Best Portable Winch

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A portable winch can add an extra layer of safety while you are on your off-road adventures. It can be used to recover your stuck vehicle without even permanently mounting it on your vehicle.

Because of that, these winches have become one of the most sought out overlanding gears nowadays. If you are in the look to get one of these. Then this is the post for you.


Superwinch 1140232 Winch2Go 12V DC Electric Portable Utility Winch 4000lb/1814.4kg Single Line Pull with Steel Mounting Plate, Integrated Hawse Fairlead, 7/32" x 40' Synthetic Rope, Handheld Remote
  • 4,000 lbs synthetic rope winch inside a durable tool box mounted on a powder coated plate for portable usage
  • Storage and carrying box making it completely convenient to store and carry
  • Includes a 16,000 lb pulley block which allows the winch to pull up to 8,000lbs
  • Quick connect cord with alligator clips for easy access to a battery power source
  • Includes a three 20,000 lb D-shackles, two 8 foot heavy-duty straps rated for 8,000 lbs, one 16,000 lb pulley block, one 12 foot Hand Held remote, one 10 foot quick connect power cord, and a pair of Heavy Duty leather palmed winch gloves

Because, in this carry on winch reviews, we will be exploring some of the best portable winches available on the market as of now.

Best Portable Winches – Reviews

Winner: The Best Portable Winch 12v – Superwinch 2 Go SR (1140232) Kit Review

power winch

Superwinch is regarded as one of the best winch manufacturers worldwide. They have all types of winches in their collection.

If you are looking for the best 12 volt portable winch then the Superwinch 2 GO SR would be a great choice. Why?

First of all, You don’t need to mount it permanently on your vehicle. Still, it comes with all the installation equipment in place for mounting it permanently on your vehicle if you deem it necessary.

It comes in a robustly built storage box. You can store everything related to this device in this box and carry it with you. 

This device comes with a 4000 pounds rated line pull. However, with the included pulley blocks, it can pull up to about 8000 pounds. It’s quite a heavy duty portable winch.

It also comes with some free accessories like leather gloves, three D-shackles, straps, and more.

You will also find a handheld rocker switch with a 12-feet cable. It features a 1.4 hp motor, has a gear ratio of 166:1, a hawse fairlead, and a 50-feet synthetic rope.

The weight of this unit from Superwinch is only 41 pounds.

What Previous Buyers Said? Is this the best portable 12v winch?

Except for a few complaints about the quality of the latches of the storage box, this one got praise from its current owners, saying it’s the best portable 12v winch.

Most of these buyers are stating that they find it as one of the best winches because of its design and functions altogether.


  • Comes with a synthetic rope
  • Everything can be stored in the durable storage box
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
  • Can be mounted permanently as well


  • The latches of the storage box are made of plastic

Best Portable Off Road Winch: WARN 910500 Drill Winch Review

drill winch 1,000 lbs

WARN is another top-tier off-road tools manufacturing company like Superwinch. So, if you are in the look for a winch from WARN, then this is the one for you.

This is a drill winch. That means you can operate it using a standard cordless winch drill.

It has a pulling capacity of up to 500 pounds. Warn portable winch comes with a free spooling clutch function. As a result, you can pull in the rope fast and effortlessly.

This offroad winch comes with two clevis hooks on the front and rear sides. It is equipped with a 30-feet steel rope and a hawse fairlead.

From the look of it, you will find that it is a very compact and lightweight tool. However, don’t let the look deceive you. Because it is actually one of the best drill winches on our list.

Find out more in our full review of the Warn Drill Winch. You can find battery powered winch there as well.

What Previous Buyers Said?

All the previous buyers were actually amazed by the power of this compact and lightweight drill winch. They liked this fast winch because it has a long rope compared to other similar models.

Other buyers also said that this off road hand winch liked the versatility of this tool.

What about other portable Warn winches? Please read the Warn PullzAll vs Drill Winch Review here (Warn 885005 Cordless Pullzall and Warn 885000 Corded Pullzall 120v ac.)


  • Very compact
  • Price is very reasonable
  • Cordless drill powered winch


  • Could come with a synthetic rope

Review of Megaflint Trailer Winch

light weight winches

This portable car winch is designed for pulling boats up to 6000 pounds. However, it can also be used for any other hauling tasks. This small electric winch 12v comes with a 30-ft steel rope and wired remote control. 

You will get a 10-ft (approx.) cable with the remote so that you can operate it from a safe distance. Even though it is a portable electric winch 12v, you can operate it manually as well.

Added to that, it comes with both a dynamic and manual braking system. This winch for cars weighs only 27 pounds and the net dimension of this device is 9.5×7.5×10 inches.

Thus, you can easily toss it on your overlanding rig and carry it around with you wherever you are going.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The previous buyers of this device from Megaflint were satisfied with their purchase. They said it does the work even though it is a compact winch.

They also liked its dual braking system. As a result, the current owners are recommending this outdoor electric winch to others who are looking for this kind of boat trailer winch.


  • Easy to operate and low noise
  • Rugged build quality
  • Has both reverse and forward function
  • Handheld electric winch
  • Cordless winch with remote


  • It needs a bit of time to reel in the rope

Best Low Noise Hand Held Winch: Bravex Electric Winch Review

winch portable

Frankly, this portable vehicle winch is almost identical to the previous one from Megaflint we have just talked about. However, this portable recovery winch has a different price tag.

So, depending on the price and the popularity of the brand, you can get one or the other.

This unit has an overall dimension of 9.5×7.5×10 inches and it weighs about 27 pounds. It comes with a mounting plate, 20-feet power cable, 1 handheld rocker switch with a 10-feet long cable, and a hand crank.

With that, you can even manually operate this device in emergency cases.

This one has a loading capacity of up to 2000 lbs. You will also find a 30-ft wire rope and a galvanized clevis hook integrated with the winch.

This can be one of the best portable electric winches out there.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The majority of the buyers were pleased with this mobile winch from Bravex. They liked it because it is easy to use and has a cheap price tag.


  • Low noise winch
  • Affordable
  • Small 12v winch
  • Electric and manual mode
  • Has both reverse and forward function
  • Comes with 2-years limited warranty


  • It is a bit slow

Review of Champion Utility Winch Kit

portable wench

This Champion Trailer/Marine utility winch comes with a loading capacity of up to 2000 pounds.

This portable 12v winch in a box has a 3-stage straight gear train, a 0.30 hp motor, and a 30-ft steel rope with a diameter of ⅕ inch. The steel rope and the clevis hook attached to the unit are galvanized for durability.

It also features a handheld rocker switch with a 10-feet cord. This electric portable winch is great for vehicles that come with a hitch receiver.

Due to that, it can be easily mounted into any 2-inch hitch ball receiver. On top of that, it has a very compact form factor.

So, if you are looking for one of the best champion winches, this can be a great choice.

What Previous Buyers Said?

There are a few buyers that were not happy about the winch, to be honest. They said it would be better if it came with the reverse function.

However, some other buyers also said that this is a very good winch for the price.


  • Very cheap price
  • Easy mounting system
  • Mechanical and electrical operation mode
  • Has 2-years of warranty
  • Light duty electric winch


  • It doesn’t have the reverse function
  • A bit noisy

Best Portable Winch for Tree Work: PCW-5000 Winch Review

portable power winch

This one is a gas-powered winch. It comes with a rated line pull of 2200 pounds (single line).

This is equipped with a 2.1 hp powerful motor and a Honda GHX-50 engine. It is suitable for pulling trees, logs, boats, and any type of vehicle.

This winch weighs about 35.3 pounds and the dimension of this one is 15x14x16 inches. Thus, you can easily take with you wherever you go.

For the record, you have to buy the rope for this heavy duty portable winch separately from the manufactures. They offer double-braided polyester rope of any lengths you will need.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Many of the previous buyers of this winch are thrilled about this winch. They are saying even though this is a pricey winch, you will find it to be a workhorse.

Also, as it is a gas-powered winch, you can utilize it anywhere you want to. So, in a way, this is one of the best winches on our list.


  • Compact yet heavy-duty capstan winch
  • Multi-functional winch
  • 5-years of warranty for private use, and 1-year of warranty for commercial use
  • Portable gas winches


  • The rope is sold separately
  • Very high price

Review of Keeper (KWSL2000RM) Winch

best portable electric winche

If you are looking for the best portable 12v winch, then you can get this one. The Keeper winch comes with a pulling capacity of 2000 pounds. It has a spur gear train system with a ratio of 265:1.

You will find a clevis hook and 30-feet galvanized wire rope as well with this winch. Additionally, it comes with a handheld rocker switch with a 10-feet long cable for safe operation from a distance.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The current owners of this winch had both positive and negative things to say about it. First off, they are disappointed that it doesn’t come with the reverse function.

Also, a lot of other buyers said that it is not as powerful as advertised.

On the other hand, some other owners claim that the winch was a good purchase. Also, they liked the cheap pricing of this winch.


  • Inexpensive price
  • Lightweight winch
  • 12 volt portable electric winch


  • Doesn’t have the reverse function

Best Portable Winch for 4×4: Master Lock Electric Winch Review

small electric winch 120v

Master Lock 2953at 12-volt dc portable winch is also one of the best budget-friendly portable hand winches.

It has a rated line pull of 2000 pounds. It comes with a 30-feet wire rope, 20-feet power cable, a hand crank for manual operation, and a handheld rocker switch with 10-feet of cable.

Besides, Master Lock portable electric winch has a built-in carry handle as well.

What Previous Buyers Said?

There are a few buyers that were not satisfied with the device. They expected it to have some functions like the reverse and automatic braking system.

However, other buyers stated that if you want a compact winch for loading boats into a trailer, then it can be the best option for the price out there.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Light duty winch
  • Electric and manual operation mode
  • Master Lock winch mounting bracket


  • No reverse function

Best Portable Truck Winches: Reese Portable Electric Winch for Truck and Jeep

portable electric winch 120v

This is the best hand winch from Reese. It comes with some of the best features. 

For example, this portable truck winch has a compact size and a carrying handle built-in. You can control Reese 1 ton portable winch with the handheld wired rocker switch that comes with a 10-feet cord.

It also features a 29-ft steel rope that is galvanized for a longer lifetime. This one comes with a hitch ball mount system.

So you can mount this vehicle winch to the hitch ball receiver on your overlanding rig or any other car. The pulling capacity of electric hand winch is up to 2000 pounds.

What Previous Buyers Said?

The current owners of this portable winch for truck had mixed feelings about this winch. Most of them said that they find that the pulling capacity is not up to the mark.

And, the quality of the remote could be better. Yet, others said Reese Towpower portable electric winch parts can be a great choice for people with a limited budget that are looking for electric winches.


  • Budget-friendly
  • Compact and lightweight winches
  • Dual-mode operation


  • Doesn’t have a reverses function

Best Portable ATV Winch Review

battery powered portable winch

The last one on our review post comes with a rated line pull of up to 2000 lbs.

At the same time, the rolling and marine-rated line pull capacity of this one is 5000 lbs. and 6000 lbs. respectively. This 12v portable winch has all the gears and equipment to install it for free.

For instance, you will find a 30-feet steel rope, a galvanized hook, a mounting plate, a hand crank, and power cords with this.

The net dimension of this one is 8x9x7.5 inches. So, you will find it very easy to carry around.

What Previous Buyers Said?

A few buyers reported that the rocker switch and the rope are not of high quality. There are a group of customers who thinks buying this device wasn’t their best solutions so it’s definitely not the best electric portable hand winch out there.

Conversely, some buyers said that it was a great buy because of its ease of use, feature, and the price to performance ratio.


  • Has a carrying handle
  • Corrosion-resistant build
  • Lightweight and small portable winch


  • A bit noisy

Buying Guide – Top Portable Winches

Do a Handheld Winch Need Maintenance and Repairs?

Like any other type of machinery, a portable winch system also needs regular maintenance. There are many ways you can take care of your winches. You should always spool the rope evenly.

Also, try to keep your winch in a cold and dry place with cover. Otherwise, the rope on your winch might get damaged.

If the rope has been damaged while operating, you should replace it with a new one. You can also lubricate your winch once in a while for the best result.

As always, do not pull anything that is heavier than the rated line pull of your winch.

How Many Types of Winches Are There?

Winches can be divided into various categories in terms of usability, features, and types of components they come with.

For instance, in terms of mechanisms we can divide them into multiple types such as the electric winch, hand-operated, capstan, hybrid, and hydraulic winch, battery winches etc.

Also, in terms of usability, there are 2 types as well that are portable and permanent mount winch.

Usability of a Portable 12 Volt Winch

A portable winch can come in handy on numerous occasions. Particularly, if you are not a frequent off-roader, these can be best for you.

As these portable devices don’t need permanent installation on your vehicle, it is easy to take it with you whenever you are going on your outdoor pursuits.

Thus, all the other times, it can be stored in a safe place and won’t take space on your vehicle as well. Similarly, it can be useful for avid campers and overlanders as well.

Most of these types of devices come with a very affordable price. Thus, you can get one and keep it as a backup winch for emergency cases.

Again, if you are a part of a group of overlanders, you can buy one of these winches for the whole group. By doing this, you can save some money as well.

As you are not mounting it permanently on a single vehicle, you can use it for all of the vehicles of your group when in need.

battery powered winches

Conclusion – Best Portable Winches

In the post above, we have covered 10 of the best winches for portability you can buy right now. But it is also true that not all of these will be suitable for you.

In our opinion, now having a permanently mounted winch is a great solution where you do want that “winch insurance policy” with you, but don’t want to pay big bucks for a larger, traditional winch. But finding the best portable 12v winch is not an easy task.

Based on your unique preferences and requirements, one would be better than the other.

However, if you ask us to find the best portable electric winch, then we would definitely recommend the Superwinch 2 Go SR Winch kit. Yes, it is that easy.

This one has everything you want in a great standalone winch and at the same time, you don’t want a permanently mounted winch. Add in the fact that it comes from a well-known brand like Superwinch and has a reliable warranty policy.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: when you’re using a portable winch, be very careful with where you’re attaching it on your vehicle. It can seriously damage your truck, so please check your vehicle’s manual for usable attaching points.

So, have you got any favorites here? Do let us know by leaving your valuable comments below!

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battery powered winch with remote
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Ferenc Elekes has been a devout Overlanding enthusiast for many years. During that time, Ferenc has explored 75 countries on six continents, with overland travel involved in 40 countries on three continents. From his trusty 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a roof-top tent, he’s blogged about experiences that can only be found in the remotest regions on Earth. Along the way, he's gained in-depth knowledge of the novel challenges overlanders encounter and practical ways to meet them. On his website, he shares informed opinions about everything from the best overland gear to how to get a vehicle unstuck. Ferenc has also written for Ih8mud, the Expedition Portal, the Overland Journal, and he is often invited as a guest to outdoors-related podcasts.
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