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None of us plan to get stuck in the snow, ice, sand, or mud. But the fact is if we live in certain parts of the world, it’s almost inevitable. If you know, it’s likely to happen, then best be prepared.
However, there are a variety of traction mats available for moderate to severe conditions. The best tire traction mats for you is likely to vary according to where you live, the severity of the weather, and the surfaces you drive on.
Therefore, we’ve selected our top 8 picks of tire traction mats in order to find the right one for you. So, let’s get started and take a closer look…
- Top 8 Best Tire Traction Mats On The Market Reviews
- 1 MAXSA 20333 Escaper Buddy Traction Mats (Set of 2), Orange – Biggest Tire Traction Mats
- 2 Maxtrax MKII FJ Blue Vehicle Recovery Board – Best Premium Tire Traction Mats
- 3 Snow Joe ATJ650 PVC TrackAssist Non-Slip Traction – Best Low Cost Tire Traction Mats
- 4 BUNKERWALL One Recovery Track Mat with Carry Bag – Best Affordable Tire Traction Mats
- 5 WawaAuto All-Weather Foldable Auto Traction Mat Tire Grip Aid (2-Pack) – Best Budget Tire Traction Mats
- 6 Discount Ramps Apex TP-7417 Heavy Duty Vehicle Recovery Traction Grip Track (Orange, Single) – Best Short Tire Traction Mats
- 7 LITEWAY Traction Boards – Recovery Traction Tracks, 1 Year Warranty – Best SUV Tire Traction Mats
- 8 Emergency Tires Traction Mats Track Trapped Recovery Boards Vehicle – Best Value for the Money Heavy Duty Tire Traction Mats
- Best Tire Traction Mats Buying Guide
- Looking for more great accessories for your tires?
- So, what are the Best Tire Traction Mats?
Top 8 Best Tire Traction Mats On The Market Reviews
1 MAXSA 20333 Escaper Buddy Traction Mats (Set of 2), Orange – Biggest Tire Traction Mats
These are one of the longest and widest tire traction mats you can buy. They measure 48” long and 14.5” wide. If this isn’t big enough for you, they have an extra-long version that measures 59” long and 17.5” wide.
Another option is the connectable MAXSA traction mat. This mat is slightly narrower, at 13.5”, but when the two sections are joined together, they give a total length of 90”. These are ideal in the situation where just one wheel gets particularly bogged down.
Get’s you moving…
All MAXSA traction mats are big, so they’re most probably best suited to drivers who frequently encounter extreme driving conditions. Be it in the mud, sand, or snow, the MAXSA 20333 Escaper Buddy Traction Mats should provide enough bite to get you moving and on your way.
The shark tooth design on the surface of the mats provides high levels of grip for all makes of tires. Linked with their excellent width, it provides an excellent platform for the tires to grip and stop spinning.
Built to last…
The traction mats are made from highly durable polypropylene plastic. They will take the weight of any large car or SUV with ease. The manufacturer’s weight limit is set at 3 tons. There’s no doubt that these tough mats are made to last.
- Work in mud, snow, sand, and ice.
- High levels of grip.
- Large to store in the vehicle.
2 Maxtrax MKII FJ Blue Vehicle Recovery Board – Best Premium Tire Traction Mats
These are a premium made and premium-priced set of fraction mats. They come in a choice of six bright colors. We’re honestly not sure what that’s all about! These are traction mats, they’re not girls’ dresses, why does anyone need a choice of colors?
We don’t get it!
What we do get is that these are made from super-tough re-enforced engineering grade nylon. They measure 45” x 13” x 3.5”. Each traction mat has 88 durable teeth. These provide all the traction you’re likely to need in the sand, snow, or mud.
One word of caution is that the teeth on the board are so strong that even under wheel spins, they won’t get damaged. However, it is possible to damage your tires. Throttle restraint should, therefore, be exercised for the best result all round.
Each mat comes with three carrying handles on each side. They’re wide enough to be able to be used when wearing gloves. This makes storing, moving, and placing the traction mats much easier in all weather conditions.
Transporting and carrying the mats around is also made easier by using their mounting points. These can be used to insert mounting pins so they can be stored on your roof rack. The mounting pins are not included but can be purchased as a set for a reasonable price.
Easy to store…
Storage is also made easier by being able to stack the boards together in a low profile. The cool thing is that the Maxtrax MKII Recovery Boards can be stacked four deep in the same profile as compared to just two of most other boards.
One final useful feature of the Maxtrax board is that it has a shovel on each end of the board. Very useful for preparing the initial ground before you deploy the mats and drive yourself out.
- Can be stored on a roof rack.
- Stack into a low profile.
- Made of super-strong nylon material.
- In-built carrying handles.
- In-built shovel.
3 Snow Joe ATJ650 PVC TrackAssist Non-Slip Traction – Best Low Cost Tire Traction Mats
This is an affordable tire traction mat. It comes in a single roll and measures just 24.5” x 8.5”. If you want a mat for each tire, you need to buy an extra one.
It’s made from durable Polyvinyl Chloride and is tough enough to be used under all cars and SUVs. It can be used to get you going again when you get stuck in snow, ice, sand, or mud.
Roll it up…
One of the big advantages of the Snow Joe is that when not in use the traction mat rolls up for easy storage. Another advantage is that it’s also easy to roll out in front of your tire when it’s called upon for duty.
It even has a handy carrying handle to help you get it in and out of your vehicle.
Great value, but it has its limitations…
The Snow Joe can easily withstand harsh winters, and the worst the weather can throw at it. However, it’s not recommended to take this out on adventure off-roading trips. Snow Joe does have some limitations.
The tread on the mat is not as aggressive as on a hard traction mat like you find on the Maxtrax MKII, for instance. Since it’s in a roll, there is also more give as you move your wheels. In most cases, this isn’t an issue, though in more extreme cases, it just might be.
For everyday drivers, through rough winters, this is an excellent budget option.
- Easy to store.
- Has carrying handle.
- Easy to lay under the vehicle’s wheels.
- Great value.
- Does not come as a pair.
4 BUNKERWALL One Recovery Track Mat with Carry Bag – Best Affordable Tire Traction Mats
The Bunkerwall is another affordable traction mat option. It’s slightly longer than the Snow Joe, measuring 31.5”, though it’s exactly the same width at 8.5”.
The Bunkerwall traction mat is made using a super-strong rubber tread over a galvanized steel core. It’s highly durable and won’t corrode. It can be used multiple times, with any kind of car or SUV, without fear of it wearing or breaking.
Simple to use…
The traction mat comes self-contained in a strong nylon carrying case that’s complete with handle. That means it’s easy to take out and then put back into your car or vehicle after use.
It can be used in snow, ice, sand, and mud. It performs well in all conditions, though, like the Snow Joe, is not as grippy as some of the more expensive rigid mats. However, in the great majority of situations, the Bunkerwall will get you out of your rut and quickly on the move again.
A shame you can’t get one of these for your life in general!
The Bunkerwall comes as a single-track mat. If you think you want or need a system to provide traction to both wheels, you need to buy two. You can, of course, also lay them end to end to provide extra traction for a single wheel.
Happily, since the price is very affordable, you shouldn’t need to break the bank if you decide to buy a pair.
- Strong and durable.
- Easy to store.
- Works with all vehicles.
- Provides less traction than solid traction mats.
5 WawaAuto All-Weather Foldable Auto Traction Mat Tire Grip Aid (2-Pack) – Best Budget Tire Traction Mats
These are the least expensive traction mats on our list. As well as being the least expensive, they’re also the shortest and thinnest. They measure just 22” long and 1/2 “thick. They’re also only 7” wide and have a weight limit of 3.5 tons.
They are hinged and fold away in three pieces. They stack into a very low profile, so they’re very easy to store. Also, since they’re light, they easy to carry around. We’re sure you’ll agree that’s a definite bonus.
Best for lighter conditions…
Compared to something like the Sunpie traction mats, it’s fair to say that these are in no way heavy duty. They do work in lighter conditions, but these are not the right option for taking out off-roading.
They’re suitable for snow, mud, and ice, but we’d be very careful taking a vehicle onto the sand if you’re solely relying on the WawaAuto All-Weather Foldable Auto Traction Mat. However, for use in other conditions, when driving around the local neighborhood, they’re a viable and reasonable option.
Right way up…
They come in a pair, though because they are quite short, there’s always the option of laying them end to end under the most affected wheel. The WawaAuto mats should be used only one way up, so care needs to be taken to lay them correctly. There’s a very legible sign on them to help you get this right.
- Very inexpensive.
- Easy to store.
- Can be laid end to tend.
- Not suitable for more extreme conditions.
6 Discount Ramps Apex TP-7417 Heavy Duty Vehicle Recovery Traction Grip Track (Orange, Single) – Best Short Tire Traction Mats
Apex TP-7417 Heavy Duty traction ramps are constructed from 100% steel. They are relatively short and not very wide. They measure just over 20” long and are a little over 7” wide. This makes them the shortest traction ramps in our review.
The ramps are sold individually rather than a pair. So, take note if you feel you need two. If you do, then the good news is that they’re relatively inexpensive.
They have four hinges so they can be folded away and stored in a very small space. They’re small enough to store under most vehicle seats. Alternatively, they won’t take up a lot of room in your trunk.
The traction ramp should be placed with the clawed surface facing into the ground to create maximum grip. It works well in most circumstances and can be used in all conditions, and yes, that includes sand too.
Back on the road…
In the very worst and most extreme conditions, they may struggle. In sand or mud, they may sink into it. However, this is not in all cases, and only where conditions are particularly bad. In most circumstances, they work fine.
If they appear to be sinking into the ground when being laid on the surface, a little bit of digging should help to give them the bite and grip they need. That should get you up and running again.
One last tip…
Although they have an anti-corrosive coating, it’s always worth wiping them clean and dry, when you get the chance, after use. Better safe than sorry. Plus, who wants a muddy, wet, or dirty traction mats under their seats?
- Work in all conditions.
- Suitable for all vehicles.
- Compact for storage.
- Too short to be effective in some conditions.
7 LITEWAY Traction Boards – Recovery Traction Tracks, 1 Year Warranty – Best SUV Tire Traction Mats
For heavy-duty traction mats, these are surprisingly inexpensive. They measure 22.8” long and 12.95” wide. They are a reassuringly 3.9” thick. This makes them the thickest to all the traction mats we’ve reviewed. The thickness and relatively short length make them suitable for even the heaviest of SUVs.
They weigh just 5.79lbs, which is more down to their short length rather than their lack of toughness and build quality. The short length could be an issue in some extreme circumstances. However, 22.8” should be more than sufficient to give you enough grip to get you going, once you’ve been stuck.
Carefully does it…
The LITEWAY Traction Boards have tough teeth to prevent your vehicle from slipping back. Be careful not to spin your wheels on this board as the teeth are strong enough not to wear, even under a heavy load, so they have the potential to damage your tires.
The teeth on the reverse side of the board are equally effective. They give the maximum possible grip into the ground to allow the boards to bite into the shifting snow, ice, sand, or mud underneath.
Simple to carry and store…
The boards have a shovel edge design, which is great for digging an initial channel to prepare the ground before attempting to lay the boards and driving off. The boards also have a couple of handy carrying handles.
The traction boards can be stacked to allow for easier storage. Plus, they also have keyholes to allow you to use mounting pins to secure them to your roof rack. We’re sure you’ll agree, a very useful feature.
- Good value.
- Strong and durable.
- Suitable in most adverse conditions.
- Built-in shovel.
- Built-in carrying hands.
- Can be stored on the roof rack.
8 Emergency Tires Traction Mats Track Trapped Recovery Boards Vehicle – Best Value for the Money Heavy Duty Tire Traction Mats
These are a pair of super heavy-duty tire traction mats at a very affordable price-point. The Sunpie traction mats are very long and wide. They measure 42” long and 12” wide. This makes them one of the biggest traction mats on our list. As well as being big, they’re also super thick. They measure am impressive 3” thick.
Not surprisingly, given their size, they’re also super strong. Sunpie rates them as being suitable for vehicles up to 10 tons. Now that’s potentially one very big vehicle.
Incredibly versatile and practical…
We rate these as being the best tire traction mats in any situation. They work well in snow, ice, mud, and sand. They also work well with any vehicle, including vehicles with wider tires. Plus, they work well in severe conditions.
If these traction mats don’t get you up and running again, we don’t know what traction mats will. If they don’t work, you’re likely going to have to call someone, or get a friendly passer-by, to tow you out.
Some people have been reported as using them as a bridging tool for smaller vehicles. This is no doubt because of their exceptional strength. However, this is something not to be attempted even with very light vehicles. The chances are they will break.
You’ve been warned!
The only negatives are that they are heavy, 12.2lbs to be precise, and they are also difficult to store in or on your vehicle. They don’t stack into a particularly small profile, and there are also no special mounts for roof racks.
Otherwise, though, an excellent pair of tire traction mats.
- Heavy duty.
- Can use with larger vehicles.
- Suitable in extreme conditions.
- Good value.
- Difficult to store.
Best Tire Traction Mats Buying Guide
If your vehicle becomes stuck in the mud, snow, or sand, a little preparation can go a long way. In these kinds of circumstances, a shovel is your best friend. Without one, your chances of remaining stuck are significantly higher.
You should start by digging and removing anything in or around the drive wheels of your vehicle. This alone can make a substantial difference to your chance of getting going again. You should also ensure that the floor pan of the vehicle is not being supported by the ground. If you’re stuck this deep, you’ve definitely got some digging ahead of you.
When you’ve carefully placed the traction mats, and you’re ready to move, keep the steering wheel straight and be gentle on the throttle. Try to drive out slowly rather than power your way out.
Finally, depending on the type of journey you’re undertaking, remember to always be fully prepared.
Length, Width, and Thickness
Size does matter. The longer the traction mats then, the more chance you have of them biting into the ground underneath. In less extreme conditions, shorter mats are fine; otherwise, bigger, wider, and thicker is better.
For less extreme conditions, traction mats of just a couple of feet should help to get you running. These shorter, narrower, and usually thinner mats are perfect for using when you’re not too far from home.
When the going gets tough, the traction mats need to be tough too. This is when you need a long, strong mat. Something around four feet in length. Something like the Maxsa or Maxtrax traction mats. These are undoubtedly the best tire traction mats to use in severe conditions when you’re a long way from home and help.
Traction mats come in a range of different materials. These include re-enforced polypropylene or nylon rubber, and steel.
The best material for traction mats is either re-enforced polypropylene or nylon. The teeth made from these materials create the highest-level of bite in the ground and on the vehicle’s wheels. The Maxsa, Maxtrax, and Liteway traction mats all score for their high traction levels and use of premium materials.
Gold stars all round.
Rubber and steel still work but are not quite as effective.
Space is often at a premium, so it’s important to have a good storage solution. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use your traction mats, so being able to keep them out of the way is important.
The larger, solid, and more robust mats can be stacked into each other to create a lower profile. The Maxtrax boards do this best. However, even when stacked, they still take up a lot of room.
Attach them to the roof rack…
One way to free up space in your vehicle is to use mounting points on the mats so they can be stored on a roof rack. Full points, again to Maxtrax and also to Liteway, since they employ this system.
The rubber-based traction mats take up much less space. They are shorter and can roll into a compact bundle. The steel-based traction mat, the Apex, can be folded, via its four hinges into an equally small space. The rubber and steel mats are a great option where space is at a premium.
We’ve already covered the importance of having a shovel. Happily, both the Maxtrax and the Liteway traction mats include one that is built-in. Since neither of these are the most space-friendly, the built-in shovel can potentially free up a little bit of extra room.
Another useful feature for rigid boards is a built-in handle or handles. This not only makes them easier to carry around but also makes them easier to place under the wheels.
Maxtrax and Liteway have these too.
Looking for more great accessories for your tires?
If so, check out our reviews of the Best Tire Pressure Gauges, our Best Tire Chains for Snow reviews, our Best Tire Sealants reviews, our Best Tire Shine reviews, and the Best Wheel and Tire Cleaners currently available.
So, what are the Best Tire Traction Mats?
So, there you have it — a wide range of the best tire traction mats currently for sale. Hopefully, there was one amongst them to suit the kind of conditions you’re driving in as well as your pocket.
Although there’s no doubt that the larger, more expensive traction mats are the best in the very worst conditions, our top pick goes to the relatively short…
For a mat that is relatively short in length is not short of strength. It’s also effective in severe weather and has the added advantage of having a built-in shovel. What’s more, it also stackable and can be mounted, via the built-in mounting points, onto a roof rack.
The Liteway traction boards are all-round affordable and strong performers.