The use of chains for tires may become necessary during the winter season, considering the thickness of snow and ice on roads. These are generally used when there is inadequate clearance between the wheel arch or vehicle suspension and the tires.
Keep in mind that snowstorm can instantly change the driving conditions, especially throughout mountainous roads, turning an enjoyable journey into something hazardous. This is the main reason why snow chains for tires are essential to use. In fact, government agencies require vehicles to use such equipment in mountainous regions, or require car owners to, at least keep one in the vehicle’s trunk, before they are allowed to travel.
However, it is also important to take note that not all regions or states require such safety measure. So, it is still imperative to research your respective regional or state laws and regulations. Nonetheless, this article talks about these traction devices, giving you the top-rated snow chain reviews, in case you might need one in the future.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|Thule 12mm XG12|| (4.7 / 5) |
|Security Chain Company ZT735|| (4.5 / 5) |
|Quality Chain Cobra|| (4 / 5) |
|Glacier Chains H2828SC|| (3.8 / 5) |
|Peerless 0232605|| (4.2 / 5) |
Best Snow Chain Reviews 2016
Table of Contents
Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe
First on the list is the Thule 12mm XG12 with an average customer rating of 4.7-Stars. The Thule Pro Deluxe features an on-the-thread clearance, including a 5-year warranty from its manufacturer. These snow chains for cars boast a self-tensioning and self-centering design. It also features an external quick-release removal design that allows for optimum convenience during detachment and storage.
These traction devices have a micro-regulatory system, which is ideal for tensioning of the chains, while the special pattern of double-traction plates have been welded in order to increase performance and increase grip on snowy roads. They are perfect for crossover vehicles and SUVs, considering the 12mm inside tire that provides thread clearance, allowing superior driving comfort.
The Thule 12mm chains are reliable snow chain alternatives that offer anti-scratch bumpers made of nylon, making it an ultimate protection for alloy wheels. The innovative design is likewise attributed to color-coded touch points, unlike other brands. Solid results are expected from these high-quality chains, focusing on no less than traction purposes.
There are several positive reviews that the Thule 12mm has created, indicating happy customers who have been using them on sedans, minivans, and even small ATVs. Additionally, they are very easy to use and install, making them the best option for first-time users as well.
These are the best tire chains due to its automatic tension design without moving the vehicle at all. You can never go wrong with the security that it provides, giving you a great traction and driving experience, despite the snow and ice. On top of the security, the Thule 12mm also offers a comfortable ride, giving you a 100% worthy product; in spite its price tag.
Security Chain Company ZT735
With an average rating of 4.5-Stars is the Security Chain ZT735, meeting the requirements of class S clearance. It also offers an easy and fast installation, considering the rubber tighteners that are included in the kit for utmost user convenience. It is perfect for SUV and light truck applications, providing a very durable design like no other.
The Security Chain ZT735 claims to be the best snow chains because they have been designed for almost all types and applications, ranging from passenger cars to SUVs, light trucks, ATVs, garden tractors, airport transporters, forklift machines, snow blowers, and more. Hence, they are specifically helpful when there is limited tire clearance, easily powering through inches of snow and ice, and even thick mud.
Certainly, these are the best tire chains for snow and ice, giving you the ultimate freedom to drive on roads and highways without the dangers of sliding around other cars or over mountain edges. The super fast and easy installation can get you through, despite the onset of snow, so that you can naturally enjoy your road trips and journeys.
Based on snow tire chains reviews, the Security Chain ZT735’s cables never loosen during driving, giving you the peace of mind that you deserve, especially during long trips. These products also come with a very nice container for every set. This container tends to hold the rubber chain tighteners too, that allows for convenient storage when not in use. Indeed, the Security Chain ZT735 chains are high-quality and efficient tire traction devices you can ever find.
Quality Chain Cobra Cable
Meanwhile, the Quality Chain 1046 receives a 4-Star as an average rating from its customers. These tire chains for snow and ice are sold in pairs and rubber adjusters are also available, although they are sold separately. These snow chains meet the requirements of SAE Class S clearance, but are not highly recommended for trailers.
The Quality Chain 1046 Cobra chains are very versatile, fitting a wide range of tire sizes such as 265/75-15, 245/65-15, 255/45-19, and many more. Durability is rest assured by the Cobra, considering its tough construction of carbon steel rollers that offer long wear and reliable traction at all times.
The carbon steel rollers also result in an improved tire-to-road contact; thereby, providing better stability, reduced vibration and considerable noise reduction. These chains are not only designed for minimal clearance, but also for original equipment tires that are high-tread. These are the best snow cables that are completely galvanized, resulting in ultra rust protection.
Moreover, the Quality Chain Cobra comes with a handy plastic box that allows for easy storage when not in use. Similar to the previous products, this one, too, has created a lot of happy customers. Some consumers actually use them in their Jeeps when driving in the mountains, working very well due to the perfect fit.
Other users also share their experiences with this product, saying that the Cobra chains are easy snow chains that they very easy to put without having to kneel down. In fact, most users are satisfied with these chains, allowing a single-user installation, and even a woman can handle the task, while the tighteners are recommended to buy separately.
Glacier Chains H2828SC
Furthermore, the Glacier Chains H2828SC receives a 3.8-Star average rating. These are the best tire chains for ice, according to the actual owners, considering the very durable carbon steel cross chain, including a welded V-bar for added durability and stability. This product also provides a lever end fastener that allows for easy mounting, unlike the previous chains that do not come with such feature.
The Glacier Chains H2828SC are perfect for SUVs, vans, and trucks, while meeting the state requirements in accordance to tire traction devices. To ensure a perfect fit, these chains also come with locking side-cams. Additionally, it can accommodate mainly the larger vehicles due to its combination of off-road, lightweight, and durable traction.
Aside from the sturdy traction, these chains also offer an enhanced control over roads that are covered with ice and snow. But, unlike other chains on the market, the installation of Glacier Chains H2828SC can be quite time-consuming and challenging, especially for first-time users. However, the installation time can be reduced dramatically by using the lever-end fastener, making the mounting easier and faster.
A dry run is highly recommended with these chains, ensuring that they will not loosen over time. These chains also work best on traction control or ABS-equipped vehicles. Nonetheless, these tire chain alternatives can really stick to slippery roads and surfaces like glue, which is basically brought about by the twist link cross design, carbon steel construction, and the welded V-bar. Hence, the Glacier Chains H2828SC is the perfect winter solution, providing you a reliable and safe driving, despite the thick snow and ice on the roads.
Peerless 0232605 Auto-Trac
Finally, the Peerless 0232605 Auto-Trac is a 4.2-Star-rated product that is very easy to install, while allowing you to remove it in just minutes. These Peerless tire chains feature a worry-free design with dual high-impact, self-tightening ratchets, providing you an automatic centering and tightening. However, exceeding 30 MPH with the chains is not recommended by the manufacturer.
When compared to the previous chains on the list, the Peerless 0232605 boasts a diamond-pattern cross chain. This design tends to deliver a smoother ride as well as superior traction over other brands. This brand also meets the requirements of Class S clearance.
These series of snow chains are suitable for different tire sizes. The kit includes a nylon carrying case, which comes in handy during transport and storage. Just like most of the products on the list, this one, too, has generated several positive reviews. Many actual users are satisfied with the easy installation and perfect fitment of these chains, provided that the user relies on the fitment guide.
Through the installation guide, you are required with only six simple steps, taking you about a minute per tire in getting the chains on. While some tire chain reviews indicate fitment issues, it is strongly advised to follow the recommendations of other users or inquiring the manufacturer first, before purchasing online. It is mainly because there is a list of tire sizes that are exclusively compatible with the chains.
Furthermore, the traction is said to be great as the actual users are captivated with the efficiency of these devices. Overall, the Peerless snow chains are very easy to install and store in the carrying bag. It does not only offer great grip on ice and snow, but also on dry pavement.
Snow Chain Buying Guide
As with many other consumer products on the market, there are also factors you need to consider when shopping for the best snow chains for cars and other types of vehicles. In this section of the article, provided are the major considerations that every probable buyer should take note of, keeping in mind each aspect, before placing your order online.
You will encounter several types of snow chains, based on the traction and the type of grip that you need. These chains vary widely, including the entry-level, the standard, the premium, and the alternative traction. Basically, the first three categories are meant for SUVs, trucks, and passenger cars, while the last variant is designed mainly for passenger cars.
Your driving style and your current area also play crucial roles throughout the selection. The entry-level snow chains are best in areas with occasional ice and snow, while the standard type offers a well-rounded traction for locations with regular snowfall.
On the other hand, the premium models are excellent when it comes to grip and braking power on the ice, making them suitable for everyday driving. Finally, the snow chains alternative is the main devices that are perfect for drivers with fairly short winter exposure, and for those with low-profile vehicles.
The best tire cables should allow easy installation, considering the urgency of its use. Among the types of these devices, the premium variants are the easiest to install and use, while the entry-level and standard types are quite challenging and may require the work force of at least two individuals. Some of the models, on the other hand, require rubber tighteners in keeping them securely attached to the tires.
As per the reviewed products, most of them include these rubber tighteners, except for the Quality Chain Cobra. All the rest, including the Auto Trac tire chains, Peerless, Thule 12mm, Security Chains and Glacier Chains offer this accessory for easier and faster installation process.
As a probable buyer of snow chains, considering the link pattern is equally essential. Every link pattern caters to a specific vehicle type or driving surface. For instance, the diamond-pattern link such as the Peerless Auto-Trac works hand-in-hand with traction control and ABS systems. On the contrary, the square link pattern tends to promote better durability and traction.
Additionally, the ladder-style link differs from one another. There are those specifically designed for icy or snowy surfaces, while others excel at off-road surfaces and gripping performance. A diagonal-link pattern can dig more into slippery surfaces than the other patterns. Generally, these types of tire chains and link patterns work well under a speed of 30 MPH, although there are some models that can surpass speeds of as fast as 100 MPH for highway driving needs.
The price of these ice chains for tires is not inexpensive as one would expect. Most of the brands and models are priced over $100, although most of them come with a convenient carrying bag and the extra rubber tighteners. These bonuses still make them a great deal for people who really need such devices.
There are variants that are priced between 40 and 80 dollars and are also sold in pairs. The entry-level chains are usually priced the cheapest among the available types. Perhaps, the budget-conscious buyers can opt for such products, although the quality and durability are not guaranteed to withstand the harshest of conditions. It is still imperative to go for the trusted brands and manufacturers with positive snow chains review and feedback from actual users.
If you are required to use these devices in your area, here are the basic guidelines that you must follow during installation and operation.
These tire chains for ice must be mounted on the vehicle’s drive wheels. It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing. In order to maintain the normal handling characteristic of AWD and 4WD vehicles, these devices must be mounted on all 4 tires; thereby, requiring you to buy two pairs if you’re driving such vehicle type.
It is also crucial to purchase the correct size, ensuring the proper fit of such device to your tires. This is the key to obtaining the desired durability and performance at the same time. It is not advised deflating the tires just to install the chains; thereby, the correct size fits the completely inflated tire. Keep in mind that these easy to install tire chains may not be suitable for all tire sizes.
Automotive experts recommend using only the SAE Class S snow chains, such as the reviewed products in this article. This requirement tends to maintain the minimum clearance between the vehicle tires and the suspension, fenders, strut, and brake lines. Furthermore, pre-fitting the chains is strongly advised, before the actual usage, including conducting a dry run, prior to long road trips. Such process likewise allows for familiarization with the product’s installation.
A tire chain installation helper is also available for consumers, which are primarily small ramps that help in slipping prevention. These easy tire chains should be kept in the car trunk during the winter period, and should be installed only when required by law or justified by driving conditions.
In a nutshell, getting the best snow tire chains is certainly helpful when the weather conditions get really harsh. Proper preparation, prior to such driving conditions is highly important, ensuring your safety as well as the performance of your vehicle, while eliminating potential road accidents and frustrating driving experiences simultaneously.
Remember that while the snow chains offer boundless benefits, some may also post a few disadvantages, especially for first-time users. It is always best to pick the most reliable and the best snow chains for tires from trusted brands and manufacturers, ensuring the durability, stability, security, and overall performance of these emergency devices.