Table of Contents
- View The Best Snow Chains Below
- 1. Security Chain Company Z-575 Z-Chain Cable T
- 2. KONIG XG-12 PRO 245 Snow chains
- 3. Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Tire Chains
- 4. Glacier 1042 Passenger Cable Tire Chain
- 5. KONIG XB-16 247 Snow chains
- 6. TerraGrips Tire Chains
- 7. Security Chain Company SZ127 Super Z6 Tire Chain
- 8. Peerless Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Traction Chain
- 9. HSecurity Chain Company ZT747
- 10. Generic Twist Link Tire Chain
- Snow Chains Buyer’s Guide
Snow can be incredibly challenging to handle when you are trying to drive a vehicle across varied terrain, especially as it gets heavier and less consistent. If you are suffering from an especially cold winter, or live in an area where snow is almost constant, then it can become increasingly difficult to even drive short distances safely.
Snow tire chains can solve this problem in a roundabout way, helping you grip onto the ground more effectively and improving the overall handling of your car. However, like all car accessories, finding the right show chains can take quite a lot of time and effort if you are looking for the best on the market.
Below are ten of the best sets of snowchains available at the moment, as well as some extra details about what makes them worth using and why they stand out from the rest.
View The Best Snow Chains Below
1. Security Chain Company Z-575 Z-Chain Cable T
These snow chains are designed for improved compatibility with other tire features, such as anti-lock brake designs and traction control, to help them fit in with other upgrades your vehicle might have. Installation is quick and can be done without having to raise or move your car, giving you multiple manganese alloy straps that can offer better traction with no direct risks to your vehicle.
The improvements to the fastening system also make the easy installation even faster, allowing you to quickly adjust or remove the traction chains on short notice if the snow suddenly stops or you are traveling to a warmer area.
+ Quick and easy to install.
+ Use a cable-style design for easy storage.
+ Made with manganese alloy for higher durability.
+ Offer improved traction.
+ Work with other tire and wheel features.
Why We Liked It – These are one of the best tire chains due to their adjusted design, making them much easier to use alongside a wide range of tire types and additions.
2. KONIG XG-12 PRO 245 Snow chains
These easy to install snow chains are able to work really well on SUVs, aiming to combine excellent comfort improvement with a high level of performance. The 12mm clearance makes them suitable for most tire types without scraping against other parts of the vehicle, and the optional anti-scratch nylon bumpers protect each tire from harm when moving over awkward ground.
A self-tensioning system has also been added to the design of the chains, removing the need for manual tensioning during long drives through heavy snow. Other than that, the chains are simply effective at what they do and don’t rely on niche features.
+ Protect your tires from snow and ice.
+ Give your vehicle better traction.
+ Quick installation.
+ Optionally use anti-scratch bumpers.
Why We Liked It – These snow chains are easy to fit and incredibly reliable, giving you great winter traction regardless of the vehicle you drive.
3. Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Tire Chains
The excellent quality of these cable chains makes them an extremely convenient option for any situation. The simple and effective carbon steel rollers allow for better traction on all kinds of snow without causing extra harm to your tires, and the low-profile construction means that they can also work well on snow-free roads.
Not only that, but the design reduces vibration and noise on all surfaces, giving you a much more comfortable driving experience. The snow chain metal itself is galvanized to prevent rusting and natural corrosion from long-term use, coming in a plastic storage box that can easily be reused.
+ Easy to store.
+ Work on minimal-clearance tire designs.
+ Provide improved traction on snow.
+ Very durable.
Why We Liked It – These are a great set of snow chains for any vehicles with specific tire designs that might not allow for much clearance or extra adjustment.
4. Glacier 1042 Passenger Cable Tire Chain
The hardened steel roller pieces used on these snow chains make them far more reliable on mixed terrain, as well as working perfectly with both front-wheel and rear-wheel drives. The limited clearance design means that they are perfect for fitting on tires without much free space, and the easy installation also makes them easy to remove as needed.
The metal has been galvanized for extra rust protection, while the snow chain itself reduces the noise and vibrations made during the average drive. For more valuable vehicles, they also don’t do anything that would void a warranty or count as a modification to the tires.
+ Straightforward installation.
+ Excellent as winter tires.
+ Ideal for low-clearance designs.
+ Work with most vehicle types.
+ Reduce noise, vibrations, and rust.
Why We Liked It – These are excellent snow chains for vehicles that can’t accept a lot of larger and higher-clearance designs, providing good traction and comfort in every situation.
5. KONIG XB-16 247 Snow chains
These snow chains use a manual tensioning system that allows you to quickly adjust how they fit and work on your vehicle, making it far easier to get the exact results you want on any tires. This, combined with the sixteen inches of clearance, makes them much more effective at handling soft and muddy ground while still being great for heavy snow and ice. The design of the chains as a whole makes them very simple and reliable, offering incredibly good results without having to rely on gimmicks or niche features that don’t translate into practical results well.
+ Durable and reliable.
+ Easy to use on a range of tire types.
+ Manual tension system.
+ Use closed shortening hooks.
+ Offer a good level of clearance.
Why We Liked It – These are excellent snow chains for handling soft and muddy ground while still being great for heavy snow and ice.
6. TerraGrips Tire Chains
These tire chains aren’t just winter tires: they are capable of working well on snow, gravel, mud, mulch, and almost any other surface, giving you excellent performance and keeping you moving over any terrain. The tool-free easy installation means that they can quickly be added or removed to your vehicle at a moment’s notice, and the build-in rubber materials provide far better durability for both the tire chains and the tire itself. These rubber belts also help push traction even further than the tire chains normally would, making snow even less of a problem than before.
+ Use built-in rubber belts.
+ Designed for all-terrain types, not just snow and ice.
+ Quick and easy to install.
+ No tools required.
+ Improve traction on all surfaces.
Why We Liked It – If winter traction isn’t the only thing your vehicle struggles with, these tire chains can make any car far more reliable on nearly any surface you have to cross.
7. Security Chain Company SZ127 Super Z6 Tire Chain
These high-traction tire chains are supposed to provide a much higher level of performance in almost all situations, easily working alongside other tire features and vehicle upgrades to ensure that they don’t snag or tangle on anything important.
The simple installation process makes them easy to attach without being forced to move or lift the vehicle, letting you decide when and where to attach them. Each tire uses traction coils that are made from a tough steel alloy, improving the durability of your snow chains while also making sure that they don’t scratch at your tires and cause faster wear while driving.
+ Compatible with multiple tire accessories.
+ Suitable for restrictive clearances.
+ Work on a range of vehicle types.
+ Easy to install.
+ Offer significantly improved traction.
Why We Liked It – These chains work best on any car that might need a quick performance boost, and doesn’t conflict with other important upgrades or features.
8. Peerless Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Traction Chain
The self-tightening ratchet design makes it much easier to properly install these tires, ensuring that they can offer high traction even if you aren’t the best at attaching chains to your tire. A diamond pattern ensures smoother movement and even greater traction on specific surfaces, while the simplicity of the tensioning and tightening system means that there will never be any loose chains getting in your way. They are also smaller and lighter than other designs, offering more grip points without weighing down your vehicle, making them slightly easier to use when you are up against slopes or other slippery surfaces.
+ Very easy to install.
+ Self-tightening construction.
+ Reduced bulk and weight.
+ Use a reliable diamond pattern.
+ Reduce the chance of tire or chain damage.
Why We Liked It – These snow chains might seem larger at first, but the reduced weight and improved focus on traction make them ideal for wet or slippery ground.
9. HSecurity Chain Company ZT747
The great traction offered by these snow chains means that they are perfect for snow and ice, but they are also far more durable than you might expect. The built-in rubber tensioning system means that you don’t have to manually tighten the chains after each installation, and the improved compatibility allows them to work well alongside other car tire features and control systems. The cable chain design ensures that they will cause less damage to the body of your vehicle or the tires they are mounted to, helping you stay safe and stable on all kinds of terrain.
+ Self-tensioning design.
+ Provide better durability and performance.
+ Useful for many terrain types.
+ Reduce damage to the car.
+ Simple installation process.
Why We Liked It – Snow chains like this are simple but useful, offering good traction while also helping your car and its attachments stay out of harm’s way.
The high durability of these tire chains means that they are very useful in harsh weather and on rough ground, giving you proper protection from slips while also making sure that the chains work properly even if they are starting to suffer damage from long-term use.
The cross chain design gives you multiple chain straps that improve traction even further while you are on the move, and the CAM links on the site mean that you don’t need a separate chain adjustment product to alter how they fit. Even when used on standard cars and tires, the chain can provide far better results on difficult terrain.
+ Made with excellent materials.
+ Allows for easy adjustments using the included CAM tool.
+ High durability.
+ Designed for reliable quality.
+ Can work on many vehicle types.
Why We Liked It – This set of snow chains is a great product for people who want raw traction and easy adjustments, focusing entirely on performance over everything else.
Snow Chains Buyer’s Guide
Snow chains aren’t always just meant to help you get more traction on snow: there can be plenty of different ways that they affect your car tires, from changes in traction and stability to a completely new method of interacting with certain types of terrain. While it might not seem like it at first, a lot of people forget that your average snow chain design is going to alter the outer surface of a tire, which can often lead to major differences in performance even if you are just moving across regular dry ground. Even then, some chains come with unique features or designs that might be completely different from the designs that you are used to.
Here are some of the key features to watch out for, as well as some advice on how to find snow chains that suit your vehicle well.
Snow Chain types
There are multiple types of snow chain, and they can all lead to major performance differences even if they are more or less the same on paper. Something as small as a change in the shape of the chains can have a domino effect on how the rest of the snow chain design works, so it is important to focus on what you are actually buying and how it might lead to differences in traction, stability and ride comfort. Understanding how different snow tire types can work will make it much easier to choose one that suits you best.
The average tire chain design will use metal chains that link together around the tire, forming a kind of mesh. The most basic versions will simply wrap around in a cross pattern or as bars: while a cross chain and straight chain might differ in terms of their performance, they are still similar enough to put under the same label. Because they use classic chain link designs, they are much more durable and far less likely to suffer from rust or corrosion, but they can also be bulkier and a bit harder to use on cars that won’t have much space for attachments like that.
In a way, all tire chains are snow chains, since the inclusion of any tire chains will generally lead to improved traction. This is because a tire traction chain will add some more grip to the surface of each tire, which may be exactly what you need to start dealing with snow and ice more effectively. Many of these tire chains also work well on softer ground, but some may struggle to provide any benefits on solid surfaces like bare roads. For this reason, some chain product designs may have to be removed when there is no snow, dirt, or ice in your way.
The only main downsides to chains like this are the fact that they won’t always be the best choice for every vehicle or situation. It is entirely possible that a certain vehicle won’t have the clearance needed to mount a normal tire chain, and inconsistent weather can make a product designed purely for snow much less useful in the long run.
Cable Tire Chain
Cable tire chains come in different designs, being made with steel cable rather than regular linked chains. These cable chains are less effective when it comes to getting a better grip (since snow chains are generally seen as the “traction chains”), but they are also far less bulky. This means that they can easily be used on a vehicle that won’t have the space to use a proper set of snow chains since most cable chains are low-profile and don’t need as much clearance to work correctly.
Because of this, cable chains are also sometimes the more desirable option for people who need to handle mixed weather. Regular snow chains work well in winter conditions, but cable chains may be more useful if the weather constantly changes, and you are not always faced with heavy snowfall. For example, passenger cars that act as a taxi service will often have to travel to a lot of distant destinations: there is no guarantee that these passenger cars will always be handling snow, so a cable chain design may be more reliable and convenient for them.
Snow socks are one design that often gets ignored, given that they aren’t technically chains. Snow socks can be rare and aren’t always as useful as chains, but they work on the same principle: you wrap them around a tire to add more traction on the outer surface, binding them in a way that keeps them tight around the tire.
There are thousands of chains on the market that you can try, so a lot of them have added extra features to stand out as a product. This can be anything from small design changes to major adjustments with how the chains work, and all of them can be used differently.
Tensioning is the act of making the chains less slack by putting them into a tighter grip around the tire. While many product designs force you to do this manually, they won’t always do it in the same way: some may require you to have particular tools available to do it, while others may use a tool-free system that can be adjusted with your bare hands.
Some tensioning systems might even be much simpler than others purely because of the design and the way the product fits around the tire. It is extremely important to remember that you will usually have to adjust the tension every time you attach the tire chain, so it is rarely a one-off task.
Some product types go a step further – they may offer a self-tensioning system. The idea behind this is that the tire chain product will automatically adjust its own tension levels to remove slack and give you better performance each time you attach the chains. However, these can sometimes fail and might require manual adjustments, so they aren’t always the superior option. Either way, make sure you have chains that are tightened properly since too much slack can damage both the chains and the vehicle they are attached to.
Removing the chains is usually done in the exact same way at attaching them, just in reverse. However, some may have an automatic release option that quickly removes the chains from the tire without needing you to disconnect them in the same way you connected them. This can be a handy convenience, but not everybody prefers it, and it won’t always be necessary if you only need to remove your chains on very rare occasions.
The patterns used by the snow chains can alter what they are best for. Although there can be some outliers. Most patterns fill a particular role or niche. For example, diamond patterns are mostly used alongside traction control to provide a good grip on ice and snow, while square chains are focused around improved durability and an improved level of traction on all surfaces. Ladder patterns can either be suitableness for all surfaces or restricted to nothing but snow and ice, depending on how they are made and the way that the built-in rubber or metal strips are connected to the tire.
Are chains or cables better for snow?
Neither cables or chains are the best product for use on snow, as it all comes down to what kind of product you need and the sort of snow you have to deal with. For example, if you are looking for a snow chain UK provider, they might offer different features in each product to a seller in some parts of the US due to the differences in climate and weather. Brands like the Security Chain Company and Radial Chain are well-known for making good snow chains, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t companies making cable product lines of the same quality.
If you are trying to decide, make sure you look at brands on both sides. If you only look at the Security Chain Company and Radial Chain, then you are going to get a feeling that snow chains are better, since Radial Chain and the Security Chain Company are almost exclusively geared towards tire chain production. However, if you compare Security Chain to a similar brand that makes cables, you can get a better idea of how the two will compare.
What are the easiest snow chains to put on?
The installation process of a snow chain product depends on the design. Some tire chains are made in a way that allows them to easily slip on, while other tire chains may be much more complex. However, you need to think about how often you will be removing and installing your tire chains.
If snowy winter conditions aren’t that common in your climate, tire chains that can easily be installed are best, since you will be removing them often. However, if you live in a snowy area, you may not mind tire chains that take longer to install, since they may only have to remove and re-attach them once or twice over the entire year.
Do you put snow chains on all 4 tires?
The most important place to put your tire chains is on the wheels that provide the power. Even the best tire chains won’t make much difference if they are providing traction to wheels that aren’t turning, so be sure to install your tire chains on whichever wheels are involved in the vehicle’s drive system.
For example, if you have a front-wheel drive, put them on the front two wheels. If you have four-wheel drive, then it is usually best to put them on all four wheels, although you can still put them on the two strongest wheels if you only have two tire chains ready to use.
That being said, you can still put tire chains on the non-drive wheels too. This prevents slipping and may help you get balanced traction, even if those wheels aren’t powered. If you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle, then putting tire chains on the back wheels can still prevent it from swinging out of control on ice or slippery snow, and can help you if you are trying to brake suddenly.
Do I need 2 or 4 snow chains?
While it is recommended that you use four tire chains, it won’t always be that necessary. In light snow that doesn’t affect your driving all that much, you might only need a chain product on each drive wheel. Still, it is a good idea to buy a chain for each wheel, even if you don’t install them all at once: you never know when the weather will turn severe enough to need the other chain set, and it is better to be prepared for situations like that.
As a side note, remember that you don’t technically have to use the same chains on the front and back wheels. It is not always the best idea to do this, but it can be helpful if you only have one set of drive wheels: you might want high traction on the front wheels and improved comfort on the rear ones, for example. If you plan to do this, be sure you know what you are doing first.
The best snow chains on the market aren’t necessarily going to be the ones that get the best reviews: you never know what the best snow chains for your particular situation will be, and finding the best tire chains isn’t always as easy as looking at the most popular option. As you’ve seen in the advice above, the best tire chains can sometimes even be completely different from what you were expecting: your personal best tire chains might not even be tire chains at all.
No matter what product you pick, there’s plenty of tire chains out there that will be able to suit your vehicle, and many of those may be extremely useful in your current situation. Any tire chain product you use will offer good results, but some tire chains may be clearly superior to others when you look at them with your own needs in mind. All it takes is one missing feature or a small change to make a product much less useful, so don’t settle for second-best if you can help it.