10 Best Tire Chains of 2021

Jerry Wilson
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A set of tire chains traveling with you is the ultimate accessory to have when winter suddenly appears. They can easily be installed onto your car tires, and with the right tire chain for your specific car you can drive through snow and ice with confidence and minimal risk. However, the selection of tire chains is almost endless with different sizes, brands, and prices.

They can also be difficult to install. You need to make sure the chains are the right length to fit the tires, and that there is enough clearance for the cables and clips. Once you get tire chains installed, you still need to test them to make sure they aren’t going to hang up on something. If you’re not sure, tire chains can be more hassle than they’re worth.

For that reason, we’ve created a list of our favorite tire chains to use on your vehicle this winter, so you can keep your holiday plans on the road.

NameCategoryProduct
Security Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction ChainBest OverallSecurity Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction Chain
Security Chain Company QG20070 Quik Grip Passenger Vehicle Traction Chain Rubber TightenerBudget PickSecurity Chain Company QG20070 Quik Grip Passenger Vehicle Traction Chain Rubber Tightener
TerraGrips Tire ChainsUpgrade PickTerraGrips Tire Chains

1. Security Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction Chain

Our rating: 9 / 10

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

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Pros:

  • Made in The USA
  • Smooth Contoured Spacers
  • Brushed Finish
  • Ultimate in Chain Performance

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • May Not Fit On All Vehicles

The Security Chain Company (SCC) is an established and trusted brand when it comes to chains. The SCC ZT729 is a perfect replacement for any thin tire chains as you won’t have the issue of the chain rubbing on your alloy rims.

Thanks to the contoured spacers and the brushed finish, the SCC ZT729 chains are smooth to reduce any damage to your vehicle.

Like all chains that Security Chain Company produce, the ZT729 Super Z LT tire chains are perfect for any skid-steer loaders. These chains are also great for light to medium duties like snow plowing and rural delivery.

2. Security Chain Company QG20070 Quik Grip Passenger Vehicle Traction Chain Rubber Tightener

Our rating: 9 / 10

Security Chain Company QG20070 Quik Grip Passenger Vehicle Traction Chain Rubber Tightener

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Pros:

  • Can Save You Time and Money With Minimal Effort
  • Easy to Install
  • Easy to Use
  • Stays Secure Under Extreme Conditions
  • Hassle-Free Registration Assembly
  • Simple Auto Tire Chain Application
  • Minimal Traffic Delays

Cons:

  • Made of a Lightweight Material
  • Can Be Difficult to Find Locking Cables
  • Lightweight Material May Not Deal Great With Deep Snow
  • If it’s Your First Time, It May Take You Some Practice Before You Get It Right

If you’re looking for a tire chain that can work for travel, you may want to consider this 7-gauge steel automatic tire chain. Thanks to the cold-forged links used to manufacture this tire chain, you can count on this chain to stay securely in place even once the inevitable snowstorm hits.

This tire chain makes the application process simple enough for most cars, and all that’s needed for performance is a tightener that can be used continuously without needing to be re-tightened every mile or so. On the downside, it is made of a light material, so you may need to apply a replacement from time to time, depending on the severity of the weather.

3. Security Chain Company QG2228CAM Quik Grip Light Truck CAM LSH Tire Traction Chain

Our rating: 8 / 10

Security Chain Company QG2228CAM Quik Grip Light Truck CAM LSH Tire Traction Chain

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Pros:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Excellent traction and durability
  • Easy to carry

(2 Links)

The Security Chain Company has been a trusted name in chain manufacturing for over 100 years. This chain is also built to last and is incredibly easy to install thanks to its automatic tensioning clamp lock.

The chain features a galvanized steel cross chain that provides unparalleled traction thanks to its double nibbed serrated spikes. The chain comes with two steel links that are equipped with F7 links and automatic locking clamps. The two chains together can cover a wheel size ranging from 16 to 29 inches and comes with a lifetime warranty.

4. TerraGrips Tire Chains

Our rating: 8 / 10

TerraGrips Tire Chains

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Pros:

  • Allows For High-Speed Travel
  • Easy To Install

Cons:

  • Provider Is Not Responsive To Customer Reviews
  • Should Only Be Used On Snowy, Rocky, Or Loose Terrain

The TerraGrips tire chains get your vehicle through the toughest snow-covered terrain like it’s no big deal. It offers 15mm of chain, which is rated at maximum speed of 50 mph. The TerraGrips features a 720-grade anti-scratch chain design which can accommodate the high speeds of up to 50 mph.

This set comes with a headband for easy and effective installation. They’re also less than half the cost of chains from competitors. The customer service from Justin Industries is not the best, as we’ve seen a few complaints about them not responding to customer reviews.

5. KONIG XB-16 267 Snow chains

Our rating: 8 / 10

KONIG XB-16 267 Snow chains

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Pros:

  • Easy to Install
  • Chain Retention Clips

The KONIG XB-16 Snow chains are my top pick because they’re easy to mount to the tire with the use of a run protector that comes with the chains. The KONIG XB-16 has reinforced hardened steel cross chains and large passive anti-slide teeth to easily grip the tire. The KONIG XB-16 has the added benefit of utilizing plastic boosters that ensure the clip has a good hold of the tire. The KONIG XB-16 is a perfect solution for those looking for backup chains for their cars.

The ERGOFLEX tensioners ensure quick and easy tensioning. The shape of the plastic injection molded run protectors means they also help to minimize the risk of damaging your car when you store the chains. If you need a tool to remove the chains, be aware that you will need to purchase a tool separately. This is my favorite of all of the best tire chains of 2020 in terms of price.

6. Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain

Our rating: 8 / 10

Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain

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Pros:

  • Long lifespan
  • Highly durable even after months of use
  • Affordable compared to other brands
  • Easy to install
  • Fast shipping
  • Easy to remove
  • No hassle lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • The clips sometimes come out of the rubber even if they look secure
  • The chain is really heavy, around 3.2 pounds
  • Less traction than other chains

The Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain is a must have for winter driving. It comes in a set of two with snow spikes on the tires. They are great for vehicles like the Dodge Journey, Honda CR-V and Expedition. These chains are easy to install and remove and they don’t require any special equipment or tools. They have a durable construction which ensures they will last for years.

The Security Chain Company SZ143 Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain comes in sizes up to 24 inches. You are covered under a 1 year warranty and the company will provide you with a quick replacement if you run into problems.

7. Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Snow Traction Tire Chains

Our rating: 8 / 10

Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Snow Traction Tire Chains

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These are some of the best chains for snow tires that you can get, being a high quality version of this product. It comes with two cables, which makes it easier to adjust and fit more cars.

It has a very solid construction and is going to last you for a very long time. It comes as a full set which includes the cables needed for attachment, and they are steel to make them more durable.

The price is one of the lowest out there, and most users have found this to be a great addition to their cars. One of the main advantages of this product is that it can be applied to a tire without any tools so you can add it to your tires and not have to worry about finding the tools required.

8. Peerless 0231705 Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Traction Chain

Our rating: 8 / 10

Peerless 0231705 Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Traction Chain

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Pros:

  • Icy road assistance
  • OEM gear ratio
  • Easy to install
  • Top Quality Item

The winter season is almost here, and Peerless is gearing up to make sure you have everything you need to stay safe during horrible weather conditions. The Peerless 0231705 Auto-Trac Light Truck/SUV Tire Traction Chain – Set of 2 is a top-quality non-locking chain from a trusted and reliable source in the industry.

This product is designed to be used with existing tires, and provide sure-footed traction for your car. In a former life, Peerless’s founder was the inventor of the series link concept, and it shows in the quality of every product they create.

The product features:

9. Security Chain Company SC1038 Radial Chain Cable Traction Tire Chain

Our rating: 7 / 10

Security Chain Company SC1038 Radial Chain Cable Traction Tire Chain

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Easily get 50% more traction
  • Multipurpose: Can be used for motorcycles and cars
  • Security Chain Company offers lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Not practical for off-road use
  • Straight links can scratch vehicles
  • Available in only one size
  • Security chain company is not well known. Could be suffering from a lack of trust

The Security Chain Company chain is a universal radial cable traction tire chain, designed for use on a wide range of vehicles. The Security Chain Company Radial Cable Traction chains are available in two different sizes; 1038 (10.6 inches tall) and 838 (8.5 inches tall). The 1038 size is suitable for larger vehicles while the 838 size is ideal for smaller vehicles.

These chains are very easy to install and require at most half an hour. They are made of heat-treated chrome-molybdenum steel alloy, which makes them the strongest chains money can buy for their price. They are also very flexible and easy to use in all conditions.

10. KONIG XG-12 PRO 255 Snow chains

Our rating: 4 / 10

KONIG XG-12 PRO 255 Snow chains

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The KONIG XG-12 PRO 255 Snow chains are the best value for money tire chains in this review and are one of the most popular products sold by the brand. These tire chains are made specifically for snow and ice covered roads and they do a great job at that.

However, in our experience, the tire chains were not suitable for off-road use and did not work well on sandy terrains. If you want to use these chains for off-road conditions, the wide grooves with sharp edges will dig into the sandy terrain and get jammed, which will lock the tires and you may end up being stuck forever.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What type of tire chains are best?

Before buying tire chains, the first thing that you should consider is which type of tire chains are best for you. There are two types of chains available on the market: the Strap tire chain and the Spiked tire chain.

The spiked tire chain is more secure than the strap chain. Spiked chains have teeth-like edges to grip on to a tire even if it is covered in snow or light mud.

Strap stick chains are ideal for light snow conditions, while you should choose spiked chains for heavy snow conditions.

The spiked chain can also be used on icy road conditions with little traction. The spiked chain will sink into the ice and create grip on the ground. It is highly recommended to stay away from the spiked tire chain on wet surfaces as it can damage your tires.

Which Snow chains are best?

If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow and you love getting out into the winter wonderland, then tire chains might be an essential addition to your car. But what is the best snow chain? There are many online reviews to help you decide which ones to buy and some are probably easier to use than others. But they all come down to one thing: what works for you and your car.

First, figure out which type of snow tires you have. There are three primary kinds: steel, plastic, and rubber.

The steel chains that fit over steel rims are the easiest to use and the most common. They’re also the least expensive option and generally easy to install.

What are the easiest tire chains to put on?

The OTE(permanently attached kind): this kind of tire chains are the ones that attach on and can’t be taken off. They have smooth grooves and they go right over the tire without requiring any drilling. The process of putting them on is relatively easy, but due to their nature, they have some serious downsides. These chains are extremely difficult to clean and they are also harder to put on.

Should you put chains on all 4 tires?

The answer is yes and no. It depends on a number of factors. Federal regulations say that it’s safe to run just two chains if you meet certain requirements:

  • the tires are a minimum of 15-inches in width
  • the chains are installed on the drive axle of the vehicle
  • the chains do not extend beyond the fenders of the vehicle

The bottom line is this: is it safer to run two chains on four tires or four chains on two tires? That’s a question you’ll need to answer for yourself. Both methods are recommended by federal officials, and tires with snow chains attached do not affect the safety of other drivers on the road. However, if you’re driving a two-wheel-drive vehicle, then installing chalns on two tires might be a more prudent choice.

Conclusion

Our overall best picks will perform well in most snow and on most roads. With that said, we still believe that every buyer should take the time to understand how they will use the tire chains they plan to purchase. By taking the time to understand features like how the chains’ traction compares to skis or studded tires, how they will fit the vehicle, and how using them will affect vehicle gas mileage, any buyer can make a better choice for their own needs.

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Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Security Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction ChainBest OverallSecurity Chain Company ZT729 Super Z LT Light Truck and SUV Tire Traction Chain
Security Chain Company QG20070 Quik Grip Passenger Vehicle Traction Chain Rubber TightenerBudget PickSecurity Chain Company QG20070 Quik Grip Passenger Vehicle Traction Chain Rubber Tightener
TerraGrips Tire ChainsUpgrade PickTerraGrips Tire Chains