Kleber Krisalp HP3 vs Michelin Alpin AP6

Kleber Krisalp HP3, with its unrivaled performance on snow, and Michelin Alpin AP6, known for its exceptional handling on ice, both promise a comfortable winter ride. But who will win this frosty face-off? Let’s find out.

Winter Tire on VolksWagen
Kleber Krisalp HP3 getting ready for testing.

Dry Grip

When it comes to dry traction, the performance of a tire heavily relies on the design of its central tread area, which bears the highest weight pressure during straight-line driving.

In this aspect, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 (review) surpasses its predecessor, offering superior grip and shorter braking distances on dry roads.

With a streamlined central rib and fewer offset edges, the tire provides a larger rubber-to-road contact area, enhancing its overall traction.

On the other hand, the Michelin Alpin AP6 falls behind due to its less streamlined rib design and larger tread voids, limiting its braking effectiveness.

Dry Handling

Handling performance is greatly influenced by the design of shoulder lugs and the tire’s flexibility.

In this regard, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 outshines its predecessor with its multitude of biting edges on the shoulder lugs and narrower lateral grooves.

Kleber Krisalp HP3
Kleber Krisalp HP3

This configuration improves grip and responsiveness during handling maneuvers. Conversely, the Michelin Alpin AP6’s thicker lugs with fewer biting edges and higher weight limit its grip and responsiveness during cornering.

The heavier weight of the Alpin AP6 leads to increased lug flex, resulting in delayed steering responses.

Tread Life

The longevity of a tire’s tread is impacted by its rolling resistance, which is then influenced by weight and tread design.

In simple terms, a lighter tire tends to have better tread life as it exerts less pressure on the road, reducing friction and wear.

That’s why the Kleber Krisalp HP3, with its lighter construction, prevails in this category as its lugs experience less pressure against the ground, resulting in reduced friction and heat generation. In contrast, the Michelin Alpin AP6’s heavier weight, less streamlined lugs, and older rubber composition contribute to its inferior tread life.

michelin alpin 6
Michelin Alpin 6

Noise Generation

Tire noise, generated by air particles colliding against the tread walls, can significantly impact the overall driving experience.

And effective noise management is an important consideration in tire design.

That’s why in this aspect, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 gains an advantage over the Michelin Alpin AP6 due to its less voided tread pattern.

With fewer air cavities for sound propagation, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 produces less noise as it rolls over the road, providing a quieter and more comfortable ride for both the driver and passengers.

Wet Traction

The performance of a tire on wet surfaces is determined by the design of its sipes and the composition of its tread rubber.

In this category, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 again outperforms its competitor here in various aspects including (wet) grip, handling, and aqua or hydroplaning resistance.

Basically this tire’s latest rubber compound enhances water dispersion capabilities in a better way, resulting in improved traction on wet surfaces.

Its updated sipe design with multiple angles facilitates a more rapid water evacuation, further enhancing grip.

And yes not to forget the interconnected tread voids in the Kleber Krisalp HP3, those offer exceptional water channeling in all directions, providing a slightly higher resistance to hydroplaning and increased control on wet roads, even at higher speeds.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy in tires is determined by their interaction with the road surface and their weight, which affects rolling resistance and energy consumption.

That’s why out of both tires, the Michelin Alpin AP6, being heavier, flexes more against the road during maneuvers like cornering, resulting in increased energy consumption.

In contrast, the lighter Kleber Krisalp HP3 with its longitudinally aligned ribs offers a more aerodynamic efficiency, and that gives you a smoother and more fuel-efficient ride, especially during highway driving, (where you run straight).

Vibration Absorption

Tires act as shock absorbers against road irregularities, as they are functioning as secondary suspension systems for vehicles (if you like).

Now out of both boys, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 with its new-generation compound gives you a better vibration absorption capabilities, consider all factors.

Basically its construction effectively cushions disturbances from uneven surfaces, resulting in a smoother ride.

And yes, the tire’s lighter weight also contributes to improved steering feedback, enhancing the overall comfort and smoothness compared to the Michelin Alpin AP6.

Though comfort wise, I’d like to mention that the Alpin AP6 is quieter off the two.

Ice Performance

On icy terrains, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 is again coming a little better with its impressive braking performance (almost 10 feet shorter on average compared to its predecessor).

And that is attributed to its innovative tread pattern, which combines a next-generation tread compound and strategically designed biters.

The tire features streamlined, slanted incisions and V-shaped notches, maximizing ice grip.

Additionally, its more aggressive siping pattern also enhances overall traction on icy surfaces.

In contrast, the Michelin Alpin AP6 lags behind with missing (as many) biters, though it performs well in fluffier snow conditions (see below).

Fluffy Snow Performance

Navigating through fluffy snow requires a slightly different approach, and in this regard, the Alpin AP6 gains an advantage with its slightly open tread design.

The tire’s biters are specifically designed to trap and retain soft snow particles within the tread, facilitating efficient snow-to-snow contact.

This enhances traction since snow adheres better to itself than to rubber.

On the other hand, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 takes a more minimalist approach to snow handling with its compact tread design. While it features aggressive biters, its not able to retain as much snow, resulting in a slightly less impressive performance in fluffy and powdery conditions.

So What’s the Verdict?

In this comparison, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 proves to be superior, offering improved dry traction and handling with its streamlined central rib and multiple biting edges on the shoulder lugs.

Its lighter weight contributes to better fuel efficiency and tread life, while its smaller tread voids reduce noise for a quieter ride.

Additionally, its intricate biters provide superior wet and icy terrain traction.

However, the Michelin Alpin AP6 still holds an advantage in fluffier snow conditions.