If you live in an area where you get not only a few inches of snow, but more like several feet of the cold stuff, snow tires may not be enough for you. Snowplows cannot reach some drivers who live in remote areas where there is a lot of snowfall in winter. Tire chains are necessary in these regions.
In some places, tire chains, which are also called snow chains, are illegal. Tire chains are allowed only in certain places and circumstances in some states. Research whether your state allows snow chains and when they can be used before you start shopping for a set.
You need to consider a few factors when purchasing snow chains for your Subaru Crosstrek. If you install snow chains onto your tires, you must know how much clearance they will have, and know your budget. You’ll also need to have a relatively large trunk, as that’s where the chains will remain until you’re ready to put them on.
If you have a passenger car, you have to purchase snow chains that carry an SAE Class S rating. The rating means that these chains are meant to be used by front-wheel-drive cars with low ground clearances. The best snow chains for trucks may not be the same for small cars. Keep that in mind when looking for a set of chains.
With all that out of the way, here are our eight best snow chains for cars. The majority of the chains on this list will work on pickup trucks and SUVs, too.
AutoSock Standard Snow Tire Chain
A new take on snow traction enhancing devices, Auto sock is a great alternative to bulky tire chains. The Auto sock, instead of using noisy, hard-riding chains, uses a flexible, specially-designed textile covering that wraps around the entire tire. It is made up of traction-enhancing fibers that can gain traction on snow and ice much like conventional snow chains.
For those concerned about long-term durability, the Auto sock is fully reusable and can be machine-washed after use to clean off the dirt lodged into the textile. Best of all, the textile-based Auto sock can be folded up and stashed out of the way once it is not needed anymore.
Thule 9mm CG9 Premium Passenger Tire Chain
The Thule CG9’s design makes the process of installing and removing snow chains as easy and straightforward as possible despite most snow chains requiring considerable effort. Self-centering and self-tensioning, as well as the brightly-colored assembly links, make it easy to put the chains on, even when the weather is poor.
The 9mm chain offers good clearance (allowing these to be used on smaller vehicles) and makers for better ride quality. Despite the smaller size of the chain, the high-quality steel construction makes for excellent durability. The Thule CG9 is expensive, but offers top convenience and excellent performance.
Security Chain Company Super Z6 Cable Tire Chain
It is very likely that the Super Z6 tire chain will fit any car, truck, or SUV. A cable-based chain only takes up a quarter inch of space in the wheel well, creating an incredibly low profile. Furthermore, installing these snow chains is incredibly easy since you don’t have to remove your tire or move your vehicle. These tire chains use a rubber tensioner that ensures the chains are always sitting snugly against the tires, which means you won’t have to constantly get out and check to see if they’re still on the tires.
Quality Chain Cobra
You can find a great deal on Quality Chain Cobra chains on a budget if you are looking for tire chains. It is intended to conserve energy by having low-profile steel rollers fitted with a cable system to allow for maximum tire-to-road contact. There are galvanized rollers, too, so you won’t have to worry about rusting them during severe winter weather. You won’t have to move your car back and forth when you install the chains either, making them easy to place on your tires. One of the major downsides of these chains is that the rubber adjusters that you need to fit the chains over your tires are sold separately.
Suptempo Emergency Anti-Slip Tire Traction Chains
So these anti-slip tire traction chains aren’t exactly chains. It’s more like a footsie grip for your tires instead. There are three of these pieces on each tire, unlike a chain that wraps around the whole thing. For traction, each chain has nine alloy steel nails. They certainly aren’t as straightforward as regular chains, but they do have their advantages. They’re lighter, more affordable, and don’t require any adjustment after being installed. Downsides include less grip in wintery conditions and run time, as they’re only supposed to be used for short periods.
Thule CG-9 2-Piece Chain Set
The company Thule was founded in Sweden and it makes products that are designed for people who like adventure. Taking this into consideration, it has a lot of experience in dealing with heavy snowfall. A number of Thule’s most popular products include its CG-9 snow chains, but they are packed with some interesting innovative technology as well. The snow chains are made out of nickel alloy steel, have an anti-scratch solution for the rims, and feature a self-tensioning system with micro regulation for a precise fit. Thule also provides a kit that includes spare parts, mounting instructions, a kneeling mat, and gloves with the chains.