Overlanding is becoming an increasingly popular pastime and it’s a great way to connect with the outdoors. If you do plan on loading your truck or SUV up with a bunch of gear and getting off the grid, there are a few general options you can look at for tires, depending on your preference and the type of trail you expect to encounter.
There are three general types of tires to choose from. The first are Mud Terrain tires, which will offer the most extreme performance and durability. Second, you can look at more conventional all-terrain tires – though we recommend a more durable set. And finally, there’s an emerging new category of Hybrid Terrain or Rugged Terrain tires, that combine some of the best aspects of both AT and MT tires. So let’s take a look.
Mud Terrain Tires
- Generally designed to carry heavier loads
- Almost always come with a 3-ply sidewall for extra protection against side punctures
- 3-ply sidewall makes them able to be aired up and down without impacting long term performance
- Heavier overall weight can reduce fuel economy
- Almost always have no mileage warranty
BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3
It’s almost impossible not to recommend the BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM3. They’re next-level capable and durable. They grip on almost any surface and are excellent at self-cleaning so you can keep up a high-level of grip for hours and days of driving.
Always a strong contender in the segment, the KM3s have been upgraded and now feature 5 percent more grip in the mud and 8 percent more grip on rocks. Plus BFG claims they’re 27% more resistant to punctures.
One particular feature we love about this tire is that the interior tread blocks feature divisions down the middle. This is unique amongst mud terrain tires.
When aired down, these gaps open and then clamp on to large rocks, giving an added level of traction. So many MT tires focus exclusively on soft-surface traction, but these BFGs deliver on many fronts.
Cooper Discoverer STT Pro
Cooper’s most extreme off-road tire is another highly recommended pick. Along with all the durability you could ask for, the tread features numerous additional features to help dig in and scoop away loose earth, mud or dirt. It’s great on rocks too and even offers slightly better on-road performance than most MT tires.
Hankook Dynapro MT2
Not quite as capable as the other two tires listed above, we’d recommend this as our more budget-focused option. There are no real stand-out features here. It does the basics and does them quite well, with impressive traction in mud and dirt, plus large stone ejectors built into the base of the tread. It’s also impressively well-priced for what you get.
In the runner-up category, if the you’re looking for something between the BFGs and Coppers and the Hankook option, the three tires below all offer exceptional grip and durability.
- Longer lasting – at least 55,000 miles or more per set
- Top quality ones still offer amazing capability
- More affordable
- Still suitable for everyday driving on-road if you want
- 2-ply sidewalls are more prone to punctures
- Not as good in loose earth, mud or gravel
BFGoodrich All Terrain TA KO2
BFGoodrich keeps making it to the top of our lists, and for good reason. This tire is almost a mud-terrain tire in terms of its capability, plus it’s a leader in durability, with a thicker sidewall and added protection to offer the best side puncture resistance, this side of a mud-terrain tire. Recent updates to the tire mean its now also certified for true winter use, so you can really take this tire almost anywhere, any time of year.
Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
Not quite as capable as the BFGs these Goodyears do offer impressive durability. Thanks to a Kevlar-reinforced casing, the tire has extremely high levels of puncture resistance, making it an ideal companion for leaving civilization behind.
While many tires focus on the sidewall, this tire actually gives added protection on the face of the tread, meaning it will hold up well to prolonged abuse on sharp rocks.
Toyo Open Country AT III
Updated very recently, the new Open Country AT III is starting to seriously close the gap to the BFGs in terms of performance. Durability is high, but it doesn’t offer any fancy protection tricks. It is, however, fully winter certified. With the three peak mountain snowflake logo on its sidewall, it’s a capable tire in the snow for your truck..
Hybrid Terrain Tires
A hybrid between an all-terrain and a mud-terrain tire, these off-road rollers vary in their benefits and as a result can be ideal for what you’re looking for – or miss the mark. So you have to shop smart.
It’s a newer off-road segment thats been developed, especially as MT tires have gotten a lot more capable over recent years.
It’s hard to generalize too much about these tires but we can say that they often offer a 3-ply sidewall, though with a slightly less aggressive tread pattern. Plus, some come with a milage guarantee.
- Some come with a 3-ply sidewall like mud-terrain tires
- Some mileage guarantee
- Harsher ride
- Too extreme for some, not extreme enough for others
Firestone Destination XT
A very impressive offering from Firestone, it comes with a liveable tread compound that isn’t too much on the highway but offers exceptional off-road grip. It also gets a 50,000 mile warranty, which is a lot for a tire like this. The ride is a little firm, but there are sizes available for 3/4- and 1-ton trucks. And it’s even certified for winter use.
Cooper Discoverer ST MAXX
Edging closer to a mud-terrain tire in terms of overall grip and capability, it does get a 3-ply sidewall to keep you avoiding any unwanted punctures out on the trail. There is no milage guarantee and no real snow capability either.
Nitto Ridge Grappler
This tire looks incredible. It has a more tightly packed center section of tread than some rivals so grip is better if you don’t venture into the really soft stuff. On road manners are quite good, although there is no milage warranty. We do love the massive selection of sizes, with lots of fitments for extreme off-road rigs.
If you are heading off-road for an extended period of time, or even just for a short adventure, be sure to bring a few critical supplies with you.
Traction Mats – We recommend the Bunker Indust Traction Boards
Jerry Cans – We suggest the Wavian Steel Gas Can
Portable Tire Inflator – Our top pick is the EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump