Even some of the most experienced off-road drivers have had to deal with the frustration of getting stuck in the snow and mud. Not only can getting stuck be an annoying and time-consuming problem, it can be somewhat frightening if the temperature is dropping and you have no way of reaching out for assistance.
This is where tire traction boards, sometime know as recovery boards, can really come in handy. They are an invaluable piece of hardware that can help you free your wheels in all weather conditions. Whether your daily commuter is stuck on an icy rural road, or you find your 4×4 vehicle’s tires are trapped on a particularly muddy trail, a good set of tire traction boards can help you free your vehicle so you can get on with your day.
To help you avoid the frustration of stuck and spinning tires, we are going to go over some of our top picks for the best tire traction boards on the market today. These multi-purpose, all-weather traction boards will give your tires something to grab, so you can spend less time in the ditch and more time on the road!
The Best Tire Traction Boards
The Maxtrax MKII is one of the most popular tire traction board sets on the market today. They are made in Australia from a high-quality blend of reinforced nylon, so they are durable enough to withstand the weight of your vehicle, but light enough that they are easy to use and transport.
One of our favorite features is the fact that each traction board features a built-in snow shovel, which means you can really dig them into snow, mud, or sand, which really helps if you do not have separate shovel on hand. Each board features a convenient keyhole-style mount, which means they can be easily stored in your trunk, on your roof, behind your rear-mounted spare tire, or anywhere else you prefer. They are even lockable, so you will not have to worry about theft if you mount them on the exterior of your vehicle.
While they were originally designed in Australia to help free vehicles that were trapped on the country’s beaches and in the sparsely populated outback, they work just as well for freeing tires from muddy trails and icy snowdrifts.
Each board measures 45 inches in length and 13 inches in width, so they are just the right size for freeing even the largest 4×4 vehicles. They are made from UV-resistant and flexible materials that offer outstanding traction, so even at just 8 lbs, they are durable enough to provide a firm base for your vehicle’s tires.
- Cleats grip your tire treading and the terrain underneath the board to give your vehicle a stable platform
- Six comfortable handles for maneuverability and a built-in shovel for removing excess debris
- Keyhole-style mounting points allow you to attach and lock the boards to your vehicle
- The boards are stackable and available in four unique color schemes
The ARB TRED Pro Recover Traction Boards were actually introduced as part of a collaboration between ARB 4×4 Accessories and TRED. The boards were designed to be the ultimate all-in-one recovery device, which means they are suitable for all types of vehicles and work in sand, mud, sludge, snow, and more.
Like the Maxtrax MKIIs, the ARB TRED Pros are manufactured in Australia from the highest quality materials. The unique ‘EXOTRED’ composite materials offers impressive levels of durability, while TRED’s patented ‘SIPE-LOCK’ grip profile offers the traction necessary to get your vehicle out of any situation. Each board features nylon resin teeth, which help provide traction points and prevent premature wear from spinning tires.
Despite the overall strength of the composite materials, the boards are surprisingly flexible, which means they will not crack or break when they are used in even the coldest weather conditions.
The boards are perfectly contoured to match the exact dimensions of a typical 4×4 tire and useful features, like ergonomic handles and a shovel-like edge, make them even easier to position. Their universal mounting points mean they are compatible with just about every type of tire traction board mount.
- Include a premium recovery leash set with neoprene cuffs, which help you recover the boards after they have been used
- Low-profile design for easier storage and mounting
- Durable, yet flexible construction is perfect for all both all types of terrain and weather conditions
- Available in four color options and features both ARB and TRED branding
The ActionTrax AT1B tire traction boards were specifically designed to give off-road enthusiasts the ability to free their vehicle from all types of terrain. Whether your vehicle is stuck in snow, mud, sand, silt, or anything else, these lightweight traction boards will give your tires the traction required to get free.
Their unique, sawtooth ends help dig the boards in, so they can really get underneath your tires. While large, gripped handles allow you to grab the boards, even if you are wearing thick winter gloves.
What we really liked about these traction boards is the unique ‘Quick Line System’, which allows you to easily link the boards together for an extended track. This is really helpful if one side of your vehicle is stuck in a long stretch of difficult terrain, while the other wide does not need extra traction.
The boards are all made in the United States from a high-quality blend of reinforced nylon. They are resistant to damage from moisture and UV rays and can easily withstand the weight of even the heaviest 4×4 vehicles.
- 72 pre-installed metal teeth provide a firm grip on the ground and your tires to prevent slipping
- The boards can be linked together to form an extended track for long stretches of slippery terrain
- Available in four colors
- Sawtooth-style edges are great for clearing excess snow and dirt. They also allow you to really dig the boards underneath your tires
What to Look for in Tire Traction Boards
Each of the three types of boards we highlighted above were chosen because they are ideal for both snowy and muddy conditions. We selected these traction boards over cheaper options because they offer the following:
- Handles and Straps – The best boards are easy to carry, place, and store. Ergonomic handles and straps are essential in this regard.
- Built-in Shovels – Traction boards are no good to you if you cannot get their edges underneath your stuck tires. The best boards feature built-in shovels and sawtooth ends to help you place them properly.
- Durability – Cheaper traction boards tend to crack and break after they have been used a few times. This is especially true when they are used in freezing temperatures. The best boards can easily withstand the weight of your vehicle, even when they are used in extreme weather conditions.
- Easy to Clean – Your boards will get dirty and wet, so it is important that they can easily be washed clean. The best boards are made from easy-to-clean materials that will not degrade or corrode if they are left wet for long stretches of time.
- High-Quality Treading – Your muddy and wet tires need to be able to grip the boards and the boards need to be able to grip the ground. This is why double-sided treading is essential and helps separate poorly made traction boards from the best options.
If you are serious about off-roading, it is probably time you considered picking up a set of traction boards. Each of the three boards we reviewed above would make a great choice and they all work just as well in mud as they do in snow.