4x4, SUV, vans and light commercial vehicles
Which snow chain should I use for my vehicle?
The snow chain you decide to use is largely down to your own personal choice. As a general rule, the Polar 16mm range of snow chains is our basic range – they are great for getting you out of trouble, both in this country and on mainland Europe, including on European ski resorts. The Polar 16mm range is an economical option and these snow chains are used by both the AA and RAC for their fleet vehicles. Visually the Polar range is the same as the ZIP Transport range and they fit in the same way. Polar 16mm snow chains can be used on 4x4 and light commercial applications under 2,000kg, unless there is limited clearance between the wheel and the braking or suspension components of the vehicle.
The ZIP Transport 16mm range of snow chains are similar to the Polar 16mm range but are made of high tensile, hardened steel. They are very strong and hardwearing, and are suitable for all 4x4, camper vans and light commercial vehicles as long as there is not restricted clearance.
The XG12-Pro snow chain is suitable for vehicles that have restricted clearance between the wheel and the braking/suspension components of the vehicle. The standard thickness of a 4x4 snow chain is 16mm, whereas the XG12-Pro has a chain thickness of only 12mm. The XG12-Pro also has an automatic tensioning device which means you do not have to get back out of the vehicle to re-tighten the chain after the initial fitting. This snow chain is made of high tensile steel and the reduced chain gauge gives a smoother drive, although the traction given by a 12mm snow chain will be slightly less than that of a 16mm snow chain.
For people who wish to make life easier the Thule Easy-Fit chains are a premium range for passenger cars and MPVs designed with ease-of-use in mind. Winning Awards for their innovative design and speedy installation mechanism, these have to be the easiest snow chains to fit and remove ever produced.
Snow Socks are another option, intuitive to fit but these do not offer as much traction as a snow chain. They are lightweight and easy to fit (see fitting videos), and are perfect to store in your car for use over short distances. They have become more popular in recent years as customers perceive them to be simpler to fit. The reduced traction means they do not meet legal requirements in European ski resorts where snow chains must be carried.
The K-Summit range of snow chains is used mainly by cars with limited clearance between the wheel and the braking/suspension components of the vehicle. The K-Summit snow chain fits to the wheel nut on the front of the wheel and so requires no space behind the wheel. It is easy and convenient to fit and is made of high quality steel. The K-Summit XL is for vehicles up to 2000kgs and the K-Summit XXL is for vehicles over 2000kgs.
The Konig Polar range is a heavy-duty option for larger/heavier vehicles (with sufficient clearance). They are a commercial fitting rather than quick-fit system, meaning you have to drive-on to them. For vehicles over 3.5t or for off-road use these are a good choice relative to the other options above (which mainly aimed at users of common production vehicles on normal 'made' roads). There is however a trade-off of the extra strength of the Konig Polar versus ease-of-fitting (see fitting video for how to fit them, but please note: this video shows an HGV so unless you have a tyre that large your Konig Polars will not be so large and unwieldy!).
All of our vehicle traction products are not difficult to fit, but we strongly recommend that you practise fitting them in dry conditions before you depart. Please watch our fitting videos if you need any guidance.
** K-Summits while easy-to-fit do require setup (and familiarisation) before use.