Best Snow Chains

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 16, 2017
When winter comes, many of us get mad about slippery snowbound roads. This is when snow chains come in handy. We have reviewed 5 best snow chains to help you choose the right model for your vehicle. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Tire width
Best For
Materials
Installation
Package
Warranty
 
PROS
Double steel plates provide superior road grip. The self-centering and self-tensioning system. Handmade in Italy.
CONS
The chains need at least 12 mm of a wheel well clearance for installation.
OUR VERDICT
Having these Thule snow chains, you will significantly improve the tractive force of your car, keeping its tires and rims safe thanks to anti-scratch nylon bumpers.
detailed parameters
Tire width
225-267 mm
Best For
SUVs, Crossovers
Materials
Manganese-nickel alloy steel chains
Installation
Chains with tensioning cables are looped around tires without moving the vehicle
Package
2 chains, 2 tensioners, Rigid plastic carrying case, Kneeling mat, Plastic gloves, Mounting instructions
Warranty
5-year warranty
PROS
The chains' position provides a great traction. The chains are available in multiple sizes and fit both front- and rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
CONS
To fix the chains properly, you should move your car a bit and tighten the tensioners.
OUR VERDICT
Whether you drive in icy or snowy conditions, Glacier Chains H2828SC will never let your car slip since they perfectly grip the road thanks to unique design.
detailed parameters
Tire width
225 - 295 mm
Best For
Trucks, Vans, SUVs
Materials
Carbon steel chains
Installation
Chains are fastened on tires without the vehicle moving
Package
2 chains, Multi-arm metal chain tensioner
Warranty
90-day warranty
PROS
The diagonal arrangement of chains provides a good traction performance and long life of the cables. No need to stop the car to retighten the chains.
CONS
The chains make some noise when you drive at a low speed.
OUR VERDICT
Super Z6 snow chains feature enhanced compatibility with anti-lock brakes and traction control, providing efficiency and reliability during the ride on snowbound and iced roads.
detailed parameters
Tire width
225 - 345 mm
Best For
Cars, Pickups and SUVs with limited wheel well clearance
Materials
Alloy steel traction coils, Metal cables with spiral winding
Installation
Split cables with 2 fastening positions are installed without moving the vehicle
Package
2 chains, 2 rubber tensioners, Nylon bag, Plastic gloves, Installation and removal instructions
Warranty
Amazon's 30-day returns policy
PROS
Patented automatic tightening and centering system adjusts the tension automatically while you drive your car.
CONS
No gloves and mat included.
OUR VERDICT
These snow chains by Peerless are incredibly easy to install. Their high quality and durability will save your car from being seized in snow or slush.
detailed parameters
Tire width
225 - 285 mm
Best For
Lightweight trucks and SUVs
Materials
Dual high-impact polycarbonate ratchets, Metal chain
Installation
Chains are fixed on tires without the vehicle moving
Package
2 chains with ratchets, Nylon carrying case
Warranty
Amazon's 30-day returns policy
PROS
The chains fit vehicles with really low wheel well clearance and meet all the safety requirements.
CONS
Installation takes some time due to specific design features.
OUR VERDICT
The Glacier tire chains are perfect for light motor vehicles and are absolutely safe for your car, keeping it damage-free without voiding its warranty.
detailed parameters
Tire width
155 - 315 mm
Best For
Cars with limited wheel well clearance
Materials
Rugged steel wires with hardened low-carbon steel rollers
Installation
Chains should be pulled around tires, and then tires should be revolved for final fastening
Package
2 chains, Carrying case
Warranty
90-day warranty

What is are Snow Chains

Snow chains are one of the most efficient means to prevent slipping and skidding of vehicles. Snow chains are generally designed for snowbound and iced roads, yet they may also be helpful on muddy ways. The chains are covered with hardened metal and are able to keep vehicles on the road in any weather conditions. Choosing snow chains is easy since they come in multiple sizes and design variations.

If you have a pick-up, choose one of the tonneau covers to protect your cargo and vehicle from rain and snow. Also, consider our review of car covers.

What Features to Compare

Tire Size

The tire size is important for installation of snow chains. So, pay attention to compatibility of snow chains with tires of your car. You should read the designations on a tire to define its size; the designations are usually as follows. “P” denotes the tire width in millimeters, next you see “/” and the number that stands for the height-to-width ratio in percentage, and “R” means the rim diameter given in the inches. Once you determine these parameters, you can easily choose snow chains that fit your wheels best. In addition, the snow chains specify the vehicles they are best for, namely pickups, trucks, crossovers, SUVs, and other cars. Snow chains vary in thickness that determines whether they can be installed on a specific car.

Installation

Currently, there are two installation methods. The first one is pretty simple since it doesn’t require moving a vehicle, given that installation is performed by using a few special accessories and tensioners. The other way is a bit more complicated, for you’d need to drive a bit and then see whether the chain has been fixed properly on the wheel. Sometimes, it’s much easier to use a lift jack instead and fasten the chain manually. Snow chains that come without tensioners aren’t secured and so, it’s advisable to check out their position every 15-20 minutes.

Materials

Finally, you need to make sure that snow chains are durable and long-lasting. Snow chains' materials are vital for your safety on the road. The modern manufacturers of snow chains use various materials for specific models. Special alloys are used to reduce the weight of snow chains and improve their stiffness. The hardened low-carbon steel is commonly used for improving strength and flexibility. Alloyed steel is also often used for snow chains and contains special admixtures for beneficial physical or mechanical properties. So, the range of snow chains’ materials is pretty wide and you are welcome to make a choice according to your needs.

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Review of Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe Snow Chain

Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe

Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe

Emphasizing the Safety

Thule was established in Sweden in 1942 and since then it has been producing accessories for active and safe recreation. The Thule products allow transporting various useful things to facilitate the outdoor activities. In 2004 Thule Group acquired a controlling stock of König, the leading provider of snow chains, thereby developing and strengthening its position on the global market. Since then, all König products are manufactured under Thule trade name. Naturally, the snow chains for cars and off-roaders have undergone some changes. The quality control became stricter and numerous innovative technologies were introduced to improve the safety. Thule snow chains are high-grade products that provide the utmost stability of a vehicle thanks to their alloy steel links that improve traction. Thule provides 5 years of warranty service for the chains, which proves their maximum efficiency in any weather conditions.

Review of Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe Snow Chain

Instead of a Serviceman

As experience shows, one doesn't need special skills to install Thule 12mm Snow Chains on tires. The installation doesn't require the vehicle moving. What's more,  the patented tension system automatically spreads the chains over a tire surface for better road grip and tightens them up for secure fixation. This option relieves the need to worry about chains loosening. The assembly of Thule chains is top-level since they are handmade in compliance with all the quality standards and requirements.

Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe Snow Chain in the use

More Products To Consider

Your tires should be adequately inflated for a safe use of snow chains, and a tire pressure gauge will help you to check the inflation of your tires.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Review of the Thule XG12 Pro Tire Chains on a 2012 Nissan Xterra - etrailer.com
Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe
Thule 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe
 
Review of Glacier Chains HSC Light Truck V-Bar Twist Link Tire Chain

Glacier Chains HSC

Glacier Chains HSC

Cross-country Monsters

These snow chains boast the compatibility with large vehicles such as 4x4 off-road trucks or crossovers. Such powerful vehicles amaze us with their four-wheel drives, high clearance, and really huge wheels. Yet, sometimes the power and large wheels are not enough for driving through specific roads. And the Glacier H2828SC snow chains are ready to help and grip the road efficiently thanks to its unique links structure. It is remarkable that chains can be installed on either front or rear tires. Moreover, you can equip all your tires with chains for a greater road traction and more confident driving on snow-clad and iced roads.

Review of Glacier Chains HSC Light Truck V-Bar Twist Link Tire Chain

Playing Safe is Always OK

As a rule, modern cars are available with different tire options, and some of them can be inappropriate for snow chains. The matter is that snow chains add a few millimeters to a tire width and diameter. Hence, if chains are too big for a tire clearance, they might damage suspension, braking system or car body. Besides, according to our findings, snow chains may even lead to malfunction of electronic sensors of a car steering column. So, you should initially check whether snow chains fit the tires of your car. You can find out which tires are compatible with snow chains in the car manual.

Tip

Always put snow chains on the drive wheels of your car to get the best road grip.

More Products To Consider

A waterproof lighting accessory will help boost the road illumination if the car's headlights are not powerful enough.


VIDEO
Review of the Glacier V-Bar Snow Tire Chains on a 2013 Dodge Ram - etrailer.com
Glacier Chains HSC
Glacier Chains HSC
 
Review of Security Chain Company SZ Super Z6 Cable Chain

Security Chain Company SZ Super Z6 Cable Chain

Security Chain Company SZ Super Z6 Cable Chain

No Limits

Super Z6 snow chains are designed for cars, trucks, and SUVs with limited wheel well clearance. The chains need just 6mm of space between the tire tread and a wheel well, so they can be installed virtually on any car. The customer responses prove that the chains are quite elastic and envelop tires tightly. The cables are covered with hundreds of traction coils that cause no damage to the road surface when you drive along the areas free of snow or ice. The chains perfectly fit cars with anti-skid braking systems and will be an additional aid in case if the wheels slip. Note that a car equipped with such anti-skid accessories should not exceed 30 mph to prevent damaging the chains. Super Z6 SZ137 are compatible with the tires 225 - 255 mm wide, and if your tires are beyond this range, you can pick the fitting snow chains on the manufacturer’s website. If you reside in a cold region with an abundance of snow, you should put a snow chain on each tire of your car. Such outfit will allow overcoming snowdrifts and iced roads with ease.

Review of Security Chain Company SZ Super Z6 Cable Chain

Whithout Any Help

Reviewing Super Z6 snow chains are pretty easy to install. The manufacturer designed and patented special tensioners that strain chains on tires without spinning them. These rubber tensioners tie the cables up, constantly maintaining their tension while driving. It means that you don't have to stop your car on the road for retightening. This option will let you stay inside your comfortable car, saving your time. As you can see, the installation is pretty easy and stress-free so even novice users who've never done it before will be able to install the chains.

Security Chain Company SZ Super Z6 Cable Chain in the use

More Products To Consider

A tire inflator will help you inflate the tires if they lose pressure. Most inflators can be powered from 12V cigarette lighters, so they are highly convenient and easy to use.

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
How to Install the SCC Super Z-6 Tire Chain
Security Chain Company SZ Super Z6 Cable Chain
Security Chain Company SZ Super Z6 Cable Chain
 
Review of Peerless Auto-Trac Light Tire Chain

Peerless Auto-Trac

Peerless Auto-Trac

They'll Do Everything Instead of You

When we look at Peerless 0231805, we realize how well-balanced and nicely elaborated they are. The chains are made of high-strength metal and will last for years provided that all guidelines are followed. The diamond-shaped arrangement of the chains has proved itself to be extremely efficient on snowy and muddy roads. The worry-free dual ratchets fasten the chains within a second and then tighten and center them automatically during a ride. Just take the chains out of the included carrying case and get them on tires without any movements of your car. All in all, if you suddenly face a snowdrift or icing on the road, no sweat! Thanks to Peerless chains, everything is possible.

Review of Peerless Auto-Trac Light Tire Chain

Useful Tip

On buying Peerless 0231805, you get a pair of chains, and the drive wheels are the best place for them! However, if you have a four-wheel-drive car, it's better to put chains on all wheels for the maximum traction. Keep in mind that you should never exceed 30 mph when you drive your car with the chains on. The ratchets are not replaceable, and if they get broken, you should substitute the entire chain with another one.

Peerless Auto-Trac Light Tire Chain in the use

Impossible to Get Confused

The customer responses evidence that each chain takes about 1-2 minutes to install. Impressive? Also, the chains are easy to fasten and take off, so you are free to use them only when necessary. The manufacturer painted the kit components in different colors, thus you can instantly pick the needed part.

Detailed review of Peerless Auto-Trac Light Tire Chain

More Products To Consider

If your car is drifted with snow, you surely need a brush to sweep  snow and rime away.

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
Peerless Auto-Trac Installation video
Peerless Auto-Trac
Peerless Auto-Trac
 
Review of Glacier Chains Passenger Cable Tire Chain

Glacier Chains Passenger

Glacier Chains Passenger

Fully Armed

Mild winter prevails on the greater part of the US territory, and that's the main reason why drivers there tend to put winter tires on their cars late in the winter. However, police advise the residents of northern states to acquire deep tread tires or snow chains. The snow tires are permitted for all-year use in some states, being not allowed in others at all. The same goes for snow chains. For example, snow chains and snow tires can be used only in a specific season in Washington State. The police officers recommend drivers to have snow chains at hand in order to drive on snowed-up roads and can even block the passage if a car is not fitted with chains. Observe the local traffic regulations and protect yourself in adverse weather conditions.

The Off-roader Abilities

As our findings show, snow chains provide safe driving in blizzard conditions and on iced roads. Yet, not every car boasts deep tread tires for easy riding through the snow. Glacier snow chains were designed specifically for cars with a low wheel well clearance to boost their tire traction. Remember that the chains must fit the clearance of your car, otherwise, they might damage it. Besides, mind that the car body may get lowered on a suspension after overloading, and the chains can thrust the wheel wells. The Glacier chains make the winter driving safer and more confident, turning your car into an off-roader!

Glacier Chains Passenger Cable Tire Chain in the use

Tip

A flat surface is essential for a proper installation. Use additional tensioners to increase the chains' tightening; they are available in a wide variety of models. Check the tire pressure before the installation of chains as they might damage your car if tires are underinflated.

Detailed review of Glacier Chains Passenger Cable Tire Chain

More Products To Consider

We recommend buying a tensioner that will tighten and align the chains when driving.

Glacier Chains Passenger Cable Tire Chain application

Additional Info

User Manual


VIDEO
Review of the Glacier Cable Snow Tire Chains on a 2012 Honda Civic - etrailer.com
Glacier Chains Passenger
Glacier Chains Passenger
 

Sources:

1. Picking the Perfect Snow Chain is as Easy as 1-2-3? Amazon.

2. Snow Chains & Snow Socks, AA.

3. Snow Chains, Wikipedia. August 17, 2016.

4. Valerie Johnston How to Buy Good Quality Snow Chains, YourMechanic. December 23, 2015.

5. Tire Chains for Winter Use, Tire Rack.

6. How To Put On Tire Chains, DMV.org.

7. Do You Need Winter Chains? Pep Boys.

8. Mike Parra How to Install Snow Chains on Tires, wikiHow.

9. Shawn Rusich 6 Simple Tips for Using Snow Chains, Esurance Blog. December 5, 2011.

10. Tire ChainsTireBuyer.