In areas where snow is a rare event or when on the contrary the quantity that covers the road surface is many centimeters a good solution, as an alternative to the thermal tires, are snow chains. A very simple model to install and suitable for different types of tires are the KÖNIG K-SUMMIT K45 snow chains that are fixed to the tire rim using one of the nuts present. Alternatively, the Iregro Anti-Slip Chains for Universal SUV Automobile, as you can guess from the name, are a model that adapts to off-road tires and is very simple to assemble.
The11 Best Snow Chains FOR CAR- 2020 Ranking
- KÖNIG K-SUMMIT K45 Snow Chains, 1 Pair
The peculiarity of these Konig snow chains concerns its, to say the least, innovative tire fixing system. In fact, the installation requires that it be fixed by means of one of the original nuts present on each rim (obviously without using the “anti-theft” one). This allows the chain not to touch and therefore to ruin the precious alloy wheels that can be found on many cars. Once fixed to the nut, the chain adapts perfectly to the tire through a ratchet clamping system.
The chain is suitable for all those vehicles that have little space between rubber and wheel arches, where normal snow chains would be very difficult to install. In fact, this model proposed by Konig does not foresee any presence of chain beyond half of the tire.
The grip on snow and ice is favored by the presence of plastic plates, metal nails and special steel chain links.
Installation : The system invented by Konig to install these snow chains is among the most innovative and therefore allows you to prepare the car to deal with snow in a short time.
Tread : The design is not the classic one of a chain with steel links. For greater grip on snow and ice Konig has studied a model that alternates plastic plates, metal nails and steel chain parts.
Minimum dimensions : Once the chains have to be removed from the wheels because they are not needed, you will like the fact that they take up very little space and can be stored in the nylon bag provided in the package.
Tie rods: According to users’ opinions, in order to properly position the chain on the tire it is necessary to act on tie rods and it is not always possible to have the correct position of the chain in a short time.
- Iregro Anti-Slip Chains for Universal SUV Car
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Why complicate your life when there are easy to assemble snow chains on the market. The Iregro model shows a very affordable price and can be placed on the tires without moving the car.
Just use the gloves included in the package to be able to fix the chains effortlessly and above all in a very short time. The material of the TPU chains gives the tires greater protection, while avoiding damaging the road surface.
They are suitable for off-road driving on sand, mud and uphill, also they can withstand temperatures down to -30 ° centigrade, so they are also good for ice and snow. The design of the chains adapts to different tires with a width between 165 and 275 mm.
Installation : Thanks to a particular mechanism, these chains can be assembled in a few simple steps using the gloves included in the package.
Material : The TPU gives the chains a good resistance and allows to protect both the tires and the road surface from damage.
Versatile : They are perfect for tires between 165 and 275 mm, in addition they can be used to tackle different types of terrain.
Instructions : The manual is only available in English, although the product is intended for the Italian market.
- Spikes-Spider Compact Snow Chains 1 Pair, Size 4
Spikes-Spider Compact spider chains are one of the easiest to assemble and are suitable for tires with a width that does not exceed 205 mm and that the maximum weight when fully loaded is not more than 2 and a half tons. They are marked with the 5117 homologation and therefore they can be safely used even in Italy without incurring any penalty.
In terms of comparison with other models of chains, this new model is characterized by an above average price, mainly due to the quick coupling system of the chains.
There are not many problems to insert chains even on tires that have little space compared to the wheel arch. Another very important feature concerns the possibility of changing every single piece if subject to wear, in order to always have the performance chains even after many years of use.
Once they are removed from the tire, they do not take up much space in the trunk.
Quick coupling: One of the reasons why it is one of the best-selling snow chains is its attachment system to the tire that allows you to mount them in the blink of an eye without much effort.
Wear : Each component of the chain, which could wear out over time, can be changed individually in order to always have the chains ready for use as soon as they are removed from the package.
Bearings : The innovative system proposed by Spikes Spider is based on rotating bearings that allow the spider chain to be adapted to any tire, choosing from the four different sizes available.
Cost : Although it is one of the best-selling models online, its price is a bit above the average, but as often happens with other products, quality pays off.
- Melchioni CA990 Homologated Snow Chains
Anyone who owns a car fitted with tires with a size equal to 205 44 r16 can consider the model proposed by Melchioni, to be precise the CA990 version. These approved snow chains cover the need for different tire sizes in addition to the one described above. For example also tires with size 185/60 R17, 205/50 R17, 215/45 R17, 235/40 R17 and 215/40 R18.
For those who want to buy these chains and the list of compatible models, you can find the links below the pros and cons of this page. The chains have a very affordable price and are often used to have them in the car when the time of year includes chains on board but they will hardly be mounted.
In the case, the installation is quite simple and the grip offered in case of snow is more than acceptable. The steel links have a size of 9mm, classic and widely used by other manufacturers for this type of snow chain.
Assembly : Those with good manual skills can assemble these chains in a few minutes. The rest will probably take longer, but certainly not hours.
Anti fine : Given the low price they can be a good choice not to take a salty fine in case you are stopped and there is an obligation of chains on board.
Packaging : The case where to store the chains when not in use is very popular, small in size that do not take up much space in the trunk.
Quality : Some users complain that the chain links break too easily even after a few uses, which makes the chains unusable and therefore to be thrown away.
- Thule E9 070 Homologated Snow Chains
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If you do not want to spend a lot because it will be difficult to mount snow chains but there is an obligation to have them on board, thule snow chains can best meet this need. They are produced by a very famous brand in the automotive aftermarket and, with a decent quality, they also match an average price with competitors. They are classic snow chains that are installed like many others on the market and require good manual skills to complete the operation in a reasonable time.
They are supplied with a comfortable plastic case with small dimensions, perfect for not going to occupy too much space in the trunk.
The chains can also be mounted on wheels where the ABS system is present, without these in any way affecting the particular type of braking. It is necessary to search on the Thule website for the version suitable for your tires, which will certainly have the right chains to tackle snowy and icy roads.
Price : For those who consider low prices for each item they buy but also want a minimum of quality these Thule snow chains can become an excellent choice.
Dimensions : The Thule series of snow chains covers, by size, the vast majority of tires available on the market today.
Storage : Since they will be stored in the trunk during the winter months, it is important to know that the storage where the chains are stored is very small.
Almost perfect? : Difficult to find a defect that may in any way advise against its purchase or at least evaluate it. Chains are inexpensive, have good quality and are easy to assemble.
- Pair of Snow Chains Group 9.5 Wheel 225/45
There is no need to move or even lift the car to fit these snow chains suitable for tires with a size of 225 45 r17. They fit in less than 5 minutes with a minimum of skill but even those who are not a skilled tire dealer should not take more than 10 minutes to mount them on both tires. The chain is a model that has a rhombus design with 9 mm links.
The latter are made with treated steel of the highest quality which makes them resistant even after many years of use. The TUV UNI and ONORM V511 homologation guarantees that the chain can be used in Italy, protecting it from possible fines. The quality / price ratio is the aspect most emphasized by users who have had the opportunity to assemble and test them in road conditions that required the installation of chains for a lot of snow.
The same chains are also available for tires with sizes of 205 55 R17, 215 50 R17 and 245 40 R17.
Quality / price : It is difficult to find snow chains of the same quality as these at a lower price than that foreseen for this model for 225 45 r17 wheels.
Links : The design of these chains is quite classic, therefore rhombus, where the 9mm thick links in treated steel stand out.
Homologation : In addition to being homologated to be used in Italy, these chains also become useful for those who want to go to other European countries without running the risk of being fined.
Only merits : When we say of a product that costs the right and that offers good quality. In fact there is no negative review, confirming that the product pleases from all points of view.
- Michelin 008307 Snow Chains Easy Grip Evolution Group, 7
From one of the most famous tire manufacturers a version of snow chains with a specific study behind it to make them very easy to fit, even on tires that are not produced by Michelin. The chains of the Easy Grip series are based on the presence of an elastic tensioner that closes above the rim with a simple, but safe, metal attachment. This makes installation very simple and quick.
The optimal grip offered on snow or ice, is provided by a dense network of metal clips (no less than 150), confirmed by those who have been able to use them on their car. Also like the NVS (Night Vision Security) side reflector system that allows a better lateral view of the car during the night.
A pair of assembly gloves and instructions printed on a plastic mat are supplied with the kit and can be used without damaging it even if it snows very heavily.
Clip : The Michelin Easy Grip snow chains are made up of 150 metal clips linked together that give life to the structure that is installed above the tire.
Optimal grip: The “clip” design allows you to have maximum grip on the snow in any condition, ie when braking, downhill, uphill and accelerating.
Equipment : Together with the chains, Michelin also supplies a pair of useful gloves for when you need to install the chains without getting your hands dirty.
Price : They are certainly not “first price” snow chains, and therefore they are ideal for those who go or live in the mountains where chains of a certain level are required that are easy to assemble and disassemble.
- Lampa 16082 Snow chains 9 mm, 2 pieces
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Those who mount precious alloy wheels are certainly inclined to look for snow chains that will not ruin them when they are mounted on tires. A model specifically designed to meet this need are the snow chains for alloy wheels Lampa 16082. This model is available for tires that correspond to the sizes 215 / 60-17, 225 / 55-17, 215 / 55-18, 275 / 35-18, 245 / 40-19.
These chains can also be easily mounted on cars where the space between tires and mechanical parts is narrow. Once assembled, and tensioned manually, the chains have a self-tensioning system that is activated while driving.
The clear instructions in the annex show in 8 simple steps all the maneuvers necessary to properly mount the chains on the tire, without touching the rims in the least with the risk of scratching them irreparably. Convenient the rigid box that contains them that can be inserted inside the spare wheel to prevent it from moving inside the trunk.
Anti scratch : If the chains are mounted strictly following the attached instructions, there is no danger of scratching the alloy wheels of your car.
Tensioning : Once installed and positioned, the chains stretch themselves while driving, adapting perfectly to the tire.
Price : The quality / price ratio of these chains is very good as confirmed by most of the opinions of the users who bought them.
Installation : Assembly can create some problems if you find yourself assembling the chains in an imperfect environmental situation. As a rule, it takes about 10 minutes per wheel.
KÖNIG K-SUMMIT K45 – Snow chains, 1 pair
These chains proposed by Konig are installed simply by fixing them to one of the nuts present in each rim. This system makes them very quick to install, and they do not damage the rim in the least.
To adapt them perfectly to the installed tire, it is necessary to act on the tie rods and this operation could take a long time if the correct size is not immediately guessed.
Snow chains that are considered easy to install even if it takes a little patience to adapt them to perfection. The cost is certainly not one of its major advantages, but there is no possibility of ruining the rim when they are mounted.
IREGRO Snow Chain, Anti-Slip Chains
They mount without going crazy and wasting too much time. They are also suitable for tackling different types of terrain, also because they are compatible with SUV and off-road tires.
The gloves provided for the installation fit very tight and are also made of wide-knit wool, therefore used with the snow they get wet in a few seconds, helping to make your hands freeze. Instructions in English only.
The nightmare of many motorists is that of not being able to mount chains correctly and quickly. These of Iregro have in simplicity one of their strengths. Recommended, as long as you have a car with compatible size tires.
Spikes-Spider Compact Snow Chains 1 Pair, Size 4
One of its winning features concerns the ease with which they are mounted on the tire (which must not exceed 205 mm in width), and the same very simple procedure can also be had when removing them.
They are certainly not among the cheapest chains on the market, this is due to the innovative assembly system they have.
Very easy to assemble snow chains that can be installed on tires that do not exceed 205 mm in width. The price is not low and therefore they are ideal for those who often face snowy roads.
Guide to buy a snow chain
Snow chains are mandatory when the snow is so copious on the road surface that even the best thermal tires cannot offer the right grip to move safely. These become indispensable if normal summer tires are fitted, and you are caught by a sudden snowfall.
Normally those who choose to buy snow chains live in areas where snowfalls are not very abundant and in any case it is a more unique than rare event. Many of these areas, however, are subject to a regulation of the highway code which provides for the obligation to “chain on board” at a particular period of the year. This wording in practice obliges any motorist without thermal tires to have in his car (usually in the trunk) a pair of snow chains that are approved for use in Italy.
Not only: the best snow chains, in order not to incur heavy fines, and in some cases even to the judicial detention of the vehicle, must be suitable to be mounted on the tires of your car. In fact, the snow chains are produced in different sizes, precisely to meet the size requirements of the various tires.
A question of size
To know which snow chain appears, before proceeding with the purchase, it is therefore essential to check the size of your tires. This data is easily available on the registration document. The measures are expressed in three distinct items: the first concerns the width of the tire, the second the relationship between height and sidewall of the tire and the third the size of the internal diameter of the tire.
There is also a fourth entry which is expressed in a letter, and which is equivalent to the speed code. The latter does not matter in the choice of the snow chain. In practice you can have such an abbreviation: 195 65 r15. Once this series of numbers and letters has been identified on the registration document, chains that are compatible with this measure must be purchased.
There are several types of snow chains on the market. It is therefore difficult to say which is the best snow chain. In recent years, technology in this field has also made great strides. The efforts of the various manufacturers have focused mainly on finding an installation method that is as simple as possible. In fact, one of the biggest criticisms of the snow chains was their difficulty of installation, especially if this was to happen perhaps under a heavy snowfall, or on a day with a polar temperature.
Nowadays there are assembly systems that take no more than 2/3 minutes to mount the chains on the wheel. Even the dear old snow chains as we are used to know have now easier systems to use, even if, declaring without a shadow of a doubt that they are easy to install is not really the truth. This ease of assembly is in itself an important feature for knowing how to choose a good snow chain.
Classic snow chains are the best choice for those who must comply with the rules of the highway code, but do not expect to have to install them very often, or rather practically never. Their low cost effectively avoids exposure to very high fines that far exceed the expense to be faced.
The most “ingenious” snow chains are instead suitable for those who often go to the mountains and, even if equipped with thermal tires, they know that if there is plenty of snow on the road surface there is no way to move safely, if not precisely, mounting snow chains. In this case, the fact of being able to install them quickly is the plus that often determines the final price, usually not very low, and which can sometimes be even three times the length of a couple of normal snow chains with steel links.
How to mount snow chains?
Assuming that each snow chain has its own specific installation method, it is therefore mandatory to carefully follow the instructions attached to the package.
A good thing to be a magician in knowing how to assemble snow chains when necessary is to try to do it in total tranquility, perhaps in the garage or in a parking lot. This will allow you to understand calmly how to proceed and avoid making mistakes that in a moment of anxiety and stress that can occur when you are caught by a snowfall, can be amplified.
Snow chains mandatory
The Italian highway code provides that in a certain period of the year, in practice that at the turn of the winter months, on some roads and areas snow chains are mandatory on board. Normally this period runs from 15 November to 15 April each year. This means that if you travel a certain road you need to have a pair of snow chains in the trunk. If you are stopped by the police and verify the non-presence of these chains, you would incur administrative penalties that can go up to more than 300 euros, in addition to the reduction of 3 points.
If there is a snowfall in progress or the road surface is covered with conspicuous snow, the driver stopped and not found with the snow chains on board should promptly adapt the vehicle to be able to continue, in addition of course having to pay the inevitable fine.
How to understand the size of snow chains?
Snow chains have different sizes that adapt to those of your car tires. How to understand the size of the snow chains is quite simple. In the package it is mandatory that the manufacturer specify such measures. In this way, if these are compatible with those of your tires, as mentioned above, there will be no problems.
Can anyone who uses non-approved chains be punished?
Although paradoxically, snow chains not approved for use in Italy are sold, it is good to know that those who use non-approved chains are punishable as those who do not have them.
The figure of the administrative sanction is therefore the same that would be taken if you were caught by the police on a road where there is an obligation of snow chains on board. In order not to make a mistake in the purchase, the chains approved for Italy must bear the wording UNI 11313 (CUNA NC178-01) or equivalent standard valid in the Community context, such as the Austrian standard ӦN v.5117.
How much do snow chains cost?
The prices of the snow chains vary from around 30 euros to over 300. This price range includes various models which differ from each other in various technical aspects, such as the thickness of the links or the mounting system they use.
To find out how much snow chains cost, it is good to get an idea on any site that sells products for cars, to choose, based on the characteristics of each, which model best suits your needs.
When to put snow chains?
It is important to know that snow chains are not always good. When to put the snow chains depends heavily on the amount of snow that covers the road surface.
You can immediately understand if the time has come to install as soon as your car becomes ungovernable, or the braking distance is noticeably longer. If there is little snow, fitting snow chains can be dangerous, and in addition there is the risk of puncturing the tires where they are installed.
How to use snow chains
The snow chains are offered in different sizes which must correspond to those of the tires of your car. This allows first of all to be able to drive in total safety in the event of heavy snowfalls, but also to avoid being fined if you were stopped by the police in the period of the year that the highway code obliges to have on board.
How to do
Most of the cheaper snow chains are mounted on the tire following the instructions that are attached to the package. Normally they should be stretched in front of the tire, then take the low side and carry it on the tire until it is completely wrapped. Once this is done, it is necessary to “fix” the chain with hooks which also take care of tensioning it and making it perfectly adherent to the rubber.
If this maneuver, described in outline, is the one that is used for snow chains with steel links and bow, the market offers several models with some of the most imaginative designs and hooking and installation systems. However, these are designed to make life easier for motorists who suddenly find themselves having to put on snow chains in order to continue their journey.
The various opinions
Before buying a certain model, it is good to read the reviews of users who have already installed them to try to understand if the proposed installation system is actually simple to perform or if it is perhaps even more complicated than the “generic” one used by chains snow boots.
Assess the road conditions
The chains should be fitted only when the snow is very abundant, and the rubber, even if it is summer-type, has absolutely no grip on the asphalt.
In fact, it is time to mount them when the wheel slips in the snow (it just doesn’t grip) or when the ice layer on the asphalt is so massive that the car becomes ungovernable. In all other cases, the presence of snow chains on the tire can ruin it, even puncture it. Furthermore, the chain itself is ruined, given the friction that is created between the latter and the asphalt.
A small test
Before setting off, many users recommend trying to mount the chains in their garage or in a suitable space.
This “test” allows you to understand, without the hassle of having to travel as soon as possible, perhaps under heavy snow and with temperatures well below zero, where we encounter the greatest problems in the installation. The calm of the moment helps to solve them, to ensure that when you have to install quickly and fury will not repeat the same mistakes. The same also applies to dismantling operations.