Getting a winch is a nice little powerup to your vehicle and it gives you a sense of security. Now you can get your friends and yourself out of a rut if you need to. What happens often though, is that people don’t take care of their winches. They leave them exposed in the elements or they don’t inspect their equipment after each use.
That’s a natural thing for us to do. A little way we can keep on top of things is by getting a winch cover. They cost next to nothing and they can protect your winch from water and potential harm. Or just things that will reduce the lifespan of the mechanical components.
We want something that is waterproof, doesn’t cost much, and will last.
With those criteria in mind we assembled the best winch covers on the market:
Flymei Winch Cover
The Flymei winch cover is our best value for the money in this category. It’s cheaper than other options, won’t crack in the sun and it’s elastic so it should fit nearly all mid to large winches. Does it look like a shower cap to you?
Well, that’s pretty much what it is! A shower cap for winches. If you look at the inside you’ll notice the smooth lining of polyester that makes this waterproof. They offer a lifetime replacement warranty which is something competitors don’t have.
Mostly we like the feel of this cover. Fabric feels like it’s going to last longer than other materials. You really only have to worry about this ripping or fraying, because sitting in the sun or the rain isn’t a problem. This is our favorite winch cover.
El Jefe Winch Cover
The El Jefe winch cover offers everything you could need and we mean it. It’s waterproof, cheap, and it can cover big winches too. Up to a 17500 lb model. That’s because it has an elastic band.
El Jefe means the boss in Spanish, usually, we’d say they’re being a bit cocky but we agree in this case. For winch covers, it’s going to be one of the best buys for your money. If you want a simple black design this is a good choice for non-fabric materials.
It’s made from patent leather and it’s manufactured in Europe. This is a properly sewn design that doesn’t use glue. It should last you for a long time and it’s our favorite plain black option. Since it is patent leather, there is the possibility of the sun drying it out over time. If you do live in a sunny environment you might want to go for a cloth design since fabric won’t potentially crack.
WARN Soft Winch Cover
Warn has a soft winch cover that is made for their own line of winches. It’s an older design that first hit the market in 2005. At 17 inches in length and 11 inches in width, you’ll have to see if it’s the right size for your setup.
But, since it’s an open design with bungee cords you can use this to cover most winches. The cover has holes in it so you can run a rope through and tie it down to tighten it properly. The cover is made of nylon and vinyl, it will resist water and the elements just fine.
Once you tie this down and get it secured with the bungee it’s a great option for anyone who likes Warn’s products. Price is the number one knock on this though, it costs nearly three times as much as some covers. But, the design and construction of this Warn winch cover is top notch so we see the appeal.
If you live in a rainy environment and deal with moisture frequently, we recommend going with an elastic option over an open design. And if you go with this, make sure your bumper has places that you can attach the bungee cord to. Sometimes people buy this and realize it won’t fit on their bumper.
Warn Zeon Winch Cover
The Warn Zeon winch cover is made of Neoprene and suited specifically to the new Zeon line of winches. They have a specific fit for every type of winch, and that’s the main benefit of this cover. A snug marriage of protection, but it still uses elastic to hold tightly.
If you’re wondering what Neoprene is, it’s a synthetic type of rubber that people have figured out how to mold into designs. That’s why this keeps water out, and that’s the main reason people use Neoprene. To waterproof things.
If you’re going to be in the sun a lot with this cover, then it has mixed results. They provide a spray to increase “UV resistance”, which lends itself to human error. It’s pretty likely that people aren’t going to have spraying their winch cover as something at the top of a checklist. So, we don’t like that.
Do I need a winch cover?
If winch covers weren’t a recommendation, Warn and Smittybilt wouldn’t make their own. But, it really depends on how you store your vehicle that’s using the winch. If it’s never exposed to the elements, if it never has to sit in the rain, if it never has to be in a dusty environment, then you don’t need a winch cover.
But, it’s an electrical device with metal components and housing that can be susceptible to rusting and water. That’s why we recommend getting a winch cover. Plus, they’re cheap.
If you want something that is going to get beaten up by the sun over the years and last we think you should go with a polyester fabric. But those will be less resistant to moisture than something like patent leather just by one material being porous and the other being one smooth surface. The trade-off is that the sun tends to crack leathery materials over time.
We think the Flymei is the best option for the money but can understand why people like patent leather for their winches. Whatever you choose, let us know how it worked out for you and how it held up!
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.