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Snow Tire Decision

I’m from Texas (Houston), driving to Colorado from Christmas to New years for skiing. Curious what make and type of tires I should get for one week of driving up there. I have a 2014 Toyota Tundra 2 wheel drive. Thanks in advance for all opinions.

The top-rated winter tires (the term “snow tire” is now considered archaic, as the new-technology winter tires are effective on ice as well as on snow) are Michelin X-Ice tires.
There are 2 or 3 different models within that line, and not every model X-Ice is made in every size. You will likely have just one choice within their X-Ice line.

Some other winter tire brands are almost as effective in wintery conditions as are the X-Ice tires, but the really big advantage of Michelin’s winter tires is that their tread doesn’t wear as fast on dry roads as their competitors’ winter tires.

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Good answer VDCdriver!
Please see:

Rather than buy tires for one week why not just rent an all wheel drive vehicle . Factor in the cost of purchase, mounting and replacing your original tires and also having four tires you may never need again. Also consider your deductible should you put your truck in a ditch.

Call the place you are staying a week before you go to check on road conditions .

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Realize what you’re asking is similar to the question: “How much insurance does one need to buy?”

Colorado often has many dry weeks or months. If you hit one of those, then you won’t need any snow tires at all. On the other extreme, if you hit some big storms, depending on where you are, even with good winter tires, you’ll be stuck for a while.

Odds are that you will need snow tires.
I kind of like VOLVO_V70’s reply.

@VOLVO_V70 sorry to hijack the thread, how do you get the cake at the end of your name? To keep it post related, there have been previous questions like this, Moving and need 4wd

That dumb cake is to signify my anniversary join date. I don’t like it because I left kindergarten many years ago.

I can’t believe someone would buy winter tires for just one week of driving.

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NI would not buy a dedicated snow tire for one week. If you insist on taking your own truck, I would buy a set of AT tires with the snow flake and mountain emblem (BFg KO and Kumho AT51 areexamples)
Which do very well in snow and better then all seasons on ice. They are not as good as snow tires on ice but are still recognized by many parks as snow tire equavalances with the emblem.

The two tires mentioned are good to travel warm climates and at higher speeds and you can still use them when you return home as they perform well in non winter climates too. Heck, these tires may be better overall in the summer then what you have !

. AT tires are a worthwhile gap between all season and snow tires for trucks like yours. It’s an ideal compromise for people like you in your situation. With 2wd, make sure you pack plenty of weight in the rear too.

Though I like the idea of renting a car, an awd car you rent with all season tires still won’t help you much going down hills and in corners. Someone will still have to pay for AT or winter tires on a rental. Even Canada which requires snow tires in some provinces is recognizing these as year round alternatives.
Check out Tire Rack ratings for AT tires in snow.

If you are driving in snow in Colorado, your vehicle does need to adhere to the passenger vehicle winter driving traction law.

If you do plan to do any mountain driving, here’s a great site for road conditions around the state:

Gasoline will cost about $300 for a 2500 mile round trip. The tires will be around $550; add about $100 for mounting and another $100 to go back to you all season tires. Do your u want to spend more than $1000 for now tires that you will use for 1 week? You can spend that money on a plane flight and AWD SUV rental. Also be aware that you might have to make a detour in your truck to get to your ski resort if the weather does not cooperate. Some mountain passes require AWD/4WD as well as winter tires. There is one like that in Northern Utah that I’ve been on, and under the poor conditions that requrire 4WD and winter tires. I’m glad I rented one.

Never heard of an AutoSock, Neat stuff. My Michelin Defenders ltx m/s would qualify and they are a good road tire with decent mileage estimates. Buy some autosocks!


Here are the Colorado winter driving requirements. Note that AutoSock is allowed.

Chains, chains.

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A set of all-terrain tires like BFG AT KO2 and Duratrac can perform well in the snow, but not so good in the ice.

When I was planning a wintertime trip to the great white north, I bought two sets (pairs) of these to put in my trunk. I cancelled the trip, so I never got a chance to use them.

re autosock showed them to a mechanic bud, he had never heard of them either, but is considering retiring to colorada, we love sharing car stuff, and after reading the reviews, it seems people tend to only put them on their drive wheels, and the other wheels loose traction and cars go crazy. So 4 if you are going to try them, and they do seem to wear out fast, though 1 guy claimed 300 miles with no issue. I suppose removing them when no longer needed would be prudent.

An excellent suggestion that could just save a life.
Failure to get going due to ice can ruin your day, but spinning out has the potential to ruin the rest of your life.

It must be added that as a class, AT tires are not as good on ice as dedicated snow tires. But, they are better then all season tires and do a great job filling the gap between all season tires and snow tires for all winter conditions. AT tires with the mountainsnowflake emblem do have to perform better in winter conditions then all season tires which includes ice.

BI have several problems with chains. First, I use them on my tractor for snow removal and they are not easy to put on well and in the middle of a snow storm is not the best time to do it. So what do you do ? Put them on ahead of time for your car or truck ?

Next, they are only for low speed and you need plenty of clearance. If they become detached, they can ruin your wheels and wheel well.

Lastly, putting them on just the drive wheels for your rear wheel drive or truck based 4wd may be acceptable but you loose balanced braking and handling. Most who recommend chains are for very special seldom needed situations or, they very comfortable with them. If you’re from Texas, chances are, you are not.

If you decide on chains for your 2wd Tundra…practice mounting them several times.