Ultimate Guide To Land Rover Winches

Disclaimer: We may earn a small commission from sponsored links in this article at no additional cost to you.

Last Updated on June 30, 2022

I’m not going to lecture you people on what the best land rover winch can do for you. You should already know all about it. 

For those who don’t know, it’s what makes your life easy when your land rover gets stuck in the mud.

But you have to know what makes a good winch. Consider these factors before buying,

  • Type of rope
  • Its pulling capacity i.e., motor power
  • Wired or Wireless
  • Waterproof design
  • Control system mount

And these are the factors I used to measure different winches to find out the best of them. 

Best Land Rover Winch Review

Smittybilt X2O Comp Winch


  • Built on Smittybilt’s Gen2 technology – offers better performance
  • A pulling capacity of 12000lbs; enough to pull an expedition 110 Land Rover
  • The wireless remote control makes it easy to work with
  • Got a strong synthetic cable that is repairable if broken
  • Gear ratio is 265:1
  • Dynamic braking reduces drum temperature and protects components
  • This winch is rated IP68 which means it’ll work under half-meter water


  • Crossbar is vulnerable to breaking
  • Hook removal requires you to cut the rope

Smittybilt’s winches have been in the market for as long as I can remember. This X20 Gen2 wireless/wired winch is something worth considering.

The remote control and the waterproof solenoid design will have your back when things get tough in the mud. Remember, the whole winch isn’t waterproof, it’s just the solenoid which is what you need.

As the winch has a capacity of 12k, you want to limit the gross weight of your vehicle to 3 tonnes. Also, the synthetic rope will only last so long. Check it once in a while to prepare for replacement.

The remote control has a reach of up to 12 feet. But it has a history of malfunctioning. It’ll either drain the battery when not working or completely stop functioning altogether. This issue is not present in the competitor winches, such as the Warn VR EVO (coming up next).

How good is this Smittybilt winch? I wouldn’t claim it to be the best option you have, but it’s a good winch. More importantly, it’s made for those who haven’t yet got their hands dirty with customizations and whatnot. 

It’s priced nicely considering its set of features and limitations.

WARN 103253 VR EVO 10-S Electric 12V DC Winch 


  • Newer 3rd gen VR Warn winch with a more efficient motor
  • Draws significantly less amp compared to previous generations
  • Winch has 10k lbs pulling capacity
  • Works underwater, thanks to the IP68 rating
  • A low gear reduction ratio of 218:1 results in energy saving
  • Both wired and wireless control are available
  • Rope is a synthetic one replacing the steel rope of the previous generation
  • This rope is thick, strong, and 90 feet long


  • Pricier than its competitors but you can’t fault it for lack of quality
  • Can only use it with lighter SUVs with less than 2.5 tonnes of gross weight
  • Slower rolling out speed than the Smittybilt X20 winch

Warn is also a company that sells Chinese manufactured winches just like Smittybilt. However, it feels a lot better when you use it. It just feels more substantial in every way.

Opting for a synthetic rope in place of the steel cable was a better choice. It lasts much longer, and if it rips apart, it can be reattached with a proper braiding technique.

It doesn’t feel faster on load, which is understandable since it draws almost 144 amps less than before.

The Albright control pack installation is proven to be amateur-friendly. And it’s got an overall better remote control system than Smittybilt.

It also comes with a hook but unlike the Smittybilt, you can easily remove the hook with a tool.

Keep in mind that it’s priced almost $300 more than the X20 Smittybilt winch. Despite all that, Warn VR EVO 10K lbs is the best winch for land rover, thanks to top-class build quality.

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC Winch | 9,500 Pound Load Capacity


  • 9,500 load capacity winch can handle the usual land rovers fairly easily
  • 94-feet long pulling cable
  • Cable is a steel wire rope that is sufficiently strong
  • Steel wire ropes handle heavier weights better
  • Waterproof with an IP67 rating allows the winch to stay under 1-meter water for over 30 minutes
  • State-of-the-art solenoid is rated 500AMP
  • XRC models allow you to position your control pack in 3 places
  • It’s certainly smaller, quieter and easier to store


  • Gear ratio of 168.25:1 which is pretty high compared to the two above
  • Higher reduction gear ratio results in a slower speed than the X20 model
  • XRC models get hotter during operation, which degrades the performance

Smittybilt’s XRC winches are the standard winches with fewer features. But they’re a solid bunch both in terms of build quality and customer experience. Although they are much slower in action, these winches won’t break your bank with an under $500 price tag.

It’s got all the basic features such as the waterproof design. That is undoubtedly helpful when you’re stuck in muddy water. You won’t need to buy separate accessories. All the required wiring is given with the package for installation

You cannot fault it for the basic things such as durability and ease of use. However, it can only be controlled through the wire since there is no wireless mode available

Be that as it may, the price is pretty, don’t you think? If you want to go wireless, WARN’s offering is a better option.

If your land rover’s gross weight is less than 2 tonnes, you should be pretty content with it. For those who don’t need a heavy-duty winch, even with the limitations, this is the best option.


Which of the three winches made the best impression on you? I have a clear winner. Despite having a higher pulling capacity and a lower price range, the Smittybilt X20 lost to the Warn VR EVO.

For the overall construction and quality, Warn VR EVO is the best land rover winch. However, if you have a heavy Land Rover like an Extender 110, you’ll want to get the Smittybilt X20. You’ll sacrifice a level of quality, but don’t put Smittybilt winches down! It’s a good alternative since you’re getting a faster winch for a low price.

Land Rover 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.

Leave a Comment