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What Does the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol on the Side of a Tire Mean?

If you’ve been tire shopping, you may have come across the image of three mountain peaks with a snowflake inside of it stamped on the side of some of the tires. What is that symbol called, and what does it represent?
It’s called the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake Symbol (also referred to as the “Severe Snow” or “Alpine” symbol, and as 3PMSF for short), and it signifies that the tire has met U.S. Tire Manufacturer Association requirements for traction in severe snow conditions.

Is the M+S Rating the same as the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake?

Definitely not! While the M+S (Mud + Snow) Rating is given to tires that have tread design features which can help a tire to perform better than average in light snow and muddy conditions, an M+S Rating is no guarantee that a tire will perform well in packed snow or freezing temperatures. The Three Peak Mountain Snowflake rating on a tire indicates that the tire’s rubber and tread have been tested for traction in severe snow conditions, and have met or exceeded those standards set by the U.S. Tire Manufacturer’s Association.

What Conditions is a Three Peak Mountain Snowflake Tire Good For?

Tires stamped with the 3PMSF symbol have been tested for traction and acceleration on medium packed snow, and are made from rubber compounds that keep their flexibility in cold temperatures, retaining the traction and grip of the tread. If you live in an area where you don’t have severe winter weather, but do need a tire that will perform in slush or moderately packed snow, then a 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake tire is a good choice.

Depending on the requirements of your state, province or region, and the type of vehicle you are driving, a 3PMSF tire may sometimes be acceptable in areas requiring traction tires. However, it’s always best to check your area’s laws and regulations, or the laws along the route you plan to travel. In severe winter conditions like ice and hard packed snow, chains or studded tires may be required.

Do All-Terrain Tires Automatically Have the 3PMSF Rating?

No, just because it’s an All-Terrain tire doesn’t mean that it automatically qualifies for the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake rating! All-Terrain tires are designed to combine the open tread design of an off-roading tire with the more precise handling of a street tire. However, they still may not perform well in cold temperatures or packed snow.

All-Terrain tires with the 3PMSF symbol stand out, because not only do they provide the benefits of an All-Terrain tire, but they can also be driven with confidence throughout the winter in many regions. The rubber will remain pliable in the lower temperatures of snowy winters, and they will still provide good traction in slush, mud, and medium packed snow.

The Landsail Rangeblazer A/T is a distinctive example of an All-Terrain tire with the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating. The Rangeblazer A/T is OHV and trail ready, reliable in rain, snow or dirt, and features a high stability tread design for driving stability and reduced road noise. This tire also features a staggered middle tread block with sloped corners that repel rocks and enhance the tire’s grip. Of course, this tire has the 3PMSF rating for severe snow conditions, and it also comes in F-Rated size options for towing and hauling. To top it off, with Landsail’s 50K Mileage Warranty and Road Hazard Coverage, the Rangeblazer A/T was designed and constructed for reliability and longevity.