91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2010
I put these on my minivan (2003 Honda Odyssey) and drove on mixed surfaces (snow-covered, icy, slushy & pavement) in Yosemite National Park. I've tried several types of snow chains prior to these -- straight cables, Z-cables, GoClaws -- I found this pair to the most durable. The other types/brands tended to give out when driven on pavement, or they rusted out after a couple of uses.
These chains were also the easiest to install, thanks to the stiffened inner ring that you just push behind the wheel -- you don't need to hug the wet, muddy tire to reach around to look for the other end of the chain because all the linkages are designed to connect on the outer side of the wheel, and you can install the chains without moving the vehicle. The uninstallation instructions say you need to stop and align the wheel perfectly, but this doesn't always work because I'd usually have a portion of the chain pinched under the wheel. I found it easier to just unbuckle the linkages and drive over the chains to get them off -- very quick. Key linkages are painted in bright colors, so they're easy to find. There is also a tensioning mechanism to keep the chains from flopping around too much. The unconventional locking/tightening mechanism is easy enough, but I'd definitely recommend that you try it at home before you head for the hills.
I purchased size 102 according to the fitment guide (225/60-16) -- while the chains fit around the tread nicely, I had hard time pulling on the tension arm of the chain to hook it to the designated spot on the chain (you'll have to see the instructions to see what I mean). I just ended up hooking the tension arm elsewhere on the chain, and compensated with a bungee cord.
In my opinion, these drive slightly more smoothly than the Z-cable chains.
I'm very happy with these chains. They store nicely in a compact case also. Good stuff.
69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2010
I have to admit, I've never driven in the snow before. Once I got to the part of the hill where chains were required I noticed someone putting the traditional chains on their tires and it seemed they had been there for a while. I then took out mine, my wife and I each did one tire. I think it took us about 3 minutes combined and we were done. Since it was our first time, we practiced at home before we went on our trip.
When we left, people were still working on theirs.
These chains never got unfastened. They worked great, they are durable and I would only buy these in the future if I had to. I recommend them. They are user friendly and beginner friendly too.
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2008
I've had other quick install chains before, but these are by far the best quality and easiest set that i've had to put on before. They fit true to size for my 16-inch tires on my Toyota Camry. These appear to self center well, and tighten up even more as you drive with them on.
The first time i put them on, I got out of my car a half-mile down the road to check on the fit. They had snugged up even tighter and I was good to go. They have a quick-release mechanism that quickly gets them off the wheel.
Freak rare snowstorm in Seattle, and everyone is instantly sold out of chains locally. Thank goodness for Amazon and Prime account to get me a set overnight!
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2013
We needed tire chains for a trip to Yosemite. We purchased Thule based on the reviews found on this site. These are our experiences and observations:
The chains are durable and easy to install and remove. However, I recommend that you install the chains and remove a few times before they are actually required. The instructions are clear but the installation is not very intuitive. After a few times they go on and off in only a few minutes.
Our wheel wells are tight. Getting the chains on and off in dry conditions was no problem. Carry a few rags with you to clean up afterwords, I had road grime up to elbows. Just an observation and recommendation.
The chains connect with a cable behind the tire. On the outside of the tire, the chains are secured and self tighten with a one hook connection, and a chain with a bungee cord that loops through a carabiner style snap, and then the bungee to the opposite side of the tire, to form tight a triangle.. Our frustration was that the carabiner snap was pre-installed in the wrong position. While I did practice installing and removing the chains I didn't drive around with them on. With the carabiner in the wrong position the chains could not get tight enough to prevent vibration.
The vibration was so loud that I could not drive faster than 17 mph without a lound banging. We stopped several times, re-read the instructions and tried to tighten but no luck. It wasn't until day two when re-reading the instruction illustration that we discovered that the carabiner snap was installed in the wrong position...
Since it is pre-installed pliers are needed to remove and relocate to the correct position. After this we had no problems. but the banging was so intense that it damaged our rims...
The Thule chains are durable and many people have great experience with the chains. I think ours was the exception. We did see many, many cheaper cable style chains on the side of the road and in parking lots that had failed and broke.
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2010
I bought this set of chains to use on a trip to the snow with the family. I practiced once in the garage before I took the trip and then packed up and left. Fortunately, I did not waste my money and the weather was very snowy so I had to put them on 3 times during the trip. In total, I probably put about 30 miles on the chains during the trip, some of which was on bare asphalt due to the lack of shoulder space to pull over and take the chains off. Here are my thoughts about the chains:
Quality: Great! Despite running these chains pretty hard during the trip, I see no rust or major wear on them. I also got up to about 40MPH at times with them on with no indication that they were near the limit. The noise level was also fairly low as the chain links are fairly compact so the noise it kept to a very low rumble.
Installation: Great! Once you get the hang of these, it takes less than 5 minutes to put them on and most of that time is spent adjusting the tension. That would probably be the only complaint about these chains is that although the instructions (a picture book that doesn't help much) indicate that you do not have to roll your car forward to tighten them, I don't see any other way (more on this later) to do it.
Traction: Great! I was travelling with a family that had 4WD and they had some traction problems in the mountains while making a u-turn. My car had no issues whatsoever making the turn. These chains bite well and gave me a lot of confidence while they were on. I've used cable chains before and would have to say that those are a complete waste of money compared to these. Get some "real" chains and you won't be sorry.
Installation tips: Pull the chain out of the box and unhook everything. Stretch it out by holding both ends of the cable part with your hands and make sure that it is completely untangled and that the chains are hanging free from the cable (not twisted). Lay it flat on the ground in front of your tire and just push under your car in until one side of the cable reaches the end of the tire. Pull it up and over the tire and connect the cable. Pull the chain over your tire on both sides, connect the top (red) connector, loop the chain through the latch and then through the red holder. Just pull the rubber tightener as hard as you can and find a place to connect it to get some tension on it. Repeat on the other side. Roll your car forward (or backward) about a half of a rotation and then tighten the chain per the picture in your instruction manual. You are suppose to drive 100M and then tighten them, but if you can tighten them like you see in the picture, you are done. You may have to re-tighten them the first time you put them on as they seemed to not want to cooperate the first time I did (maybe they had to loosen up). Taking off is the reverse order of putting them on. When you get good at it, it should take you no more than 2 minutes to remove, and 5 minutes to put on.
Lastly, the other thing I likes about them is that I never had to lay on the ground to put them on or take them off. Just wear some latex gloves when installing and you will be good to go....good luck!
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2010
They are easy to install and remove. It is nice that they are made in Italy and not China. I installed them on my Smart ForTwo (2008, American version) and they fit fantastic (Size 050). The case doesn't quite fit in the trunk compartment, but I am going to take off the handle of the case they came in and it will fit great. I currently have them stored in the space directly behind my seat. The back of the case has velcro on it, so it stays in place nicely. I would recommend taking out the instruction book, etc, and putting it all in a ziploc bag so they don't get wet when the chains are full of snow. After use, they are very easy to put back in their case. I have posted pics and hope to post a video as soon as we get some more snow!
-Price (I paid $54 from Amazon Warehouse deals. Small crack in the case, barely noticeable)
-Easy to instal
-Made in Italy, not china
-Good added traction
-I am slightly worried about the bungie wearing eventually (probably in 10 years or so). I think it would be easy enough to replace though
-It may be possible to bend some of the red parts if you run them over just right. This wouldn't happen while driving, but rather if you are trying to take them off and you had to roll forward a bit to do so. I will take care not to do this.
-To get the bungie to the correct / safe tightness, it takes a bit of strength. Someone with low arm / hand strength may have a bit of trouble there.
I would highly recommend these to anyone thinking about buying them.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
Simply A-mazing! Practice putting them on in dry conditions to get the hang of it, but it takes no more than 1-2 minutes to put each chain on each wheel. Our town recently got 12" of snow, and these chains turned my FWD Jetta into a CARVER! The car plowed through secondary roads with 8" of snow like it wasn't even there. A night-and-day difference between driving with chains and without them. A must-have in the trunk of any 2WD vehicle in a climate where it snows. The price, ease of installation, and ruggedness have made these my favorite new product!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2013
These chains are fantastic, but if you're having problems installing, read this:
The chains on the end tend to tangle sometimes terribly after use. Before you reinstall, you NEED TO UNTANGLE THE ENDS, or you will have severe issues installing them and not know why. It is very simple to untangle them, simply flip the edge over a couple times until the chains are STRAIGHT, they should not look fat, if they are fat, this means they are tangling. which will likely cause breakage if you manage to install them tangled.
Please pass this on.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
I purchased these Size 102 chains recently to fit to our 2007 Chrysler Town & Country, front wheel drive. We live in California but were planning a trip to Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park, both of which required chains to be carried during this time of year.
As it turned out a winter storm hit both parks the day before we left and continued on and off for the 4 days we were away. The highest elevation we reached was 7,300ft where it was snowing and around 22 degrees F. In all I had to fit and remove the chains 3 times. The road conditions varied from slushy melted snow at lower elevations, 4-5 inches of fresh ungraded snow and hard packed snow and ice. The chains were quick to fit, less than 5 minutes. I tightened them after about 100 yards as instructed. No futher adjustment was needed during about 50 miles of driving around Yosemite NP. Removal was quick and easy. The plastic case for the chains is compact but large enough that the chains fit back into the case without too much hassle.
I drove up to about 25 miles per hour when conditions permitted. Even on some fairly steep climbs in the heavily packed Town & Country (6 people and luggage) on roads covered in falling snow and packed ice at 22 degrees the chains did their job. We were driving through these conditions in the dark at about 8pm, so I was really greatful for the confidence that the chains provided.
Will be skiing at Lake Tahoe in January, with these chains I'm confident that we won't have any problems. If I lost them tomorrow I'd buy the same set again.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2011
I bought these for my 21 y/o daughter for Christmas to use on her Kia Optima. She was headed over the pass and on to Pullman to attend WSU and I wanted her to have a good set of chains. We planned to have her practice putting them on one rainy evening a few days before she left. I really wasn't looking forward to it, just knowing her. Amazingly, she put these things on herself, drove around the block, re-adjusted, and disassembled in less that 30 minutes, in the rain and in the dark, while I stood there and watched. wow. These chains fit great and are easy to play with. Or, she's more mechanically inclined than I thought!
Naw, it's the chains.