Badland Winch Review

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Last Updated on August 26, 2022

Anyone who is quite regular with off-roading will hold high value for a well-working winch. As it’s one of those tools that helps a lot to get out of a stuck situation in the middle of nowhere. 

Nowadays there are so many options, offering more or less depending on the price it comes for. However, a great winch selection will include factors such as:

  • Picking a suitable load capability based on the task you need to get done.
  • Enough powerful for working on different types of terrain.
  • Simple enough to figure out on your own, for rescue situations where you will hardly get help from anyone apart from yourself.

Despite not being a very old brand in the industry, Harbor Freight Badland does have some amazing winches to offer that provide more of these qualities we just shared.

And so, today in this badland winch review guide we can’t help but share with you the top 9 picks that are pretty promising for the price point, each in their way. Keep On Reading…

Badland Winch Review 

BADLAND APEX 12,000 Lb. Winch With Synthetic Rope And Wireless Remote

The first one is a 12,000 lbs. capacity winch with a wireless remote and a synthetic rope as well. Sounds like a decent enough deal already but there’s more to this under 700 dollars budget winch that makes it impressive.

The BADLAND APEX 12,000 Lb. is majorly targeted for conditions that are most extreme with a solid capacity and an 80 ft synthetic rope.

Not to forget the hook made of forged alloy steel. The combination makes it a worthy choice for harsh terrain situations.

It is also a badlands winch with waterproof ratings of both IP69K and IP68. And that refers to the fact that the winch will be great at both resisting water and dust.

Keep in mind that the winch is made to target heavy-duty loads. And so, it won’t be fast, rather the pulling is on the slightly slow side.

However, the tool pulls the load completely. It’s versatile for solo use, which means you don’t need help from another person.

Installation is easy and takes less time. And most with little experience of winch usage will be able to figure things out.

There are however some complaints regarding the size of the mounting bolts being too short. And you may have to consider getting a longer mounting plate for proper engagement with enough thread.

Overall, it’s a solid winch that will work for heavy pulling needs within the price range below 700 dollars price range.

BADLAND ZXR 12,000 lb. Winch with Wire Rope

The next one on the list is BADLAND ZXR 12,000 lbs. targeted for the main recovery of vehicles and somewhat tensioner for cable without tangling issues.

This is an under 500 dollars range badlands winch that comes with a 3-stage planetary gear system, safety ensuring brake with automatic load holding, and more.

One purpose for which this off-road winch will do a great job is pulling logs into the trailer. There will be a need for a log arch as well as a snatch block, and the task should be sorted.

You can easily tackle 5 to 7 thousand pounds of logs with the setup.

A little bit of disappointment is expected with the provided battery cable connections though. Not up to the mark and pretty much lacks in quality if being fair.

And so, expect the connections to catch corrosion if you are not someone who cares much about maintenance. A simple swapping with new cables will keep clicking connection problems aside.

There is also some heat generation that is likely to happen whenever the winch is used for too long and for hard winching.

Overall, the badland ZXR 12000 lbs. is promising for the price and serves several winch usages.

Badland ZXR 12,000 lbs Video Review

If you prefer to watch a video review of this winch, below is an excellent video review with pros & cons.

BADLAND ZXR 9000 Lbs. Winch

This time the capacity gets a little lower towards the 9000 lbs.

However, there are surely some great features to support decent usage out of the BADLAND ZXR 9000 Lbs. The nuts and bolts are provided for a simple fairlead mount that could be done by anyone.

Keep in mind that you will need to purchase a few items separately that are not included in the package. For example, the fairlead mounting plate.

However, those who don’t have much experience with such assembly, won’t love the illustrations provided which do not represent the actual process.

This winch will be able to tackle trailer usage pretty well. But it’s not meant for exceptional performance when used for equipment or trucks.

It is also a winch with reasonable line speed. And the price point is also exceptional for an average person’s use.

For long-term usage, we would recommend you invest in a better lead though.

The wireless control makes operation safer and more convenient as well. For the price, the BADLAND ZXR 9000 Lbs. provides great power.

BADLAND ZXR 5000 lb. UTV/Powersport Winch

At this point, it just makes sense to get the budget even lower and tell you about a harbor freight winch that is below 250 dollars range.

And it’s the BADLAND ZXR 5000 lbs winch which is an expected capacity for the price. This can be a great secondary winch that you can get for the time you save for a bigger winch.

Because many do like the idea of waiting and saving for a heavy-duty winch instead of pouring a big amount without understanding the winch usage. From that perspective, this one can make a great choice.

You will also find this winch pretty good at handling UTV/ATV. And honestly, this much usage out of a winch costing the lowest is already impressive.

However, please don’t have expectations for durability and longevity. Because that is something less likely to be positive. Still, it’s a good value winch that comes with all the necessary instructions for simple wiring.

This 5000 lbs winch will do great for compact SUVs and daily driving where there’s hardly a need for a big radiator-blocking winch.

Overall, the BADLAND ZXR 5000 lbs winch is a lightweight winch that provides surprisingly enough power for pulling.

BADLAND ZXR 3500 lb. ATV/Powersport Winch

Next is the BADLAND ZXR 3500 lbs. We have entered the low-range winch category and this one is packed with plenty of power for many low-duty pulling chores.

This is meant for boat loading as well as recovery of ATVs. You can also get some traversing tasks out of it through tough terrains.

You get a remote switch, a 3-stage planetary gear system as well as wire rope with aircraft quality making. 

Less current is drawn thanks to the magnet motor that accompanies this setup. For the price point, you are getting quite a lot.

The Bradland winch installation process is super straightforward for anyone to figure out. While operating, the winch hardly makes any noise until you push it too further than its capabilities.

During winter, you can use the winch for snowplows with pickup trucks. Also, you have scopes for preference-wise configuration with reversible polarity, switch as well as orientation of the line.

Mostly the winch serves with smooth operation for pulling with plenty of power. It’s a great sidekick winch that you can keep for this price point.

BADLAND 2500 lbs. ATV/Utility Electric Winch

The BADLAND 2500 lbs. winch is a low capacity, less pricey option targeted towards users who need very minimal pulling for simple to execute chores.

For example, it is great for pulling the 5th wheel hitch out of a pickup truck or transferring outboards from one boat to another. And many similar tasks like this.

You get a permanent motor magnet, a single-stage planter gear system, and safety ensuring brake. 

All the regular stuff we get to see in typical pulling performance provider winches. There’s also roller fairlead and wire rope.

The provided wireless remote control responses from 20 ft distance at max. The response is not bad, pretty fast. And hence, it’s a safe-to-use mechanism with fewer risks of danger.

Without any load, the winch however shows some tangle and kink issues when rewinding the cable. And that’s a bit of a shame. 

This can be avoided by simply pulling by hand. So, we recommend that. Also, some usages may require you to drill an additional mounting hole, as the plate placement is slightly awkward.

The BADLAND 2500 lbs. are a low-cost option for tasks that demand less than average pulling capacity. 

It is a great option where you don’t really need heavy winches with the discomfort of blocking and heavyweights.

BADLAND ZXR 2500 lb. ATV/Utility Electric Winch

The BADLAND ZXR 2500 lb. is one of the best winches under the 100-dollar price range with features that are better than the cost.

Obviously, for the price point, it accompanies a single-stage planetary gear system. So, the line speed will be a little less. But decent enough for the pulling tasks that the winch targets.

This is going to work great for not just basic ATV uses but also in pulling huge furniture pieces. You can have them in the pickup bed easily with a winch with this much capacity.

A tiny wooden frame that is detachable will help in holding the winch in place for such pickup truck bed loading usages.

Also, it comes with a remote control that responds well enough. It helps users who are not capable of handling winch due to physical limitations. Not to mention the flexibility of working in hard-to-reach spots.

The winch is also incredible in terms of fighting weather conditions. It’s good at resisting rust and so, there’s going to be great usage out of it for boat roof loading sorts of jobs.

Overall, the BADLAND ZXR 2500 lb. is another low-cost winch that does excellent at what it is expected to do at this price point.

BADLAND 2000 Lb. Marine Electric Winch

Time for a marine winch that targets mostly boat trailer-relevant tasks, and it’s the BADLAND 2000 lbs winch.

As the name suggests, it is designed for watercraft and with the compact electrical body, the unit provides weather-resistant performance. 

There are molded handles for anyone to easily carry it. And the housing proves to be a high impact for surviving in water conditions without issues.

It is not the fastest, pretty slow to be more accurate. But the winch can complete its tasks pretty successfully. 

You will find the unit simple enough to use. There’s only the need for dropping it over the ball hitch. And then simply spooling the line to the item you want to pull will be enough to set it up.

The winch comes with a long enough power cord. And so, there should not be any issues with powering it up. Operating from a safe distance is also available with a winch thanks to the provided remote.

The BADLAND 2000 Lb. Marine winch will suit anyone who just needs to take care of little pulling tasks for a fraction of the cost but still would like to invest in something good for its price.

BADLAND 1500 Lb. Capacity 120V AC Electric Winch

Last but not least, the BADLAND 1500 Lb. will make a great garage or shop usable secondary winch with a great number of control benefits as well as nice thermal overload protection.

You can use the winch for moving disabled vehicles easily. Because it comes with remote control, the movements are easy to make. 

And you can view the whole setup operating from so many angles. The provided aircraft steel cable is well made as well. And it is long enough (almost 35 ft) to get the job done.

It is a winch with a pulling capacity of 1500 lbs. You can use it for moving so much stuff, not just typical usage. For example, it can help you drag a hot tub, move furniture, and so on.

Overall, the BADLAND 1500 Lb. is a great reasonable winch option to try for a bunch of pulling activities, both typical and non-typical ones.

Video: Harbor Freight Badland Winch Upgrade You Must Do

Insight of The Brand Badland

First and foremost, who makes badland winches? 

The America-based manufacturer Harbor Freight Tools is the maker of Badland winches.  

There are around 800 stores of the brand which are located in various states of the USA (around 47 to be more specific) with 17k people working for them.

The winches provided by Badland are manufactured in China. However, the planning is based in California. 

Now the brand is fairly new in the industry. And there’s a pretty tough competition going on right at the moment.

Despite that, Badland proved to be quite celebrated for progressing fast. And almost provides solid features similar to all the renowned brands already existing in the industry for much longer.

The major reasons behind badland being so popular and reliable are:

  1. There’s a wide range of pulling powers that the brand covers serving multiple usages.
  2. Amazing with manufacturing, specifically heavy duty uses targeted winches.
  3. Quite versatile in terms of product range making it stand out.
  4. The installation process is always simple with maximum winches from Badland
  5. It’s not as expensive as the rivals but does provide some of the high-end winch features.
  6. Offers options within a sustainable price point that are well-suitable even for professional usage.
  7. The 2 years warranty support showcases their confidence in providing quality, which is rare in a brand that offers winches for such a reasonable price point.

And all of these points just speak enough in favor of this new-to-the-industry brand. That is however fastest at attaining trustworthiness from its users. 

You can find more details on the brand by visiting the badland winch website. 

Wrapping Up

And we are almost by the end of today’s one brand-specific guide on badland winch review with 9 of their finest picks.

As you can already tell, we have tried to combine multiple priced options and bring out details keeping it in mind. 

Hopefully, you can find one winch that will match perfectly with your budget preferences. Apart from the budget, there are other crucial factors too that you should deeply consider before making a final call.

We will catch you soon in another similar guide, take care!

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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