If you’re like other wise offroaders, you won’t dare to hit the trail without a winch. Regardless of trail or weather conditions, you need that pulling power to get yourself out of a jam. But when winter hits and you’re contending with snow and ice, having a high-quality winch is even more critical. Whether you’re gearing up for winter riding or you’re looking for ways to spend that shiny new gift card, you’ll want to check out these top picks in 4×4 winches.
Smittybilt X20 10K Gen2 Winch
When you want a tough-as-nails winch that can handle it all, look no further than the Smittybilt X20. This winch has a rated line pull of 10,000 pounds, operated by a 6.6 HP motor. Its synthetic rope cable measures 98.5 feet, offering lightweight pulling capacity with a higher break strength than steel. The X20 also includes remote control operation and boasts an IP68 waterproof rating. That means it’s sealed from dust and can handle extended immersion in liquids deeper than one meter, making it more than capable of getting you unstuck or pulling you over extremely rocky terrain. The ultralight X20 weighs in at 67 pounds.
Smittybilt XRC Gen2 9.K Winch
Another excellent Smittybilt winch besides the X20 is the XRC Gen2 9.5K. This model is ideal for off-roaders who still need a winch but don’t venture into super-challenging conditions. The XRC Gen2 9.5K is also powered by a 6.6 HP motor and features a wire rope cable with a line pull rating of 9,500 pounds. like the X20, it’s also remote control operated and waterproof. It has an IP67 rating, so it’s also dustproof and can operate while submerged in up to one meter of water. The XRC Gen2 9.5K winch weighs 78 pounds and features a UV-resistant black powder coat finish.
Warn 16.5TI Thermoelectric Winch
If you’re in search of a winch with greater pulling capacity, take a look at Warn’s 16.5 TI Thermoelectric model. Its 4.6 HP motor is more than capable of pulling 16,500 pounds with the included wire rope cable. The 16.5 TI model also features extreme-duty sealing to keep its interior components protected from the elements. Like the Smittybilt models, it also offers remote-control operation and an LED indicator. Weighing in at 138 pounds, this winch is undoubtedly for the heavy-duty truck that needs extra pulling power.
When you’re shopping for winter gear for your off-roading vehicle, don’t forget to look at wheels and tires. You don’t necessarily need a tire specifically marketed for snow, but a rugged all-terrain model like the Toyo Open Country A/T III is a smart pick. Look for tires made with a durable compound, grippy traction and siping to disperse liquids. These three features can help keep your rig sure and steady whether you’re riding on ice or snow. And whatever winches, tires and wheels you choose, be sure to get them at a trusted aftermarket parts dealer that specializes in off-road parts and accessories.