Best UTV Winch Review & Guide 2022

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Last Updated on August 26, 2022

Deciding on the best UTV winch is sometimes quite overwhelming as the market is saturated with a lot of brands and models.

Good for you!

In this write-up, I’m going to narrow down the list by selecting the 7 best UTV winches considering the following parameters –

  • The suitable load capacity.
  • Waterproof rating.
  • Performance.
  • Construction quality and durability.
  • Ease of installation.
  • Available versions based on load capacity and rope type.
  • Cost-effectiveness.

I am going to mention some of the practical benefits and drawbacks of the units. I believe this will help you make an educated purchase decision. Despite having a few hiccups, these are undoubtedly some of the top-notch UTV winches.

Now, let’s get down to business. Shall we?

Best UTV Winch Reviews

1. Superwinch 3500 lbs UTV Winch 

Pros

  • A compact winch. Hence, it’s a good fit for all the UTVs out there, considering the size.
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to install. The rotatable motor terminal makes it even easier to install it in a tight space.
  • A well-functioning corded remote (10′) and a handlebar mount come with the kit.
  • It’s powerful enough to serve the purpose just fine.
  • Every component comes with the purchase to make your life comfortable during the assembling process.
  • This winch runs relatively quiet. 
  • Effortless to operate, including the free spooling clutch.
  • The well-constructed motor is quite efficient in getting the job done with power and faster cooling ability.
  • The drum is constructed with reinforced steel that minimizes the chance of rope breaking.
  • It boasts a weather-sealed solenoid that is protected by a circuit breaker.
  • This winch is equipped with wider gear that helps it to engage better and lasts long.

Cons

  • Pricey compared to some other similar winches from different brands.
  • No wireless remote control comes with the purchase.
  • The cable of the remote control should have been a bit longer.
  • It’s not super fast. However, it’s not amongst the slowest winches either.

This Superwinch is one of the chart-toppers for plowing and, of course, recovering a UTV from tough conditions. Terra 35 is the 3500 lbs load capacity steel wire rope (50′) version of the Terra series. As it’s a 3500 lbs version, you should limit the vehicle’s gross weight up to 2333 lbs during the operation to get the best results.

Besides this 3500 lbs steel cable version, the Terra series has some more models to offer like

  • Terra 35 SR. (3500 lbs weight capacity, Synthetic rope (50′) )
  • Terra 45 (4500 lbs load capacity, Steel rope (55′) )

All the above versions, including this Terra 35, are constructed with the necessary features like all-steel planetary gear, mechanical load holding, and dynamic brake, cam action-free spooling clutch system. All these play a role in making the winching process secure and smooth.

So, this Superwinch Terra 35 winch has all those essential qualities to be one of the best UTV winches, without any doubt. Yes, the price could have been better. Nonetheless, the winch’s brand reputation and overall performance make it justifiable if you are looking for some quality UTV winches other than the expensive Warn winches.

2. WARN VRX 45-S Powersport Winch

Pros

  • With its IP68-rated waterproof sealing, the unit is safe from water and other outside elements.
  • The kit has a quality handheld remote and a high-quality dash-mounted control switch. Both work perfectly.
  • It’s not too big and quite ok to fit easily with most of the UTV models.
  • Easy to install.
  • Overall high-quality construction as expected from a WARN winch.
  • It is equipped with standard features like a three-stage planetary gear system, mechanical brake, and easy-to-operate hub-style clutch dial.
  • The package includes all the necessary connectors and hardware.
  • The instruction manual contains an easy-to-follow wiring diagram that makes the wiring a lot more straightforward.
  • Corrosion-resistant construction.

Cons

  • Although it comes with a remote and dash-mounted control switch, it doesn’t provide a handlebar-mounted rocker switch with the purchase.
  • Pricey. The quality of Warn winches justifies the bill pretty well, though.

When it’s about pulling the hardest working UTV from a tough condition, the WARN VRX 45-S winch is one of the finest options out there. As this particular winch offers 4500 lbs weight rating, you should keep the gross weight of the UTV up to 3000 lbs to get the best results.

As the VRX series targets mostly the power sport vehicles, it has some more versions to offer varying weight ratings. Here they are –

  • VRX 25 (2500 lbs weight capacity, steel cable)
  • VRX 25-S (2500 lbs weight capacity, synthetic rope )
  • VRX 35 (3500 lbs load capacity, steel cable)
  • VRX 35-S (3500 lbs load capacity, synthetic rope)
  • VRX 45 (45 lbs load capacity, steel cable (50′))

Except for this VRX 45-S (50′ cable) and VRX 45, none of the other versions offer either a corded remote or the dash-mounted control switch. However, they offer only the Handlebar-mounted rocker switch that works flawlessly. 

While this VRX 45-S and VRX 45 are suitable for hardest-working UTVs, the other versions are suitable for smaller UTVs. I suggest buying at least the 3500 lbs capacity for the UTVs.

Regarding the winch size, it’s a bit bigger than my first choice Superwinch Terra series.

3. Champion UTV 2000 lbs winch

Pros

  • It’s compact, hence a good fit for almost all the UTV models.
  • Straightforward setup process.
  • It runs pretty quietly.
  • This one is a super lightweight unit. Having a lightweight unit is always useful as every pound counts when you are using a power sports vehicle like UTV.
  • From the maintenance point of view, the overall construction, including the 4-way roller fairlead, is quite helpful to do the maintenance comfortably.
  • Easily accessible free spooling clutch, which is easy to grip and operate.
  • Various versions of winches from this brand are readily available.
  • The price is next to nothing.

Cons

  • No handheld remote comes with the unit.
  • A bit noisy.
  • It implements a single-stage planetary gear system instead of a three-stage planetary gear.
  • The motor tends to get overheated at times and demands frequent cooling.

Champion is quite a popular brand among off-roaders because of its ability to provide quality products at reasonable prices. This particular winch is no exception. It has a load capacity of 2000 lbs, meaning to minimize the rope breaking and get the optimized result, you should keep the vehicle’s total weight up to 1333 lbs during the recovery process.

It’s quite evident that this 2000 lbs winch is suitable only for light-duty jobs or to use with smaller UTVs. Fortunately, Champion offers some other models as well that are suitable for heavy-duty jobs and for use with the hardest working UTVs.

Besides this 2000 lbs steel cable (49′) model, Champion offers the following other power sports vehicle-friendly units –

  • 3000 lbs (steel cable (45.90′) goes through a four-way roller fairlead)
  • 3500 lbs (synthetic rope (50′) goes through a hawse fairlead)
  • 4000 lbs (steel cable (49′) goes through a 4-way roller fairlead)
  • 4500 lbs (steel cable (38′) goes through a 4-way roller fairlead)

The 4500 lbs version offers wireless remote control and also a handlebar-mounted rocker switch. So, if you are spending a little bit more than what this 2000 lbs version cost is not a big deal for you; better go for the 4500 lbs model to get the maximum weight capacity and other benefits.

Despite having a few hiccups, this particular winch from Champion is quite a handy budget option for using with a UTV.

4. ZEAK 3500 lbs Electric Winch

Pros

  • This winch is super compact and lightweight compared to other models of different brands having the same load capacity.
  • Relatively easy install process.
  • A handy and easy-to-grip wireless remote control and a handlebar-mounted rocker switch come with the purchase.
  • The package includes everything you require to install the unit, including a mounting bracket and winch mounting hardware.
  • A weather-sealed solenoid comes with the kit.
  • A circuit breaker that comes with the unit enhances safety during the winching process.
  • Very clear instruction manual.
  • The price is a bargain.
  • Support from the company is excellent.

Cons

  • You may have to buy your machine-specific mounting plate.
  • Some users found the wireless remote glitchy. However, the company is quite fast in responding to the replacement request.
  • The control box might seem bigger in your case. Nonetheless, as it’s relocatable, fitting it at any convenient place is easy.

This ZEAK 3500 lbs synthetic cable (50′) winch is best for recovering a UTV keeping the total weight up to 2333 lbs to get the best results and to minimize the chance of rope breaking. 

Like every other quality option, this one also features a three-stage planetary gear system, dynamic brake, and convenient free spooling clutch to ensure a safe and smooth winching experience.

No wonder besides this 3500 lbs weight rating winch, it offers some other versions for UTVs varying in load capacity –

  • ZEAK 2500 lbs (Synthetic rope (50′))
  • ZEAK 2500 lbs (Steel cable (50′))
  • ZEAK 3500 lbs (Steel cable (50′))
  • ZEAK 5500 lbs (Steel cable (50′))

Except for the 3500 lbs models, none of the other models offer a wireless remote control with the purchase. You can buy them separately, though.

This ZEAK winch is one of the best UTV winches for the price. However, when it’s about buying a supreme winch, this one is not the ideal one for you. I would suggest going for the WARN VRX series I mentioned above.

5. Superwinch LT400ATV Winch

Pros

  • Powerful winch.
  • Compact design and lightweight. As a result, it fits the UTVs quite easily.
  • It comes with the required hardware for installing it with ease.
  • A handheld remote and a handlebar rocker switch come with the kit.
  • The remote control boasts a substantially long (15′) cable compared to other ones on my list.
  • The whole unit is protected by a circuit breaker to enhance safety.
  • A three-stage planetary gear system, automatic braking, and free spooling clutch are in place to ensure smooth and safe winching.
  • Reasonably priced.

Cons

  • Installing this unit might seem a bit troublesome due to the poor wiring diagram provided by the company.
  • You might need more wires to reach the battery.

Superwinch LT4000ATV winch has 4000 lbs weight rating. So, it works best if you limit the vehicle’s gross weight up to 2666 lbs.

While this one has a 50′ steel cable that goes through a four-way roller fairlead, this series offers another version having a 50′ synthetic rope that goes through a hawse fairlead.

Overall, considering the price and company reputation, this winch is worth buying.

6. SuperATV Black Ops 3500 lbs Weight Capacity Winch

Pros

  • Compact design and doesn’t weigh too much.
  • Installing this winch is a breeze for someone having prior experience.
  • Waterproof design. It’s entirely sealed and water-resistant.
  • A handy free spooling clutch works just fine and is easy to access.
  • The purchase includes mounting hardware, a stopper, a mounting plate, a rocker mount, wires, etc.
  • The kit has a well-functioning wireless remote control and a handlebar rocker switch.

Cons

  • The customer service is not up to the mark.
  • The price is on the higher side.
  • Poor instruction manual.
  • Several users found the fairlead smaller and had to buy a separate one to fit their mounting bracket.
  • Although this unit has a waterproof design, it should not be submerged for long.

This SuperATV 3500 lbs weight capacity winch is ideal for use with a UTV keeping its gross weight up to 2333 lbs during the towing process. It features a 50′ long synthetic rope that goes through a hawse fairlead. 

Although a synthetic rope requires more maintenance, it’s safer than the steel cable if it breaks under load.

This unit is ideal for dealing with light to medium-duty jobs. If you are looking for a heavier-duty winch for your UTV, SuperATV released some more powerful options as well.

  • SuperATV 4500 lbs capacity winch (50′ synthetic rope)
  • SuperATV 6000 lbs capacity winch (50′ synthetic rope)

All the above versions come with similar hardware and add-ons like a stopper. Understandably they feature different horsepower. While this 3500 lbs version features a 1.2 HP motor, the 4500 lbs one features a 1.3 HP motor, and the 6000 lbs load capacity winch boasts a 1.9 HP motor.

I believe the price could have been better considering the overall construction and performance. However, everything is quite ok to consider it a perfect UTV winch apart from the price.

7. Mile Marker PE5000 Winch

Pros

  • IP68 rated winch. Meaning it’s safe from water and other outside materials.
  • A handy handheld and a handlebar remote control come with the unit.
  • Compact size.
  • This unit is internally sealed with an O ring that helps protect the critical parts from water, mud, and other elements.
  • Powerful and relatively fast line speed.
  • Acceptable price.

Cons

  • A wireless remote at this price range would have made this unit handier.

Mile Marker PE5000 winch is a 5000 lbs rated winch. So, as per the expert’s advice, you will want to limit the total weight of the UTV to 3333 lbs. This will enhance safety by minimizing the change of rope breaking underloads and also increases the performance.

Like every other quality winch, this one also offers a three-stage planetary gear system, a useful, easy-to-use free spooling clutch, and an automatic load-holding brake.

This one is another good option for using with the hardest working UTV as it has a weight rating of 5000 lbs. It offers an affordable price as well.

Final Verdict

If spending a bit extra to get the best UTV winch is not an issue for you, you should go for the WARN VRX winch. It’s the premium quality winch at a premium price.

On the other hand, my chart-topper Superwinch 3500 lbs winch is the best overall in terms of quality and price.

The other units I’ve listed here are also some of the best rated efficient winches out there.

Now it’s your turn!

Best utv winch

How to Choose the Best UTV Winch

However, choosing the best winch for your UTV may not be a piece of cake, especially if you are a newbie. Before purchasing a winch for your UTV, you need to know some key factors about a winch.

In this guide, I will be talking about those crucial factors following which you can bring the best winch for your UTV.

Winch capacity

The first thing you should take into your consideration is the weight capacity of your winch. This means, how much weight your winch will be able to handle. You need to bring a winch that has 1.5 times higher pulling capacity than the weight of your vehicle. 

For instance, the average weight of a 4-seat UTV is approximately 2000 lbs. So, you need to bring a winch that has the ability to pull at least 3000 lbs. If your winch has a higher capacity, then it is a plus point for you.

Winch type

The next thing you need to consider is the type of winch. Basically, there are two types of winch available in the market. The electric winch and the hydraulic winch. Each winch type has its individual ups and downs.

The electric winch is the best choice for personal use. They are the best winch type for using for a short time. If you use an electric winch for a long time, then you may face an overheating problem. The electric winch needs to be powered by your vehicle’s electrical system. 

On the other hand, the hydraulic winch is used to deal with heavy-weight vehicles. They are powered by the engine of your vehicle and you have to pay a good amount of money to get a hydraulic winch.

how to choose the best utv winch

Cable type and length

Your winch cable and length are always important as they play a vital role while recovering your UTV. When you talk about winch cable, you have two options. Either you can pick the steel cable or synthetic rope. Both cable types have their individual pros and cons.

The steel cable is used to deal with heavy-weight vehicles. They are cheap and also require less maintenance. However, you need to follow proper safety precautions while using this type of cable. Otherwise, you may cut your hand. 

On the other hand, synthetic rope is the most used and popular winch cable type. This type of cable is convenient to use and requires more maintenance. Also, the synthetic rope is a bit expensive.

Basically, Most of the winches offer 80 to 100 ft cable. It is recommended not to go for the longer cable as the shorter cable has better pulling capacity. In this case, you can keep an extra piece of cable and add it when needed. 

Mounting system

As you need to mount the winch on your UTV, it is important to give the mounting options a quick check. Basically, there are three options for mounting a winch. The bumper mount, multi-mount and winch bumper.

Obviously, you have a plan about mounting a winch on your UTV. Make sure that the winch you are bringing can be mounted according to your plan. Otherwise, it can be a burden for you.

Motors

You will find there are two types of motor available in a winch. Either it will be a series wound motor or a permanent magnet motor.

The permanent magnet motor is the best option for light to medium-duty tasks. They are less expensive. On the other hand, the series wound motor is for heavy-duty jobs. This type of motor is expensive. You should go according to your needs.

what is the best winch for a side by side

Winch Drivetrains

Well, I am actually talking about the winch gearing options. Basically, there are three gear options for a winch. They are-: Planetary gear, Worm gear and Spun gear.

Among all three types of gear, the most used one is planetary gear. They are low in weight, compact in size and also cheap. At the present time, almost all the winches are equipped with planetary gear. You will have a good winching experience with this gear type.

Wireless remote

It is not mandatory but recommended to look for a winch that holds a wireless remote. The wireless remote will allow operating your winch from a safe distance. As a result, there will be less possibility of being injured and your safety will be ensured. 

Waterproof feature

Bringing a waterproof winch is always an advantage. If you own a winch that is waterproof, then you will be able to use it in tough conditions. You will not have to worry about the availability of your winch. There are a lot of winches in the market that come with IP67 or IP68 waterproof ratings.

Warranty

Try to purchase a winch that holds a warranty. If you purchase a winch that offers a warranty, then it is likely to stay with you for a long time. you will be able to change it in case of any accidents.

the best side by side utv winches

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average weight of a UTV?

Well, the average weight of a 2-seat UTV is approximately 1500 pounds and the average weight of a 4-seat UTV is about 2000 pounds.

What size of winch is needed for my UTV?

It is recommended to bring a winch that holds 1.5 times higher capacity than the weight of your vehicle. According to experts, you should get a winch that is capable of pulling 3000 pounds to deal with your UTV.

Steel cable or synthetic rope? Which one will be better for my UTV?

Well, both of the above-mentioned cable types will do your job. If you don’t have a budget problem and can provide proper maintenance, then synthetic rope will be the best option.

Longer cable or shorter cable? Which one will be more convenient to pull my UTV?

The shorter the cable is, the more pulling power you will receive. However, you can keep an extra piece of cable with you so that you can add it to your main cable when needed.

best side by side winch

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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