The 10 Best ATV Winches

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This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in November of 2018. Winches are one of the most important items you can equip your ATV with if you often spend time in the backwoods alone. Being able to self-rescue can ensure that you are never stuck in a precarious situation waiting for help to arrive. All of the models on our list should provide more than enough pulling strength for most needs, without straining the vehicle's battery too much. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Warn Axon 55

2. Warn VRX 25

3. Smittybilt 98204 XRC-4 Comp-Series

Editor's Notes

October 14, 2020:

Winches might just be the most important piece of equipment when it comes to self-rescuing when out in the backwoods alone. Because they often mean the difference between getting yourself out of a jam quickly or waiting hours for help to come along, it is important to get a reliable model that won't let you down when the time comes for it to perform. With this in mind, durability was of the utmost importance to us when selecting the models for this list. The only exception to this might be the X-Bull AM0004. We will be the first to admit that it can't withstand the abuse of many of our other selections, but its low cost comparative to its rated pulling capacity still earned it a spot. However, it is best for those who only require the use of a winch on rare occasions.

Anybody who knows anything about winches is probably familiar with Warn. They are known for making some of the highest-quality units, so it should come as no surprise to find a couple of their models here. The Warn Axon 55 is a premium offering from them that boasts an impressive strength rating, a smart design that combines the motor and contactor, and digital load display information. The Warn VRX 25 may have less features, and a lower capacity, but it is more affordable and will still help you self-rescue in most situations.

The Smittybilt 98204 XRC-4 Comp-Series and Superwinch Terra 45SR are two more 2-ton or stronger winches that offer reliability combined with helpful features and are ready to perform in all situations. The former boasts an amphibious motor, while the latter has weather-sealed components, so either can deal with extreme conditions without failing. We also appreciate the high-visibility yellow line of the Terra 45SR, which can help cut down on the potential for accidents.

A winch is only one thing you may want to consider kitting out your ATV with. If you think you need a winch, you probably plan on riding over some rough terrain and perhaps a bit of mud, so you may want to consider a quality pair of mud tires. A tool box wouldn't be a bad idea either, as getting stuck might not be the only thing that could potentially leave you stranded. And, finally, no ride would be complete without some speakers to blare you favorite tunes as you drive.

November 15, 2018:

After pulling power, the most important thing in a winch is reliability. There is nothing worse than a winch that fails on you when you are trying to get yourself out of a mud pit. For that reason, we did not include any models where there were too many reviews of failure during normal operation. After that, we just made sure to include a variety of different capacities to suit light and heavy ATVs alike.

Special Honors

Tusk Winch 3500 If you spend a lot of time in the mud, you'll appreciate the synthetic rope that comes with Tusk Winch 3500, since it isn't susceptible to rusting. It relies on a heavy-duty 730-watt motor with sealed components and water resistant design to generate its pulling power.

4. Superwinch Terra 45SR

5. MotoAlliance Viper Max

6. Champion 14560

7. Keeper KT4000 Trakker

8. Superwinch LT3000

9. Extreme Max Bear Claw

10. X-Bull AM0004

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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