If you need a winch for those small to medium winching jobs, the last thing you’ll want to do is spend a small fortune on an expensive, bulky unit that’s hard to move around.
Not only are these units not practical if you have winching jobs while out on the move, but they will also make your job even harder.
A portable winch is the perfect solution to your problem. However, with so many different products available, how can you be sure that you’ve found the best portable winch for your needs?
How can you be certain that your chosen portable winch will be powerful enough for jobs either around your home or while traveling in your vehicle?
We’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of products to select the 5 best portable winches for all your winching needs.
The portable winches below will be more than a match for your winching jobs either while out and about or around your property.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
The Champion ATV/UTV winch kit gives you everything you need in a pinch and at a competitive price.
This particular winch comes with a weight capacity of 3,000 pounds, which should be more than enough to cope with your light to medium jobs.
This particular Champion winch comes with a powerful 12V motor that delivers 1.3 horsepower. This gives you more than enough pulling power for jobs while on the go. The perfect solution if you’re looking for a portable winch that would be ideal for work or jobs around your property.
The cable of this particular portable winch measured 49 feet and has been designed to be as heavy-duty as possible. The cable itself has been designed to be resistant to fraying, even when in use on highly abrasive terrain.
The super-duty aircraft cable features a rugged, latched clevis hook which is also heavy-duty. It comes with a range of bonus accessories to ensure you’ve got everything you need.
The Champion winch kit is a compact size for added portability. Combined with a range of great features, this small portable winch packs a punch when it comes to power.
This particular portable winch will be a versatile addition to your toolkit that will be more than powerful enough for any situation you may encounter.
Another great feature of this particular portable winch is that it comes with a 2 year limited warranty. Excellent if you’re looking for a product that will give you more peace of mind!
The manufacturer also offers their customers free lifetime technical support to be there for you when you need them most. Perfect if you’re looking for a quality product.
- 12V portable winch - comes with a powerful 1.3 horsepower motor
- Large weight capacity - suitable for use up to 3,000 pounds
- Heavy-duty materials - super-duty 49 foot cable and heavy-duty clevis hook
- Compact - portable size for storing in your vehicle
- Customer support - free lifetime technical support and 2 year limited warranty
- Not the best controls - some customers found they had to push hard on the controls
The WARN PullzAll Corded 120V AC Portable Electric Winch with Steel Cable is the perfect fit for keeping in your vehicle.
This particular portable winch is suitable for pulling or lifting up to 1,000 pounds. This makes it the perfect choice for those light or medium winching jobs that you might encounter while out camping or around your home.
A great feature of this particular portable winch is that it comes with a variable speed control trigger.
Ideal if you want to adjust the speed it’s able to winch at depending on the load you have the portable winch hooked up to.
The speed control trigger also comes with an electronic load limiter and LED indicator so that you can easily stay in control. The load limiter prevents you from overloading the portable winch and potentially damaging it while in use.
The WARN portable winch features a reverse control button. This will be a handy feature for giving you the precise movements that you need, especially when moving heavier loads. The portable winch has been designed to be as heavy-duty as possible and comes with a swiveling anchor hook to give you a secure hold.
This particular portable winch only uses the highest quality materials. It uses a durable steel cable that measures 15 feet. This will give you more than enough rope for those light to medium winching jobs either around the home or while out on the road. The WARN portable winch also features an industrial-grade front hook. So you can stay reassured that this portable winch will be more than a match for any moving jobs you need to complete.
Another great feature of this particular portable winch is that there is a range of accessories available to match with it. These include the PullzAll sling, PullzAll rigging kit, PullzAll rigging cable, and the PullzAll car charger.
While these are available at an additional cost, they will combine with the high-quality portable winch for a versatile travel winching kit.
- 120V portable winch - powerful motor for even the most demanding jobs
- Full control - includes variable speed, reversible, electronic load limiter, and LED indicator
- Heavy-duty materials - steel cable and industrial-grade winch hook
- 15 foot cable - suitable for a variety of winching jobs
- Additional accessories available - combine with a range of accessories for the ultimate portable winching kit
- Additional accessories cost extra - you’ll need to spend more money to expand the winching kit
The WARN Handheld Portable Drill Winch with 40 Foot Synthetic Rope is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a more compact model.
This particular portable winch is small but mighty and has a large load capacity of up to 750 pounds. Perfect if you’re looking for a handheld winch that you can stow away in your vehicle in case of emergencies!
The great thing about this particular portable winch is that it’s available in both steel wire and synthetic rope. This allows you to choose the portable winch that best suits your needs and the particular terrain you need it for. Perfect if you have a preference when it comes to the type of cable you’d prefer to be using.
This particular portable winch features a 40 foot rope, integrated hawse fairlead, and rigging hooks at both the front and rear of the device. This gives you everything you need to pull or lift anything you need to.
The portable winch features a variable speed so that you can perfectly control it when you start to winch. This is based on distance, load, and speed of the drill needed to power the portable winch.
The WARN handheld portable winch makes use of a free-spool clutch. This makes rigging up even faster and easier than portable winches that don’t come with this feature. Perfect if you’re looking for a portable winch that’s going to be easy to use!
- Large weight capacity - capable of pulling or lifting up to 750 pounds
- Steel or synthetic rope - choose between 2 types of rope
- 40 foot rope - gives you more than enough length to use for winching
- Variable speed - fully control your portable winch
- Free-spool clutch - Faster and easier rigging
- Doesn’t include a drill - portable handheld drill is required to operate the winch
The Off Road Boar Powersports Winch is a great fit for you if you’re looking for a more powerful portable winch. This particular portable winch comes with a large weight capacity of up to 13,000 pounds.
Perfect if you’ve got several heavy-duty jobs that aren’t suitable for a lighter weight capacity. This vast weight capacity makes the Off Road Boar portable winch the perfect fit in terms of versatility.
A great feature of this particular portable winch is the waterproof design. This makes the portable winch suitable for use whenever and wherever you need it, regardless of the weather. The rope itself also comes with an anti-rotating feature to protect your safety when you need it most.
What’s really great about this particular portable winch is that it includes everything you need to use it. So you won’t need to worry about buying extra accessories or power tools to use the winch properly. There are also comprehensive instructions included to make the portable winch easier to use.
Only high-quality materials have been used to construct the Off Road Boar portable winch. It features a high-performance copper motor, 4-way roller lead, enhanced anti-rotation wire rope, dual configuration of wired and wireless remote control, and an alloy forged hook. So you can rest assured that this high-quality portable winch will be more than durable for your needs.
- Durable - features multiple high-quality components for stability and durability
- Large weight capacity - can support up to 13,000 pounds
- Waterproof design - suitable for use in all weather conditions
- Anti-rotating rope - for your added safety
- All-in-one portable winch - includes all the equipment needed to operate it
- Expensive - one of the pricier options
The Superwinch Winch 2 Go 12V portable winch system gives you everything you need for efficient lifting and pulling.
This particular portable winch comes with a large weight capacity of 8,000 pounds. This gives you more than enough weight to work with while out on the go or around your property.
What’s really great about this particular portable winch is that it’s available with both synthetic rope or steel rope. This means you can easily choose between the two types if you do have a preference for one over the other. The rope is stored in a durable toolbox that makes for easy portability.
This particular portable winch includes a variety of accessories to give you everything you need for efficient winching. Included with the Winch 2 Go are three 20,000 pound D-shackles, one 16,000 pulley block, two 8 foot heavy-duty straps, one 10 foot quick-connect power cord, one 12 foot handheld remote control, and a pair of heavy-duty leather palmed gloves. Great if you’re looking for a portable winch that will have everything you need!
Another great feature of the Winch 2 Go is that it has been designed to be both portable and easy to install if you want to permanently mount it.
There are shackles on the rear of the portable winch so that you can easily secure it before you start winching. There are also mounting holes on the rear of the winch for you to mount on flat surfaces such as your trailer bed.
- Large weight capacity - capable of winching up to 8,000 pounds
- Steel or synthetic rope - allows you to choose between your preferred rope of choice
- All-in-one winching kit - includes a variety of accessories for winching
- Portable or static - easy to transport but also features mounting holes in case you want to permanently mount the winch
- Plug and play - easy to use straight out of the box
- Expensive - pricier than some competitive models
The Badlands portable winch is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a powerful portable winch at a competitive price.
This particular portable winch comes with a large weight capacity of 2,500 pounds, making it more than strong enough for your lifting and pulling needs.
This particular winch features a permanent magnet motor. This draws less current, making it the perfect fit for all terrain vehicles (ATV).
Ideal if you’re looking for a powerful portable winch that’s going to work with you rather than against you! The portable winch also comes with a wireless remote control that works up to 20 feet away.
The Badlands portable winch also features free spooling which gives you fast line-out. This particular portable winch also features a single-stage planetary gear system for fast line speed. Perfect if you’re looking for a portable winch that’s going to be fast enough to cope with your lifting and pulling needs.
A great feature of the Badlands winch is that it comes with an automatic load-holding brake to give you maximum safety. This will be a handy feature to look for if you want to ensure that you’re safe at all times while using the portable winch.
Perfect if you’re looking for a reliable winch that has your safety in mind.
- Large weight capacity - capable of lifting or pulling up to 2,500 pounds
- Permanent magnet motor - draws less current to fit better with ATV use
- Free spooling - gives you fast line-out
- Single-stage planetary gear system - gives you faster line speed for efficient winching
- Automatic load-holding brake - for better safety while the winch is in use
- No mounting plate - you will need to buy an additional mounting plate if you want to secure your portable winch
Best Portable Winch Buying Guide
If you’re looking for a portable winch, it can be tricky knowing which is the right product for your needs.
There are so many different factors to consider, and if this is your first portable winch there may even be a few things you haven’t even thought of yet.
We’ve compiled a list of things you’ll need to think about before you commit to buying your new portable winch. You find everything you need to consider below!
Take a look at everything you need to know about portable winches below or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.
One factor to consider is how portable your chosen winch is.
What’s the overall size and weight of your chosen portable winch? Will it be easy for you to transport it around on your own or will you need someone else to help move it? Is the portable winch suitable for storage in your vehicle?
All of these factors will contribute to how portable your chosen winch is.
Another important factor to consider is how you will power your portable winch.
Does the portable winch include all the power cables you need to power it? Does it need to be hooked up to your car’s battery? Do you need to buy additional tools to power the winch?
Some winches we found need tools such as a power drill to power the winch.
One of the most important factors you’ll need to consider is the weight capacity of your chosen portable winch. You’ll need to ensure that it’s suitable for your needs.
If you’re choosing a winch to help you pull your vehicle free while off-roading, you’ll need to ensure that it’s capable of pulling 1.5 times more weight than the weight of your vehicle.
Winches vary in weight capacities, with some offering the lower end of the spectrum such as 750 pounds, and others offering you up to 13,000 pounds of pulling power.
You will need to think about what’s the minimum weight capacity you will need to look for and choose the best portable winch that fits your needs.
Steel vs Synthetic
It’s worth bearing in mind that portable winches are available in two different types of ropes: steel and synthetic. Both types of rope are durable and strong and will have different positives and negatives.
Steel rope is the traditional winch rope. Steel rope is suitable for use on various terrains and is suitable for use in a variety of weather conditions. However, it can often be much heavier than synthetic rope to handle.
Synthetic rope is lighter and easier to handle than steel rope, making it easier to free spool and carry to your anchor point. It’s also much easier to repair should anything happen to the rope over time.
However, it can often be more expensive, and may not be suitable for all sorts of terrain. Synthetic rope isn’t best suited for extreme warm conditions, either.
It will entirely depend on your personal preference as to which one best suits your needs.
How much will a 2,000 lb winch pull?
A portable winch that has a weight capacity of 2,000 pounds will be able to pull or lift weight loads of up to 2,000 pounds.
What size winch do I need?
To find out the size winch you will need, you will first need to find out the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of your vehicle.
You should then multiply this by 1.5 to find the minimum weight capacity that you will need to look for in a portable winch.
Most vehicles should include this information marked somewhere on the body, usually in the owner’s manual or under the hood.
What is the best 12,000 lb winch?
The best 12,000 pound winch is the Off Road Boar Powersports Winch.
This particular portable winch actually comes with a large weight capacity of 13,000 pounds, so will be more than a match for your winching needs.
What is the best winch for the money?
The best portable winches for your money are:
- Champion ATV/UTV Winch Kit
- WARN PullzAll Corded 120V AC Portable Electric Winch with Steel Cable
- WARN Handheld Portable Drill Winch with 40 Foot Synthetic Rope
- Off Road Boar Powersports Winch
- Superwinch Winch 2 Go 12V Portable Winch System
- Badlands Portable Winch
How strong of a winch do I need?
The heavier the weight of your vehicle, the stronger the portable winch that you will need.
As a general rule of thumb, you should get a winch that’s able to pull at least 1.5 times more than the weight of your particular vehicle.
How much can a 3,000 lb winch pull?
A portable winch with a weight capacity of 3,000 pounds is capable of pulling or lifting weight loads of up to 3,000 pounds.
Are Badland winches any good?
Badland winches are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a powerful portable winch that comes at a more affordable price.
These particular winches are more budget-friendly. We’d recommend taking a look at the 2,500 pound Badlands Portable Winch.
Can you run a winch off a deep cycle battery?
It’s not recommended that you run a winch off a deep cycle battery. That’s because deep cycle batteries haven’t been designed for use with winching.
Winching typically requires a lot of power instantly, whereas deep cycle batteries have been designed to supply low power continuously over an extended time period, such as for lights or fridges.
Do I need a mounting plate for my winch?
If your vehicle doesn’t already have a mounting plate for your winch, then you will need to buy one.
This is so that you can securely attach the winch to your vehicle for all of your winching needs. Some portable winches may include the winching plate as part of your purchase, but other winches don’t.
You should take a look and see if your vehicle requires a mounting plate for your new winch, and if your chosen portable winch includes one as standard, or if you need to buy one as well as your winch.