5 Best Traction Mats for a Sprinter Van

By: Scott Adamson
/ August 5, 2022
Traction mats are an excellent addition to your toolkit because they can get your van out of snow, mud and sand.

There are many companies that make traction mats (also called recovery boards) nowadays. With so many options, it becomes difficult to choose the one that is best for you. 

In this article, I will discuss the best traction mats with their price, features, and pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. 

Before we dive deep into the reviews… I just want to briefly explain what traction mats are. 

So, what are traction mats?

Traction mats are useful tools that offer extra traction for your tires when your vehicle is stuck, whether it be in sand, snow, mud, or slush. 

How to use traction mats? 

  1. Remove rubble and clear the sand from around the stuck tires. 
  2. Thrust the traction mats beneath the wheels and make sure they are facing. the right direction (the angle is important too, the mats should be angled upwards so that the tires can actually use them as support). 
  3. De-air your tires for enhanced traction and a better chance of recovery.
  4. Use the clutch (first gear) to rev your engine slowly with the mat’s support.
  5. Voila! You are out without needing any towing or pulling support.

Here’s why I think it’s an excellent option to invest in a pair of these. 

They give you peace of mind
Knowing you have this essential recovery tool in your kit will give you peace of mind, especially if you plan to go off-roading.

They work
I know firsthand how handy traction mats can be. If you plan to do some beach camping or chasing the snow, you won’t be sorry you packed these. They will help you get your tires unstuck from sand, mud, snow, or slush.

Great for solo vanlife
There are a lot of different recovery tools you can bring with you, but few of these products are as effective and easy to use by yourself as traction mats. While another set of hands and eyes is always useful, this is a recovery tool that you can use on your own when needed.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MAXTRAX (@maxtraxhq)


Let’s talk about some of the best traction mat options one by one. 

Maxtrax Recovery Boards

Best Overall

Price:  $350 – $400

Maxtrax is one of the most popular traction mats among vanlifers, primarily known for its durability. Australia-made Maxtrax is known for producing the highest quality traction mats for sand, mud, and snow. 

    • Material: Engineering-grade nylon (translates to a durable product).
    • Warranty: Lifetime.
    • Dimensions: ‎46 x 13 inches (ideal for off-roading big tires for larger sidewalls).
    • Weight: 16.66 lbs. (you can mount them securely on the roof).


  • Easy to install and remove
  • Provides maximum traction with the latest technology
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Works in all terrain (sand, mud, and snow)


  • Expensive (I’d say you need to do a thorough cost-benefit analysis before making a decision).

Click here to buy now

X-BULL New Recovery Traction Tracks

Best Value for Money 

Price: Approximately $150. 

X-Bull is another common (and relatively cheap) choice for traction mats to get your van’s tires unstuck from sand and snow.

    • Material: Reinforced strong nylon (equals decent sturdiness).
    • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty.
    • Dimensions: 43 x 13 inches (works well with all-terrain tires).
    • Weight: 11 lbs. (dedicated storage space is required).


  • Reinforced groove pattern to trap sand or snow
  • Includes a bag to carry the mats and mounting bolts
  • Cheaper than other models
  • Optimal (U-shaped) design with strong gripping abilities
  • Maximum flexibility (fits easily under the tire)


  • The carrying bag isn’t very high quality
  • Need to be used with care for heavier rigs

Click here to buy now

Maxsa Escaper Buddy Traction Mats

Best Designed

Price: Approximately $160. 

Maxsa Traction Mat is another great mid-priced alternative that gets the job done. 

    • Material: High-impact polypropylene (not as flexible as nylon but offers decent user experience in moderate climates).
    • Warranty: 90-day limited warranty.
    • Dimensions: 34 x 9 inches (challenging to use with offload tires with large sidewalls).
    • Weight: 13.75 lbs. (storing in the trunk is a viable option).


  • Works well with heavy motorhomes and rigs
  • Enhanced portability with a user-friendly design
  • Cost-effective
  • Doesn’t require towing or pulling


  • It can wobble a bit more than similar products 
  • Comes in one color only (orange)

Click here to buy now

ORCISH Recovery Traction Boards

Best for Short Travels

Price: Approximately $85.

ORCISH recovery traction board is the best value for your money with a very low price tag.

    • Material: Polymer Nylon (promises up to 10 tons of payload capacity).
    • Warranty: One-year limited warranty.
    • Dimensions: 42 x 2 inches (works well with outdoor tires).
    • Weight: 14 lbs. (mounting on the rear spare wheel works as well).


  • It’s easy to remove and install
  • Optimal teeth pattern helps in holding tire thread strongly
  • One of the cheapest traction mats on the market


  • Weighs more (14.6 lbs.) than competing products

Click here to buy now

ActionTrax AT20 Traction Mats

Best for Extreme Conditions 

Price: $320 – $400.

ActionTrax AT20 is a 100% American-made traction mat that offers great value to users. It is known for its sturdiness and easy handling in extreme conditions involving snow and sand. With its multi-purpose usage, safe hand holds, and quick link system, ActionTrax can be a great investment for your van. 

    • Material: Purpose-designed DuPont polymer (makes it strong and sturdy for rough terrains).
    • Warranty: 1-year warranty.
    • Dimensions: ‎44 x 12.75 inches (wedges in perfectly under large tires).
    • Weight: 18 lbs. (storing inside the van is a good option).


  • Includes 72 tire-friendly metal teeth to increase grip
  • Comes with cleats that increase traction in the recovery process
  • Works well in different terrains such as snow, mud, and sand


  • Relatively heavier 
  • Slightly expensive 

Click here to buy now

Final Word

These traction mats for vans are the best in the market with hundreds of positive comments and reviews.

Whether you are new to vanlife or just started offroading, in my opinion, having traction mats is an excellent addition to your toolkit that can come in quite handy. 

Happy shopping! 

Scott Adamson
Wanderful Idea Guy
Coffee drinker, adventure seeker, below average photographer.
By: Scott Adamson
/ Mar 3, 2023
By: Scott Adamson
/ Mar 3, 2023
By: Scott Adamson
/ Mar 3, 2023
By: Scott Adamson
/ Feb 3, 2023
Get The Wanderful Newsletter
Be the first to see our tips, stories, news and more.