Firestone WinterForce 2 Review

Durable and sturdy, the WinterForce 2 is Firestone’s commitment to winter safety. Let’s start things off, with this tire’s main highlights.

Winterforce offers decent fuel economy, given its a winter tire.

Main Highlights

The Firestone WinterForce 2 offers great performance in terms of:

  • Dry Longitudinal Grip: Its continuous central rib ensures steady road contact, which leads to faster braking.
  • Wet Traction: The tire’s aggressive siping strategy offers decent grip on wet terrains.
  • Enhanced Winter Performance: Notably on ice, it has above-average braking and acceleration figures, and its snow traction benefits from a decent snow scooping abilities.
  • Comfort Levels: The tire having softer overall rubber ensures a comfortable ride.
  • Tread Durability: With an average tread depth of 12/32″, its lugs resist excessive flexing, adding to longevity.

However, the tire lacks in:

  • Lateral Dry Grip: As the tire doesn’t offer good enough cornering (in terms of entering the turn).
  • Comfort in Noise Levels: Tire is relatively still loud, due to its expansive shoulder voids.
  • Fuel Economy: Though the tire features lugs with foundational supports, its overall fuel efficiency is just average.

Info on Sizes: The Firestone Winterforce 2 comes in 14 to 18″ rims, with all sizes having only “S” speed rating, and standard load ratings. Moreover, all sizes also have the same 12/32″ tread depth, and in terms of weight, they range from 15 pounds and go up to 35 lbs.

Tread Structure

The Firestone Winterforce 2 comes with a very aggressive directional pattern.

Firestone WinterForce 2 Review
Firestone WinterForce 2 have studable lugs.

There are 5 ribs in total, where the shoulder lugs (on outer 2 ribs) are the most streamlined.

These shoulder blocks make rectangular shapes, and come with wave-like siping on them, just like seen everywhere else on the tread.

In the middle the 3 ribs, being pretty voided up, interconnect all outer circumferential grooves together.

Though the central most rib is continuous running. And it features slanted notches facing both sides, laterally.

Moreover, you also see snow vices here too.

The adjacent ribs also have similar features, though they also have stud holes, which are also seen on shoulder blocks too.

Dry Performance

Tire traction on dry surfaces is vital, including for winter tires, and here the efficacy of this traction relies on two primary factors: the amount of rubber that makes contact with the road and the tire’s steering responsiveness.

Moreover, grip can be further segmented into two categories: longitudinal (directional) grip and lateral traction. Let’s get deeper into each of these aspects.

Dry Longitudinal Grip

This grip pertains to a tire’s ability to maintain traction in a straight line, where it largely depends on how efficiently the central portion of the tire contacts the road.

But why is the tread’s middle area here so crucial?

It’s simple. As the tire rolls, the central part gets to face the most weight, resulting in maximum road contact. Given that this grip is directly related to direction, it’s no surprise that its effectiveness is measured by the tire’s braking performance.

Having said that, let’s take a look at our tire.

So the WinterForce 2 as an example shines brilliantly in this aspect, all thanks to its continuous central rib, which ensures steady road contact, translating to shorter braking distances and faster acceleration (as seen on tests).

As a result, when it comes to braking performance, the Firestone’s tire stands head and shoulders above other elite winter tire options.

Lateral Grip and Stability

Lateral stability of a tire is crucial during maneuvers, where the tire’s shoulders/sidewalls are pivotal in providing balance and ensuring agile handling, especially when navigating aggressive turns.

Interestingly, the Firestone’s tire, despite its noticeable voids, holds its ground here pretty well, as it matches the performance of elite winter tires, out there, such as the Michelin X Ice Snow (review this tire here).

But what’s the secret behind its impressive handling, even with its apparent shortcomings in directional grip?

The answer lies in its resilient rubber composition and the inclusion of a robust nylon cap ply in its internal structure. These elements bolster steering precision.

Although the WinterForce 2 approaches corners at a reduced speed (owing to its longer deceleration time), it compensates by delivering decent mid-corner feedback.

So you get pretty nice overall handling with this tire, overall.

Wet Performance

A tire’s wet traction is primarily dictated by its tread pattern and rubber formulation. This encompasses wet grip and hydroplaning resistance.

Wet Traction

Wet grip/traction, also hinges on the rubber’s contact with the road. But the thing is, water disrupts this bond, necessitating design features to counteract it.

These features mainly include two, grooves and sipes.

While grooves are responsible for displacing a majority of the water, sipes tackle the lingering moisture. They release air, producing a suction effect that extracts water and ensures consistent road contact.

Having said that, the Firestone WinterForce 2 showcases excellence in this realm with its aggressive siping strategy. It features a blend of dual wave-like and linear patterns, the latter focused on the central rib and the former on surrounding ones.

Thanks to these multi-angled sipes, the tire guarantees a multidirectional grip, anchoring it securely on wet terrains.

Though most of its traction is still attributed to its aquaplaning resistance (see in the next section).

Side Note: If you’re scouting for winter tires with superior traction, the Continental VikingContact 7 (review) stands out as a top contender. Just a tip.


Hydroplaning emerges when water accumulates between the tire’s surface and the road. And tires begin to float or hydroplane.

This is where the design of the tire’s grooves becomes crucial, serving to channel the water away and circumvent aquaplaning (another word for it).

Now, thanks to our tire’s pronounced voids, the Firestone WinterForce 2 excels in this area, delivering consistently high float speeds.

The tire’s distinct vine-shaped lugs, coupled with its directional tread pattern, efficiently dispel water and slush, yielding commendable hydroplaning resistance in both curved and straight paths, as validated by tests.

Tread Durability

The durability of tire tread is anchored in two interconnected elements: rolling resistance and tread depth.

The tread depth correlates directly with its lifespan, as a tire with more tread depth will typically take more time, reaching the regulatory minimum tread depth of 2/32″ (a standard in the U.S.).

Though, tread depth has an inverse relationship with rolling resistance, too, as deeper treads are more flexible, leading to increased heat production and heightened rolling resistance.

Now, this brings us to the Firestone WinterForce 2’s design.

As the tire is equipped with a good enough tread depth and lugs having foundations, it strikes a balance between durability and efficiency.

So even with an average tread depth of 12/32″, its lugs are designed to resist excessive flexing, ensuring consistent mileage.

So overall, you get above-average performance with this tire.

Comfort Levels

Tire comfort encompasses aspects such as noise reduction and vibration dampening, which are influenced by the tire’s construction, materials, tread pattern, and sidewall design.

Let’s start with noise.

Tread Noise

The primary source of noise is the collision of air with the walls of tire treads. In essence, tires with more significant tread gaps tend to be noisier.

Cutting down to the chase, the Firestone WinterForce 2 offers satisfactory noise levels, typical for winter tires. Its expansive shoulder voids, combined with multi-angled sipes, do contribute to a slightly pronounced hum.

However, the tire’s variable pitch tread design acts as its saving grace, efficiently reducing in-groove sound reverberations. It’s worth noting that among its peers, theWinterForce 2 is marginally louder, but the difference is minimal.

Bumps Absorption

Since tires come between the vehicle and road irregularities, they act as secondary suspension system. And how well they are depends on their ability to absorb road bumps, determining overall ride comfort.

Now in case of Firestone’s tire, its good enough efficiency in this regard rests on two pillars: its decent absorption capacity and overall stability.

The tire basically stands out due to its significant tread depth (of 12/32″), and softer overall rubber. Moreover as all its lugs have foundational supports, they also keep the stability in check.

(Tires with richer rubber depth contribute a lot to enhanced bump absorption, provided stability isn’t compromised).

Fuel Economy

The fuel efficiency of tires is intimately linked to their weight and traction attributes, both of which exert influence on rolling resistance.

Why is this the case?

Consider a tire with substantial weight and an aggressive tread pattern. It makes sense that such a tire is more prone to experiencing lug flexing during maneuvers due to the heightened pressure exerted on the lugs.

This flexing translates to energy diversion, where instead of rolling, energy gets wasted else where (mostly in to heat).

Having said that, the Firestone WinterForce 2 deals with this pretty nicely, the tire features lugs with foundational supports, so they aren’t allowed to flex a lot.

Though still, there’s a little room for improvement here, I should add.

I mean, the tire could have done a lot better here, if it had a little less overall tread depth.

So overall, tire’s fuel economy is just average.

Enhanced Winter Performance Overview

A tire’s winter proficiency primarily rests on its performance over two challenging terrains: ice and snow.

Let’s delve into each.

Ice Traction

Owing to the slippery nature of ice, a tire’s rubber composition and tread blueprint become pretty important.

For a tire to be considered adept on icy terrains, it should possess an array of pliable “biters” that remain effective even in sub-zero temperatures.

The Firestone WinterForce 2 impresses in this aspect. While there’s room for improvement in handling, it offers you with good enough (above average) braking and acceleration figures.

Moreover, with stud-ready lugs, its ice performance can be further augmented.

Snow Traction

Snow-covered roads, often soft and powdery in texture, present unique challenges for tires. Here, a tire must effectively penetrate the snow, creating a snow-to-snow contact, while also shedding excess snow to prevent buildup which can impede traction.

Why is this snow-to-snow contact crucial? It’s simple: snowflakes have an innate ability to cling to each other due to their intricate structures.

When trapped in the tire’s tread, they form a bond that’s far more gripping than mere rubber against snow.

In this context, the Firestone WinterForce 2 establishes a pretty decent contact patch, yielding consistently positive outcomes.

While there’s room to enhance its snow handling capabilities, the tire still delivers above-par performance in snow acceleration and braking.

To Conclude

So overall, the tire offers a lot of pros and cons.

In dry conditions, the Firestone WinterForce 2 shines with impressive braking and acceleration due to its central rib design, where it also maintains stability during maneuvers despite its voided tread.

For wet performance, the tire offers multidirectional grip and strong hydroplaning resistance overall.

In winter conditions, the Firestone shows good performance on ice, adequate snow handling, and impressive acceleration capabilities.

Moreover, it also offers a comfortable ride with acceptable noise levels, thanks to its significant tread depth and softer rubber.

And yes, since its keeps its rolling resistance low, its not too bad in terms of fuel economy and tread longevity.

Barum Polaris 5 Review

Barum Polaris 5 is an affordable winter tire, where you don’t really compromise on a lot. Let’s check out its merits.

Winter Tire Comparison
Barum Polaris 5 is getting popular day by day, due to it’s superb value for money.

Key Takeaway

The Barum Polaris 5 excels in:

  • Dry Handling: Offers impressive steering responsiveness and balance, matching top-tier winter tires.
  • Snow Traction: Effective snow-to-snow contact due to its unique lug and siping structure, providing commendable snow performance.
  • Tread Longevity: Despite lacking a treadwear warranty, it lasts about 40k miles on average, making it a good value as a budget pick.
  • Fuel Economy: With an average tread depth and stiffer rubber, the tire shows reduced rolling resistance, aiding in decent fuel efficiency.

Though the tire needs improvement in terms of the following:

  • Dry Performance: Tread design limits rubber-ground contact, diminishing overall grip.
  • Wet Grip: Lacks flexibility in its sipes and misses an interlocking siping design, resulting in below-average wet traction.
  • Ice Traction: Performance on icy terrains is below average due to its stiffer rubber compound and limited siping.
  • Tread Noise: Generates more noise, lagging by 3 decibels compared to quieter winter tires.

Info on Sizes: The Barum Polaris 5 comes in 74 total sizes, in 13 to 19 inches wheels, with sizes having speed ratings of T, H and V, load ratings in SL and XL, and tread depth ranging 9 to 10/32″. Moreover, the weight ranges from 15 to 26 lbs, and the tire doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty.

Also Note: Since the tire is the best overall budget pick, I added it to my list of top winter tires, check it here:

Polaris 5’s Structure

The Barum Polaris 5 comes with a directional tread pattern, which is pretty typical in winter tires.

Polaris 5
Barum Polaris 5 tire offers one of the best fuel economy, among its direct competitors.

It’s tread comes with 4 ribs, as can be clearly seen from the image, where two outer elongated lugs are shoulder ribs, and the central ones combined, form 3 circumferential grooves.

All these ribs although have two common features, where they have longitudinal/slanted slits, and similar off-set edges. But there are still a lot of differences to note as well.

For example, the central blocks run in pairs, where every two of them are joined up with each other, with rubber ridges.

Moreover, these lugs carry a mixture of linear and wave-like siping pattern.

Moving towards shoulders, the elongated lugs have linear siping only, and lugs here are prominently separated by thick lateral grooves as well.

Dry Performance

On dry terrains, a tire’s traction is crucial. The quality of this traction is determined by the rubber’s contact consistency and adaptability to road surfaces.

Dry Directional Grip

Directional grip pertains to a tire’s performance in a straight-line, like when it moves on highways, for example.

This grip gets calculated by the tire’s braking effectiveness, and depends highly on how well the tire’s central rubber/tread area contacts the ground.

That’s why it makes sense why the Barum Polaris 5 isn’t doing so well here. If you consider its tread again, you’d see how it’s central area is full of voids, not allowing ample rubber to meet with the ground.

This results in limited overall grip values, (compared to its direct competitors).

Dry Handling

During maneuvers, a tire’s lateral stability becomes paramount. The shoulder regions of the tire play a critical role in ensuring balance and responsive handling during turns.

Now surprisingly, the Barum Polaris 5 being a budget tire, does pretty well here.

I mean it’s performance is on par with top-tier winter tires here, like the Continental WinterContact for example. So how is it doing that, even though its lacking so much in terms of directional grip?

Well, this has to do with the tire’s stiffer rubber, and robust nylon cap ply (in its internal construction), as they allow for excellent overall steering responsiveness.

Even though the tire enters the corners slower (since it takes more time to slow down), its still gives you superb mid-cornering feedback, relatively.

And as a result you get remarkable under and oversteering balancing on this tire, which translates in to top-notch overall handling capabilities.

Fuel Economy

A tire’s weight and traction profile dictate its rolling resistance, which in turn influences vehicle fuel efficiency directly.

Now, Barum Polaris 5 is a pretty decent pick here. The tire has an average tread depth between 9-10/32″, and that combined with its stiffer rubber, its lugs don’t flex a lot.

This is significant because excessive lug flex (as tire maneuvers), can increase energy demands, potentially compromising fuel economy.

In other words, greater the lugs move, more would be the rolling resistance, as lugs are more sticky towards the ground.

Wet Performance

Effective performance on wet roads hinges on tire’s design and rubber composition, both tailored to provide water displacement from the tread, and allow for good wet grip and resistance to hydroplaning.

Let’s check both these out.

Resistance to Hydroplaning

Now most of the water gets out with the help of grooves (on tires), and so they provide most of the hydroplaning resistance.

Or in other words, without efficient groove design channeling water out, there’s a risk of tires floating or aquaplaning

Now the Barum Polaris 5 provides most of it’s wet traction from its grooves. The tire has the edge of directional pattern which also includes grooves running at all angles.

So you get pretty decent overall float speeds with this tire.

Wet Grip

Wet grip mostly comes from sipes which manage residual water particles, (which weren’t cleared off with grooves).

And Barum Polaris 5 performs below average here. Although its groove do most of the work, its sipes lacking the needed flexibility, (mainly due to its stiffer relative rubber), aren’t able to provide, what one would say, good enough wet traction.

It’s actually one of the weakest point of this tire.

Moreover, the tire also lacks highly needed interlocking siping design, particularly on its shoulder lugs, compromising its overall wet handling times, and steering response.

Though don’t get me wrong, its still not too bad, its just comparing other tires in the category, you see a noticeable difference.

Tread Noise

Noise generated by tire treads is a product of air oscillations within tread patterns. That’s why tires with larger tread voids, usually end up intensifying this acoustic output.

And it’s one of the main reasons, why the Barum Polaris 5 is pretty loud.

To give you an idea, comparing with the quietest winter tire, the Barum lacks by 3 decibels (as seen on tests).

Side Note: Out of all top winter budget picks, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 (review), offers one of the quietest ride, relatively.

Tread Longevity

When it comes to principal indicators of a tire’s lifespan, tread depth, it’s rubber composition and structural weight are the most crucial ones.

Having said that the Barum Polaris 5 provides a great value as a budget pick, since it lasts a good amount of time, relatively.

On average, the tire lasts about 40k miles, even though it doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty.

The tire with its lighter weight, and stiffer rubber composition, basically rubs its lugs with less friction with the ground, allowing for decent tread longevity, overall.

Overall Winter Performance

For a tire, winter conditions necessitate optimized performance metrics due to the specific challenges posed by cold temperatures, snow, and ice.

Ice Traction

This measures a tire’s proficiency on icy terrains, where key factors include the rubber compound’s responsiveness at low temperatures and the intricacies of the tread design, which enhance the tire’s adherence to this slippery surfaces.

Now the Polaris 5 lacks in both these key areas, resulting in below-average overall ice performance.

The tire comes with a pretty stiffer rubber, relatively, which don’t allow its biters to properly grip on the slippery icy surface.

Moreover, it doesn’t have enough biters to begin with. Unlike most winter tires having a lot of interlocking sipes, the tire has linear siping predominately across its tread.

And since such siping structure tend to stiffen up with extreme maneuvers, it doesn’t allow the Barum’s tire to have good enough overall ice performance.

Though its snow grip on the other hand is okay.

Snow Traction

Snow-covered roads present challenges distinct from icy conditions.

And here, efficient snow traction requires a tire to effectively penetrate and grip snow layers while simultaneously ensuring self-cleaning capabilities to prevent clogging.

Now the Barum Polaris 5 with more voided up structure provides exactly that. It’s lugs are act as scoops, throwing snow backwards, generating good enough acceleration, while it’s thick siping slits provide the needed snow to snow contact.

(This contact is important here, as snow isn’t that sticking towards rubber, and instead generates far greater friction, when it rubs against itself).

So overall, the Polaris 5 does pretty well, when it comes to snow performance.

To Sum Up

In evaluating this tire’s performance across multiple terrains and conditions, there are some notable observations. Let me share them with you in a short/quick manner.

When it comes to dry performance, the Barum Polaris 5 offers slightly limited overall traction, mainly because of its lacking linear grip.

Though it still good enough there, especially when you see its wet traction, which is the tire’s weakest point.

Moreover, as a winter tire, although its performance on icy terrains is subpar because of its stiffer rubber and limited siping, it excels in snow traction with its unique lug and siping structure.

Moreover, you also get a pretty loud tire here too.

But I guess it all evens out, considering that the tire comes in a budget, relatively, and offers more value as it generates relatively less rolling resistance.

So it offers you with better fuel economy, and tread life.

In other words, out of all winter tires, Polaris 5 provides you with the best value (according to my experience).

Kleber Krisalp HP3 vs BF Goodrich G Force Winter 2

The Kleber Krisalp HP3 and the BF Goodrich G Force Winter 2, are both known for their distinctive performance, so its best to consider the following performance sections, starting with their sizes.

Winter Tire on Mercedes
Kleber looks cool with black rims.

Key Takeaway

BFGoodrich G Force Winter 2 excels in:

  • Icy terrains: Especially notable braking distance and overall handling.
  • Wet traction: Enhanced biting abilities with its dual siping system and effective water displacement during various maneuvers.
  • Comfort: Produces less noise due to its tread design, offering a quieter ride.

On the other side, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 (review) stands out for:

  • Snow performance: Superior traction, especially on soft, fluffy snowscapes.
  • Dry traction: Better handling and directional grip due to continuous running rib and lesser weight.
  • Fuel Economy: Lighter framework and streamlined design lead to more fuel-efficient consumption.
  • Both tires are comparable in:

Also both tires have similar scores in terms of tread longevity, where despite their differences, both offer similar tread life.

Tire Sizes

On the other side, the BF Goodrich Winter T/A KSI comes in 57 total sizes, with following specs.

  • Wheels or rims available: 14 to 20 inches.
  • Speed ratings: H and T.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL
  • Tread depth: 12/32″ on all.
  • Weight: 16 to 41 lbs.

On the other side, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 comes in 99 total sizes, in following specs.

  • Rims available: 14 to 20 inches.
  • Speed ratings: T and H (similar to BFG).
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″.
  • Weight: 16 to 32 lbs, (on average, the tire is lighter in weight).

Side Note: Both tires don’t come with any tread wear warranty, and both of them have M+S ratings, along with the standard 3 peak mountain snowflake ratings (you normally seen on winter tires).

Snow Performance

When it comes to soft, salt-like snow, both tire models exhibited stellar performance, each tackling the distinct challenges that different types of snow impose. Yet, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 edged out as the victor in terms of traction, notably on soft, fluffy snowscapes.

Kleber Krisalp HP3
Kleber Krisalp HP3 has reinforced foundations underneath all the lugs.

The secret? It lies in the tread design of this tire.

Sporting a more assertive directional tread pattern, coupled with lugs that boast an expansive structure, this tire carries a definitive advantage.

It’s designed to optimize snow-to-snow interaction.

The soft snow particles are effortlessly captured by the tire’s interlocking grooves and snow vices.

Once ensnared, these particles boost the tire’s grip, facilitating superior traction as snow naturally adheres better to itself than to rubber.

In comparison, the design of the BFGoodrich G Force Winter 2 is more compact, even though the tire offers similar cocntinous running V shaped lugs, (due to their reinforced foundations), as can be seen in their treads (images).

Moreover, the BFG’s absence of thick in-groove notches, like seen shoulders of Kleber, means the tire doesn’t amass as much snow as its competitor, leading to a slight decline in performance under snowy conditions.

Ice Performance

Now although the BF Goodrich G Force Winter 2 lacks on snow, it interestingly takes the lead, when it comes to icy terrains, where the tire unveils impressive abilities, especially notable in its braking distance, which is also contributes to it’s overall handling.

(As during turns, you need to slow down first).

BFGoodrich G Force Winter 2
BF Goodrich G Force Winter 2 features curved V shaped biters, facing shoulder blocks.

And in a side-by-side evaluation, on average, the BFG grinds to a halt an impressive 10 feet shorter.

The reason behind this? Well there are a couple.

Actually, the tire is made with a compound composition which sticks well to ice, for the most part.

Moreover, it’s complex biters of various dimensions, presenting angled incisions, curved V-shaped notches, facing the shoulders (as can be seen in the image), and interlocking siping, further add to it’s performance.

As these features contribute to the tire’s enhanced capacity to grip/bite into ice.

In contrast, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 grapples with larger tread voids and fewer notches.

Meaning it has less no. of biters per square inch of it’s tread.

Moreover, the tire only offers linear siping, particularly in the central region, and that combined with wider voids, it struggles to obtain a secure grip on compact ice.

Wet Traction

The combination of tread design and rubber compound largely prescribes a tire’s aptitude for wet traction.

While both tires are well-equipped with generous siping and soft, thermally adaptive rubbers, the BF Goodrich G Force Winter 2 manages to edge ahead.

And to understand the why behind that, its crucial to understand siping first.

Sipes essentially function by expelling air and absorbing water particles. The BFG, with its dual siping system that comprises aggressive interlocking and rectilinear designs, yields enhanced biting abilities on icy surfaces.

Additionally, its multi-angled sipes effectively displace water in all directions during cornering, braking, or acceleration.

In contrast, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 adopts a different siping strategy, featuring solely a lateral orientation, thus failing to achieve comparable results.

However, it does earn plaudits for its commendable performance in hydroplaning resistance.

In both curved and straight aquaplaning tests, the tire demonstrated slightly higher speeds. This improved performance is attributable to its interconnected network of grooves that disperse water in all directions more proficiently than its counterpart’s continuous central rib.

So overall, the BFG tire gets to offer superior overall wet traction.

Dry Traction

Dry traction evaluations primarily focus on two critical aspects: directional grip and lateral traction.

Here, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 owing to its continuous running rib which assures unwavering surface contact. This benefit translates into abbreviated braking distances and expedited acceleration times.

Though most of its advantage comes form its smaller weight. Not only it leads to augmented lug movement during cornering, causing a decrease in steering feedback, but also add to overall momentum, which makes its braking difficult.

On the other hand, although the BF Goodrich G Force Winter 2 is pretty great with its compact strcuture, its greater tread depth on average and weight, slows down the tire, as seen by it’s handling time tests.

Therefore, overall, Kleber tire is seen with superior handling and directional grip.

Comfort Levels

Comfort in a tire results from a delicate balance of factors such as ambient road noise and the absorption of vibrations, both of which are influenced by the tread pattern and sidewall design of the tire.

On the noise front, the BF Goodrich G Force Winter 2 nudges ahead slightly, courtesy of its less-voided tread design, thereby permitting less air to penetrate and swirl around (thus generating noise).

Coupled with its leaner weight, it also facilitates faster response times, ensuring a smoother overall ride compared to its rival.

The Kleber Krisalp HP3, however, claims an advantage with its softer rubber compound, which is more proficient at buffering road bumps, in comparison here.

Still, the BFG proves to be the quieter choice, relatively.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency in a tire is largely governed by its adhesion to the surface and its total weight.

The G Force Winter 2 stumbles in both these domains, with its substantial weight, even though it doesn’t have as broader tread voids as it competitors, (because greater voids, resulting in heightened friction as the tire traverses the road).

Now although the BF Goodrich’s tire’s performance visibly improves under extreme winter temperatures, its drawbacks in this context are indisputable.

On the contrary, the Kleber coming with a lighter framework better aligned ribs (with less tread features), ensures a more aerodynamic and streamlined maneuver, especially for straight-line travels such as on highways.

This design results in more fuel-efficient consumption by reducing energy wastage.

So overall, in terms of fuel economy, the Krisalp HP3 certainly comes out on top.

Tread Life

Rolling resistance also impacts tread longevity.

In this domain, although the Krisalp HP3 has the edge of it’s leaner structure, which exerts less overall force on its tread blocks, resulting in lesser friction and slower wear, it still has similar tread life compared to BFG.

So why is that?

Well, this is because, the BF Goodrich G Force Winter 2 comes with a greater tread depth (2/32″ greater on average, looking at all sizes).

And this means rubber needs to wear down 2/32″ more to reach towards tire replacement levels.

So even though the tire bears a larger weight and a smaller total rubber area, which creates more weight pressure and grates against the road with more friction, it still offers just as great tread life overall.

So, when it comes to tread longevity, it’s a tie between both tires.

Summing Up

So overall both tires are great and have their pros and cons.

In snow conditions, the Kleber Krisalp HP3’s tread design offers superior traction, whereas the BFG excels on icy terrains due to its unique compound and tread design.

In wet conditions, BF Goodrich edges out with its advanced siping, but its competitor shines in dry traction with its continuous rib and lighter weight.

Comfort-wise, BFGh is quieter, while Kleber offers better bump absorption.

And yes, for fuel efficiency, Kleber leads with its streamlined design, but both tires tie in tread longevity despite their individual advantages.

Kleber Krisalp HP3 Review

The Kleber Krisalp HP3 is a pretty decent budget pick, which offers superb performance, especially in terms of road noise reduction, and snow traction. Let’s see if this tire’s for you.

Kleber Krisalp HP3 is pretty decent budget pick.

Key Takeaway

The Kleber Krisalp HP3 excels in:

  • Snow Traction: Featuring laterally-arranged continuous running lugs and interlocking sipes, the tire ensures optimal snow contact and superb snow scooping abilities.
  • Noise Comfort: Thanks to a well-engineered tread design and a special rubber compound, the tire offers reduced noise, enhancing ride comfort.
  • Wet Performance: Showcasing a clear directional pattern with V-shaped grooves, it provides impressive resistance to aqua or hydroplaning and effective water evacuation.

Though the tire needs improvement in terms of the following:

  • Ice Traction: Despite its thermally adaptive rubber, the tire lacks efficient biters and multi-directional siping, resulting in limited ice grip.
  • Dry Performance: The tire’s design affects its linear grip and steering feedback, leading to suboptimal handling and braking in dry conditions.
  • Tread Longevity: With a softer compound that is more prone to wear, the tire’s lifespan is comparatively short, delivering fewer miles on average than some competitors.

Info on Sizes: The Kleber Krisalp HP3 comes in 99 total sizes, in 14 to 20 inches rims, with T and H speed ratings, and all sizes having 10/32″ tread depth. Moreover, they all have SL/XL load ratings, and range 16 lbs to 32 lbs, in terms of weight.

Also Note: Since the tire offers best float speeds (resistance to hydroplaning), I added it to my list of top winter tires (stud-less), check it here:

Tire Construction

The Kleber Krisalp HP3 comes with a very streamlined directional tread pattern.

Kleber HP3
Kleber Krisalp HP3 has reinforced foundations underneath all the lugs.

Each lug acts as a single unit here, that goes from one end to another.

So you can say it’s a dual rib design, where there are just shoulder lugs meeting together in the middle.

Towards the middle area of the tread, one can clearly see how all lugs are placed on a secondary rubber layer.

Moreover, here sipes are linear and laterally oriented.

Though towards shoulders, they change into wave-like interlocking patterns.

Moreover, these shoulder lugs are also characterized by thick in-groove notches.

And yes, there are longitudinally oriented notches on these outer lugs’ area as well.

Tread Longevity

When it comes to tread longevity, a lot of factors have to be considered, including tire’s weight, tread compound and tread design.

And looking at all of them, one can see why the Kleber Krisalp HP3 is pretty lacking here.

Though the tire keeps its weight in check, and comes generating just an average rolling resistance, relatively, its softer compound is very prone to wear.

So at best, the tire is only able to give you 30k miles overall, on average.

Moreover, I’d like to add that, as the tire wears down more easily, it isn’t able to provide you with as much overall value. I mean there are better budget picks out there, and out of them, the one providing the most value is Barum Polaris 5 (review).

Overall Winter Performance

Tire efficiency during winter is largely determined by its aptitude on two primary terrains: ice and snow. And in both the tire’s design and material compositions are critical factors to consider.

Let’s check both of them out.

Snow Traction

For snow-covered roads, a tire’s efficacy lies in its ability to form snow-to-snow contact, while excess snow is scooped out of the way.

That’s why with (laterally-arranged) continuous running lugs, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 offers one of the best acceleration performance (in its budget friendly category of winter tires).

They offer superb snow scooping abilities, throwing back snow particles, generating forward momentum.

Moreover, the tire offers interlocking sipes on its shoulders, engineered to provide you with proper snow contact (which is a big deal, as snow doesn’t stick so well with rubber).

This offers you with pretty decent overall snow handling, relatively speaking.

Ice Traction

Tires designed for icy conditions incorporate specialized rubber compounds and biters (on their treads).

Since ice relatively has the lowest friction of all (terrain types), the overall tire’s grip relies predominantly on these elements to maintain vehicular stability and control.

Having said that, although the Kleber Krisalp HP3 offers a great thermally adaptive rubber, which keeps its biters pretty soft and flexible, its still isn’t able to provide you with good enough ice traction (relatively, comparing other winter tires).

That’s because the tire doesn’t offer efficient enough biters, to begin with. It’s tread lacks the multi-directional/angled biters highly needed here, and only comes with linear siping, (mostly towards the middle).

And although the tire does offer interlocking sipes on shoulders, they again with single angle/orientation aren’t effective to provide decent ice bite.

And besides, they are mainly designed for snow grip, instead, as already discussed.

So overall, the Krisalp is pretty lacking, when it comes to ice performance.

Overall Wet Performance

Wet performance is largely determined by a tire’s tread design and rubber composition, both of which are crucial for displacing water and maintaining grip on wet roads.

Now the Kleber Krisalp HP3 showcases advanced tread features good enough for these conditions.

First off, it forms a clear directional pattern with it’s V shaped grooves, and interconnects them laterally in a way, so that water from the middle could effectively evacuate out towards the shoulders and out of the tread.

So you get one of the best float speeds and overall resistance to aqua or hydroplaning.

While the design efficiently evacuates most of the water, the sipes play a role in managing residual moisture. These sipes act like mini vacuum cleaners, drawing in water particles.

However, their uniform (laterally arranged only) angles limit their effectiveness in providing comprehensive wet traction and multi-directional grip.

Although the tire comes with a soft rubber composition, its linear siping design tends to restrict flexibility during cornering (for the most part), resulting in reduced response times and lateral grip.

Nonetheless, it performs reasonably well in straight-line wet grip, as indicated by its braking distances.

Side Note: Out of all winter tires in the category, the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 (review) is pretty great. Though its also been replaced with PA5.

Dry Performance

While wet and winter performances are crucial, dry traction remains an integral aspect of tire efficiency too. This traction is influenced by the extent of rubber contact with the road and encompasses both grip and tire’s steering response/handling.

Let’s check all these dimensions.

Dry Linear Grip

Linear grip is the tire’s traction when it moves in a straight line. And it relies on the central tread’s contact with the road. Moreover, as this grip is directional it’s measured by tire’s braking efficiency.

Having said that, it makes sense why the Kleber Krisalp HP3 here is pretty lacking here, I mean relatively, comparing others in its category.

But why is that happening, even though the tire features lighter structure with reinforced foundations (adding to its on-center feel).

Well, this has to do with the tire’s relatively more voided up design, with laterally arranged lugs. It’s simple really, as with laterally arranged voids, the tire isn’t able to make proper contact with the road, as it rolls straight, leading to limited overall grip.

Lateral Grip And Steering

Dry handling combines lateral traction and steering feedback. The tire’s shoulder lugs determine its lateral grip since they interact more with the road during turns, while steering comes by a lot of variables.

Now, in terms of grip, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 is actually pretty great, offering decent values, as seen by its lateral g forces generated (on average).

However, overall the tire still comes below average when it comes to overall handling.

But why? Well, this has to do with it’s lacking steering feedback.

Actually, the tire comes with a pretty relative softer tread, causing lugs to flex more as the tire corners. This leads to lagging and vague steering, especially when it comes to mid-cornering feedback.

Moreover, with slower braking, the tire also takes more time slowing down before entering the corners, hurting its overall handling scores.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency in tires is influenced by their weight and traction characteristics.

But why? Well, heavier tires with significant tread gaps experience more lug flexing during motion. This flexing consumes energy that could otherwise be used for rolling, leading to increased energy demands and reduced fuel efficiency.

Now, the Kleber Krisalp HP3 doesn’t carries a lot of weight, and has all its lugs backed up by foundational supports. Moreover, there aren’t a lot of in-groove notches and multi-angled biters, as mostly seen on other winter tires.

So although the tire generates less overall grip (on dry), it pays you back (literally), with its economical fuel consumption instead.

So the Krisalp is a pretty average tire, in terms of its fuel consumption.

Noise Comfort

Tread design influences the acoustics of a tire a lot, where the size of tread voids are directly correlated with the amount of noise generated.

But that’s not really the case when it comes to Kleber Krisalp HP3, as the tire offers a pretty well engineered design, where air particles although enter through the voids of shoulders, don’t get to hit around the tread walls (which generates noise to begin with).

Instead those grooves are streamlined in a way, that most of the air just pass by without impacting.

Moreover, the tire also features special rubber compound, which diminishes in-groove resonance as well.

To Conclude

The Kleber Krisalp HP3’s performance across various terrains and conditions reveals a mixed bag.

In terms of winter performance, although the tire shines on snowy terrains, lacks with its below-average performance on ice, mainly because of its lack of biters.

These lacking biters also can’t provide this tire with ample wet traction as well. Though the tire’s effective directional pattern do offer superb resistance to aquaplaning, that’s for sure.

Moreover, its dry performance is also not impressive, where although its lateral grip is decent, the tire falters in terms of linear grip and steering feedback, leading to subpar handling.

Moreover, its softer compound also lacks in terms of tread longevity, decreasing its overall value.

Though on the positive note, the tire offers above average fuel economy and one of the quietest ride, when it comes to budget-friendly winter tire category.

Nexen WinGuard Sport 2 vs Winspike

Nexen WinGuard Sport 2, known for its superior snow traction, and Nexen Winspike, celebrated for its impressive performance on icy roads, are set to compete. Who will reign supreme in this winter tire showdown? Let’s find out!

Winspike is better in dry braking.

Key Takeaway

The Nexen Winguard Sport 2 takes the lead when it comes to:

  • Wet Traction: Showcasing superior grip with its better siping design. Moreover, it exhibits impressive hydroplaning resistance owing to its well-interconnected grooves too.
  • Snow Performance: The Winguard’s design ensures better snow-to-snow contact, excelling at displacing heavy snow. This design aids in forward progression by pushing snow backward during rotation, making it a preferable choice for snowy terrains.
  • Comfort Levels and Tread Life: The Winguard offers a quieter ride due to its smaller tread voids. Its comfort performance stands out thanks to its superior shock absorption abilities, resulting from a softer rubber and greater tread depth. In terms of tread life, it promises longevity because of its closely spaced lugs and greater tread depth.

On the other side, the Nexen WinSpike shines in the following areas:

  • Dry Traction: Particularly in directional grip, the WinSpike has a continuous central rib, ensuring superior braking distances and unbroken contact with the road.
  • Handling: Though WinGuard has better grip, the WinSpike’s lighter construction gives it an edge in handling performance, resulting in faster lap times and better communication properties in steering.
  • Ice Performance: The WinSpike consistently outperforms in icy conditions, presenting shorter braking distances and exceptional acceleration, attributed to its lighter weight and the added feature of stud-able lugs.

Also note that, both tires offer similar fuel economy, where they perform comparably, with neither standing out as significantly better than the other.

Wet Traction

When it comes to the wet traction of a tire, two key facets come into play: the tread design and the rubber compound. These components largely determine the tire’s grip and its resistance to hydroplaning. Let’s delve into each of these characteristics.

Wet Grip

While both tires are adorned with ample siping and flexible tread rubber, the Nexen Winguard Sport 2 distinctly outperforms when it comes to grip.

Nexen Winguard Sport 2
Nexen Winguard Sport 2 offers greater tread depth, and a softer compound.

This tire is equipped with a dual siping design, exhibiting a varied mix of rectilinear and interlocking sipes.

As you can see the linear longitudinal slits, with the wavelike siping pattern, throughout the tread.

For those unfamiliar with the term, sipes work by drawing in water particles, thereby allowing the biters to grip onto the somewhat dried surface, with dual siping designs offering superior performance.

Moreover, see how the shoulders and central lugs have multiple angle orientations when it comes to siping.

These basically provide grip in all directions, meaning, it can be used to explain why the tire offers better directional and lateral wet grip in comparison.

Moreover, the tire also has one another advantage too, its superior hydroplaning resistance. Let me explain this in the next section.

Nexen Winspike
Nexen Winspike offers wider circumferential grooves.

Hydroplaning resistance

Hydroplaning transpires when water prevents the tread from making proper contact with the road.

This phenomenon can cause the tire to slightly lift off the surface, leading to a complete loss of traction, which is, needless to say, a hazardous situation indeed.

Now this resistance depends on grooves ability to throw water out.

And among the two, the Nexen Wnspike although offers wider grooves, especially when it comes to outer circumferential channels, the Winguard is still better in overall hydroplaning resistance, as seen by its greater float speeds.

So why is that?

Well, the answer lies in the fact that the WinGuard offers better inter-connectivity of its grooves, plus a more streamlined directional pattern.

See how lateral slits join up with the V shaped grooves. These basically provide this tire with faster water evacuation properties.

Moreover, the tire also has the advantage of greater tread depth, and with that more volume of water goes out at a given time.

So overall wet performance is superior on Nexen Winguard Sport 2.

Dry Traction

Dry traction comprises two aspects: directional grip and handling. Let’s explore these individually.

Directional Grip

Dry grip primarily depends on the central tread area, as it forms the majority of the contact with the ground. In this regard, the Nexen Winspike reigns supreme.

This tire features a continuous central rib, ensuring unbroken contact between the tire and the road, which results in superior braking distances, a key measure of directional grip.

I mean sure, it more voided up with its outer circumferential grooves, but its central area is still more packed up, and that allows it to brake quicker.

Nexen Winguard Sport 2 on the other hand, although is not voided up, lacks with its greater weight. This is because it creates greater momentum, which is not easier to stop, relatively.

So overall WinGuard is lacking to its counterpart, when it comes to directional or straight line grip.


The tire’s lateral traction or cornering capabilities hinge largely on its shoulder lugs. Two factors are considered here: how well the lugs connect with the ground as the tire turns, and the extent to which the lugs bend during this maneuver.

In other words, for optimal handling, you need lateral grip and superb/clear feedback from your wheels.

Now the WinGuard excels in terms of grip, and it makes sense, looking at its more packed up shoulders, but overall handling performance is still better on its counterpart.

This has to do with weight.

The Nexen WinSpike with its lighter construction, basically causes its lugs to stay more composed, and that offers better communication properties in terms of its steering.

That’s why overall the Winspike takes the lead, as seen by it’s faster overall handling lap times.

Snow Performance

Both tires exhibit remarkable performance in fluffy snow. And they both have great features contributing to that.

Both of them offer well engineered voids, primarily formed by in-groove notches that trap snow particles, thereby enhancing snow-to-snow contact. The trapped snow forms the contact patch with the ground as the tire rotates, improving traction, as snow sticks better to itself than to rubber.

Though still, the WinGuard takes the lead here, where it’s greater relative weight, putting down more pressure on the lugs, provide better snow to snow contact.

And in terms of acceleration, the Nexen Sport 2 with its streamlined sweeping V-shaped lugs excel at displacing heavy snow, aiding forward progression by pushing the snow backwards during rotation, much in line with Newton’s third law.

On the other hand, the WinSpike comes out with longer braking distances and handling times on snowy terrains, and that can be attributed to its less efficient in-groove notches, which fail to offer ample snow-to-snow contact.

Moreover, the absence of sweeping lugs further impairs its performance by eliminating the plowing effect.

So overall, its a win for WinGuard.

Tread Life

Tread longevity is substantially influenced by rolling resistance, a direct byproduct of the tire’s weight and rubber composition.

Now even though the Nexen Winguard is a heavier tire, and technically, it should put more pressure on the lugs, as they rub against the surface.

The tire still wears down slower, due to two main things.

One, it’s lugs aren’t spaced apart as much, especially towards shoulders, and so each of the tread blocks, still ends up getting less weight on them.

Moreover, its greater tread depth takes longer to reach down.

So in terms of tread longevity, WinSpike is lacking behind its rival here.

Ice Performance

When navigating icy terrains, the Nexen WinSpike steals the spotlight, consistently delivering shorter braking distances and exhibiting superior acceleration.

This can be attributed to its lighter weight, creating less momentum, which is easier to stop.

And that directly affects the handling, since entering the corner, requires drivers to slow down.

Moreover, the tire also has the additional advantage of stud-able lugs, missing in the WinGuard.

So overall, WinSpike ends up getting more scores, in terms of ice performance.

Comfort Levels

Tire comfort is largely determined by factors such as road noise and vibration absorption. These attributes are shaped by the tire’s construction, the materials used, tread pattern, and sidewall design, which ultimately determine the smoothness of the ride, especially during cornering.

Noise, essentially the result of air particles colliding with the tread walls, tends to increase with a voided tread. Hence, with its smaller tread voids, the Nexen Winguard Sport 2 leads in this department, offering a quieter ride.

Moreover, the tire also offers better shock absorption abilities too, since it has a softer rubber, followed by greater tread depth on average. Meaning, the road vibrations get better cushioned, with this tire.

So overall comfort performance is better on WinGuard in comparison to WinSpike.

Fuel Economy

The fuel efficiency of tires is closely tied to their traction and structural weight, the two areas which can be used to explain, why both tires offers similar results here.

In terms of WinGuard the tire’s relatively larger weight should result in additional lug bending during cornering, braking, or accelerating, leading to extra energy expenditure, but it gives out just as great of a fuel consumption like any other average winter tire, including its rival here.

This is because there’s more rubber area, which distributes that large weight in a way, that each lug ends up getting less overall weight.

On the contrary, the WinSpike is lighter, but is more voided up, so the opposite is happening here.

So moving from one tire to another, you would not see any difference in fuel economy.

To Conclude

Both tires have their pros and cons.

The Nexen Winguard Sport 2 emerges better when it comes to wet performance, where it’s tread is more biting, and its grooves offer better resistance to hydroplaning.

Moreover, when it comes to snowy terrains, the tire’s design, adept at displacing heavy snow and ensuring optimum snow-to-snow contact, becomes a favorite.

And it also promises a smoother ride experience with its smaller tread voids and excellent shock absorption from a softer rubber compound.

And although its a softer rubber, its greater tread depth still allows it to have more tread life.

On the other hand, the Nexen WinSpike dominates in dry traction, handling, and ice performance.

Its continuous central rib promises stellar directional grip, and its lightweight nature enhances handling capabilities, delivering faster lap times and more precise steering feedback.

Furthermore, its performance on icy terrains is also superior, with its faster braking and acceleration results, thanks to its lightweight design. Moreover, its ice traction is improvable too, as its lugs are stud-able unlike its counterpart.

P.S. Both tires have similar fuel economy.