Discover Best ATV Winch (2018) – Buyer’s Guide

Superwinch LT2000 12V Utility Winch (2,000lb),Pink

Using the best ATV winch shouldn't have to be a difficult thing to do. When something's stuck in a bind, an ATV winch helps you make the most of your vehicle with minimal or no clean-up.

So as with any other towing or loading tool, an ATV winch comes with the information you might not have heard of before. That's what I will discuss some of the best products for the job.

To be fair, it wasn't easy picking out the best of the best products with so many competitive brands on the market. But that goes with saying that the best way to afford and use an ATV winch is not without difficulty.

So, let's begin.

Best ATV Winch 2018

best ATV winch

Winches have a good reputation with all sorts of people. Even those who use it once in a blue moon can you tell why a winch is so efficient and easy to use.

Keeping that in mind, I've compiled seven closely-competitive ATV winches. This is where you finally get to decide what's best for you and your towing needs.

ATV Winch Name


Rated Line Pull (single)


​Our Rating

Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 (Editor's Choice)

Mechanical, dynamic



20.1 pounds

#1 Editor's Choice

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch

Automatic In-Drum



83 pounds


Warn 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch

Dynamic gear break



20.5 pounds


Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV  

Mechanical, dynamic



19.8 pounds


Extreme Max 5600.3198




20 pounds


Superwinch 1140230 Black

Mechanical, dynamic



22 pounds


Champion Power Equipment 13004


3,000 pounds


22.2 pounds


1. Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 - Best All-Round ATV Winch for Heavy-Duty Performance

Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 3500lbs/1591kg single line pull with roller fairlead, handlebar mnt toggle, handheld remote

The Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 keeps the most difficult terrains in mind. It's one of the strongest and more efficient winches on the market. With a mechanical load holding and dynamic brake, this super winch does the job well.

It boasts of sturdy, unbeatable materials such as steel wire rope and all-steel gear. It even boasts of a heavy-duty latch hook system with a thimble to keep everything in place. If durability and performance are more important to you, I recommend this ATV winch.

Having said that, it's all kinds of durable including dust, water, snow, and mud-resistant. The 4-way roller fairlead and circuit breaker safety make all the difference. It helps in positioning and stability when most required.

Another great factor that makes this a dependable buy is safety features. The ergonomic design and remote switch make performance smooth and efficient. So you've got nothing to worry about. (Things you should never do when using a winch)

The only downside to this powerful winch is the circuit breaker quality. Like the rest of the unit, this isn't as waterproof and durable to use. It even offers way more than required wiring for stability.


  • It is dust, water, snow, and all-weather resistant.
  • ​The cable, handlebar switch, and gear have a durable material construction.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.


  • The circuit breaker lacks sufficient durability.
  • It doesn’t come with strong mounting features.

2. Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch - Best Durable and Precision-Driven ATV Winch

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch - 9500 lb. Load Capacity

Made up of durable and high-quality materials, the Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch is a catch. It has a loading capacity of at least 9000 pounds. This means you can load and tow anything that you can think of without making any compromises.

The sturdy and ergonomic design of this winch makes it easy to latch and move. Another great quality is that is waterproof to the very core.

It features a magnetic control handle and a sliding ring gear for smooth performance. The automatic braking system and remote switch on this are also very impressive.

This ATV winch doesn't only perform well on the field, but it looks good too. The textured black finish is tough to beat down. And it comes with a long-lived lifetime warranty on its build and performance.

The only downside to it is the mounting features. It makes it difficult to hook electrical cables.


  • The roller fairlead and towing capacity are its best features.
  • It is 100% waterproof.


  • The open-end wrench is not thin enough to hold electrical cables during mounting.

3. Warn 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch - Best Lightweight and Compact ATV Winch on the Market

Warn 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch - 2000 lb. Capacity

The Warn 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch is our lightweight option. If you're looking for something small and handy, this is the best ATV winch to buy. The majority of people use haulable winches for better transportability.

So if you're looking for stability in the industry, you won't miss the distinct features of this one.

Even though this ATV winch is lightweight and portable, it has the features of high-end models. The power capability is long-lived, giving you more control and balance to get the job done.

The product has a loading capacity of 4000 pounds. It's durable, offers outstanding benefits, and has precise design features.

The body is stainless steel finish that's corrosion-resistant with all-weather performance. The fairlead offers better rope handling while the brake system reduces chaos.

All these features, when combined, offer better domination over what you're winching. This means fewer accidents and more stability on the road. (How ATV winches work?)

Be that as it may, the only thing I didn't like on this ATV winch is its complicated usability. It's not the easiest ATV winch to have around, plus the instruction manual also lacks clarity.


  • It offers resilient safety features.
  • The mounting features are efficient and precise to control.


  • The winch’s hard to use.

4. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC Winch - Best All-Purpose ATV Winch for the Money

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC winch 3,000lbs/1360kg with roller fairlead, mount plate, handlebar rocker switch, and handheld remote

Not as professional as my previous picks, but the Superwinch 1130220 is an excellent choice. I'd rank it as an intermediate ATV winch. It offers a loading capacity of 3000 pounds. The 3-stage planetary gear system provides incredible power. Not to mention, the magnetic motor and roller fairlead are some of its best qualities.

If versatility is more important than durability, you should go for this one. The free-spooling and rigid clutch make winching a smooth process. It even features a low-cut, efficient, and ergonomic engine.

What I liked the most on this ATV winch are the horsepower and 50 feet wiring. It's sufficient enough for practically anything you'd like to tow. Also, it makes a great winch for hauling snow, if you must.

Anyone who's a beginner at using a winch can get the most out of this one. It's effortless, straightforward, and very accurate to use. But it does lack useful installation features. The manual that comes with this winch does not provide clear instructions for assembly.


  • It delivers incredible cranking power.
  • The sealed magnetic motor is made of durable materials.


  • It's difficult to set up.

5. Extreme Max 5600.3198 Complete Winch - A High-Quality, Starter ATV Winch to Use

Extreme Max 5600.3198 Complete 3100 lb. Winch & Quick-Release Kit for ATV / UTV

Let's talk about the Extreme Max 5600.3198. It offers a towing capacity of 3100 pounds. It's one of the most affordable ATV winches to buy. And it's a great alternative to traditional mounting plates.

You will be able to install and use this ATV winch in half the time than high-end models. In my testing, I found that the 2-inch receiver and mounting plate make all the difference.

It features a polycarbonate shell for long-lasting performance. Plus the 8-gauge wiring keeps everything in its proper place. What's more, this ATV winch might not be resistant to dust and moisture, but it does reduce the impact of it.

For a regular ATV winch for daily use, this constitutes as the final cut. It's efficient, precise, and infallible in performance. But this ATV winch might be too small or narrow for some users. That is why I call this one a beginner's pick. It doesn't offer the qualities of high-end models.


  • It has a secure housing system.
  • ​Easy to use and maintain.
  • It is energy efficient, thanks to the Battery Quick Connect Plus.


  • Lacks advanced features for high-powered winching.
  • The design is too narrow.

6. Superwinch 1140230 Black - One of the Most Heavy-Duty ATV Winches on the Market

Superwinch (1140230) Black 12 VDC LT4000ATV SR Winch - 4000 lb. Load Capacity

The Superwinch 1140230's fast performance and easy usability will impress you. It offers the perfect blend of strength and precision. This model has a universal fit with a powerful magnetic motor with 3-stage planetary gear.

It meets all expectations regarding rugged use and value. If what you need is something to fall back on when you're on a budget, then this ATV winch doesn't disappoint. Everything from wiring to connectors is durable.

The best part about this ATV winch is the synthetic rope. It offers better winching quality and purpose. Some may say it's even better than high-end models. All thanks to the synthetic rope fabric that fits the bill.

Be that as it may, this ATV winch might be too heavy-duty. So you need to make sure your mounting patterns are capable of handling this winch.


  • Easy installation.
  • Fast recovery and great winching capacity.


  • Too heavy-duty for installation.

7. Champion Power Equipment 13004 ATV Winch Kit - Solid Towing Performance in a Compact Build

Champion Power Equipment 13004 3000 lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit (12V DC)

For owners of higher-grade winches, the Champion Power Equipment 13004 is an absolute. It falls in the ranks for powerful and expensive winches, but you can't beat this one out of the competition. I recommend this ATV winch to anyone looking for performance over price.

It offers a towing capacity of 3000 pounds. With a Free-spooling, ergonomic clutch and dynamic braking system, it's infallible. It offers incredibly dependable and valuable construction features.

That said, for a tight and punchy winch, there's nothing else as compelling as this one. Other factors include better mounting control and direction. Thanks to the remote-control and latched clevis hook.

The super durable galvanized cable quality and mounting channel are also worth mentioning.

But as for the downside, the mounting plate is still far behind regarding quality. It is too small and thin to keep up with the winch so you would have either buy a brand-new one or make it from scratch.


  • It features a free-spooling clutch for stability.
  • It comes with convenient handles for better mobility.


  • The mounting plate is too narrow.

ATV Winch Buyer's Guide

best ATV winch

It might be overwhelming for you to grasp different features and benefits in one try.

So let's do this my way. Below I've jotted down a list of important features you should consider.

After going through each feature, you can compare performance and rankings between each ATV winch. This will help you invest in something valuable and efficient. This will also reduce the risk of buying something that fails to deliver on durability.

Best Features of an ATV Winch

best ATV winch
  • Mounting Options

You either get a remote mounted or a rocker switch with your ATV winch. What is a remote switch? It is the device that mounts to the handlebars of the vehicle. Without this, you'd lose control of the ATV winch. And with it, you can direct, control, and handle the heaviness of the tow as per your convenience.

The best part about remote switches is that some of them tag along with extension cords. So controlling them from a safe distance reduces chances of accidents or injuries.

  • Free-Spooling Clutch

A free-spooling clutch helps you cut back on using the gears. All you have to do is pull on the cable using the spool instead of the gears. With a free-spooling clutch, you save both time and effort while winching. While pulling on wires with gear can decrease the winch's shelf life and lead to more damages.

  • Roller or Hawse Fairleads

Fairleads promises better balance and stability while you spool the cable back in. It's what comes during and after towing a heavy something. You will either come across a roller fairlead or hawse. Both offer equal amounts of stamina and stability.

So, it's a matter of what you'd like on your ATV. Not to mention, fairleads help keep your ATV tidy and the winch always ready to use.

  • Durable Cover

As with any other heavy-duty tool or gadget, a durable cover is essential. It keeps the product away from dust, moisture, and punctures. If you have ever owned an ATV or a winch, you know that ATV winches get the wrong side of nature.

This is because they're constantly in contact with the outside environment. So a durable, protective cover is most necessary to maintain the winch's performance.

  • Pound Capacity

This might be the only feature most of you looked at first when reviewing the top products. The power capacity of an ATV winch is always covetable. It sets the tone for how well the winch performs regarding accuracy and support.

The higher the power capacity, the better the overall quality of an ATV winch. So let's look at the various power capacity measurements of an ATV winch.

  • 2500 Power Capacity

This is the closest to the lowest pound capacity of an ATV winch. Only low-powered ATVs can take on winches with such a power capacity. So if you have a lightweight ATV, buying something with a 2500 pound is essential.

These are more affordable and smaller in design. Plus, they are a great daily backup winch to use.

  • 4000 Power Capacity

ATV winches with a 4000-pound power capacity are more advanced and heavy-duty to use. These are perfect for high-powered jobs for construction or sports use.

Final Note

My Choice: Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35

For this guide, I decided to focus on a buyer whose knowledge about ATV winches is limited. That way, I was able to put into words the best features of a winch. ATV enthusiasts would know why an ATV winch is so important. But for everyone, you have to find something that's safe to use and durable.

That said, nothing else beats the competition as good as the Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35. It boasts of superior characteristics with minimal inconvenience. Based on our review, it's clear that this best ATV winch is the perfect performer of its kind. It's ergonomic, covetable, and everything in-between.


1. Choosing an ATV or recovery winch by Jesse Taylor.

2. How ATV Winches Work?

3. Tips about the best ATV winch.

About the Author Julio Lewis

Hi there, Julio Lewis here. Don’t you think it’s better to keep all your options open before you make a purchase? More often than not, you end buying products that you’ve already used or ones that have been recommended by close friends or family. In my reviews, I provide you with enough valid reasons to change that kind of thinking.

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