Eric Page - August 29, 2016
In recent years, manufacturers of off road tires have made significant design improvements in the appearance, durability, and ride quality of their off road and mud terrain tires.
Before you go ahead and lay down your cold hard cash to purchase new rubber for your truck, Jeep or SUV, you have to ask yourself a question... namely, what should you reasonably expect from an off road tire?
If you plan on driving primarily off-road through mud, sand and snow look for tires that incorporate a high void area and a self-cleaning tread. This gives a vehicle more forward adhesion to the surrounding terrain and improves handling and control while reducing slipping when driving through loose and wet open trails.
For a more rocky terrain, tires with an increased puncture resistance and shoulder and sidewall tread (biting lugs) should help the tire claw and pull you through most driving scenarios.
Rock climbing tires have a highly focused design that incorporate an aggressive tread design that expands to the sidewall and a reinforced sidewall construction to generate the necessary bite to provide traction over most surfaces. Most pros use a bias ply tire with low air pressure that helps the tread to conform to the rock climbing surfaces for increased traction.
Any time you purchase off road tires, you trade a bumpier and noisier ride for increased traction. You need to determine how much time you will spend driving off road. If the amount of time is insignificant, you may want to consider and all terrain tire that offers a better compromise between road and gentle off road use.
Below are a few of our favorite off road and mud tires available. We have a penchant for today's large, chunky and aggressive tread pattern designs.
Interco's Super Swamper IROK
Interco's Super Swamper IROK is a tire with traction that's about 'as good as it gets' in mud, snow and rock climbing. Its famous Three Stage Lug design features a directional tread, scooped lugs, blade and molded siping, special sidewall features, extra tough cord and cut resistant compounds all wrapped in a super traction package.
BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM
The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM is an off-road, maximum traction tire built for the 4WD enthusiast. Offering a redesigned tread design with a larger footprint, this aggressive tire can take you off the beaten path to conquer rocks and slippery surfaces. Its computer-optimized tread pattern resists punctures and damage and offers quiet and smooth travel on paved surfaces.
Nitto Trail Grappler M/T
For off-road performance, the 3-ply sidewall and thick rubber construction of the Nitto Trail Grappler M/T Tire offers increased puncture resistance. On the tread surface, the best features of the Nitto Terra Grappler & Nitto Mud Grappler have been incorporated into the blocks to provide additional biting edges to create an off-road tire that is both aggressive and quiet.
Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ
With Mickey Thompson's signature 'Power Ply' sidewalls for the most aggressive traction, the Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ Tire provides great handling on-road and off-road. The advanced radial construction means the tire should wear for many miles while giving a quiet ride. Self cleaning, deep shoulder lugs provide aggressive traction and great styling.