I found these traction pads on Amazon after poking my nose in and out for them for a while. They looked good and the price was right (a third of Maxtrax), lets see what they look like!
They arrived within a few days (thanks to Amazon Prime) and undamaged. They were well packaged aside from the extra lugs and bolts being free in the box, which can easily lead to them getting lost, but the rest was very good. A funny thing to note is the truck featured on their graphics isn’t carrying their brand of traction pad.
having a good look over the contents, the boards seem sturdy and well formed. The carry bag is typical Chinese quality and I would not recommend leaving out in the elements more than you have too. there is a full set of 8 extra lugs and bolts and two 2m (6 foot) recovery straps for when you’re in that extra deep mud. The sticker isn’t great quality, it peeled off after about 10 minutes (the shop was a bit chilly in it’s defense).
The boards are quite rigid and rated for 9000Kg (enough for my 7300Kg 4×4 Ford e-350) but it should be noted that the cold rating at -20C is only 5000kg according to the manufacturer. That is still pretty darn good considering what cold does to the pliability of plastic.
the one thing I was hoping for was a little tighter stacking ability, maybe it’s just the pictures but Matrax seem to nest a lot better, allowing 4 to be stacked relatively thin. These stack at 5 inches tall for 2 and 8 1/4 inches for 4. That is quite the bulky tower of traction hanging off any part of your vehicle.
Don’t get me wrong, I lust for the latest and greatest gear, but sometimes the cost is just to high (remember the rent is too damn high guy?). Maxtrax are the be all end all of traction pads according to Instagram, and I have no doubt they are a fantastic product, The issue is ~$300 CAN a pair for something that is just looking pretty on your roof rack until you are going to be abusing under the wheels of your vehicle. Many will say you get what you pay for but I feel like these are a little more disposable and even the best will get damaged with use. It helps that you can pickup a few sets before you reach Maxtrax price and 4 is better than 2 any day on the trail.
I am looking forward to getting out in some deep snow and giving these a real world test in the coming months so stay tuned! And if you’re interested in a pair or two for yourself you can follow the affiliate link below!