Typically, car owners find it difficult to find a set of chains that fit their tires like a glove. That is why we compiled a list of tire chains that boast the highest level of traction and provide protection on but also – off-road.
Down below, you will find 10 products we believe can help you remain safe in the trickiest situations – on slippery and icy roads, but get you out of mud or grass as well. We also wanted to provide you with more useful info about the types of chains, the most important factors to look for when choosing between products, and answered the most frequently asked questions in our buyer’s guide.
Before moving on to the actual reviews, here is a short comparison table of Best Tire Snow Chains!
Top 10 Best Tire Snow Chains – Reviews
A good set of tire chains provides a snug fit and wraps all around the tire to prevent slipping. The vast choice of available products can make you overwhelmed, which is why we selected the top 10 chains. To remain safe on the road, make sure to include one of the following sets in your winter driving arsenal.
Although the first product on our list doesn’t feature the typical design of the tire snow chains, we decided to put the Security Chain SZ143 cable tire chains first. The metal cable design is quite unique and innovative, which drew our attention right away. Later, we found out extra features that brought this set to the top.
This Security Chain set boasts a reliable construction, versatility, and ease of installation. These chains can fit almost any type of vehicle – a passenger car, pickup, and SUVs.
Basically, you won’t even have to move your car whilst installing these chains, which can be a big advantage if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, where it is cold, and you want to fit the chains easily and get yourself back on the road.
Security Chain didn’t sacrifice the grip or traction, as their cable chains are designed to overcome the conventional chains’ performance on and off-road. These phenomenal chains fall into the category of mid-ranged products although their features are more on the high-end.
Konig is one of the brands you can’t go wrong with. These guys test their product multiple times before hitting the market so you can rest assured of the reliability of their CB-12 090 snow chains on snowy and icy roads.
Although not an eye-grabbing pair of chains, these ones are simple but very functional. Konig designed these chains to provide amazing traction on the road so you can get out of any situation, no matter the depth of snow.
When the time comes, you will tension the Konig snow chains manually. Make sure to drive your car for 10 to 20 meters prior to fastening the chains. The seller packed these chains with flexible steel cables and special shortening hooks to make the installation and storage more convenient for you.
Practical, quite strong, and durable, the Konig CB-12 090 snow chains would be the best pick for cars in the higher horsepower class in our opinion.
TerraGrips designed terrifying all-terrain 20×8-8 tire chains that provide better traction and better protection than some other products on this list. However, these heavy-duty chains are not suitable for typical passenger cars but powerful vehicles.
You can tell these chains are quite unique right away. Their tough, rubber construction makes them rugged and bulky but very durable. The rubber slats are the ones that make this product stand out from the rest and level up the traction game on snowy and icy roads but also mulch, mud, and gravel as well.
Unlike steel chains, those made of rubber, like these ones, are still soft enough so you can rest assured no road surface can damage them. TerraGrips packed them with steel-plated, rust-resistant components that add that touch of sleekness.
If you need a pair of sturdy snow tires for, let’s say, a tractor, keep your eye on the TerraGrips chains.
If you live in a cold area, your lawn tractor is probably your best friend during the winter. Yet, even a powerful vehicle such as a lawn tractor needs additional protection and extra traction when the surface gets covered with a couple of layers of snow and ice.
Arnold designed one of the best chains for lawn tractors that can make maneuvering through snow way easier. These wide chains work great with grass, mud, and gravel as well, so you can use them all-year-round and ensure a safe ride on your tractor each time. Just make sure to find the right size according to your tire’s model number.
The price tag of these chains (you get a set of rear chains in the pack) might make you doubt their quality. That’s why you should know Arnold is a reputable company with more than 50 years of experience in designing high-quality attachments and accessories, and their chains are nothing less.
Security Chain has a set of more conventional snow chains for the average passenger car owner’s needs. Yet, keep in mind their performance outstands their design – big time.
These cable chains provide all-around traction, offer a smooth ride, and increase your safety on the road. This series is easy to fit on most passenger cars and it takes no more than 5 to 10 minutes to install both chains.
To make the installation even simpler but to ensure you always get the best fit, Security Chains integrated rubber tighteners to their SZ335 snow chains. Thanks to these, you can rest assured your chains will stay on for as long as you want them to. With these, there’s no need to make numerous stops to re-tighten. Yaay!
The Security Chain SZ335 is compatible with electronically monitored control systems and anti-lock brakes, which is a feature you meet in high-end models only. A solid combination of traction, performance, and durability, these cable chains will get your through the winter with minimal effort.
If you like the idea and design of the cable chains but would like to spare a couple of bucks, the Glacier 1046 model might be the one for you. These chains boast a sturdy and durable construction and come with case hardened steel rollers that are very resistant to wear and tear and corrosion.
Lightweight, you can install these in a matter of minutes and take them off even quicker. The Glacier chains provide great traction and protect your tires from ending up torn (this could be a pro if you are usually driving on rocky, unpaved, or uneven roads).
Although not overly versatile, we still appreciate that you can use them on both rear and front rear-wheel-drive cars. The Glacier chains are made for passenger vehicles only and keep in mind you should order the correct tire size suitable for your car’s year make model.
Overall, this product meets all the safety and legal requirements, and offer quite decent performance, long wear, and premium stability on the road.
Quality Chain built their Volt LT chains for SUVs and smaller trucks. Although these are cable tire chains, they can still provide better traction for larger tires in diameter than some classic chain models on the market.
What we appreciate about these chains is that they come with rubber adjusters that make them very versatile. You can use them on various vehicles and find the best fit without much hassle. Also, these cable chains feature an innovative diagonal design that makes your rides safer and smoother.
Covered in alloy, these chains are resistant to wear, and you don’t meet this type of quality often with ladder style chains. You will get your chains packed in a plastic box you can use to store them during the summer or in the back of your car when there is a chance of snow.
Quality Chain designed a set of budget-friendly tire chains that might meet your expectations and provide great traction on the road. These can fit your tires tightly and, thus, get you through snow and ice easily, with no need for re-adjustment.
The cable design is, typically, low-profile and easy to fit onto most tires within no more than 10 to 20 minutes. Lightweight and convenient to store, you can carry these Cobra cable chains in your trunk all year round. They perform great on grass and gravel as well – just in case you get stuck somewhere out of the winter season.
You can fit them on most passenger vehicles but also low clearance SUVs. Generally, the Cobra cable chains are capable of enduring harsh winter conditions and rough terrains, and, as a cherry to the top, they are reasonably priced as well.
Most car owners are willing to spend some extra money on a pair of high-quality, durable snow tire chains. The XB-16 245 chains thick all the boxes when it comes to construction, traction, and ease of installation.
Reliable, the Konig Distribution chains are manually tensioned, which can give you more confidence on the road. You don’t have to worry about the fit of these chains as Konig integrated closed shortening hooks with each pair so you can adjust their size to fit snuggly.
When we take into account that these chains feature a large diameter, this could be a major pro if you travel off-road and need something to bite deeply into ice and snow. The Konig tire chains are certified to meet the highest safety and legal requirements, which is something quite logical to expect for their price.
Buyplus features another innovative model of tire snow chains. These chains (or straps) are the one-size-fits-all type of product. Their simple design make suits most vehicles – passenger cars, SUVs, and trucks. How so? You get 6 or 12 sets (depending on which option you choose) of 6.5 to 10.8 inches chains in the package so it is almost impossible not to find the best fit for your four-wheeler.
The construction of these straps is fairly sturdy and includes materials such as steel, aluminum alloy, and TPU. This makes them very resistant to low temperatures and tough terrains. Probably the best thing about the Buyplus chains is that these boast an anti-skid surface that ensures the best traction and stability.
You can fit these chains within no more than a couple of minutes, and take them off even faster – without moving the vehicle or using the jack. Easy-peasy to install, safe to use, stable, and suitable for all-season usage, the Buyplus set of tire chains might be your lifesaver if you find yourself in a tricky situation.
Types of Tire Snow Chains
The automotive industry is constantly evolving. Companies are trying to offer products that can make rides smoother and safer. When it comes to tire snow chains, most drivers are familiar with a typical, classic design. However, manufacturers came up with a new, cable design, which you could spot in our reviews. What are the differences between chains and cables and which ones provide better performance?
1. Tire Chains
No matter how old-fashioned, metal chains are still many drivers’ choice for the winter. This type of chain features a construction that wraps around the tires and provides good traction. Metal chain links can withstand heavy-use and last longer than tire cables. Also, they are less prone to corrosion.
2. Tire Cables
This model of snow chains is a subject of numerous debates. Tire cables are typically made of steel. Packed with small metal rings, you can rest assured they can provide a good grip. Their biggest advantage is that they are low-profile and lightweight. If you need a set of chains for occasional use, tire cables would do.
Tire Snow Chains – Buyer’s Guide
Let’s sum up some of the key factors when it comes to tire snow chains. Try to find a set that ticks most of the following features if you want to ensure a good purchase.
The two main materials used for manufacturing chains are rubber and metal, although numerous products include steel components as well. Although metal is slightly more durable, rubber prevents road damages and minimizes the chances of damaging your car as well. Metal chains give you more control and rubber chains provide good traction but may not last as long as you would expect.
Now that we mentioned potential vehicle damages, let’s talk more about the clearance. It displays the distance between your tires and the car body. If your chains hit the body of your car, it would cause greater damage over time. Thick chains are better for larger vehicles but still, be careful about the clearance if you want to protect your investment.
A very few products in the tire snow chains category fit most vehicles. That is why you should be careful about your tire size. Check on the size of the chains so that it fits your tire’s height, width, and diameter.
Some chains come with tighteners that can help you adjust the fit a bit but this works only for minor size differences. The wrong chain size will make your car underperform and cause frustration.
Whilst doing our research, we noticed the easiest chains to install were the most popular. You don’t want to spend hours installing the chains, right? Look for the clamp-on chains or the ones that allow you to install them without moving your car.
This doesn’t mean you can’t find a great set of manually tensioned chains. We’ve reviewed a couple of great products in this category you can install within 10 to 20 minutes maximum.
Different types of tire chain patterns include square, ladder, diagonal, and diamond. If you have the anti-lock braking system installed, the diamond-shaped chains might meet your needs best. Square-shaped chains are quite similar to the diamond-shaped ones but provide better traction.
For cars with traction control, we recommend diagonal chains as these perform great on both snow and ice. Ladder chains might be a good pick if you are typically driving on and off-road.
Tire chains are a must during the winter, no matter if the conditions in your state are mild or extreme. With a good set of chains, you don’t have to worry about the rotation of the wheels. Chains ensure a proper grip and prevent slipping.
The SZ143 Cable Tire Chains by Security Chain seem to be the absolute winner here, as they fit most tires and vehicles, feature awesome on and off-road performance, provide premium traction, and low clearance.
Still, you know best which best tire snow chains from our list would offer the most convenience to your car so we are leaving the final decision up to you.