and which are not. As this is something you will want to use for years to come, it’s usually worth spending a little more on a great winch that is going to last, but a higher price tag doesn’t automatically make it a better buy. Try to ignore the price tags when weighing up the pros and cons so you can find the most ideal winch for your needs.
Consider what you will likely be using the winch for – just one application or a number of applications? How long do you want it to last? What do you think the max weight you’ll need it to pull is? Do you want to make sure you have outstanding customer service just in case anything goes wrong? Many buyers don’t consider the importance of customer service, but it can truly make the difference if you have a bad experience.
Make sure you ask yourself the relevant questions above so you can select the right winch.
Now, onto the winches that we have mentioned here. From our list above, the Champion 3000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit probably best avoided. It isn’t a reliable winch and many people seem to have issues with it. The Extreme Max 5600.3072 Bear Claw hit or miss, so again, this is probably not the best option for your hard earned cash. The Bravex Electric 12V 3500lb Winch a fair choice, with many upsides, but the Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV is likely the best choice of the bunch. That being said, the winch you choose is personal to you and will depend on what you’re going to be using it for and your budget. Hopefully the above reviews have helped you to narrow down your choices somewhat and make the best choice.