Update – January 2022
[We have added a new tire chain brand at #5 to make this list more exhaustive and current for our readers.]
After careful consideration of a total of 5 leading tire chain brands for over 7 hours, we have successfully reached the conclusion that the Snow Chains Car Anti-Slip Tire Chains are the best tire chains for Prius at the moment. They pack a powerhouse of a performance in just 50 dollars.
Pick the Security Chain Company SC1032 Radial Chain Cable Traction Tire Chain at just under 40 dollars when the money is tight but you still don’t want to compromise on your safety and that of your Prius. It will give you the option of that mandatory tire chain upgrade even if your budget does not allow the same.
Before moving any further, let us first clear that main factors that need to be considered while buying the right tire chains for the Prius.
Factors To Consider Before Buying
You can make your journeys from one destination to another safer during those freezing winters when you consider all the important factors and make the right choice in terms of the tire chains.
As you are powering through a blizzard, the last thing you want is getting stuck with the substandard tire chains. You need to have that confidence in their quality so that every other journey does not become a game of life and death. Their ability to withstand the chills of winter without breaking down is what will give you that ultimate peace of mind even if instead of hell the heavens decide to freeze over that day and starts to drizzle non-stop.
Every link pattern comes with its own purpose and benefits. The ladder-shaped links are your best bet for that unpredictable terrain that you come across during on and off-road driving. Save yourself from getting into the slippery ground disaster by going for the diagonal link pattern. Go for the square links and enjoy the ultimate durability of the square links that come with it.
A task as easy as the tire chain installation should not require the additional cost incurring of a professional mechanic. They should be easy enough to install with or without a thorough and helpful installation manual. It should be easy to assemble them and install it in a snap.
You need to take care of the size of the tire chain you are about to buy above all. It cannot be too small else you will not be able to get it over the tires of your Prius. On the other hand, if you buy an over-sized model by mistake then you will totally lose out on the traction feature for which you are buying them in the first place.
Best Tire Chains For Prius
It can be quite a hassle to go through all the latest tire chain brands out there and check their suitability individually. So we did all the work for you and here are our top suggestions.
1. Quality Chain Cobra Cable Passenger Snow Traction Tire Chains (1038)
The chains are made up of low profile steel rollers which are tough in nature and make for highly durable tire chains. They add a lot of desirable features to your tire chains including the better tire-to-road contact noise and vibration reduction. And you can get them at just around 50 dollars.
- They have the SAE Class “S” Clearance feature.
- The lightweight build makes it possible to easily install them whichever way you like.
- Unbeatable traction can be accounted to the low-profile carbon being used in its manufacturing process.
- Affordable pricing makes it easily accessible whether you are in a feast or famine kind of financial situation.
- The snug fit makes it possible to enjoy a safe winter drive without compromising on anything.
- You will have to buy the yellow fastener separately for putting it all together.
- The durability of these tire chains is questionable in some cases.
2. Glacier 1030 Passenger Cable Tire Chain – Set of 2
The Glacier 1030 Passenger Cable Tire Chain comes with the best quality material to give you maximum traction and durability when you are on the road. They let you cover the miles without worrying about your safety and that of your vehicle at every turn. You can get a pair of these for your Prius at just about 50 dollars.
- You get optimum rust protection with the help of its electro – galvanized coating.
- Are specially designed for vehicles with limited clearance.
- Comes in a ladder style pattern for that ultimate durability.
- They will not void your vehicle warranty in any manner.
- Best suited to both front and rear wheel drive vehicles.
- The installation process can be a hassle if you are new to these kinds of arrangements.
- They might not be the right fit for your tires since the mentioned size is not up to the internationally accepted size code.
3. KONIG CG-9 080 Snow chains, set of 2
These tire chains come with the revolutionary and very helpful self-tensioning mechanism that maintains the perfect chain tension at all times. It is a patented micro-regulation system that will deliver the next level quality to your vehicle and everyday drive. You can get a pair of these in just under 170 dollars which is quite reasonable considering the innovative technology it implements.
- You get the on-the tread and 9 mm inside clearance with these tire chains.
- The optional application of the anti-scratch nylon bumpers is also available in this version.
- Get extra protection for your alloy wheels with the help of these nylon bumpers.
- These chain tires adhere to the highest quality standards that include Ö-Norm 5117, UNI 11313 and TÜV certifications among others.
- With proper alignment, you can put them on and take them off as per your convenience.
- You might find them a little smaller in diameter as compared to the other variants present in the market.
- Their budget might be a bit intimidating if you are not willing to invest much in this aspect of your vehicle.
4. Security Chain Company SC1032 Radial Chain Cable Traction Tire Chain – Set of 2
They were initially designed to protect radial tires from the sidewall wear and tear. Their affordable pricing for a quality product makes it highly accessible for consumers of all classes. At just around 38 dollars, you can get a pair for your Prius and enjoy a safer ride this winter.
- They meet the S.A.E. Class “S” clearance requirements without any trouble.
- Long service life can be enjoyed thanks to the total steel construction.
- The Peerless Industrial Group, Inc.’s traction coils have been placed in place of the far less efficient steel rollers for improved longevity.
- The low-operating space requirement around the driving tires makes it all the more favorable for the Prius.
- You don’t need to use the chain tensioners over these tire chains.
- You must refer to the user manual since it has a bit complicated installation process.
- They may come off every now and then and hence need to be tightened on a regular basis.
5. Snow Chains Car Anti-Slip Tire Chains, Adjustable Anti-Skid Chains, Fit for Most Car/SUV/Truck-Set of 10 Width 185-295mm/7.2-11.6”
The Snow Chains Car Anti-Slip Tire Chains are perfect for weather and terrain extremes. You can carry and install them quite easily even while its snowing or raining. They come with a robust grip.
- The accompanying ‘adjustable tension straps’ makes it extremely easy to mount them on the tires.
- It is made up of 100% pure Dichotomanthes material.
- They are resistant to low temperatures upto negative 50 degrees Celsius.
- The hardened steel nails with the wide thick chains keep the tires intact as well as secure.
- They are designed in a way to cause almost no vibration and noise while driving.
- They are not certified by the Cal Trans (California Transportation Department).
- You might not get optimum result while driving over 25 mph.
This covers our top 5 picks with a detailed account of your convenience and knowledge.
How To Put Snow Chains On Prius
Installing the snow chains by yourself on the Prius can be a bit tricky if it is your first time. But, you can do it without any trouble by simply following a few important guidelines. There are a total of four main steps that are involved in the proper installation of snow chains on Prius.
1. Form Fitting the Chain
Firstly, make sure that the size and other specifications of the tire chain match with your wheels. Then lay them out and remove all the twists that might have built up. After this, just drape the chain over the tire evenly so that it does not obstruct the tire wall. You might damage the tire during the drive if the tire chain is not installed properly.
2. Properly Connecting it Together
Now, you need to connect the end link fastener first on the inner side and then on the outer side. This way you won’t be causing any arrangement problem of the chains over the tire. Complete this process carefully and then check for the slack. If you find one then just disconnect the fastener on both inner and outer side and reconnect it a few links up in the same order.
3. Adjusting and Tightening Process
If you have an adjuster handy with you then you can just connect it with the chain on 5 different links in a pentagon shape on the external side. And then carry out the required adjustment to remove all and any slack that you might find on the chains while on the tire. Aim for minimizing the total slack if you are not able to completely get rid of it.
4. Mock Trial
This last step is very important. You must never skip it even if you choose to skimp a bit on the others due to certain constraints. Test drive in a deserted and familiar location at a reasonable speed limit that you usually drive at. Thus, you will be able to fix any problem that might crop up in an environment that is very much in your control as opposed to a bustling freeway.
Now, you are ready to purchase and install the tire chain of your choice to almost perfection.
If you need more detailed guidance, here is a quick video you can watch.
The snow tires are a must in the winters. They keep you and your vehicle safe in the most trying conditions and don’t require you to break the bank for it. Our recommendation is undoubtedly the Snow Chains Car Anti-Slip Tire Chains. They are known for their amazing on-road performance and ease of use by their customers.
What do you think about our top picks? Have you decided on which brand you are going to rely on this winter season? Comment and let us know in the comment section below. And while you are at it, just quickly share it with your friends and family too so that they can be a smart shopper too, just like you!