So, you've found yourself in a real pickle – your car or ATV has run off the road, and there's no easy way to get out of the ditch. While you would traditionally need to call a tow truck, a winch might just be the solution you need. These handy winding devices can really go the extra mile when it comes to providing the necessary torque to return your vehicle to the roadway.

On today’s market, there are numerous winch brands. While all of these brands will try to claim superiority, only Badlands brand winches possess the features and specifications to back up such a proud claim. If you want to know more about what makes Badland winches so well-respected, then read on and enjoy our reviews of several top-tier Badlands winches.


Preview

Model

Rated Line Pull

Gear Train

Check Price

Badland Winches 61383 ATV/Utility Electric...

Badland 61383

3,500 lbs.

Single-stage planetary

Badland ZXR IP 66

Badland ZXR IP 66

12,000 lbs.

Three-stage planetary

9000 lb. Electric Winch with Automatic Brake,...

Badland ZXR 9000

9000 lbs.

Three-stage planetary

2500 lb. Electric ATV/Utility Winch with...

Badland 2500

2,500 lbs.

Single-stage planetary

1500 lb. Capacity 120 Volt AC Electric Winch...

Badland 1500

1,500 lbs.

Two-stage planetary


What Makes Badlands Winches Popular?

3-Stage Planetary Gear System

Many Badlands winches make use of the 3-state planetary gearbox, which in standard terms represents a major enhancement from most common winch brands. This system provides enhanced reliability and torque to the winch. A visualization of this 3-stage process can be seen here.

Easy-to-Use & Setup

Badlands has always prided themselves on their user-friendliness. As such, you can expect every winch you try out to be exceptionally easy to install on your vehicle and easy to operate, should the need arise. This particularly noticeable when it comes to the mechanized operation of Badlands winches, which require little to no physical effort to fully engage.

Aircraft Grade Steel Cable

Aircraft-grade steel cable is the norm among Badlands winches, which is a testament to this brand's commitment to durability. From the smallest winches to the largest, this cable material type can remain resilient after numerous uses and resistant to the elements, through and through.

Automatic Load-Holding Brake

If your winch were to unspool suddenly, you and your vehicle might suddenly be placed in a rather dangerous situation. Fortunately, Badlands winches almost always feature an automatic load holding brake that prevents unexpected unspooling caused by increased tension.

High Horsepower Motors

Badlands winches always feature the best motors in their class. Often, they are built with a brushless architecture that increases their efficiency and usability by decreasing internal friction during extended uses. Some motors even use a magnet system to further increase their capacity to hold up car-sized loads.

Durability

Badlands winches are always built with long-term use in mind. In fact, even their smallest models are capable of withstanding year after year of use in heavy-duty situations. So long as you pay close attention to your chosen model’s towing capacity, you can expect your chosen winch to last for 5 years of regular use or longer, depending on how you care for the unit.

Affordability

Badlands winches are also increasingly affordable, especially compared to similarly capable winches in its class. As always, you can always expect to find a bargain when you shop for Badlands winches at your favorite online retailer or from their manufacturing source, Harbor Freight.


5 Best Badlands Winches Reviewed

1. Badland 61383

Product Specifications

Rated Line Pull

3,500 lbs.

Motor

Permeant magnet

Fairlead

Roller with nylon brushing

Cable

Aircraft-grade steel, 50 ft.

Gear Train

Single-stage planetary

Warranty

Yes, 90 days

If you’ve ever heard of or used a winch from this brand, chances are that it was the Badland 61383. That’s because this particular winch sees a lot of use in both personal and professional settings, not least because it is capable of towing up all vehicles below 3,500 lbs. This core capability is made possible through this model’s unique permanent magnet motor, which makes use of a single-stage planetary gear train to its fullest ability.

When it comes time to use the Badland 61383, you shouldn’t expect it to hold up your towing process for long. That's because this model's free spooling system can let out all 50 feet of its length in the blink of an eye. When it comes time to reel your vehicle or ATV back in, though, you can expect this winch to keep your vehicle safe and secure due to its use of an automatic load-holding brake.

Also, this model’s 12-foot ergonomic remote control manages to provide just a little bit more length than its competitors. Even this model’s 8-foot handlebar control manages to one-up other winches that try to measure up to the Badland 61383’s value.


2. Badland ZXR IP 66

Product Specifications

Rated Line Pull

12,000 lbs.

Motor

Series wound, 6 HP

Fairlead

Roller

Cable

Aircraft-grade steel, 65 ft.

Gear Train

Three-stage planetary

Warranty

Yes, 90 days

Next up, the Badland ZXR IP 66 is another popular winch that demonstrates the full capability of the Badlands brand. As it turns out, this model is among the most capable in the Badlands line of winches due to its pull line rating of a whopping 12,000 lbs. As a result, you can expect this model to be able to tow large vehicles, boats, and even lumber without causing an excessive amount of wear on its series wound, 6 horsepower motor.

Speaking of the motor, this model's gear train provides it with a lot of the torque it needs to haul massive multi-ton loads. To be specific, the Badland ZXR IP's three-stage planetary gear train allows it to hold more tension while in action, which in turn ensures that all 65 feet of this model’s airplane-grade steel cable remains taught while engaged. Even this model’s roller fairlead plays a role in its ability to tow more than almost any other consumer-grade winch.

As a drawback, though, the Badland ZXR IP is undoubtedly the heaviest option from Badlands. But this added weight will certainly pay off when you are able to put your winch to use outside of emergency situations.


3. Badland ZXR 9000

Product Specifications

Rated Line Pull

9000 lbs.

Motor

Series wound, 5.4 HP

Fairlead

Roller with nylon brushing

Cable

Aircraft-grade steel, 65 ft.

Gear Train

Three-stage planetary

Warranty

Yes, 90 days

As its name suggests, the Badland ZXR 9000 lays on the upper end of its brands towing capabilities. Indeed, this winch can hoist up to 9,000 pounds, which makes it more than useful for professionals in need of support for their work vehicles. In fact, as a result of the cooling effect produced by this model's series-wound motor, you can expect it to remain fully functional when taking on extra-large loads, including boats.

In the same vein, the three-stage planetary gearbox located in the Badland ZXR 9000's rises to the standard set by larger models in this brand's line of winches. It even exceeds expectations when it comes to providing stability during the winching process. This desirable outcome is further supplemented by this model’s power in/out mechanism, which ensures that a positive load control is maintained at all times.

As with other Badlands winches, you can expect the ZXR 9000’s airplane-grade steel wire to stand up to the rigors of work without complaint. In fact, this model’s roller fairlead includes nylon brushing to ensure that the cable remains flexible whenever a load is hooked on.


4. Badland 2500

Product Specifications

Rated Line Pull

2,500 lbs.

Motor

permanent magnet, 1 HP

Fairlead

Roller with nylon brushing

Cable

Aircraft-grade steel, 50 ft.

Gear Train

Single-stage planetary

Warranty

Yes, 90 days

Another worthwhile low-range winch option is the Badlands 2500. At first glance, this model’s 1 horsepower permanent magnet motor may appear a little underwhelming. But as plenty of current users can vouch for, this model’s single-stage planetary gearbox is more than capable of hauling loads of up to 2,500 pounds with ease.

Badlands clearly anticipated that the 2500 model would be routinely utilized while the user would be alone. As such, even novice users will be able to unspool this model 50 foot cable without any trouble and hook it onto a chosen tow point. Then, these same users will be able to use this model's wireless remote, which possesses a 20-foot range, to retrieve their vehicle while remaining entirely out of harm’s way.

Speaking of safety, you can be sure that this durable winch will always keep you and your vehicle from enduring any added risk. This can naturally be seen in this model's use of airplane-grade materials in its cable. But more importantly, this model's automatic load-holding brake will ensure that this unit never unspools sporadically when loads at the top end of its pull capacity are placed on the line.


5. Badland 1500

Product Specifications

Rated Line Pull

1,500 lbs.

Motor

120 volts

Fairlead

N/A

Cable

Aircraft-grade steel, 35 ft.

Gear Train

Two-stage planetary

Warranty

Yes, 90 days

Finally, the Badlands line of winches rounds out with the 1500 model. This particular model has been created with ATV owners in mind because it is perfectly sized to haul up those personal vehicles without requiring you to shell out more than $70. Even though it only utilizes a 150-volt motor, this model's two-stage planetary gearbox system can lift and hold 1,500 pounds without ever causing its core winching system to become strained.

Along the same lines, this particular winch is excellent at protecting itself from undue harm. This can clearly be seen in this model's use of a thermal overload protection system, for instance. The 1500 model ensures that it isn't biting off more than it can chew in terms of torque, either, because it only utilizes a 35-foot cable.

If unit weight is your concern, know that this 1500 model is the lightest in its class. Clocking in at just around 28.5 pounds, you can surely expect this model to attach to your car without throwing off its balance. This can be especially practical if you intend to install this winch on a lighter vehicle, such as an ATV.


Pros & Cons of the Badlands Brand

Pros

  • Readily available, both online and in-store
  • Affordably priced to fit any budget
  • Wide range of capacities up to 12,000 lbs
  • Exceptionally durable, even after years of use
  • Advanced mechanisms provide stability and efficiency

Cons

  • Multi-piece construction can take some experience to assemble
  • Known to corrode when left out in the elements
  • Wired control can be a liability if it becomes damaged

Comparison with Other Brands

Badlands isn't alone in the winch market, of course. Other brands, including Smittybilt, Superwinch, Rugged Ridge, and more, have tried for years to unseat Badlands as the go-to winch brand for car and ATV owners. But yet, only Badlands winches continue to provide that perfect mix of value, productivity, and durability that vehicle owners prize above all else.


Installation & Wiring Diagrams

When it comes time to install your Badlands winch, be sure to look to your owner's manual to ensure that you are fully prepared to take on this mounting process. This includes ensuring that you have all of the necessary tools and parts, the latter of which should come packaged in with your chosen model. Reading over each wiring diagram carefully can also save you from making some costly mistakes.

For more insights into this process, check out this video.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Who makes Badlands winches?

Badlands brand winches are currently an in-house brand for Harbor Freight, where they are most often sold. These units are usually made in China and can be found at online retailers beyond Harbor Freight, often at more competitive prices.

Steel cable vs. synthetic ropes - which is better for winching?

Steel cable remains the gold standard for durability, especially when it comes to winching larger vehicles. Also, its standardized implementation for this use has allowed it to become an affordable option for winches. However, it also tends to be heavier, primarily as longer cable lengths are used. Synthetic ropes, on the other hand, are a little less durable, but far less heavy. This, in turn, makes synthetic ropes more flexible and productive in a variety of unusual winching applications.

How do I determine which size winch do I need?

Always select a winch that is a degree more capable of pulling your entire vehicle's weight. For example, a vehicle owner with a 2,000 lb truck should choose a winch that can carry 3,000 lbs or more (particularly if they plan to haul materials in their truck's bed regularly).

What is fairlead on a winch?

Fairleads are a crucial part of a winch’s architecture as it assures that a cable is spooled up correctly without getting pulled into the winch proper. Most Badlands that utilize steel cables also include a roller fairlead, which is the industry standard for this type of architecture.

Do Badlands winches need maintenance and repairs?

As with all winches, Badlands models do require routine maintenance to ensure that the entire unit remains fully capable. Your owner’s manual will provide tips for performing this type of routine maintenance as well as how to perform some common repairs if your unit breaks down unexpectedly.

Where can I buy Badlands winch replacement parts if it breaks?

Badlands replacement parts are generally available through Harbor Freight. However, several popular online retailers also stock Badlands replacement parts, often for more affordable prices due to their enhanced bulk shipping rates.


Conclusion

At this point, the benefits of purchasing a Badlands brand winch should be clear. Few other brands can provide the full package of productivity and value found in all Badlands models, from its smallest 1,500 lbs. model to its largest 12,000 lb model. Whether you're shopping on a budget or looking to buy the best winch on your first try, you should make sure that Badlands winches are at the top of your shopping list.

Last Updated on