Winter brings a lot of challenges for many people. Aside from the chilling temperature, it also becomes harder to drive. Snow on the ground will make the driving conditions different, and there are risks that are involved. With this, there is one thing that can help – the use of the best tire chains.
If you are looking for tire chains to use, you will probably be overwhelmed by the abundance of options that are available. This, however, should not be an excuse for you to pick just any product. In the rest of this post, learn about some important things that will help you to make the right decision. We will identify five of the best products that you can consider.
What is a Tire Chain?
Also called snow chains, they can prove to be handy during the winter months, making it easier and safer for you to drive around. They will be installed around the tire, and their primary purpose is to improve traction. When there is snow or ice on the surface, the tire may not have a strong grip on the surface, which is exactly the reason why the use of chains is a good idea.
These chains are often available in pairs. You have to figure out which one is suited for your tire, as their sizes may vary. The styles can also be different, more of which will be tackled later on. While using tire chains can be beneficial in terms of traction, it should be noted that there can be problems when it comes to fuel efficiency and speed.
Types of Tire Chains
In your search for the best tire chains, the first thing that you have to do is to think about what specific type is needed. In this case, the following are the choices that you have:
- Entry Level: If you live in an area where there is occasional snow, this type will be more than enough.
- Standard: This is the right choice if there is regular snow or ice in your place.
- Premium: If there is snow daily and if you want to enjoy optimal traction, this should be on the top of your list.
- Alternative Traction: You should choose this if you will be driving shortly in an area with snow. This is also the right choice if you have a car that has a low profile.
Aside from the intended use, the best tire chains can also be classified based on their configuration.
- Z Chain: If you are looking for simplicity, this is an option that may work. Its installation is quick and hassle-free. They are compatible with a wide array of tires and already include rubber tighteners.
- Radial Chain: If you are looking for optimal stopping and starting, this can prove to be a promising option. It comes with an all-steel construction, which will be instrumental of its durability.
Essential Factors to Consider When Buying
As you try to evaluate how one product is different from the other, you should take into account the factors that will be mentioned below:
- Size: One of the most important considerations is fitment. This means that its size should be appropriate for the size of your tires. If the chains are too big, this can end up banging on the surface of your car and will be unable to provide the traction that is required. If it is too small, on the other hand, it won’t fit at all.
- Installation: It is also important to look for one that can be installed in a snap. You do not the help of a pro to complete its assembly. The product should be easy to assemble. To add, it will also be good if there are comprehensive instructions from the manufacturer, making it easy for you to figure out how the installation can be completed.
- Price: A lot of people will probably decide on the basis of price. Many may be tempted to choose one product only because it comes with a cheap price. This is one thing that you should not do. Quality should be more important. It should not matter even if it is expensive if it is tantamount to enjoying the best within the product category.
- Link Pattern: Different tire chains can have different patterns, each with their respective purpose and benefits. If you want one that is designed specifically for slippery ground, diagonal link is a good choice. On the other hand, if durability and grip are important considerations, choose square link. Meanwhile, for on and off-road driving, ladderlike links will perform best.
- Durability: The best tire chains should be durable, which means that they must remain in their tip-top condition even through the years. Even if it is used frequently, it should not be easily prone to wear and tear. Otherwise, you will only be wasting your money and worse, your safety will be compromised.
- Reviews: If you are having a hard time reaching a decision, you can consult with the opinions of other people. A lot have been generous enough to go online and read reviews. This will be a good way to weigh the pros and cons of the possibilities.
Top Picks for the Best Tire Chains
|Product (Amazon Links)
Series 2300 – 232605
If you are having a hard time trying to figure out which one is the best, this section will identify five of the products that can provide the best bang for the buck.
1. Security Chain Company SZ115 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain for Passenger Cars, Pickups, and SUVs, Set of 2
Among others, one reason why this is above many others within the competition is the fact that it is effortless to install. You do not need to move the car. Within a short time, the installation will be done.
The versatility of this tire chain is another thing that makes this an exceptional choice. This is basically because you can use it not only for cars, but even for trucks and SUVs. Regardless of where it will be used, you can expect the same optimal performance, especially when it comes to traction.
In terms of the materials that are used, this can also prove to be impressive. For instance, it comes with traction coils that are made from alloy steel. This material significantly improves the lifespan of the tire chain.
Lastly, its size is also exceptional. This means that you can use it even with limited clearance. In fact, you will need only .25 inch of clearance, which is significantly lesser compared to most of the traditional options in the market.
- Installation can be accomplished in a snap
- Comes with a rubber tightener
- Significantly improves traction
- May not be good for uphill driving
- Can easily break
2. Peerless 0232605 Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Traction Chain – Set of 2
While this model comes with an abundance of features, one that should be noted is the Automatic Tightening and Centering System. The latter minimizes the effort required on your end to ensure its reliability. As you drive, the chains will adjust automatically.
The snug fit of the chain is another great thing about this product. This means that once the chain has been positioned, regardless of the movement of the tires, the chain will not be displaced. It will also automatically retighten on its own.
It is also worth emphasizing that it comes with low-mass D-cross section. This is an intelligent feature that reduces impact. With this, you can expect that it will stay durable even after several years of use.
Lastly, the installation can be accomplished easily. You do not need to exert a lot of effort before you can have it assembled properly. The manufacturer even provides comprehensive instructions to make things a lot easier.
- Easy to install
- Solid construction
- Provides great traction
- Tensioners are weak
- Possible issues with size
3. Glacier 1038 Passenger Cable Tire Chain – Set of 2
Some people are afraid of using tire chains because of the fear that this will void the warranty of their vehicle. This is because some chains can cause external damages to the car, especially in the absence of the right fitment. This is not one thing that you should worry about in the case of this chain.
It is also a good thing that this is a versatile option. The latter is simply because it can be used regardless of whether you have a front or rear-drive vehicle.
The materials that are used in the chain are also worth commending. They are made from low carbon steel that has been case hardened, which is supposed to make it withstand wear and tear. Even the side cables are made in such a way that they will last for an extended period.
The low profile of the tire chain is also a good thing. This is a good way to provide you with a smoother ride. This will also make sure that he chains will not touch the surface of your car. Such is one of the reasons why using this chain will not render your warranty void.
- Easy to install
- Good even for long drives
- Can be easily prone to scratches
- There can be problems with retention
4. KONIG 12mm XG12 Pro Deluxe SUV/Crossover Snow Chain, Size 245 (Sold in Pairs)
While there are many things that will make this exceptional, one of the best is the fact that it is self-tensioning and self-adjusting. With this innovative feature, there is no need for you to make adjustments manually. Just drive straight and the tire chain will automatically adjust on its own, making sure that it stays tight and in its proper place.
It is also worth noting that it comes with a special pattern. With this, the chain will offer exceptional traction in a wide array of surfaces. Whether it is slippery or snowy, the chain will make sure that the tires will be on the right path and you will be safe all the time.
Lastly, the manufacturer provides 5-year warranty, which is reflective of the confidence they have in their product. This can also provide you with peace of mind. Within the warranty period, the manufacturer backs the quality of the chains. It will ensure your highest level of satisfaction.
- Exceptional fitment
- Durable construction
- Stays snugly fit
- Can create noise
5. Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Snow Traction Tire Chains (1046)
The quality is decent, although not necessarily the best.
You may also love this product because it is lightweight. You can easily stash it in the back of your car. This will not be a significant addition to the gears that you have.
It is also a good thing that it fits in many cars. Take note of the word many. It does not fit all cars, but will be good enough for most. It is best to check the specifications from the manufacturer to be sure that your money will not go into waste.
- Compatible with a wide array of tires
- Low-profile design
- Can make a loud noise
- Not as durable as others
Searching for the best tire chains can be overwhelming and challenging. Nonetheless, even if the options are never-ending, you should not be in a rush in making a decision. Consider the things that have been mentioned above and it will make things a lot easier. At all times, do not chose a product only because it comes with a low price. You should look beyond the cost. Make sure that it can offer excellent traction and that it will withstand long-term use.