It doesn’t matter how powerful of an engine you have or if your transmission is a workhorse, if your tires aren’t up to off-road activities, then you’re not going to get the performance you want. That’s just a matter of fact. Good all-terrain tires can mean the difference in the world. It doesn’t matter if your traveling on dirt, gravel, mud or deep snow, you need tires that will dig in and give you the traction you need to keep moving forward.
Sure, there are some people who will always just buy the biggest and most impressive tires they can find—big, ole mudding tires or ones big enough to carry bigfoot out of a swamp. However, not everyone needs or wants to spend the cash on those over-sized tires, so we’ve decided to list some of the all-terrain models that we’re pretty smitten with. Check ’em out and see if there’s a pair that you think would work for your off-road activities.
Best All Terrain Tires – Reviews & Buying Guide
10Goodyear Wrangler SR-A 275/60R20 114S
The Goodyear Wrangler SR-A is an extremely popular all-terrain tire, and there’s a good reason for that fact. It’s a lightweight tire that has an asymmetric tread design and is constructed of light materials. What’s the benefit of those two features? These two features allow it to have a great performance in both wet and dry conditions. It can handle rain, slush, snow and ice with few problems. It also provides a steering response that many people describe as being accurate and tight. Another thing to like about these tires is they have easy-to-clean sidewalls that make routine maintenance extremely easy.
- Handles Well in Wet Conditions
- Good on Sand, Dirt & Snow
- Great Response
- Easy-to-Clean Sidewalls
- Sidewall Could Be Stronger
- Tread Life is Limited
9BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain LT244/75R17/C 111Q
These BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain radial tires provide much of the performance that large Mudder-style tires provide, but they do it without limiting on-road performance too much. These tires provide great traction in deep dirt, deep snow, on rocky terrain and most important of all, in the mud. They provide unparalleled rock climbing traction and perform well in even extremely slick conditions. They have a rim protector which helps prevent the sidewall from being punctured from hazards on the road, and the tires are made with an optimized tread that makes it quieter than conventional mud-terrain tires. They provide traction in conditions others tires simply can’t.
- Great Mud Traction
- Rock Climbing Traction
- Handles Deep Dirt & Snow Well
- Rim Protector Prevents Sidewall Puncture
- Most Rotate Regularly to Avoid Tire Cupping
- Must be Professionally Balanced
8Falken Wildpeak 265/75R16 116T
Not only does this tire provide all-terrain capabilities, but it also provides all-weather performance. It can handle dirt, sand, mud, and just about anything else that can be thrown out of it. Although it can’t handle deep dirt or mud as well as mudding-tires, it performs well on virtually all other types of terrain. That’s because it has a rigid tread block that enhances vehicle stability and an upper sidewall that protects the tires from being punctured and provides addition low-tire pressure grip. Even when used to carry heavy loads, this tire is ready to perform that’s to its heat-dissipating design. And all of this makes for a tire that can be used for a variety of different situations.
- Resists Wear
- All-Terrain Performance
- All-Weather Performance
- Difficult to Balance
7Hankook DynaPro 245/75R16 109T
It’s easy to see why some people enjoy the look of this tire. It has a tread that wraps around the tire, and not only offers increased puncture resistance but also gives the tire a very aggressive looking profile. However, this tire is more than just a good looking tire it also offers some pretty good off-road performance. It has a 7% wider footprint than other comparable off-road tires, and that allows it to have more grip on dirt, snow, and sand. It also has two-step sipes that increase this tire’s performance in wet conditions. And finally, it has side grooves which are dual-tiered and give these tires better cornering performance.
- Has an Aggressive Profile
- Very Predictable Cornering
- Tread Life Could Be Better
6Mastercraft Courser MXT 35/125R20 121Q
Designed to be used by both extreme off-road enthusiasts and for light truck owners, these Mastercraft MXT tires will provide both off-road traction and great highway handling. That’s because it uses a side-biter design and deep-treads that really digs in when the tire is on off-road snow or mud. This design also helps the sidewall to avoid being punctured during use. Although it doesn’t handle as well as it should on snowy roads, in all other road conditions it provides good traction and is pretty quiet. One feature that a lot of people will enjoy is its scallop design that acts very much like a scoop in deep mud and provides excellent traction.
- Great Mud Performance
- Pretty Quiet
- Good Highway Performance
- On-Road Snow Performance Could Be Better
5Milestar Patagonia M/T 31X10.50R15 109Q
These tires are designed to provide great traction for a variety of terrain types, and in that department, it does a really good job. These tires are able to handle everything from snow to sand and mud to rock. And it does it while providing good traction and stable maneuverability. They have a high-void tread design that really bites down, and at the same time keeps itself clean. It also has a 3-ply sidewall that helps to shield itself from damage, and it has stone ejectors that make it useful for rock crawling. Although it does do well for off-road applications, it also does fairly well on-road and is a lot quieter than comparable tires.
- Very Little Road Noise
- Excellent Mud Performance
- Good Snow Performance
- Good Off-Road Performance
- Difficult to Balance
- Tread Wears Quickly
4Cooper Discoverer A/T3 285/75R16 126R
The Cooper Discoverer has a very apt name. It truly is a tire that’s designed to discover new challenges. It has an aggressive rib-design that really digs in and allows the vehicle to go places that other tires simply can’t go. It also has a silica-based tread compound that allows this tire to handle wet conditions, even when it’s used on the highway. And speaking of the highway, this tire has a low-noise design that makes it quieter than other off-road tires. Other features that can be found on this tire include sidewall puncture resistance, a broken center rib that improves traction without reducing handling and dual tread element walls that reduce stone retention.
- Very Little Road Noise
- Good Off-Road Performance
- Doesn’t Handle Deeper Snow or Mud Well
3Federal Couragia M/T LT235/75R15 104/101Q
As expected, these large and aggressive all-terrain mud tires are a bit noisier on roads than most tires. However, that’s pretty easy to overlook once the performance of these tires is taken into consideration. They have a design that features large shoulder lugs and upper shoulder protection blocks that allow them to resist cuts, impacts, and other harmful off-road hazards and helps them keep on going. They also have a bar at the bottom of their groove that helps to shovel rock, loose dirt and mud away from the tires for improved off-road traction. And they also handle extremely well in snow, even deep snow, and overall they are great tires for snowy back roads in the winter.
- Impressive & Aggressive Profile
- Great in Mud
- Great in Snow
- Very Durable
- Kind of Noisy
2BF Goodrich T/A KO2 275/70R17 121R
These all-terrain tires provide many of the features that individual look for in an off-road tire. They have a tough rubber sidewall that extends further down than conventional tires and helps to safeguard it against punctures or cuts. It also has a design that attempts to deflect protruding objects and keep them from causing damage to the sidewall. Another key feature found on these tires are serrated shoulder design and locking 3-D sipes that proved increased traction in soft soil and deep snow. And it also exceeds the Rubber Manufacture Associations’ Severe Snow Traction Requirements, so it’s good for off-road use in the winter.
- Good Highway Handling
- Great Off-Road Performance
- Good in Soft Soil or Deep Snow
- Very Durable Design
- A Bit Loud
1Goodyear Wrangler 235/75R15 105S
This truck is designed for people who want their truck to go just about anywhere but don’t want to spend a fortune. These economical tires have an optimized tread design that allows them to handle dirt, sand, and snow very well. They also handle highway driving very well, although they tend to be a little bit noisy. What’s really impressive about these tires is that they are resistant to wear and offer really good puncture resistance, which is not common for tires in this price range. Overall, it’s a tire that does what it’s supposed to do and handles very well in a variety of different situations.
- Good Highway Handling
- Great Traction
- Good on Sand & Dirt
- A Little Noisy
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Tips on Buying All-Terrain Tires
Most truck owners are ecstatic when they get to buy new off-road tires for their truck. This joy is very much like what children must feel like when they get a chance to buy a new toy or game system. With the purchase of new tires, truck owners feel like they can really upgrade their truck and squeeze every last drop of off-road performance out of it. Of course, there are other truck owners who don’t see it that way at all. These individuals feel overwhelmed by the number of options available and don’t want to have to spend their valuable time researching which tire is best for them. Fortunately, this guide will address just about anyone looking to buy new all-terrain tires.
Although there seems like an almost endless proliferation of tires available nowadays, most all-terrain models can be broken down into one of three different categories. There are all-season tires that are optimized for on-road performance in a variety of different weather conditions; There are all-terrain tires that are a balance of off-road and on-road performance, and there are mud-terrain tires which are designed to be driven entirely off-road. Let’s take a closer look at these three categories and see what each of them brings to the conversation.
Most trucks, with the exception of some models, come off the assembly line with all-season tires equipped on them. Which means that most people are familiar with the performance of these tires. These people know how these tires handle in the rain, snow and sleet, and whether they tend to last a long time. If you’re not familiar with this type of tire, or just need an overview of what these tires might offer you, then I’ll give you a real quick primer: these tires are good for on-road performance in most types of weather and that’s about it. When they are used off-road, even a little bit, then their performance can really decline quickly. And that’s why I’d suggest that you buy these tires if you’re concerned with on-road performance and don’t need the ability to take the vehicle off-road.
- Smooth Ride
- Good Rain Traction
- Good Snow Traction
- Long Tread Life
- Poor Dirt Performance
- Poor Off-Road Performance
Although all-season tires are technically all-terrain tires in that they can handle a variety of different road conditions, for real off-road capabilities, a truck owner needs to purchase real all-terrain tires. These tires take a balanced approach when it comes to handling both road conditions and off-road conditions. They can be driven on highways, can handle rough roads, and can even be driven in deep snow. Of course, if they are taken into deep mud, then things can get a little bit dicey, and they just don’t have the performance that mudding tires do. And as far as on-road performance, these tires can be a bit loud when they’re driven on roads and don’t have the handling or fuel efficiency of all-season tires.
- Improved Traction on Dirt
- Improved Traction on Light Snow
- Fairly Quiet
- Doesn’t Wear Quickly
- Limited Mud Performance
- Poor Performance in Deep Snow
Mud Terrain Tires
As you may have already figured out, mud terrain tires are optimized for off-road performance. They handle well in a variety of off-road conditions, including deeper mud, and they can really get the vehicle out of a jam. The biggest problem with these tires is they can be loud when they’re used on roads and have terrible fuel efficiency. However, there are some manufacturers who are making mud terrain tires that are a lot quieter than the ones of the past.
- Best Off-Road Performance
- Less Wear
- Good in Deep Snow
- Less Traction in Rain
- Less Traction in Light Snow
- More Expensive
Another thing that you should consider when buying all-terrain tires is the size of the tires. Sure, you’ll need to buy the right size tires for your particular truck’s make and model, but on some vehicles, you have a bit of wiggle room. What I mean is that you can go up in size an inch or two. Although this isn’t possible on all vehicles, on the ones it is possible it’s something that should be considered. After all, going up in size can increase vehicle performance in mud.
Off-Road Driving Tips
If you’re going to take your truck or SUV off the beaten path and off-road, then you are going to want to keep a few things in mind. Although taking your vehicle off the highway can be thrilling, it can also be dangerous if you aren’t paying attention. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider when taking your vehicle off the beaten path.
Choose the Right Gear
Choosing the right tire and the right gear can mean all the difference in the world. If you’re driving in mud, then you are going to need a mud tire. When going off-road, you are also going to want to make sure that your vehicle has a 4WD low-range for best performance and control. Also make sure that you take with recovery gear such as a tow-strap, shovel, winch rated at least 8,000-pounds, and other miscellaneous tools. There are also several recovery kits available that will have all of the tools you need to recover a vehicle.
Pay Attention to the Terrain
Take note of the terrain that you’re traveling and keep your eyes open for any unexpected hazards or obstacles that may be in your path. You never know what you may come across, so it’s very important to be aware of your surroundings.
Lower Tire Pressure
If you’re off-road, then you may want to lower your tire pressure. Although it’s always recommended to maintain proper tire pressure while you’re driving on a road or highway, lower tire pressure can be beneficial for off-road situations. Tires with lower pressure will be able to grip stones they come across, and this can increase traction. This tip is especially useful when driving on top of sand or snow.