3 Best 4×4 Snow Chains

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Hey there my fellow 4WD enthusiasts and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best 4×4 snow chains to cut through the ice with this year.  As we all know, driving on snow and ice can be dangerous so it is critical to ensure that a truck is prepared to navigate roads in these conditions.

And, contrary to popular belief, simply having a four-wheel-drive does not guarantee getting through these difficult terrains in one piece which is why in many locations, it is actually against the law to drive without snow chains as well. However as usual, there are a number of options out there to choose from so to help you out, I have had a good look around and come up with three decent options below.

Let’s check them out…

My three recommended 4×4 snow chains

I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

09/21/2022 03:38 pm GMT

What are 4wd snow chains?

Snow chains, also known as tire chains, are devices attached to vehicle tires to provide maximum traction when driving on snow and ice. As the name suggests, the are made of steel chain that is wrapped around the tire to provide extra traction in the snow or ice.

Chain size and pattern (diamond or ladder) will vary depending on the type of terrain being travelled on and thickness of the snow or ice as well.

best 4wd snow chains - snow chain on 4x4 tire

What should you be looking for?

The following factors should be considered as you look for a good pair of snow chains for your 4×4.

  1. Type
  2. Material
  3. Weight
  4. Self-tensioning
  5. Size
  6. Additions

Type

Below are two of the commonly found tire chains types available:

  1. Diamond snow chains: This type of chain has the best traction as it has a larger contact surface with the ground. Conventional tire chains are made up of strings of metal chain links arranged in a diamond pattern. It is recommended that the angle of the diamond vertices is smaller as you navigate roads with more snow.
  2. Cable snow chains: Also known as ladder chains, this type has lateral metal cables spaced apart and connected to a chain that runs around the tire’s circumference. Because its design involves separated cables, the vehicle becomes easier to brake. These chains also typically have tiny links, allowing them to be lightweight while optimizing traction.

Material

Generally, high-end snow chains are crafted using manganese, titanium, and nickel steel alloys as they provide greater strength and durability. Chains in the middle and lower price ranges are typically hardened steel.

While metal chains typically provide better traction than other materials, they can also cause damage to roads and vehicles. Certain manufacturers responded by introducing rubber chains and snow socks. While these are not the best for extreme conditions, they are certainly more friendly to your vehicle and the roads you travel on.

Weight

When it comes to weight, heavier chains provide better friction and are usually more durable however, they are more challenging to transport, carry, and store than their lighter-weight alternatives. On the other hand, lighter chains will provide adequate traction and are easier to install, remove, and store.

Self-tensioning

Many modern chains on the market include self-tensioning technology, making installation easier. Self-tensioning occurs when the vehicle moves and the tires rotate causing the chains adjust and center themselves using built-in ratchets.

As a result, there is less slack in the chain, which improves their overall performance on the snow. These are a good investment if you plan on using your chains frequently.

best 4wd snow chains - suv with snow chain

Size

This probably goes without saying but whatever style of chain you choose, you must purchase the correct size. This factor is essential for the chains to fit correctly and function as intended.

Fortunately, determining your tire size is simple as it should be printed on the tire sidewall with dimensions for tire width and sidewall height ratio compared to width, and diameter.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. Automatic release: This feature can significantly reduce the time you spend manually removing your chains on the side of the road while exposed to cold and potential hazards.
  2. Warranty: Manufacturers give a warranty to their products to guarantee that their customers get damage-free and high-quality items. In shopping for 4×4 snow chains, consider the warranty.

FAQ

Do snow chains make a difference?

The short answer – Absolutely! Strap on snow chains provide for superior traction and grip in the snow and ice. This includes 4×4 vehicles as well. In fact, in many locations, it is illegal to drive in snowy areas without them.

Can snow chains damage your tires?

For general use in snow, ice and mud, snow tires will not damage your tires. If however you come to hard bitumen, you should remove your snow chains as they will cause damage to both your tires and the road.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. OakTen Set of Two Tire Chains

These first 4×4 snow chains come in many sizes and are durable enough to assist your vehicle in navigating snowy paths in many winter seasons. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: OakTen
  • Type: Cable snow chains
  • Weight: 5.89 pounds
  • Material: Zinc plated chains

Other inclusions:

  • Two-link spacing

Why have I chosen it?

These tire chains are zinc-coated, resistant to rust and corrosion making them long lasting. They are designed to not vibrate or become loose making them good for general use as well.  These are good for those who need them on basic roads and farms during the winter months.


2. Security Chain Company V-Bar Tire Traction Chain

My second snow chain option originates from a reputable brand known for their durable tire chains with a design that allows your offroad vehicle to conquer any type of snow-covered terrain. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Security Chain
  • Type: Cable snow chains
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Material: Zinc plated chains

Other inclusions:

  • 2-link chain for superior traction

Why have I chosen this?

This snow chain manufacturer is well-known for producing long-lasting traction chains for all types of off-road vehicles, particularly 4x4s. It can handle a variety of terrains and will provide secure traction with zinc plates on the unit making it extra durable. This snow chain comes in 2-link or 4-link spacing to meet a number of requirements as well.


3. KÖNIG Easy-FIT SUV 255 Snow Chains

My third recommended snow chain is considered one of the bestselling products today with a tailor-fit to help all types of vehicles with traction over icy roads. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: KÖNIG
  • Type: Diamond snow chains
  • Weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Material: Aluminum nylon chains

Other inclusions it has:

  • Manual tightening system
  • 2-link chain system
  • 5-year warranty

Why have I chosen this?

This long-lasting snow chain is made for maximum traction with color-coded links for easy installation. It comes with a D-shackle chain with standard designs that you simply clip onto the wheel with a one-foot movement.  They are then unclipped by pressing the two red buttons located on the front.  This is a great option for extended snow driving in most conditions.

Conclusion

There they are, my three best 4×4 snow chains for a safe journey on snowy roads. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun

Paul

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul