Best Winch Accessories of 2020 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

When you're off-roading, it is important to have some safety features along for the ride. Naturally, you'll want to have a great first aid kit and some jumper cables. You may also want a great winch kit.

Whether you’re riding trails on the weekend or navigating through heavy snow and ice in bad weather, keeping winch accessories around can help you succeed. 

We have compiled a complete buyer's guide to several different types of winch accessory. Along with this guide, we review the eight best winch accessories on the market for you. This way, you can purchase your winch accessories with confidence, knowing your product has been thoroughly vetted. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Winch Accessories

PRODUCT DETAILS
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ARB Winch Recovery Damper Orange Line Dampener

  • The best overall winch accessory for all vehicle types
  • Multiple storage pockets to carry snatch blocks and shackles to anchor
  • Mandatory for 4-wheel drive competitions and exceeds minimum weight requirements
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ARB Snatch Block

  • Runner-up for best winch accessory
  • Working load rating of up to 20,000 pounds
  • Unique design presses plates against each other for extra support
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Vault Shackles

  • 4.75 tons of towing capacity (equals 9,500 pounds of recovery)
  • Drop forged steel results in incredible overall strength and quality
  • 3/4–inch overall diameter with industry-standard 7/8-inch diameter pin
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Optima Batteries 8003-151 34R

  • Our pick for the best winch battery on the market
  • Has a reserve capacity of 100 minutes for constant performance
  • 12-volt, 800 cold-cranking amps, .003 internal resistance, SAE Post
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AUXMART

  • Offers 20,500 pounds of breaking strength at 95 feet long
  • This is the best synthetic winch rope available on the market
  • Dyneema offers less weight and more power compared to steel
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WARN 92090

  • This is the best winch hook on the market today
  • Winch hook was made from ultra-strong forged steel
  • Unique design can handle a 12,000-pound towing load capacity
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KFI Products 101175

  • This is the best winch mount available today
  • Mounts are metal bead blasted then powder coated for durability
  • Mount comes with a user manual that includes complete installation instructions
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ECOTRIC 10x 4 1/2 Cradle Winch Mount Mounting Plate

  • Best overall winch mounting plate on the market
  • Mounting plate includes an anti-rust powder coat black finish
  • Perfect for winches that handle 8,000 to 13,000-pound loads
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Types of Winch Accessories

There are several different types of accessories available. Many people like to purchase several of them and create a winch accessory kit, rather than just towing around one or two things. Here are a few different types of winch accessories to consider.

D-ring shackles are a great option. They will attach towing straps to the frame of the vehicle in need of a rescue. Usually, these attach to the bumper and the ring makes sure the straps hold firm when the towing begins. 

Tow straps go well with this accessory. These are especially nice to have around if you get your Jeep stuck and don't have the time or money to call a professional towing service. These allow you to tow the vehicle without needing to worry about risky alternatives like a rope. 

Recovery chains are also great accessories. These are extremely helpful in mud and snow, where textile straps and ropes would just end up damaged and too slippery to be of any use. These are very effective when you anchor them to something strong and stable, like rocks, trees, or heavier cars. 

Snatch blocks are a great accessory, too. These are essentially pulley systems. You can use them when rigging your winch to double your line's pulling capacity. This is really useful when you're by yourself and need some extra strength to recover your vehicle. It's also helpful when you're using a small car to recover a big one. 

What Should I Look for When Buying a New Accessory?

There are a few different things to consider when buying a winch accessory. Naturally, the type of vehicle you're driving will impact the available accessories. 

Conditions of Use

Other things to consider are the different environments and climates you plan to drive through with your winch. You also need to consider how long you'll be on the road and how many kits you can fit into your off-road trailer or vehicle. These factors combined will point you towards the right types of winch accessories. 

Convenience

One of the things to consider is how convenient and portable your accessory is. You will need to be able to fit your accessories somewhere small and not have them weigh too much to carry around with you. Make sure that what you're buying is convenient and easy.

It helps immensely when your accessory comes with instructions that are really easy to understand. With simple and clear instructions, even novices can operate their winch and accessories with ease. The best user guides will highlight multiple different ways you can use your accessory as needed for recovery operations.  

Quality Materials & Construction

Your kit should also be durable. Most winch accessories are created to be used with a variety of different vehicles. This helps them be more versatile. You also want to make sure that your materials are weatherproof. This will protect them against the elements. As mentioned before, knowing your climate will dictate whether to go for a textile or chain and what type of metal you need. 

Quick Take  - Best Winch Accessories

Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the best winch accessories:

  1. ARB Winch Recovery Damper Orange Line Dampener
  2. ARB Snatch Block
  3. Vault Shackles

Review of the Best Winch Accessories

Now that you’re aware of some of the different features that make a great winch accessory stand out against inferior products, here are our eight favorite winch accessories for you to consider. Each of these meets our rigorous minimum standards of quality and we know you will find one you love on our list!

ARB ARB220 Winch Recovery Damper Orange Line Dampener for Winch Use Precaution

PROS

  • Manufactured using heavy-duty vinyl for maximum durability
  • Universal product can be used with any vehicle make and model
  • Design includes silver reflective tape for nighttime visibility and safety
  • Absorbs energy and reduces recoil in the event of a cable or strap failure
  • Bright orange material can double as a safety vest in low visibility conditions

CONS

  • Filling pockets may affect dampening or lose gear.
  • Made in China not in the U.S.A., so quality may vary
  • More expensive than comparable dampener models

What Recent Buyers Report

Everyone loves this product! It was difficult to find any cons, as most people rate this five stars. Users are saying this is easy to use and store, extremely durable, and a fabulous safety option for winch kits. Many recommend purchasing more than one and doubling the dampening on your line. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the features we love about this dampener is the extra pockets. This allows you to carry your accessories with you easily without losing the use of your hands. It's a fantastic feature. We also love the fact that the bright orange color makes it easily visible, which means if your cable snaps, you can easily find it in the darkness. It also means you can use it as a safety vest if you need to abandon the vehicle and find more help. 

Who Will Use This Most

This product is a great option for nearly everyone who has a winch or even those who spend a great deal of time in the outdoors. The bright orange and silver reflective material, along with the pockets and Velcro fastening, this can double as a safety vest in case you need to abandon your vehicle and seek help. 

Bottom Line

This is a fantastic product. It stops the recoil in snapped and broken chains and rope wires, has huge visibility for added safety, and even allows you to store things in various pockets! It meets competition requirements and is a fabulous purchase for anyone who wants a little extra safety. 

Runner-up and Best Winch Pulley: 
ARB Snatch Block

ARB Products 10100020 20000 lbs Snatch Block

PROS

  • Press-formed plates made from heavy-gauge carbon steel
  • High strength, low-density materials allow for 50% weight reduction
  • Improves timed trials during competitions due to innovative new spool design
  • Two-piece pulley design made from aerospace-grade, self-lubricating polymers
  • Side plates eliminate the possibility of winch cable getting trapped between plates

CONS

  • Not suitable for ½-inch rope or cable
  • More expensive than other snatch blocks
  • Block not suitable for over 17,000 pounds

What Recent Buyers Report  

Recent buyers all love this product. Most of them call it a must-have for anyone who owns a 4x4. The consensus is that this is the best snatch block on the market today. Everyone says it is an excellent snatch block made with the highest possible quality standards. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is an amazing product. One of the reasons it stands out to us is the incomparable quality of the parts. They're made with self-lubricating polymers, so you don't have to worry about problems with your line. It's virtually indestructible. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great accessory for anyone who owns a 4x4 and may need recovery. If you suspect that you will need to use your own strength, or a weaker car, to recover heavy vehicles, then you will benefit greatly from this snatch block, which doubles the capacity of anything you’re using to tow.  

Bottom Line

This may be a more expensive snatch block than other models, but it also does a fantastic job. It's made from aerospace-grade materials for the maximum possible quality and durability. Everyone loves the performance this block offers. With a massive towing capacity and lightweight design, you can depend on it. 

Best for the Money:
 Vault Shackles

3/4' Shackles by Vault - 2 Pack - Black Powder Coat - Rugged 4.75 Ton (9,500 Lbs) Capacity - Heavy Duty D Ring for Vehicle Recovery, Towing, Stump Removal, & More - Accessory for Jeeps & Trucks

PROS

  • Great money back guarantee
  • This is a 2 pack so you have some extra strength, as needed 
  • These shackles are easy to use so anyone can make them work
  • Secure alternative to towing hooks because closed loop won't fall off
  • Durable powder-coated finish prevents rusting in bad weather situation

CONS

  • Size may not be compatible with all vehicles 
  • Powder-coat chips easily so rusting may occur
  • Quality control issues with the number of shackles in a pack

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers enjoy the shackle, but be warned that the paint chips and puts the shackle in danger of rusting. Everyone agrees that it is solid, useful, and offers heavy-duty performance. The consensus is that it's a great product that is strong and sturdy. It also ships quickly. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the things that stands out to us is that this comes in a two-pack. This means you always have a backup if necessary, and makes it flexible enough to be used in different ways on both ends of your line. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great product for people who plan to do a lot of hauling and rescue work. It’s a great option if you don’t want to depend on your tow hooks in slippery conditions or if your car’s bumper doesn’t have a good way to keep them solid. Because it can form a closed loop instead of just a hook point, it offers significantly more security and your tow strap loops will not slip off the car as you rescue. 

Bottom Line :

Although this product may not be as invulnerable to rusting as the paint coat would lead you to believe, it is a solid piece of equipment, especially if you’re not in climates where you have to worry about rust. Everyone loves the strength and durability of this shackle!

Best Winch Battery: 
Optima Batteries 8003-151 34R

Optima Batteries 8003-151 34R RedTop Starting Battery

PROS

  • Maintenance-free design
  • Excellent vibration resistance for added durability
  • Has great starting power even in bad weather conditions
  • Battery comes with a 3-year warranty covering materials and workmanship
  • SpiralCell design provides a strong and clean power source for environmental safety

CONS

  • Not for sale in Catalina Island
  • Does not perform well in cold weather 
  • Optima’s customer service is not very good  

What Recent Buyers Report  

The quality control on this battery may be a little lacking because recent buyers are split 50/50 on the quality. Some of them say this battery dies very quickly and won't hold a charge, while others rave about the incredible quality of this battery. Take advantage of the warranty if yours is not up to par.  

Why it Stands Out to Us

This battery is spill-proof, so it can be mounted in a variety of ways. It's also very eco-friendly, so you don't have to worry about its environmental impact. On top of that, it offers amazing starting power without the need for tons of maintenance. 

Who Will Use This Most

This battery is useful for just about anyone who needs a backup battery for some extra power in a pinch. It works wonderfully well for hot rod and off-road drivers. The clean power source is also ideal for ecologically-minded consumers and drivers. You can use it pretty much anywhere. 

Bottom Line

This is a fantastic battery. It offers excellent starting power for your cranking and can withstand pretty extreme G-forces. It can handle harder launches and extreme corners and has been proven for the racetrack and off-road performance. It is suitable for use with nearly every stock vehicle, from RVs to diesels to hot rods. It also has a longer lifespan and a maintenance-free design that is spill-proof and can be mounted in any position. 

Best Synthetic Winch Rope: 
AUXMART

AUXMART Synthetic Winch Rope Winch Line Cable 20500LBs Protective Sleeve 95ft x 3/8' for ATV UTV SUV Truck Boat Ramsey

PROS

  • Rope stores less kinetic energy so it’s safer to use
  • No sharp strands in fibers, so your hands won’t get cut
  • Winch rope includes a protective sleeve to prevent overheating
  • Less memory and kink-free design make it easier to spool onto the winch
  • Dyneema fibers offer high abrasion resistance and tensile strength for durability

CONS

  • Gets dirty and soiled very quickly
  • Synthetic rope not as durable as steel cable 
  • Some owners claim it can’t hold the weight it claims

What Recent Buyers Report  

There may be some quality control issues because a couple of buyers have reported that theirs snapped but the vast majority of reviews say the same things we experienced – this is a great-quality synthetic rope, especially given the price! This is a fabulous value, too!

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the things we love is that this is an extremely lightweight design that still packs plenty of towing power. The protective case is nice and the fibers won't give you rope burn!

Who Will Use This Most

This is a nice option for people who aren't towing tons of weight in wet or dirty environments. It will work to recover vehicles in the rocky desert climates without requiring super-heavy chains. It's compact, so it's great for vehicles with less storage space. 

Bottom Line

We love the soft material of this rope. It’s guarded against overheating and the fibers feel smooth in your hands. It even floats in the water in case you need to find it easily in wet terrain. It’s safe in the mud and water and won’t develop burrs that require you to wear gloves with other ropes. 

Best Winch Hooks: 
WARN 92090

WARN 92090 Epic 3/8' Steel Winch Hook: 6 Ton (12,000 lb) Capacity

PROS

  • Winch hook design is CE-rated for safe operation
  • Available in 3 sizes for capacity up to 18,000 pounds
  • American company – WARN is headquartered in Oregon, U.S.A.
  • WARN is one of the most reputable recovery equipment brands
  • Maximum protection from and reliability against wear, tear, and abrasion

CONS

  • Dimensions not optimized for towing gear
  • Actual products made in China – not the U.S.A.
  • Final products received do not match the picture sometimes

What Recent Buyers Report  

Most recent buyers rate this product at five stars and are absolutely loving it! Everyone agrees that the hooks are very impressive and well worth the money. The hook looks as great as it works and shows no sign of wear over time. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the quality that WARN delivers in its products. These hooks stand up to stress tests in recovery situations without abrasion every time! We also think the bottle opener is clever, if strange, to include in a winch hook! This is a nice product. 

Who Will Use This Most

This hook is a great recovery option. Obviously, it is designed and optimized for anyone who has a WARN winch on their vehicle. That being said, it can help just about any off-roader get the best performance out of their winch! 

Bottom Line

Based on some of the reviews, it seems as though you need to be sure to buy it from Warn on Amazon directly, as resellers seem to ship inferior products under their name. That being said, the WARN product is fabulous. The coating makes it visually stunning while optimizing winch performance, for a longer wear cycle than other accessories. 

Best Winch Mount: 
Products 101175

KFI Products 101175 Winch Mount

PROS

  • This winch mount was made and constructed in the U.S.A.
  • The powder coating is extremely tough and unlikely to chip
  • KFI goes above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction
  • All mounting hardware is included and it’s very easy to install
  • Constructed from 3/16-inch steel and compatible with WARN products

CONS

  • Mount is not compatible with all vehicles
  • Roller fairlead and winch are not included
  • May require welding and grinding to fit some applications

What Recent Buyers Report  

The consensus among recent buyers is that this is extremely easy to install. The instruction manual is detailed and even includes a note about which wire to use where. Another agreed upon feature is how well it fits most vehicles. Even those who had a little issue with the fit found that with just a bit of grinding, they could make it work. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love how affordable this winch mount is, especially when compared to other models of mounting. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford to buy the biggest name brand directly from your vehicle manufacturer, this mount may just do the trick!

Who Will Use This Most

The people who are most likely to use this are DIY people with some experience. This mount occasionally needs a little bit of grinding and beveling to fit properly and experienced welders are able to handle the task. It's also great for people on a budget who don't have the cash to spend buying from the vehicle's manufacturer!

Bottom Line

This is a great winch mount. Although it isn't the top name brand, it is still a very high-quality weld. The powder-finish coating is one of the best we have ever seen before, and it is an extremely durable product that can easily withstand the elements.

ECOTRIC 10x 4 1/2 Cradle Winch Mount Mounting Plate 13,000 Lb Capacity Recovery Winches with One Year Warranty

PROS

  • Mounting plate is a standard 10-inch by 4 ½-inch pattern
  • Design includes a 10-inch fairlead bolt pattern in the center
  • This mounting plate is easy to assemble and install correctly
  • Mounting plate constructed out of 1/5-inch steel for extra durability
  • Great quality, especially given the affordable cost of this mounting plate

CONS

  • Welding quality control is occasionally lax
  • ECOTRIC customer service is not very responsive
  • This mounting plate’s handles are not adjustable

What Recent Buyers Report  

Most buyers love this mounting plate. The consensus is that it is very sturdy, very affordable, and can handle heavy-duty recovery jobs. It is compatible with a variety of different winches. It also works really well in remote locations. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love the value to quality ratio of this product. It’s well worth the money. It is far more affordable than a lot of other models, but still offers a high quality of construction and has the durability to last a long time without sacrificing capacity. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great product for nearly everyone. It can be a little narrow, so if you’ve got a wider winch, it may not be ideal for you. Otherwise, it can handle plenty of remote recoveries and tow jobs!

Bottom Line

This is a very affordable winch mounting plate that offers great quality. It’s a great option for anyone who needs an affordable mounting plate. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

When you’re looking over the different available accessories, you should consider your needs. Some people prefer chains to synthetic ropes and some people are very specific about their clamps and accessories. 

Know what jobs you are going to perform and be mindful of the climate you will be working in, so you know how to tailor your products for the weather. Durability and anti-rust features will be important in wet climates and extra power will be necessary for icy ones.

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to winch accessories. First, you need to take your safety seriously. It can be very tempting to skip on quality or decide against certain parts, but this may end up causing problems for you. 

For example, skipping out on gloves can cause your hands to get burned or scraped if your towing rope gets burrs or starts causing an issue. Snapped lines happen pretty regularly and going without dampening protection can really hurt you in the recoil!

As long as you are aware of the type of work you’ll be doing, you should be able to easily handle any and all issues that come your way. This will also help guide your purchases based on the equipment you will need for these jobs. 

Conclusion

A lot of these accessories are fantastic additions. There are a lot of people who like to purchase several of them and store them in a lightweight and portable bag, forming their own winch accessory kits. Whatever you decide, we know these products will ensure you'll be ready when emergencies strike!