ATVs are great, but unfortunately they’re not always perfect for every single type of on road or off road conditions. That’s where ATV accessories, like tire chains, can come in really handy.
Sure you can get ATV tires that are great for mud, trails, sand and racing, but tires that can work great in snow and ice are far harder to come by. All-season ATV tires just can't create enough friction on ice or in deep snow. Moreover, ATV tire chains are considerably more affordable than, and more convenient to store, than a whole batch of snow or all-terrain tires.
This becomes more important in built up areas, before you get to the trails, where an accident may be more likely and safety becomes a bigger imperative.
Well there’s good news. First off, there are loads of good ATV tire chains that you can buy online. Secondly, we’ve been doing our homework, and we’ve handpicked what we think are the best ATV tire chains out on the market today. Our reviews on these are coming up very shortly.
After that we’ve also got a handy buying and information guide for you which goes through everything you might want to think about before you buy. And it comes complete with answers to your most frequently asked questions.
It’s worth noting at this point that you can get tire chains for all manner of different vehicles, however this article will focus solely on tire chains that are meant to be used on ATV tires.
Top 5 Best ATV Tire Chains
OUR TOP PICK
This ATV tire chain from Security Chain Company is one of the most popular ones out on the market today. Both in terms of sales and customer feedback.
For example on the Amazon page, after well over 250 individual customer ratings the average customer rating comes in at a high 4 and a half stars out of a possible 5. With nearly three quarters of customers giving it 5 stars out of 5. And these recommendations are not something to be taken lightly.
The chains come as a pair, so that’s a money saver straight away.
They’re available in a huge range of sizes, but we’re not going to list them here, so please check out the Amazon page to see if they have your size. Getting the right size is crucial.
It’s a metal chain, so you know it’s going to be durable. And better yet, it comes zinc plated, which increases the durability further still. Zinc plating provides better adhesion, which is just what you need for snowy and icy conditions, and it combats corrosion from rust.
The chain pattern provides excellent and aggressive traction for your ATV tires, no matter what conditions you face. And this can be improved on further still by opting for 2 link spacing rather than 4 link spacing. Though these do cost more.
Amazing customer ratings
Available in 2 link spacing for superior traction
The 2 link spacing option can cost about twice as much as the 4 link spacing option
The manufacturer advises against going over 30 miles per hour when the chains are on
Although there aren’t a lot of customer reviews for these ATV tire chains from The ROP Shop on the Amazon page, we can assure you that people are raving about these ATV tire chains elsewhere on the net.
It comes as a pack of 2, and you could get enough ATV tire chains for all four of your ATV tires for under $120. (If you buy through Amazon, shipping is often free.)
They’re a really good set, really solid and sturdy. They’re also zinc plated which is great news for their durability and adhesion. The chain links going around the outer edge of the tire (as opposed to the chain forming a concentric circle) are nicely spaced to give you great traction whether you’re on snow, ice or mud.
There are only 4 sizes available, but that said all your main sizes are covered.
The ROP Shop is so confident in their product that they provide the buyer with a full years’ warranty (for details please see the manufacturer’s web site).
The chains everyone’s raving about
Very good and reasonable price
Although not strictly necessary, we’ve found that most customers tend to buy these along with tensioners and tighteners for even better traction
These ATV tire chains from Sedona are perfect for winter riding or plowing snow with your ATV, which is thanks to their amazing traction, even in snow and ice.
Customer feedback has been superb, and it’s one of the top rated ATV tire chains on the net for snow and ice (no need to take our word for it, check it out).
It’s a good rugged metal chain with decent spacing between the chains. It’s strength and sturdiness comes from hardened angle iron, welded to each link of the cross chain.
And for even better traction and performance you could even pair them up with ATV tire chains tighteners. These are very affordable and are readily available online, we’ve seen them on Amazon. Better safe than sorry as they say.
Made for snowy and icy conditions
Superb customer feedback
V-bar cleats formed with welded hardened angle iron
Although these ATV tire chains can be obtained in different sizes, the Amazon link provided will only show you the D size, which is designed for the oversized tires you get with larger ATVs
These chains from Koplin have earned the title of Amazon’s Choice for ATV tire chains - a title only given to products that provide excellent quality at excellent value.
And the value is excellent - even when it’s not available at a discount, it still comes to under $50 for a pair. Meaning you could get all your tires covered for under $100.
They’re composed of a rugged and durable steel, and to further their excellent durability, they’re also zinc plated to ensure they won’t corrode and will last even longer.
The 9 inch cross chains are frequently positioned around the tires, and they have V-bars that give it its great penetration into snow or mud, and in turn giving it amazing traction.
Customer feedback has been really positive. For example over two thirds of Amazon customers rated it at a full 5 stars out of a possible 5, giving it an average rating of 4 and a half stars, even after ratings from over 60 different people.
There’s only one size available, the B size, but that said, it’s a size that will fit most ATV tires, whether they are 22x11-10 or 22x10-12 or 25x8-12.
Excellent value for money
Really good customer ratings
Zinc plated for great durability
Only one size available, the B size, but you can buy accessories to aid a better fit
For best results, we recommend that you also invest in tensioners and tighteners for even better traction
These are great ATV tire chains from Kimpex USA. We would have given them a higher position in our Top 5 picks if it wasn’t for the steep price, costing over $100 for one pair.
Again these ATV tire chains have seen superb customer ratings and feedback, and at the time of writing this article, the average Amazon customer rating is a very impressive full 5 stars out of a possible 5, even after 30 individual customer ratings.
The stand out feature of these ATV tire chains is their chain pattern. Rather than simply featuring several cross chains connected by 2 concentric chains either side of each tire, the cross chains are arranged in diamond pattern, which is designed to increase their traction further still.
They’re made with hardened steel, for real ruggedness and durability. And the chains feature V-Bars, hardened angle iron, welded to each link of the cross chain, to give it real strength.
They come in a handy storage box, complete with a handle.
Diamond chain pattern for better traction
V-bars - welded hardened angle iron
Premium product at a premium price
For best results, we recommend that you also invest in tighteners for an even better fit
Best ATV Tire Chains Buying Guide
We’ll fire this section off with a quick list of things to consider, and then we’ll examine the questions that typically come up when it comes to using an ATV in snowy and icy conditions.
OK, here’s a quick round up of things to think about before you buy:
- Customer reviews
Traction should be one of your foremost considerations. The better the traction between the tire and chain and the ground’s surface, the better the ATV will perform to prevent any skids and get the ATV moving in the right direction as safely as possibly, even in snow and ice.
There are a number of elements that can affect the ATV tire chains’ traction. For example a diamond chain pattern can really improve traction in snow and ice. Our Number 5 Pick, the Kimpex USA Diamond V-Bar Tire Chains has such a pattern.
However such a pattern requires more individual links and consequently a higher weight of chain, which means it will cost more money. On one hand, some people would say that a diamond chain pattern is worth the extra money, but on the other hand many people are happy enough with a simpler chain that simply reaches from the outside of the tire to the inside.
Also the more frequent the cross chains across the tire, the better the grip and traction. But again this means more individual links and consequently a higher price. But on this issue we are more opinionated, and we recommend that you always go for more frequent cross chains.
An ATV tire chain could potentially see a hell of a lot of sustained wear. Each link in the chain will at some point see a lot of weight placed on it as it moves with the tires. It needs to be durable. You should look for chains that are solid, rugged and durable.
That’s why all of the ATV tire chains in our Top 5 picks are all metal (we’ll discuss plastic alternatives shortly). And with durability in mind, you can also get ATV tire chains that are zinc plated, which helps provide better adhesion, combats rust, and ultimately increases the durability further still.
It’s well worth beginning by checking the size of your ATV tires. This is because, quite often ATV tire chains are built to particular sizes, which makes sense.
However sometimes manufacturers produce a more universal size, and if it does not provide a perfect fit to your ATV’s wheels, then you are likely to have to invest in additional accessories such as tensioners and tighteners. Accessories which are readily available, and which we highly recommend.
We think it’s always a good idea to check out genuine customer reviews before buying products such as these. We’re not saying that you need to read every review necessarily, but rather just get a feel for what people are saying about the particular item you’re interested in.
We find that Amazon is a good site for examining customer reviews, not just because there’s usually a good amount of reviews to go through, but also because the manufacturer’s website will only show positive reviews, whereas Amazon will show both positive and critical reviews, and present a far fairer picture.
Tire Chains versus Snow Tires
Of course if your ATV tires are designed to tolerate snowy and icy conditions, like some of them are, then you may decide there’s no need to buy tire chains as well.
But if not, there are advantages of going for tire chains rather than going for a whole new set of ATV tires. First off there’s the price. An ATV tire chain is typically available at a fraction of the price of a new ATV tire. So this would be a good choice if your ATV tires are still in good condition and don’t need to be replaced.
If you feel that snow tires would be better value for you however, say if you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, or if you bought the ATV for the purpose of snow plowing then it would certainly be worth your while looking into getting ATV tires that are designed with such conditions in mind.
Metal Tire Chains versus Plastic Tire Cables
On the one hand, plastic tire cables are both far more lightweight and far more easier to put on and take off than their metal counterparts. And they are also much cheaper, so you can see why people might consider them.
However, when it counts, plastic tire cables are more likely to let you down. They just don’t provide the same level of traction that you get with metal tire chains. And metal tire chains are also more resistant to corrosion, since many of them are zinc plated. Our advice is not to compromise. Safety first, always.
Best ATV Tire Chains FAQ's
Do I need any other accessories for my ATV tire chains?
When we discussed ATV tire chain sizes earlier, you may have noticed reference to tensioners and tighteners. These are excellent little accessories which can make a huge difference to the fit of a chain on the tire, and therefore make a huge difference to their performance.
Such accessories are readily available from online retailers such as Amazon, and even if you were to buy enough for every tire along with the chains themselves, the total cost should still come to less than if you were to buy a whole new set of ATV tires .
Should you put chains on all 4 tires?
Ideally, you should really put tire chains on all four tires, because by using four tire chains, you'll be able to obtain the best possible traction and balance.
But if that’s what people generally did, you’d see tire chains being sold in packs of four rather than in pairs. Basically, front-wheel-drive ATVs must put snow chains on their front tires, and this is why ATV tire chains are sold in pairs.