10 Winter Rated All Terrain Tires
Not all all-terrain tires are created equal, and if you live in a colder part of the country, you’ve likely found this out the hard way. All-Terrain does not mean all-weather. And that’s not to hold anything against tires that don’t hold up in the real cold and deep snow – they can be amazing at their designed task. It’s just that if that task doesn’t include winter, and you need it to, then we have the list for you.
So if you’re hunting for winter rated all-terrain tires, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best options available from some of the most trusted names in the business.
All of the tires below come certified by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) and the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) as a true winter-capable tire. This certification comes stamped right on the tire sidewall in the form of the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol.
1. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A K02
Stop us if you’re heard this one before: the BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 is fantastic! Yup, we recommend it so often even we’re tired of hearing about it. So do us, and yourself a favor, buy these tires, and be 100% satisfied that you made the right choice. Like buying a Jeep for off-roading, this is the right tool for the job.
BFG seems to have just nailed the combination of tread pattern and tread compound to make these tires grip, while offering impressive durability and tread life.
If they have any drawback, the unique tread arrangement means water evacuation isn’t the best, so when it comes to grip on-road in the wet, they’re not quite as good as some rival tires with a more conventional tread design.
And it goes without saying that to make this list the tire is certified for extreme winter use and has the three-peak mountain snowflake logo on the sidewall to prove it. Previous versions of the KO2 did not come with this rating, but almost all new versions do!
2. Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Durable, extremely capable and long lasting thanks for a warranty that ranges from 45,000 to 60,000 miles depending on the size you buy, the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac doesn’t apologize for what it is. With void space to rival some mud-terrain tires it can grip in any situation.
Winter rated for sure, it’s also studdable if you want or need even more winter grip.
What particularly unique feature about this tire is the siping you can see, not just on the tread block surface, but on the base of the tread as well, delivering truly impressive grip.
They’re also excellent for taking a beating and holding up.
3. YOKOHAMA GEOLANDAR A/T G015
While not as off-road capable as some options on this list, it’s certainly more civilized and still provides enough off-road grip for 90% of drivers. Plus, with a 50,000 to 60,000 mileage warranty and a huge selection of sizes, you’re sure to find the right fitment for your vehicle. Yokohama also prices its all-terrain tires quite affordably, so you don’t pay a lot for some pretty impressive rubber. Read our complete Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 Review here.
4. Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S
Part of Cooper’s expanded Discoverer AT3 lineup, the 4S takes everything we love about the original AT3 and adds that all-weather capability that you know the folks at headquarters in Ohio know all about.
It’s one of the more civilized all-terrain tires. Offering solid on-road driving dynamics and low noise volume, and it’ll handle most any off-road situation.
On-road driving dynamics are good in both the dry and wet. The tread life is also impressively long at 65,000 miles.
Read our complete Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S Review here.
5. Firestone Destination AT2
Updated and improved over the original Destination AT, the AT2 boasts the same quality off-road grip as its predecessor, as well as a 5,000-mile longer treadwear guarantee, plus, it now comes certified with true winter capability.
Perhaps more importantly, the siping on the tire is full depth. This means that even as the tire wears it retains the same high level of winter grip.
Pricing is a strong suit here with most Firestone tires undercutting industry rivals.
Read our expert Firestone Destination AT2 Review here.
6. General Grabber ATX
A replacement for the Grabber AT2, the new Grabber ATX carries over a lot of what was great about its predecessor, while making some big improvements too.
The center tread area looks quite similar with notched and siped tread blocks that overlap to help grip on almost any surface. Plus there’s plenty of void space to help dig into and toss away loose earth.
The biggest change can be seen on the shoulder tread blocks, which are wider and more robust for better on-road handling. There’s less angle between each block as well for improved water evacuation. Between the tread blocks there are even stone ejectors to help self-clean the tire.
On the actual shoulder of the tire there are alternating scalloped edges to provide yet another aspect of grip. Plus the overall sidewall now features more rubber for added protection – and it looks a lot cooler too.
The 60,000 mile tread life warranty remains, as does the very attractive pricing. General Tires continue to be an excellent value for the money.
7. Kumho Road Venture AT51
Another option for those looking for year-round grip without breaking the bank, the Kumho Road Venture AT51 might be budget focused, but it sure looks cool. And with features that are more than tread-deep, it’s got impressive traction off-road and decent manners on-road too.
One of the few drawbacks to this tire is its the tread life warranty of 55,000 miles, which is on the lower side for an all-terrain tire.
8. Toyo Open Country AT III
Toyo’s next-generation Open Country all-terrain tire, the AT III takes everything that was great about the AT II and adds more capability. For starters, there’s now more off-road grip with an even more aggressive tread compound and pattern. There’s also better on-road grip in the wet. And on top of all that, it gains the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol meaning it’s a truly capable winter tire as well.
Plus, it comes with an improved tread wear warranty ranging from 50,000 miles on the low end all the way up to 65,000 miles.
9. Falken Wildpeak AT Trail
This new tire from Falken is designed specifically to suit the needs of modern crossover and SUV drivers. With more modest off-road capability, it take a different approach to off-road tires and probably not what you’d expect. While many brands (including Falken) offer Highway Terrain tires that focus more on on-road performance, the AT Trail is still very off-road focused. It’s designed to deliver solid grip on light off-road surfaces, such as gravel and dirt roads and deliver that grip without wearing down. Its’ a solid on-road performer too and comes with a 65,000 mile tread life warranty.
10. Maxxis RazR AT
On of the newest offerings in this segment is a brand that needs no introduction. In fact, for all that Maxxis has done to build up an amazing reputation for off-road tires, it’s never had a top level all-terrain tire. Solving for that is the Razr AT, which offers incredible off-road grip, particularly on loose surfaces. It’s also extremely durable and comes with either a 50,000 mile warranty for LT sizes or a 60,000 mile warranty for p-metric sizes. And, of course, it come with that three-peak mountain snowflake logo.
Are All-Terrain Tires Good in Winter?
Some all-terrain tires perform well in winter conditions, though it’s by no means a guarantee. The one way to tell is if an all-terrain tire features a three-peak mountain snowflake logo on its sidewall. This means it has achieved a minimum standard for handling extreme winter conditions.
Many all-terrain tires feature a more aggressive tread pattern, which can deliver some grip in deeper snow, however, if the tread becomes packed with snow they then loose grip quickly. At the same time, the tread compound can freeze up, reducing their grip on any surface.
To achieve a winter rating two basic elements are required. First, the tread compound needs to be soft enough that it retains some winter grip. And second, it needs to offer sufficient siping on the tread blocks. Siping (the little slits of zig-zag lines cut into the tread) allows snow to stick to the tire. The tire then uses this snow as a friction surface against the snow on the ground.
Regardless, not all all-terrain tires are created equal and while an increasing number are rated for winter use, the level to which they perform can still vary widely.
Winter Tires vs All-Terrain Tires: What’s the Difference?
While an increasing number of all-terrain tires now come certified for winter use, they don’t all. So watch for the three-peak mountain snowflake logo on the sidewall as the true indicator of winter capability.
However, having that logo does not mean the tire is a true “winter tire”? What it means is that it has been tested to achieve a minimum standard for winter capability. Most true winter tires meet and exceed that standard by a significant margin, so having a passing grade on an all-terrain tire can mean their actual capability in snow or on cold roads can vary widely. They might be exceptional in the winter, or they might just be as good as they can get away with.
Still, we encourage anyone who lives in a climate that gets snow to opt for winter tires and as winter-certified AT tires make for a great compromise for many truck and SUV drivers, you essentially can’t go wrong.
What does the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake Logo Mean?
Any tire sporting the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMS) logo is certified for use in extreme winter climates. The certification comes from both the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) and the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC). It doesn’t necessarily mean that the tire is a true winter tire, but rather that it is winter capable. There’s still a wide spectrum of capabilities for a 3PMS-certified tire with some offering significantly more grip than others. In essence, the 3PMS logo means it has achieved a certain minimum and will provide true winter traction when the snow falls.