As a responsible off-roader, it is crucial to carry recovery equipment at all times. For recovery, I generally trust Smittybilt products for their cost-effectiveness and outstanding customer service.
The winch I trust is the Smittybilt X20-10 Comp Gen2 Waterproof Winch (with Synthetic Rope and Aluminum Fairlead and 10k lbs capacity). This particular winch is waterproof and also comes with a wireless remote, which can also be connected with a wire. Be careful though, don’t be like me and lose your wireless remote the first time you use the winch! You’d be surprised how easy it is to misplace when it doesn’t have to be connected.
On the winch, I have installed a Factor-55 Pro Link to achieve a closed winching system for maximum safety. Factor-55 products are key when it comes to safe winching. Nothing beats a completely closed system and you can remain confident that your winch hook will not come unhooked.
A lot of Jeeper’s mentality is that you “don’t need a winch or recovery equipment because everyone else has”. It’s important to take recovery seriously. You never know if you end up lost on a trail by yourself and need your own winch. Not to mention, it’s not always feasible to have a second Jeep winch you out (there may not be enough space, etc).
Winching is dangerous, and it is important to learn proper winching and recovery techniques and also be prepared. Do not attempt any recovery you do not feel safe doing, and do your research before buying a winch. Be sure to understand the pros and cons of steel cable and rope lines in order to make an informed decision.