If you are an avid off-roader then selecting the right winch from all these winch brands can be a real headache.
Today, we'll delve into one of these established brands, Harbor Freight. Harbor freight badland winches offer various winch models at at an affordable price range. They are inexpensive yet excel in quality and performance.
In this review, I am going to cover 6 top-notch winches manufactured by Harbor Freight. I will discuss the good, the bad, and offer suggestions too.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive right into it and see if they are worth the money or not.
Best Badland Winch Comparison Table
Top 6 Best Badland Winches Review
No doubt, this winch is a real badass. As the capacity is 18000 lbs., you can use this winch for heavy truck/jeep recovery or anything that weighs up to 18000 lbs.
However, to get the best result without breaking the winch cable, I recommend you to use it for recovering any weight up to 12000 lbs. (vehicle and baggage weight combined). Better to be safe than sorry.
It’s a good practice to keep the loaded weight of the vehicle 1.5 times less than the weight capacity of the winch. If your winch capacity is 15,000 lbs. then you can pull up to 10,000 lbs. weight safely.
**The loaded weight = the vehicle weight + the weight of any belongings you are carrying inside the vehicle.
Though this winch comes with a corded remote, you can buy the Badland wireless remote to make your life easy.
This one is IP66 rated. But the remote control switch is not water-resistant. So, be careful with that. It also offers a reliable 75 ft. high-quality steel cable.
By the way, you should be aware that a steel cable can cause serious injury if it breaks under load. So, you should use a winch dampener blanket to avoid such situations.
Overall, this very winch is a good and fairly affordable option for commercial rigging, towing trucks.
A few users believe this one is a bit overkill for automobiles. I don’t agree with them 100%, don’t totally disagree with them either. It depends. For heavy vehicle stuck in deep mud/snow, the extra power will surely come in handy.
- Easy to mount and operate.
- Using it with little care makes it highly durable.
- This winch offers 75 feet steel cable going through a high-quality roller fairlead.
- The length and quality of the cable are quite good I must say.
- It comes with a well functioning wired (30feet) remote.
- Powerful motor, competitive price considering the capacity.
- Controlling this winch is even easier with the help of three-stage planetary gear, automatic load-holding brake, and free spooling clutch.
- IP66 rated. Meaning water projected in powerful jet won’t damage the winch.
- It comes with a handy relocatable solenoid box.
- I expected a wireless remote coming with the package at this price range. But unfortunately, you have to buy it separately. Maybe they did it to reduce the base price.
- Inventory is hard to come by and this winch is often out of stock.
This 12k lb Badlands Apex winch is capable of towing a vehicle weighing below 12000 lbs. To get the best result you should try to restrict your vehicle’s weight to 8000 lbs. or less.
This one has a wireless remote in the box too, so you don't have to buy it separately. If you ever need a replacement remote the same wireless remote that I mentioned earlier goes with this winch too.
During the towing process, the cable slings nicely on the spool. You won’t face any hassle during the operation.
I think considering the quality, performance and price, this is one of the best winches out there for the money. You won’t regret buying this one if you are looking for a 12000 lb. capacity winch.
Badlands Apex Video Review
If you prefer to watch a video, below is a great video that overviews the Badlands Apex winch.
- Not overly expensive.
- Easy instruction manual.
- Easy assembling and wiring.
- Equipped with high-quality 65 feet steel cable going through a roller fairlead for smooth winching operation.
- It comes with a 12 feet corded remote that works flawlessly.
- You can control the winching easily as it comes with three-stage planetary gear and a free spooling clutch.
- An automatic load-holding brake makes it even easier to control and ensures safety.
- IP66 rated, powerful motor.
- Handy relocatable solenoid box.
- The cable length and the remote control cable length could have been a bit longer.
- Pulling is a tad slow.
But as per the safety recommendation, you should keep the weight of the vehicle within 6000 lbs. Otherwise, you won’t get the best result.
To make your life easy and comfortable while recovering, better use a wireless remote. But it’s up to you. The wired one works fine, no issue.
The cable works well. No bunching up in one spot during the pulling process. Nonetheless, like some other users, I also believe it could have been a bit longer.
All in all, this one is a good electric winch if you are looking for a 9000 lb capacity option.
- A strong and easy to install winch with plenty of power.
- The series-wound motor doesn’t get too hot for a long pull.
- It comes with a quality corded (12 feet) remote that works without any issue.
- You can control the whole winching process without any hassle as this winch offers three-stage planetary gear and free spooling clutch.
- Like the other models, this one also offers automatic load-holding gear for safety.
- It comes with a quality relocatable solenoid box.
- 65 feet steel cable that goes through a roller fairlead works perfectly.
- IP66 rated. Meaning it’s water-resistant.
- The length of the remote cable is quite ok. Being said that, I wouldn’t mind seeing it a bit longer though.
- It doesn’t have a wireless remote included with the package.
- Some cost-saving decisions were made in the production process that may impact longevity.
This winch is specifically made for towing UTV's and ATV's and other payloads in this weight class.
Unlike the other models, this one is equipped with single-stage planetary gear. Which I believe is a common feature for most of the ATV winches.
This particular winch doesn’t provide much power, which may me ideal if you don't need it.
Have you noticed this one is IP67 rated? Meaning it’s one step ahead of the previous models from them. It has protection against the effects of immersion in water up to 3 feet. This is something I have always wanted from any ATV/UTV winches and I'm glad to see it implemented here.
As per as the pricing is concerned, this winch offers a competitive price for the capacity and quality it provides.
- Not too heavy to carry.
- Easy to install and operate.
- It comes with every required wire.
- Affordable pricing.
- It comes with a handlebar control (8 feet) and a handheld remote (12 feet). Both work flawlessly.
- Like the other models of Badland winches, this one also offers free spooling clutch and automatic load-holding brake for smooth winching.
- Equipped with 50 feet steel cable going through a roller fairlead that doesn’t cause any hassle during the operation.
- IP67 rated.
- Wireless remote with the package would have been a great addition.
- I prefer synthetic rope to steel cable for any ATV/UTV winch.
As you can see it is capable of handling any weight below 2500 lb. Best for towing your UTV/ATV if you keep the gross weight of your vehicle up to 1666 lbs.
The wireless remote control works well within the 20 feet range.
I prefer a synthetic rope for ATV and UTV winches as it makes the winch even lighter. Also, a synthetic rope doesn’t cause serious injury if it breaks under load.
Being said that, I believe this one is the best bang for your buck if you are looking for a 2500 lb. winch.
Let’s watch a video overview of this 2500 lb. Badland winch:
- Lightweight (only 14 lbs) compared to the other winches. A perfect weight to carry along.
- Worth the money without any doubt whatsoever.
- It comes with a wireless remote with the kit. Finally, you don’t have to buy it separately for this model.
- Memory timer to turn the winch off after certain minutes.
- Equipped with 50 feet steel cable which I believe is quite substantial for towing ATV/UTVs.
- Controlling the operation is a cakewalk because of the free spooling clutch and automatic load-holding brake.
- The remote could have been slightly better.
- My personal preference is for synthetic rope, although you may feel differently.
As per my findings, it excels in doing so and won't break the bank. A solid contender in its price range.
The Tethered up-down control works without any issue whatsoever. However, the control is quite large to grip and the buttons are big too to press comfortably.
This winch comes with heavy-duty 35 feet steel cable going through a hawse fairlead.
As per as the pricing, I believe it’s a bit pricey compared to the previous one if you don't need the tethered control functionality.
Altogether, this is a powerful winch for pulling up anything like a motorcycle or a boat.
- It will protect you from experiencing thermal overload
- It has 2 stage planetary gearing
- Pull up to 1500 lb. horizontally
- It has a remote control that is tethered and not ideal for convenient use.
Badland Winch FAQs
Is Badland winch any good?
Harbor Freight Badland winches are durable, fairly priced winches. You can expect to several years of reliable use. That’s what most of the users said. At its price point, they are strong contenders with plenty to love.
Where are Harbor Freight Badland winches made?
These winches are manufactured in China and then branded as Badland Winches by the company. Produced by the same factories from where most other brands source their products.
Are Harbor Freight Badland winches waterproof?
It depends on the model. Most of their winches are waterproof. Mainly the higher capacity ones.
How many amps does a winch pull?
Most of the winches at full load draws 300 amps.
What size winch do I need?
You’ll need a winch having 1.5 times the capacity of your loaded vehicle weight. If loaded vehicle weight is 5000 lbs then you’ll need a winch with a minimum 7500 lbs capacity to safely pull. *Loaded vehicle = vehicle weight + baggages weight.
Conclusion for The Best Badland Winch Review
In this review, I’ve left no stone unturned to find out the good and bad sides of these winches.
I tried to deal with the core factors that will help you to make the right decision.
Whether a particular winch is worth the money and how well it is capable of vehicle recovery are some of the main concerns I always check.
Badland winches are good quality winches that I would definitely buy if I don’t plan to spend a fortune on other popular brands like Warn. I’m ok with some of the hiccups that I mentioned. I was pleasantly surprised!
Now it’s your turn to make the decision.
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