If you’re in the market for a new winch, but you’re just not sure which one to purchase. Then understanding the difference between Warn Zeon vs Platinum will help your decision. That said, we’ve spent some quality time breaking down the two winches to see exactly the benefits, features, and differences. This way you have the information to make the best decision on mounting a new winch on your Jeep, SUV, or truck.
Warn History –
When it comes to off-road gear and a legacy of history, Warn Industries has to be the #1. Since 1948, Warn has been trusted by off-road enthusiast, ATV, and UTV owners. Being a leader in making the electric winches, is not easy, as they have been constantly innovating for the last 70+ years. Over time they have been able to expand and create just about every product that pairs with a winch. For example, bumpers, mounting systems, shackles, 4WD hubs, vehicle specific kits, and powersports accessories.
Warn Industries didn’t just stop at the off-road industry. They have a full line of electric and hydraulic winches and hoists for the industrial and commercial sector as well. Therefore, if you’re looking for a brand that is trusted on the back of a tow truck or the front of a military vehicle, Warn is a great choice for a winch system.
The Details –
In 1930, Arthur and Sadie Warn begin a Willys dealership in Southpark, Washington. Willy’s is better known for the design and product behind the military jeeps. That said, in 1948, they founded Warn Industries. The idea was to convert thousands of military surplus Jeeps into useful on-road vehicles. Arthur was an innovator and inventor, beginning his sales door-to-door in Seattle. It quickly bloomed into a mail-order business with the help of some ads in popular mechanics.
By 1954, Warn locking hubs where being offered as an option from the factory equipment in numerous automobiles. They quickly became an OEM supplier for companies such as Ford, Chrysler, GM, KIA, and Nissan.
With the hub sales quickly gaining pace, Warn Industries began to revolutionize the off-road market with electric winches. At a time vehicles had a Power-take-off or more commonly PTO, which are found on tractors. This required an engine to run, however, if you’re stalled on a hill it served as useless. Which is why the Warn electric winch was so captivating by 1974.
Warn quickly began to expand into the ATV and UTV markets as the need for high-quality gear was required. This allowed Powersports owners the ability for self-recovery.
Warn Industries today has over 180,000 sqft of engineering, manufacturing, and office space located in Clackamas, Oregon with over 350 employees. As a result, Warn holds over 100 patents and 600 products, continuing to innovate and design leading off-road products.
Warn ZEON vs Platinum – Match Up
To get started comparing Warn ZEON vs VR it’s best to start with an overall features comparison. Since Warn’s ZEON and Warn’s ZEON Platinum are apart of the same model numerous off-road enthusiasts have asked us the question, “what’s the difference?” Well we’ve decided to break down each model so you can see what each winch is packed with and why the Platinum is Warn’s top of the line winch.
|Specs||Warn ZEON||Warn Platinum|
|Motor||High-Performance, Exclusive To ZEON||Highest-performance motor exclusive to the Platinum|
|Corrosion Resistance||408 HR Salt Spray||408 HR Salt Spray|
|Line Speeds||33 - 4.8 fpm||44 - 4.5 fpm|
|Gear Train Armour||Full Metal||Full Metal|
|High Load Amp Draw||409A||446A|
Warn ZEON 12 –
The Warn ZEON was built for the Jeep, SUV, or truck owners looking to reach peak performance from a winch will still be affordable. Designed to handle tough situations with durability and high-quality construction. Made from an aluminum housing that keeps the weight down and the looks top notch. This winch is almost more of a statement, but yet it stands up to its style with heavy pulling power.
- 12v DC Permanent Magnet
- Clutch Mechanism – Manual lever operation
- 50 – 438 Amp Draw
Capacities & Features –
- 12,000 lb weight
- 28.1 fpm (no load)
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- 80′ Spydura Synthetic Rope
The Warn ZEON was built for performance, the new ZEON-12-S winch cuts weight by using lightweight metals and Spydura Pro Synthetic rope. However, with the lightweight Warn didn’t compromise the rugged abuse this winch can endure. Plus with the lightweight Pro Spydura Rope is very easy to handle and use when pulling or winching. Warn designed the aesthetic appeal of the ZEON to be a sleek flat black powder coated finish with stainless steel fasteners. That said, the winch is designed to withstand, water, sand, salt, snow, with an IP68 extreme waterproof rating. As a result, you’ll have a winch that can hit the trails, rivers, and mud holes and still work when needed.
Since the ZEON was built for performance, it does come at a premium over the VR winch, however, you get a winch that is built in heavy-duty aluminum. This helps the drum dissipate heat when in use. Since breaking is such an essential aspect of any winch. You’ll be glad to know that the ZEON 12-S is equipped with an automatic mechanical cone brake that holds the full load and still gives you all the control you need.
Warn ZEON Platinum 12-S –
The Warn ZEON Platinum 12-S is equipped by Warn to be one of the most technically advanced winch system made today. With a 12,000 pound capacity, this is the highest end of the spectrum you can find with Warn winches. That also means it costs the most out of all of their lines made for SUVs, Trucks, and Jeeps. However, when you see what the ZEON Platinum offers it’s going to be hard not to fork over the money and get the Platinum.
- Actively monitors winch temperature and vehicle battery condition
- Clutch Mechanism – Automatic operation via wireless remote
- 57 – 446 Amp Draw
Capacities & Features –
- 12,000 lb weight
- 32.9 fpm (no load)
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- 80′ Spydura Synthetic Rope
The Warn ZEON Platinum is by far the most technologically advanced winch Warn offers. With a 12,000 lb capacity, this is their heaviest capacity winch for Trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps. First off the ZEON Platinum has the all new-high-speed motor that has stronger gears and an all-new heat-treated ring gear drive that gives the Platinum a 20% faster line speed. No other model offers this type of speed or efficiency. However, Warn didn’t stop there, they offer an integrated advanced remote which provides live feedback of vehicle battery charge, winch motor temperature, controls operation of the winch clutch, and a lot more. You even have the ability to control the clutch as it’s engaged or disengaged.
The ZEON Platinum looks as sleek as the original ZEON, with the sleek lines and profile. However, it’s the mechanicals and advanced technology that sets the Platinum apart from the rest. There are few models, maybe the new Superwinch that can even come close to the technology. The Platinum is designed with a maximum corrosion resistance rating. Meaning that Warn has used salt-spray testing for over 400 hours to ensure that the Platinum can exceed consumers expectations. This also means that the Platinum carries an IP68 waterproof rating so it can be mounted on the front of your Jeep, SUV, or Truck with no issues of being exposed to the environments.
Warn ZEON vs ZEON Platinum Comparison –
The ZEON Platinum was designed to far exceed the ZEON with its technology and advanced mechanics. However, the ZEON Platinum wasn’t designed to completely replace the ZEON, but rather offer a premium option above the ZEON. Each of these units are by far the best units Warn offers for vehicles, but it comes down to the technical winching you perform and the frequency to warrant the higher priced Platinum.
When it comes to Warn design for the Platinum and ZEON, they are hardly different. Besides for a different emblem and a few each design lines. It’s really what’s on the inside and the components that Warn has selected for the Platinum that makes this model the more premium winch system.
Although the two models have numerous similarities, there are still plenty of options and features that allow the Platinum to shine. For example, the ZEON Platinum has a fully automatic clutch mechanism via the wireless remote which the ZEON doesn’t offer. Additionally, as the ZEON offers a stainless steel clutch lever, the Platinum is controlled all with the wireless remote. Thus, providing you with far better controls. In addition to the clutch, the Platinum has two auxiliary plug-ins that allow you to attach accessories such as air compressors or spotlights.
Both models have similar profiles with an overall height of 7.9″ giving them a sleek low profile look. Additionally, they have the same mounting pattern of 10″ x 4.5″ making them great for aftermarket bumpers and mounting plates.
If you’re looking for a Winch that can outperform and offers nearly every feature and performance benefit then the Platinum is going to be your choice. It does come at a 50% increase in cost so make sure you need the Platinum model. If you’re like me I tend to always get the best to start with cause then I never need to upgrade down the road when I’m in need of a feature. Nonetheless, both units are fantastic units and will get the job done for anyone that is a weekend warrior to a full-time explorer.
Lastly, both models are offered in numerous weight capacities and either a synthetic rope model or steel cable model. Therefore, depending on your needs, you can easily find a winch that matches your terrain and experience level.
Warn ZEON Platinum Technology & Features –
The Platinum is one model that you have to see in addition to reading to get a grasped of its full potential. Therefore, the video below goes over the numerous features that the new Platinum remote and system offers to get you out of a sticky situation.