Driving off the road can quickly turn into a serious hobby for adventure lovers.
And when you are going off the road, one thing you should never skip is having a winch nearby ready to help when you are in sticky spots.
Even the Jeeps with the best off-road tires can sometimes get stuck, and the only solution for that is a winch.
When you are looking at the market for the Good winches, the names Smittyblit X20 and WARN Zeon will pop up fairly often.
In this article, I have put Smittybilt X20 vs. WARN Zeon head to head against each other and reviewed them both to see which one comes out as the best.
Table of Contents
Difference between Smittybilt X20 and WARN Zeon winches
|1. Easy to install as well as to use
2. Waterproof and all-weather
3. Untouchable price for the performance
4. Excellent build
5. Heavy-duty support
|1. Usage is extremely easy
2. Multipurpose wireless remote control system
4. Safety feature
5. The synthetic rope makes it lighter than steel cable ones
|1. Replacement parts can be pricey
|1. The cord of the remote may be too short if installed on the back of the car
2. The battery of the wireless remote does not hold that much power
3. The synthetic rope comes separately
As you can see from the reviews, both of the winches are actually pretty similar in terms of performance and features.
However, they do have a few small differences. In this section, I will talk about them.
The most obvious difference between the two winches is their price. WARN Zeon winch is priced more than 3 times the amount of the Smittyblit one.
Many people believe it is only because of the brand name, but the WARN one is more reliable than the Smittyblit for regular heavy-duty usage as it consistently performs well.
Nevertheless, it’s true that you can make do with either one of them since the functions are similar.
So, if you are in a pinch and the budget matters to you, your choice should be clear.
The compartments of the Smittyblit winch comes from China, which obviously is why they can be made so affordable.
On the other hand, the WARN winches are made in the USA. Regardless, which country they are manufactured in should not matter to the performance of the winches.
The WARN Zeon can handle the same pressure from similar loads as the Smittyblit X20, but during the same period of time, the WARN puts more stress on the battery than the Smittyblit X20.
Essentially, this means that in longer pulls, the WARN will drain the same battery out faster than the Smittyblit X20 will.
This is important for people that need to have longer pulls when using a winch.
Both of the winches are pretty lightweight thanks to the synthetic ropes. The Smittyblit winch is slightly more lightweight than the WARN one, weighing at 67 lbs.
On the other hand, the WARN winch weight 69.4 lbs. But this difference is negligible.
The first winch I will review today is an all-weather option that has a high capacity and is a great value for your bucks.
This rope is waterproof and synthetic, made to withstand up to 10,000-pound weight.
The brand Smittyblit is a very famous winch manufacturer that is well-loved in the 4×4 community.
Build quality of the winch is excellent, as is the case with all other Smittybuilt products.
It is very simple and easy to install, and it can be controlled by a wireless remote, which is super convenient and pleased many customers.
However, one user complained that the replacement parts can cost more than a justified amount.
Another very small issue seems to be the range of the wireless remote. It seems to cover a bit less than the amount of area mentioned in the manual.
Nonetheless, it still works fine in a reasonable area. The speed of the winch is great and balanced – not very slow but not so fast that you can’t control it either.
One thing that attracts many people to this winch is the price and the performance it gives for that price – you will be getting the best high-duty performance without breaking the bank.
And the X20 also offers two mounting locations for the solenoid, which is versatile and useful.
This model has a water-resistance of IP68, which means it can be submerged under 1.5-meter water for as long as 30 minutes – which is a real game-changer when driving in harsh weather conditions or deep pools.
Overall, the Smittyblit X20 is a very good option for someone with a Jeep who does not want to pay a fortune for a winch but still wants solid performance.
Latest Comparison: Smittybilt XRC vs X20
WARN Zeon Platinum
Our second competitor, the WARN Zeon Platinum, is a well-acclaimed addition to WARN’s lineup, and it shows a lot of promise.
It is said to be very advanced and superior to all the other older models of winches.
The features of this one include 10,000 pounds balance, synthetic rope, and a series-wound motor which can deliver quiet, reliable, and fast pulling power.
It also looks quite stylish as the design is consistent on the entire body, from the motor to the gear.
This winch is bound to look good on your four-wheeler and enhance its beauty.
Using this winch is very easy, despite not having any clutch handle on. The advanced wireless remote system gives you various options to perform.
Aside from the various functions regarding the usage of the winch, it also shows a battery icon, which indicates the charge of your Jeep’s battery and whether it’s charging or low.
And the safety feature is also quite useful; it defaults the winch back to an engaged position when you let it sit idle for a period of time in a free spool position.
This ensures that the winch will not be rolling back. One complaint a user had was that the cordless remote had too little battery power; it should be able to hold a bit more.
For regular use, this winch works like a beast and is reliable enough to have your back in times of need.
The tow speed and power are also quite remarkable. It is very powerful and will definitely pull any heavy vehicle you want it to, within a reasonable weight range.
Overall, this winch is everything you can hope for and more. It is reliable, stylish, and offers versatile functions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the two products:
There are two types of Jeep winches – hydraulic and electric. The former one gets connected to the vehicle’s power steering system, which makes them more heavy-duty.
Electric winches are powered by the Jeep’s battery, which is limited and not as heavy-duty.
Generally, the remotes should work just fine when you are inside the vehicle.
The remote comes with a cable that you can connect to if the battery is dead.
Yes. As for maintenance, you should regularly inspect the bolts, cables, & electric connections, lubricate the grease points.
Make sure there are no corrosions, and all connections are secured tightly.
It depends on your level of usage. Both of them are pretty similar, so if you use the winch quite regularly, you should spend the extra few bucks for the reliability of the WARN; otherwise, for light to medium use, the Smittyblit one is more than enough.
As you can see in our Smittybilt X20 vs. WARN Zeon article, the only main difference I have found is the price point. In terms of features and performances, both are quite similar.
If you are on a budget and are someone who needs occasional pulling, then the Smittyblit one is a good match for you.
However, if you are someone who does not mind splurging and use the winch rather frequently, you should get the WARN Zeon as it’s more reliable.