Tire chains are a vital part of driving in the winter. If you live in a location where the snow can reach multiple inches every time the flakes fall, buying the best chains for your car could be a matter of life or death. Read on to learn what factors you need to know before buying and which of the best tire chains on the market right now is right for you.

Best Tire Chains: Comparison Table


PRODUCT NAME

IMAGE

WHERE TO BUY

Security Chain Company ZT 729 Traction Chain

Security Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction Chain
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Security Chain Company SZ143 Cable Tire Chain

Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain for Passenger Cars
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Konig XB-16 245 Snow Chains

KONIG XB16 247 Snow chains set of 2
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TerraGrips Tire Chains 20x8-8

TerraGrips Tire Chains
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Peerless 0232805 Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Chain

Peerless 0232805 Auto-Trac Light Truck SUV Tire Traction Chain Tires
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Glacier 1042 Passenger Cable Tire Chain

Glacier 1042 Passenger Cable Tire Chain
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Konig CB-12 Tire Chains

KONIG CB-12 100 Snow chain tires
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Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Snow Traction Tire Chains

Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Snow Traction Tire Chains
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Rupse Easy to Install Snow Tire Chains/Ant-Slip

Rupse Tire Chains Car Vehicle Anti-Slip Snow Chain Security Adjustable Emergency Easy to Install
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Zip Grip Go Cleated Tire Traction Device​

Zip Grip Go Cleated Tire Traction Snow Ice Mud
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How We Reviewed


To provide a complete list of the best tire chains, we looked at what features are the most important to make the best options and compared top choices on the market today.

We researched tire chains based on what type of car you may drive, whether it’s a car, truck, or SUV, and how the type of automobile you drive will affect the best chains for you. The top 10 brands we select are industry favorites because they work and work well.

Overall Price Range of the Best Tire Chains


The average tire chain ranges from around $50-$150. The material your chain is made from is the most important reason for the price difference, as steel snow chains typically cost more than a rubber traction block.

However, the price may also be determined by the manufacturer based on their reputation and the size of the chain. Bonus features may also add to the price.

A higher price tag may come with added features, such as easy installation and self-tightening. Premium models cost around $300 and are some of the most expensive options you’ll see on this list, but they often require less adjustment than cheaper options or come in bigger sizes.

The lowest prices are commonly found on nylon or rubber blocks designed to add traction, but they’re not the best for use in deep snow.

Top 10 Best Tire Chains


No matter what type of vehicle you drive, the following top 10 options are the best in the industry because they work well. Check out our list to find the right tire chain for your needs.

Security Chain Company ZT 729 Traction Chain


Security Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction Chain
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PRICE: $$

WARRANTY: A manufacturer’s warranty is available on the parts, and you can fill out a request with customer service.


  • Price is affordable
  • Installing this for the first time can get confusing

Our top pick is easy to install on most SUVs and light trucks in just a few minutes and comes with rubber self-tighteners to keep your chain in place.

Even better, it’s one of the most affordable snow chains on the market for its size, and you can buy them in sets of two. You’ll never need to pull over to tighten the chains, and they’re more compatible with your car’s anti-lock braking system than most chains. 

This chain is best for you if you drive a 4x4 with anti-lock brakes and low clearance.  The only con to using this chain seems to happen when people install them for the first time without knowing what they’re doing.

It’s important to practice putting them on a couple of times to get the hang of the process before you take them on a ski trip. 

They’re easy to install, but each time you install them, you’ll do better. Otherwise, the chain may snap when you least want. You can get a set of two chains on Amazon for an affordable price. There are also some slightly used options available with prime shipping for a lower price. 

Security Chain Company SZ143 Cable Tire Chain


Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain for Passenger Cars
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PRICE: $$

WARRANTY: Security offers a manufacturer’s warranty that you can collect by contacting the company or filling out a request with Amazon’s customer service.


  • Installation is quick and easy
  • A customer review from Amazon stated that the product rusted after first use

A great option no matter what you drive, you can use this chain for cars, trucks, or SUVs. They’re more durable than most chains or cables available, and this model requires the least amount of side operating clearance around the drive tires when compared to most models.

Installation is quick and easy, and there are rubber tighteners to keep the chain in place. Like other Security chains, they’re also designed to work well with anti-lock brakes to allow for more control in the scariest driving conditions.

This Security chain is available in a set of two on Amazon for an affordable price, with used options available for a lower price. Both options include Prime shipping.

Like our top pick, Security offers a manufacturer’s warranty that you can collect by contacting the company or filling out a request with Amazon’s customer service.

Konig XB-16 245 Snow Chains


KONIG XB16 247 Snow chains set of 2
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PRICE: $$$

WARRANTY: A manufacturer’s warranty is available.


  • Great for off-road conditions in the winter
  • Nearly impossible for beginners to install on their own

For a reliable and tight fit with a manual tensioning system to get your large trucks through the mud, this is a classic snow chain you can depend on. 

These snow chains are great for off-road conditions in the winter, and they feature 16mm linked chains which are the largest and most rugged available. You won’t need to readjust them each time you stop either. This chain is simple and well made.

However, these snow chains are nearly impossible for beginners to install on their own. You need to have experience with chains before you can figure out how to fit them properly.

Konig chains are on the more expensive side of the market on Amazon. A manufacturer’s warranty is available as well. The company claims they’re worth the cost though, as you won’t face limitations and can use the chains for years to come.

TerraGrips Tire Chains 20x8-8


TerraGrips Tire Chains
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PRICE: $$

WARRANTY: The company may offer a warranty on their own website, or you can add on a 3-year protection plan for additional bucks.


  • Built to last and easy to install in no time
  • Not available for R1 or R4 tires

With this chain, you can drive over the snow, gravel, mud, mulch, and anything else with no problems. The rubber slats offer more grip and protect your tire (and the road) from damage while the steel chains are rust resistant. This model is built to last and easy to install in no time. However, it’s not available for R1 or R4 tires.

On the more expensive side, TerraGrips is available for an affordable price on Amazon and come with Prime shipping. The company may offer a warranty on their own website, or you can add on a 3-year protection plan for an added money.

Peerless 0232805 Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Chain


Peerless 0232805 Auto-Trac Light Truck SUV Tire Traction Chain Tires
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PRICE: $$$

WARRANTY: Warranty is available for parts.


  • Worry-free self-tightening design and easy installation or removal process
  • Price

Peerless is a brand that offers peace of mind thanks to their worry-free self-tightening design and easy installation or removal process.

These chains use a diamond cross pattern for great traction and a smooth ride, and they’ll fit any S-class vehicle. You don’t need to move or jack up the car for installation, and you can use this option for a couple of winters without problems.

You can buy a set of two Peerless chains on Amazon for just over $$$, with Prime shipping. Used options don’t sell for much less though and priced at a premium price. There’s even a warranty on parts!

Glacier 1042 Passenger Cable Tire Chain


Glacier 1042 Passenger Cable Tire Chain
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PRICE: $$$

WARRANTY: No warranty.


  • Made of quality and durable materials
  • No warranty

Glacier chains are made using hardened steel rollers and a cable cross pattern to offer stability and reduce the risk of damage.

You can use this option on both rear or front-wheel drive vehicles, and it meets any state’s traction requirements. There’s a helpful video for installation as well, but at this price, we’d love to see added features like a warranty or Prime shipping.

An expensive option similar to Konig XB-16 245 Snow Chains, a set with two chains costs just over $$$ with free shipping. You may find a used option for a reasonable price on Amazon with Prime Shipping.

Konig CB-12 Tire Chains


KONIG CB-12 100 Snow chain tires
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PRICE: $$

WARRANTY: The company offers a parts warranty.


  • Well made and efficient design
  • Not that easy to install

Konig is a great brand when it comes to well-made and simple snow chains, and this 12mm option with a manual tensioning system doesn’t disappoint.

It’s an efficient design without a ton of added features, but this traditional chain is high-quality for the cost. Expect them to perform exactly as you hoped, and work well on vehicles that sit lower to the ground.

People who have used this chain, however, say it’s not as easy to install as the company would have you believe. They offer helpful videos, but the chains tend to tangle themselves into a huge mess if you’re not careful.

You can order a set of 2 Konig CB-12 chains with Amazon Prime for around $$. Used options are also available for a lower price if you want to save a bit of money. The company also offers a parts warranty.

Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Snow Traction Tire Chains


Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Snow Traction Tire Chains
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PRICE: $$

WARRANTY: No warranty.


  • They’re perfect for short use, and there are multiple videos to help you install them properly. 
  • Have to buy the rubber adjusters separately

The Cobra Cable is a made using sturdy carbon steel rollers, which add traction on stability.

These rollers cut down on the noise and vibration level typical with steel chains. They’re perfect for short use, and there are multiple videos to help you install them properly. The con is that you have the buy the rubber adjusters separately, but at an affordable price, most customers don’t mind much. You also can’t use this chain on trailers.

You can get a set of two chains on Amazon for a reasonable price, which doesn’t include Prime shipping but is a great deal. No warranty comes with this package.

Rupse Easy to Install Snow Tire Chains/Ant-Slip


Rupse Tire Chains Car Vehicle Anti-Slip Snow Chain Security Adjustable Emergency Easy to Install
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PRICE: $$

WARRANTY: No warranty.


  • Easy even for beginners to install without preparation
  • Hard to find online

In an emergency, Rupse tire chains are a go-to for small cars that are easy to install in tough conditions. They offer high-density, antiskid bumps to offer more reliability when driving on sand, mud, and snow.

The interesting part is that this option is a universal model that fits any tire between 145 and 265 mm, and they’re super easy even for beginners to install without preparation.

However, only use these chains when the roads are snowy, or they’ll break. They’re not built to last, so don’t expect to travel many miles using this option either. Instead, they’ll get you home in a pinch.  

Rupse tire chains are currently unavailable on Amazon, but you can purchase them for an affordable price on their official website.

Zip Grip Go Cleated Tire Traction Device


Zip Grip Go Cleated Tire Traction Snow Ice Mud
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PRICE: $$

WARRANTY: No warranty.


  • Easy to install
  • Not available with Prime or come with a warranty but does offer free shipping.

Another option you only want to use during an emergency, this option is easy to zip on when the weather unexpectedly turns and will allow you to travel over short distances.

The package comes with 20 Zip Grips (10 for each tire), and these grips are adjustable to fit aluminum or alloy tires up to 22 inches. They’re easy to install, whether you’re a beginner or your vehicle is stuck in the snow. Consider this a one time use though, as they’re not intended for you to drive on all winter.

You can purchase the Zip Grip on Amazon for an affordable price. It’s not available with Prime or come with a warranty but does offer free shipping.

Quick Tire Chain FAQs


Tire chains come in three main types:

  • Snow tire chains – Considered sturdier and longer-lasting, chains are typically made of corrosion resistant steel. They can damage the roads and your vehicle though and are intended for installation on larger vehicles.
  • Tire cables – Lighter than chains, cables add traction but are meant for occasional use. Better for vehicles with limited clearance.
  • Snow socks – Best for use on small cars with low tire clearance, snow socks may not be as effective as snow chains when it comes to deep, tightly packed snow. They’re a great alternative to add safety for cars who aren’t viable for use with snow chains.

Before buying tire chains for the first time, there are a few things to know. The best tire chains on the market will come with some important features, and the best options for you may vary based on the type of vehicle you drive.

Consider the following answers to FAQs:

  • The best chains for your automobile is often based on the type of car you drive, but all cars experience issues when driving overs snow no matter their size or 4-wheel drive capabilities.
  • Tire chains are made for occasional use during the worst winter driving conditions, so most people store them in the car until they’re most needed (or prepare in advance if the weather channels call for a serious snowstorm).
  • Easy-to-install models today make it easy for people to put tire chains on their own cars rather than paying a professional.
  • Chains can also damage the roads or your car if there’s no snow, and they are made for traveling at slower speeds (up to 30 mph). Use them after or during a snowstorm only.
  • It’s important to take off the chains when they’re no longer needed or there’s less than an inch of snow on the roads. Automatic release options help make this process effortless.
  • Tire chains come in various forms and shapes, and some models may not be chains at all. Some types are made from steel cables that wrap around the wheels or a rubberized strap-on black to add traction and free a vehicle stuck in the snow.
  • To ensure your tire chains remain in place while you drive, check if you need to retighten the chains before each time you drive or purchase chains with a self-tightening ratchet feature to keep the chains constantly centered.
  • A tire chain that fits right will boost traction without restricting the tire’s movement, so you’ll need to make sure there is enough distance between the body of your car and its tire. Typically, the thicker the chain, the higher clearance you will need.
  • State and city regulations may vary, and you’ll want to check if tire chains are allowed in your area. Some locations prohibit their use, making rubber traction straps a better alternative.
  • Before installing tire chains, always read the instructions thoroughly. You may need to practice a few times before you can install the chains quickly on your own.
  • Some options are designed for all-purpose use on various vehicles, but you’ll still need to consider the clearance level to determine how thick your chain should be. Cars low to the ground require thinner chains, while other chains are designed for off-road conditions.
  • Check your tire size to make sure the chains will fit your vehicle.
  • The number of chains you need is often determined based on how many wheels in your vehicle hold power. Four-wheel drive trucks, for example, will place chains on all four wheels while smaller vehicles may do fine with two chains.
  • Learn to install your chains the right way.

Best Tire Chains: Our Top Pick!


Security Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction Chain
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Security Chain Company’s ZT 729 traction chain is our top pick because it’s highly affordable and works on a wide range of vehicles. Their compatibility with anti-lock brakes offers more reliability and control when driving in the snow, and it even comes with a warranty on certain parts.

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