In Australia, we are blessed with long hot summers and some seriously good snow too. Come winter, thousands of vehicles flock to the mountains in droves carrying skiers and snowboarders excited to feel the snow beneath their feet again. Anyone who has driven up a mountain pass in the height of winter knows how important it is to carry a set of snow chains in case the conditions are too challenging for regular car tyres.
When the road is covered in snow and ice, the amount of friction between your vehicle’s tyres and the road’s surface is greatly reduced. If your vehicle’s tyres cannot break through that layer of snow and ice, they cannot grip the road and your wheels will spin when you try to accelerate.
Snow chains are designed to dramatically increase the level of traction at your vehicle’s driving wheels by breaking through that snow and ice to grip the surface of the road. That’s why snow chains are always fitted to your vehicles driven wheels; that is, on the front wheels for FWD vehicles, and on the rear wheels for RWD vehicles.
On AWD and 4WD vehicles, chains are fitted to whichever set is specified in the vehicle’s manual.
You’ll notice that while most snow chains look very similar, they vary subtly in a number of ways. The most important difference to take note of is their size.
It is crucial that, before you buy a set of snow chains online for your vehicle, you check they are the same size as your vehicle’s tyres. Too small and they won’t fit; too loose and they could slip around the wheel causing loss of traction and damage to your vehicle.
You might also notice that some snow chains feature different patterns than others.
Ladder pattern chains wrap perpendicular to the tyre’s tread forming a pattern similar to the rungs on the ladder, whereas diamond pattern chains crisscross over the tyre.
Left to right: diamond pattern chains, ladder pattern snow chains.
Both are great at improving the traction available at your vehicle's powered wheels. The most important choice to make is size!
Before you buy snow chains online, it’s a great idea to consult your vehicles user manual and ensure you know what size tyres you are running.
Some brands available on Outdoria, like Konig snow chains, come with useful accessories like kneeling mats, gloves, and of course instructions, helping you to make your first time fitting them hassle-free.
Once you’ve found a set that to fit your wheels, you have the option to Buy Online, or email the seller and arrange to purchase them In-Store. The latter can be a great option for anyone who is uncertain as to which size or pattern type is best suited to their vehicle.
Now you know how important they are and have a good idea what to look for in a set of snow chains, start browsing the full range of snow gear and alpine equipment available online at Outdoria.