A recovery kit is an awesome addition for any 4×4 owner with a winch. It will provide you with all the hardware you need to be safe and get yourself out of trouble.
As with most things, there are varying levels of quality. A good winch kit will have straps, D-ring attachments, dampeners, and other items to help pull you along. Keep in mind that solid quality hardware can make a huge difference in getting yourself out of a pickle.
If you’re running a steel cable on your winch you have to make sure a dampener is included. There’s no point in wasting a good amount of money on a kit just to have it fall short of the one thing most important for safety, and surprisingly many of them don’t have dampeners. Including ones specialized for ATVs.
Here are the 5 Best Recovery Kits for Winches on the market:
Warn 97565 Recovery Kit
What we like about it: Heavy Duty Components
What we don’t like: No dedicated Line Dampener
While Warn is known for having the best quality winches available, it also makes sense that they would put considerable effort into their recovery kits. And they have, their quality is consistent in any product we sell. This winch recovery kit has a heavy duty galvanized hook that we love, rated up to 14,400 lbs. The tree trunk protector is rated to the same weight. There’s also a heavy-duty snatch block, shackle, Kevlar reinforced gloves, and a backpack.
What’s our main gripe with this unit? Well, we know it’s a heavy-duty top of the line set but it doesn’t include a dedicated line dampener. Although, the backpack doubles as one – we would definitely prefer at this price range if it had been included additionally to everything else.
Rugged Ridge Winch Recovery Gear Kit
What we like about it: 5-Year Warranty
What we don’t like: Flimsy Appearance
Rugged Ridge’s Winch Recovery Kit is a best seller for a reason. They may not have all the bells and whistles of other options, but it is an affordable alternative that is still rated up to 20,000 lbs. If you don’t have confidence in it, they do. That’s why there’s a 5-year Warranty included. It includes a line dampener, bag, 3/4″ shackles, recovery strap, protector strap, D Rings and gloves. Everything you need in one compact kit that is lightweight at only ten pounds.
What surprised us as first is that these components are rated for higher weights than our Warn recovery kit above. For use on synthetic or cable lines.
ARB 4x4 Accessories RK11 Essentials Recovery Kit
What we like about it: Quality parts – well made, 2-year warranty
What we don’t like: No Dampener
ARBs option for a Winch Recovery Kit is a tidy well-thought out assembly. It includes a visually appealing bag, recovery strap, tee saver strap, two 3/4″ shackles, gloves, and a snatch block. This kit should only be used for vehicles 5600 lbs and under. If you drive a Wrangler, this will work. Heavier vehicles will need a heavier kit and this isn’t it. But, they offer a bigger option on the same listing. They have a kit for small, medium and larger sized vehicles.
ARB is known for over-engineering things and it shows, if you get this on the right vehicle it’s going to last you a long time. Includes a 2-year warranty.
Smittybilt 2725 Premium Winch Universal Recovery Kit
What we like about it: Heavy Duty Strap Ratings
What we don’t like: No Dampener
In terms of price, parts, and load rating – the Smittybilt 2725 wins and is our top choice. This winch recovery kit includes a recovery strap, tree trunk protector, gloves, a snatch block 2 3/4″ D-rings, 5′ chain with hooks, and a nice bag to store it in. This product is covered by a limited warranty.
Rugged Ridge 15104.26 UTV/ATV Recovery Kit
What we like about it: Specialized for ATVs
What we don’t like: Thin Straps
If you have an ATV or UTV and want a kit specialized for you, Rugged Ridge had you in mind. The Deluxe Recovery Gear kit doesn’t just handle helping you winch, they had your tires in mind. This kit includes a bag, snatch block, tree protector strap, D-rings, line dampener, leather gloves, and a carrying case.
As an added bonus it has a plug kit. If you get a flat this includes the pieces you need to get you through your circumstance. Like other Rugged Ridge kits, this comes with a 5 year limited warranty. We would have preferred the straps to be a bit thicker on this model, after all, you’re still paying a good amount – make it a bit heavier duty.
Can you make your own recovery kit?
Of course, you can buy all these items separately but they may not be the same models – companies sometimes make a part that’s only available in their kit. Many people like having a specially made kit to either save time or just to have parts that match.
When you piece up all the parts separately, lots of these options are pretty good deals. But, it’s up to you and taking into consideration your vehicle to decide what will work best. One thing ALL these kits leave out is a shovel. Get yourself a shovel, and something to place underneath your tires for leverage. A mat or even a 2×4. These two things will save your behind.
And if you’re looking for straps separately it’s good to know the differences. Tow straps are meant for slow deliberate pulls and snatch straps are made for a quick “yanking” type of pull. If you try to yank out a vehicle with the wrong kind of strap – the tow strap, then you’ve made a big mistake.
You can go to youtube and see dozens of videos of hitches failing, bumpers being ripped off, and general misery. All because someone wasn’t aware of how a strapped should be used.
What's a good bag for my kit?
If you’re making your own winch recovery kit and you need a bag, we found one that’s a pretty great deal. The Motormic Towing Kit Carry bag is pretty nifty, and it has 6 external pockets. It’s designated as a “multipurpose automotive bag” but we think it’ll work just fine.
One of the basic rules of off-roading is to never travel alone. So even if you get the best equipment, the best kit, and are super confident in all your gear – it’s still not a 100% certainty to free you of all situations.
Always inspect your recovery gear before and after use. Synthetic lines tend to be magnets for dirt which needs to be cleaned. Steel lines can get kinks or tiny spurs that can slice your hands. Your winch could even burn or get corroded because you drove it through some water on your last trip. Equipment can fail unexpectedly, and the more you keep tabs on it for any signs of wear – the better prepared you’ll be.
Still asking yourself if you need a kit?
Well, that depends if your winch included everything. We’re sure you wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t something that was making you itch. If you want to be super prepared, or if you want to be extra safe – our suggestion is to go for it!
There are cheaper options in this list or you could even go ahead and buy the thing you feel you’re missing separately. You don’t have to splurge on the top of the line kit if you won’t use your winch regularly. Get what’s right for you and how you use your winch.
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.